The Orcutt American Little League White Sox are celebrating a clean sweep of Santa Maria area minor league baseball titles.
The White Sox defeated the Orcutt National Mets 12-5 Saturday for the Orcutt minor league championship. The Sox followed that with a 13-1 decision over the Santa Maria Southside Indians on Monday, in a game shortened to five innings because of the run rule, to win the Santa Maria Valley minor league championship.
“It was a very exciting weekend — a once in a lifetime weekend for all the kids,” said White Sox manager Gary Rice.
In Saturday’s victory over the Mets, the Sox’s Eric Hidalgo paced the offense with two hits, Ezekiel Yanez had a key double in the fourth inning and Kevin Park had two run-scoring singles.
Then in Monday’s Valley championship game, Dylan Spiess was Mr. Everything for Orcutt. Spiess pitched four innings, giving up one run while striking out eight. Spiess was also big on offense with a triple and an inside-the-park home run. Spiess was named the Harry Goodchild Most Valuable Player award winner.
Kevin Park came on in relief in the top of the fifth inning and quickly struck out the side.
“Eric Hidalgo had a big game behind the plate. He called a great game,” said Rice. “Hidalgo also went 3-for-3 at the late.”
The Sox had plenty of offense stars in the win. Isaiah Moon and Austin Rice also went 3-for-3 and Vincent Curiel had a home run in the fifth inning.
“Chris Miller made an outstanding play for us in the outfield,” said Rice. “It was a major league play. It was a game changer for us. He came out of nowhere and made an outstanding catch in center field.
“I’m really proud of the kids, they were great all season. But I also have to say how proud I am of all our assistant coaches and all the volunteers. We had five assistants who were out there all the time — raking fields, helping out — and they didn’t have to volunteer like they did. They all sacrificed for the kids. They took away from family time to work with these kids.”
The coaches were Neil Tomilloso, Mike Huguenard, David Curiel and Junior Espinoza.
“And we have to mention team mom Shanna Hixenbaugh,” said Rice. “She was just a phenomenal team mom. And a special thanks to Cal Portland Construction for sponsoring us. They made us a beautiful championship banner (which can be seen in the photo)
The White Sox finish their season with an 18-4 record and Central Coast bragging rights for the next year.
The teams will now disband and Tournament of Champions All-Stars squads will be formed.
The annual Tournament of Champions is hosted by Nipomo this year. It begins Thursday. Orcutt American plays its first ToC game on Sunday.