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A look back at Southside's magical run during 2013's Little League All-Star season

A look back at Southside's magical run during 2013's Little League All-Star season

Eddie Garcia has coached Santa Maria Southside Little League All-Star squads for nearly 20 years.

His 2013 Southside team made one of the biggest runs by a Santa Maria Valley Little League All-Star team in recent memory.

That Major Division group, which included several players who were prominent in area baseball later, distinguished itself with quality pitching and power hitting.

“We had 13 guys on the team,” and at least nine of them hit at least two home runs during the Southside run, Garcia says.

“Jaden LyBurtus hit 11 home runs and Trevor (Garcia, Eddie’s son) hit nine,“ the veteran Southside coach said.

During one Section 1 Tournament game, “We hit 10 home runs and Goleta Valley hit six,” said Eddie Garcia.

Southside rolled to the District 65 and Section 1 tournament championships, going 5-0 in the District 65 Tournament and 4-0 in the Section 1 tourney.

“We went 3-2 at Long Beach in the Southern Cal North sub-regional,” said Eddie Garcia.

“Sherman Oaks beat us in the bottom of the seventh inning,” sending the locals home.

Trevor Garcia pitched and was an infielder for the 2017 Santa Maria High School team that won the CIF Southern Section Division 6 championship.

Slim Lopez, a teammate of Trevor Garcia’s on that 2012 Southside championship squad, played second base for the 2017 Santa Maria baseball team.

Lopez played for Hancock, then graduated from the Military Police Academy program in 2020. Trevor Garcia pitches for Hancock.

LyBurtus starred for a Righetti team that made it to the CIF-SS Division 3 championship game in 2017. That Righetti squad was the first Righetti baseball team to make it to a sectional divisional final.

He hit 11 homers for Southside even though, “Jaden missed three games because he was in New York competing in the national Hit, Pitch and Run age group championship,” which LyBurtus won, said Eddie Garcia.

LyBurtus went on to play at Sacramento State but, Eddie Garcia said, “He got injured.”

The full 2013 Southside roster included LyBurtus, Lopez, Trevor Garcia, Sutton Tompkins, Marc Rubalcaba, Noah Martinez, Jose Morales, Christopher Cervantes, Blake Truhitte, Austin Peinado, Jonathan Limon, Tony Ruvalcaba and Oscar Gonzalez.

Most of those players went on to play high school ball. Tompkins, who played primarily first base for Southside, was the catcher and a leading hitter for the 2019 Righetti team that made it to the CIF Central Section Division I semifinals. Rubalcaba held down St. Joseph's starting catcher's role for a couple of seasons.

Truhitte was an all-everything quarterback for the 2017 Santa Maria football team that hosted the Southern Section Division 12 championship game. He was also a starting defensive back and the team’s punter.

“There were a lot of good ball players,” on that 2012 Southside team, said Eddie Garcia. “They were a good group to work with.”

Santa Maria Northside was the second-place team in the 2012 District 65 Tournament. Isaac Baez was Northside’s ace on the mound.

He was St. Joseph’s top pitcher during his career there. Baez pitches for Hancock now.

He is looking to rebound from Tommy John surgery. The pandemic truncated the 2020 spring sports season, and Baez and Trevor Garcia re-gained that season of eligibility.

Many of those players teamed up at Santa Maria Babe Ruth, where they continued to win All-Star tournaments as 13-, 14- and 15-year-olds.

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Sports Reporter

Kenny Cress, sportswriter for the Santa Maria Times since September of 2000. BA in political science from Cal Poly Pomona. BA in journalism from Cal State Northridge.

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