The Orcutt National Little League Mets hit and pitched their way to the Orcutt Major Division championship in the Santa Maria Elks Valley Little League Championship Series Saturday.
Starter Mason Majewski and reliever Joe Velasquez combined on a no-hitter, Ashton Bluem homered twice, and the host team beat the Orcutt American Yankees 10-0 at the old May Grisham Park, behind the Orcutt Academy High School campus, for the Orcutt crown.
The Mets will play the Santa Maria Northside Little League Athletics, the Santa Maria City champion, at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Oakley Park for the Valley championship.
Oakley is Westside's home site. Opening ceremonies will start at 2 p.m.
The Orcutt title game ended in the bottom of the fourth inning because of the 10--run rule. Isaac Pintor drew a base-loaded walk, forcing in Nick Grindy with the final run.
"I like (to swing at) the high pitches best, high fastballs, high curveballs," Bluem said afterward.
Bluem hammered an 0-2 pitch in the second inning over the left field fence for home run No. 13 on the year. He hit a 1-0 pitch in the fourth high onto the left field screen for No. 14. Both homers were on high pitches and both were worth two runs.
The Elks Valley championship series is the first since 2019. The series never got off the ground last year because the COVID-19 pandemic scrubbed just about all of the area Little League season.
Once his team was allowed to practice together as a unit, "It took about a month for the guys to get to full strength as far as their hitting, pitching and defense," said Mets manager Matt Majewski.
Mason Majewski is Matt's son. Mason worked the first 1 1/3 innings and struck out four batters. Velasquez finished up and struck out seven.
Manuel Curiel drew a lead-off walk in the second inning. Jacob Rodriguez did the same in the fourth. They were the only two Yankees baserunners.
Bluem went 3-for-3. He hit a lead-off single in the first inning. Mason Majewski had three hits and drove in a run. Velasquez had a hit and two RBI.
"Mason and Ashton were both with me on that (2019) Orcutt American Astros team that went 17-1," said Matt Majewski. "We have a few guys who play travel ball, so that helps."
Bluem is one of the Mets who plays travel ball.
"I play for the 805 team," he said. Bluem played in a travel ball tournament in Arizona last summer in the midst of the pandemic.
When he was working out on his own, "I worked out in the batting cage a lot," he said. "It took me about two or three months to get to full strength."
Orcutt National Angels 8, Orcutt American Red Sox 7
Mark Gonzalez made a diving catch to help preserve the Angels lead and, with the tying run on third, Brayden Castillo caught the last batter looking on a 3-2 pitch to end it and send the Angels into the Elks Valley championship game.
The Angels will play the Santa Maria City champion Santa Maria Westside Mariners at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Oakley Park for the Valley title. Opening ceremonies are set for 2 p.m.