McCormick Ranch Little League dominate district, advance to state

The All-Star team from McCormick Ranch Little League. (Submitted photo)

The All-Star team from McCormick Ranch Little League defeated Arcadia Little League 5-4 Monday, July 1 to complete a two-game sweep in the team’s District 6 championship series.

The Bulls from McCormick Ranch had previously beaten Arcadia 15-0 in the first game of the series.

The two teams had advanced out of the tournament’s pool play, which included teams from McDowell Mountain, Mountain View and East Scottsdale Little Leagues, according to a press release.

With the win, McCormick Ranch completed a perfect run through the tournament in the Little League (Majors) Division, which includes kids 12 years old and younger.

McCormick Ranch advanced to represent District 6 at the state tournament, which began July 15 in Kingman. McCormick Ranch played District 2’s Litchfield Park and lost 11-3. The team’s next opponent has yet to be determined but the two will play Wednesday, July 17.

The state tournament is a double-elimination format and the entire tournament is expected to last between July 15-23.

The winner of the state Little League tournament advances to represent Arizona in the Western Regional in San Bernadino, California where teams battle for the chance to ultimately play in the Little League Baseball World Series.

The Little League World Series features teams from around the world and is held in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Originally the Scottsdale area Little Leagues were in Arizona’s District 7 and won 12 district championships between 1961-87 in Little League’s Major Division. In 1987, District 6 was spun-off from District 7.

McCormick Ranch Little League has won eight District 6 championships in the Major Division, second only to North Scottsdale Little League’s 11 championships since 1987. McCormick Ranch won Arizona’s Little League Major Division’s state championship in 1998.

North Scottsdale is the only other Scottsdale area league to have won a state title in Majors, having done so in 1994, 1999 and 2010.

This year, due to some declining participation numbers in North Scottsdale’s boundaries, the two leagues’ governing boards agreed playing under Little League’s “combined team” rules in 2019 would offer the kids the best experience for all involved.

“We want to provide as many opportunities for children to play baseball as possible,” McCormick Ranch’s League President Gene Montemore said in a prepared statement.

McCormick Ranch’s team features stellar pitching, including a starting staff made up of Jake Catalfio, Jack Lafflam, Devin Long and Dae-il Willis.The deep and talented bullpen includes Trevor Green and Ethan White.

Backing up the hurlers on the mound is a gifted and experienced infield, including Cade Huseth, Truman Parker and Luke Troxell. The outfield features impressive speed, led by Catalfio and Dean Ketcham. The backstops playing solid catcher are Noah Becker and Nate Smith.

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