By Nikash Nath
For The Signal
Several years of practice and teamwork paid off for the Santa Clarita Heat recently, as the 12U baseball players have been competing together since they were 8 years old. The Heat recently won the Cooperstown All Star Village tournament in Pennsylvania.
“To win this one in Cooperstown is special,” said Omar Sahagun, one of the team’s organizers, who added that some of the children have been playing together for more than four years.
The Heat were able to come out of the tournament as champions as they finished the weekend 6-0 in pool play, and then going undefeated (4-0) in bracket play, to finish the tournament with a perfect record.
This tournament featured squads from New Jersey, Florida and Colorado, as well as various California teams.
“The team is riding high after this tournament win. We are going to take a few weeks off after this one,” said Sahagun, a doctor who helps with the team and acts as its physician.
The Heat started bracket play by defeating I-5 Baseball Academy, a travel ball team located in Southern California. They then faced off against the Colorado Jets, who were the defending champions from last year’s tournament. The Heat advanced to the semifinal round to play the Reapers Baseball Club, which is located in Langhorne, Pennsylvania.
In the championship game, the Heat faced off against Braves Baseball Academy, which is located in Van Nuys. The game ended in a thriller, as the Heat hit a walk-off home run in the sixth inning to win, 6-5.
The Heat played all four games Thursday, July 8, en route to the tournament championship.
“Sheer jubilation showed on the kids’ faces as players and coaches stormed the field after the game,” said Sahagun.
Starting next season, the plan is for the Santa Clarita Heat to move forward with this team and start entering 13U tournaments.