La Verne Versus San Dimas in Title Game Tonight at Merchant Park

July 9, 2009
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 You can’t be successful in the game of baseball without confidence, and the coaching staff of the La Verne Little League 11-Year-Old All-Stars showed theirs by giving Cole Sojka the ball in a must-win game again San Dimas Wednesday night at Merchant Park.

La Verne plays for the 11-year-old District 20 championship this evening at Merchant Park.

La Verne plays for the 11-year-old District 20 championship this evening at Merchant Park.


Sojka, who took the loss against San Dimas earlier in the tournament, came up big with both his right arm and bat, rewarding his coaches’ faith that he was the right player for the right moment.

Although La Verne was down 3-0 after three innings, La Verne got the big red machine rolling in the top of the fourth. After Matt Jones started things off with a walk, Brogan White singled and Sojka doubled to score two. Sam Monsen singled and Eric Castruita followed with a double in the gap to plate two more. With one out, Hunter Korn singled, sending Castruita to third. Nick Lodolo completed the 5-run assault with a single to drive in Castruita.

In the bottom of the fourth, San Dimas scored one run without a hit to make the score 5-4. The high-powered team possibly could have tied or taken the lead if not for an excellent throw from catcher Austin Shively to cut down the San Dimas runner trying to steal third base.

The great defensive stop seemed to lift La Verne’s offense to another level. La Verne responded with five more runs in the top of the fifth, paced by Sojka’s home run, singles by Lodolo and Monsen and Korn’s second double of the game.

Over the last two frames, Monsen took the hill for La Verne, surrendering just two hits. He was also supported by strong defensive plays. In the sixth, catcher Jacob Wollard threw out a San Dimas runner attempting to swipe second base and shortstop Alex Gonzalez recorded the final play of the game on a ground ball put out.


“Once again, it was a complete team effort,” said Manager Brian Shively. “These are the kinds of games we can play. Now we need to play one more.


“After our loss to San Dimas earlier in the tournament, I told the boys we had three steps to complete our goal. Well we just completed step two. Hopefully, Thursday will see us complete the final step, so we can accomplish our goal.


“That is to bring home a District 20 Championship!”


Tonight the two teams will square off at 5:30 p.m. to determine the District 20 11-year-old champion.

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