July 12, 2011
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After giving his team a boost with two homers and six RBIs, Nick Peifer gets a boost.

After giving his team a boost with two homers and six RBIs, Nick Peifer gets a boost.

Energized by the powerful bat of Nick Peifer and the strong right arm of pitcher Anthony Cascarano, the La Verne 12-year-old All-Stars defeated Glendora National 12-1 at College Park in Claremont to win the District 20 Championship. With the win La Verne now moves on to the sectional playoffs that begin this Saturday at Cortez Park in West Covina.

Leading 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth, Peifer blasted a two-out, three-run homer that put La Verne up 6-0, and then Peifer gave the crowd a replay with a walk-off three-run blast in the bottom of the fifth to give La Verne the 12-1 victory.

It was just another day at the office for the extraordinary 12-year-old who has had as many 8 RBIs in a game.

As usual though, on a team loaded with talent, Peifer, batting in the two-hole in the line-up, got plenty of help.

La Verne scored two runs in the bottom of the first. Kenji Henderson drove in La Verne’s first run after A.J. Woodall had walked and Peifer had singled. Nathan Schneider drove in Peifer on a ground out to first for the team’s second run.

On the hill, Cascarano got some great defensive assists from his outfield. In the first. right fielder Henderson dove to snare a sinking line drive off the bat of Glendora’s Troy Sutherland and center fielder Jake San Miguel gunned Andrew Montano at the plate to end the inning.

la-verne-district-20-champions-0-03-42-04La Verne scored another run in the third on a little trickery by Schneider who intentionally got caught in a run-down between and first second, allowing Henderson to score from third.

Then it was time for Peifer to take over. Setting the table for Peifer in the fourth were Dylan Sanchez and Woodall who both walked before Peifer unloaded.

In the fifth, Logan Zylstra and San Miguel singled and Chris Spencer walked to load the bases. Nick Johnson blasted a two-run double. Another run came in on a wild pitch. Woodall was hit on his right hand by a pitch, and then Peifer swung and circled the bases, propelling La Verne into the Sectional playoffs.

“I think we made a number of key adjustments tonight,” La Verne Manager Bob Spencer said about meeting Glendora National for a second time in the tournament. “Tonight the kids came out on fire.”

Spencer expects that pitching will be the key to winning the sectional, adding that the team will take an all-hands-on-deck approach to each game. Woodall was expected to receive an x-ray of his right hand after the game.

“I’ve learned in the past that you can’t lean one player,” Spencer said. “You got to play as a team, but let’s go with the positive, that we’re going to get him back for the next tournament.”

That next tournament begins this Saturday at Del Norte Park in West Covina (1500 W. Rowland Ave.) against the District 19 champion. The first pitch will be thrown at 6 p.m.

La Verne’s 9s, 10s and 11s all won district championships. Meanwhile, the seniors finished as runner ups — a remarkable run for all the teams, branding La Verne as Southern California’s new baseball capital!

After the game, head over to the Pizza Barn, home of the All-You-Can-Spaghetti Wednesdays for the ridiculously low price of $3.95.

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