The Mission Bay Chiefs, made up of youth players ages 9 to 11, recently went from worst to first, showing that hard work and determination do pay off.
With 11 kids on the team from Pacific Beach and La Jolla, the Chiefs are part of the Mission Bay Youth Baseball program.
Team members included Joseph Crudo, Joshua Gousha, Logan Ham, Alex Harrington, Hunter Harrington, Noah Heuring, Robert Holmer, Shaun Lovett, Alan Myers, Gavin Porreca, Jovanni Rodriguez, and Reef Tusa.
The season began in late January with tryouts, culminating recently with a great finish from the kids.
“Its double-elimination playoffs, so you can play a couple more games if you lose but we won every game we played,” said Tim Tusa, one of the team’s coaches. “We played three games to win the championship of the Mustang Division of Mission Bay Youth Baseball.”
According to Tusa, the Chiefs beat the top seed in a close game of the first round of the playoffs. The second game went three extra innings until it was almost dark, with Mission Bay finally scoring the winning run to go to the championship.
In the championship, Mission Bay’s pitcher nearly threw a perfect game until he had to come out with only two outs left in the last inning because he hit his maximum allowed pitch count of 75 pitches.
“The kids never gave up even after losing all but one game and going 1-14-1 during the regular season,” Tusa said. “Our pitching and hitting started to come together the last couple games of the season, and then we got on fire starting in the playoffs to knock off the best teams.
“This was a total team effort to win every game with even our youngest and less-experienced kids making some big key plays at needed times,” he said.
Tusa added that a few of the players will go on to play in the All-Star tournament, fall ball, and travel ball later in the year.
“We had six great dads who helped coach this year and this was a huge reason for our turnaround, more than almost any other team,” Tusa added. “We also had some great moms who helped out too.”
The local Pacific Beach sponsors of the team included Tim Tusa Real Estate, Hoboken Pizza, Rocky’s Crown Pub and SD TapRoom.