The Tri-Valley Babe Ruth 13-year-old all-star team, comprised of players from Pleasanton and other nearby communities, is set to begin competing against some of the nation's best teams this Saturday in the World Series in Jamestown, N.Y.
The local boys clinched the Pacific Southwest region crown in dramatic fashion during qualifying earlier this summer in Fresno.
They opened with wins over Torrance (10-0), Hawaii (3-2) and Yuma, Ariz. (15-5) in the double-elimination tournament. Standing with no losses, the Tri-Valley squad faced one-loss Hawaii again on July 31 with a chance to secure a World Series berth.
Needing a win to keep its hopes alive, Hawaii battled for a 10-9 win in extra innings in that game -- which left each team with one loss and set the stage for a winner-take-all finale later that evening.
The Tri-Valley boys prevailed 5-1 in the second game, which wrapped up around 11 p.m. July 31, eight hours after the day of baseball began.
Jack Grant was named Most Valuable Player during regional qualifying -- his second such award of the summer. Joey Battilega, Beau Garrett and Asher Golden earned All-Tournament Team honors.
Tri-Valley is set to open its Babe Ruth World Series tournament against the New England regional representative Saturday at noon.
The event features 10 teams from across the country divided into two groups for pool play. The top three teams from each group will then advance to a single-elimination bracket, with the championship game scheduled for Aug. 22.
The local team's roster also includes Josh Anderson, Evan Chevalier, Tommy Gavello, Kyle Harrison, Max Masajlo, Peter Montini, Trevor Jackson, Michael O'Hara, Jaden Sheppard and Cory Steinhauer. Seven of the players are from Pleasanton. The team is managed by Tony Battilega, an Amador Valley High coach.
To follow World Series results, visit www.jamestownworldseries.org or get the Game Changer app.