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District 55 All-Stars Tournament: Newport National bounces back

July 13, 2002

Steve Virgen

ALISO NIGUEL - After suffering a 10-0 shutout that sent them to the

second-chance bracket, the Newport Beach National Minor A All-Stars

confronted one of their biggest challenges of the season.

How would they respond?

The Newport Beach All-Stars made up of 9- and 10-year-olds bounced

back with a 7-2 victory over Saddleback that included sound defense and

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opportunistic hitting. The win kept Newport alive as it advanced to the

semifinals of the second-chance bracket in the District 55 Area B

All-Stars Tournament.

"We got beat pretty bad on Monday (a 10-0 loss to Aliso Viejo A),"

Newport Manager Ken Gerdau said. "We had to bounce back. And, they did.

They were more relaxed. They were ready."

Newport pitcher Tommy Colton led the way with his five innings of

solid work. He retired the side in order in the first, second and fourth

innings. He struck out four and allowed just three hits on 52 pitches.

"We had a tremendous effort from every player, especially Tommy

Colton," Gerdau said. "He's our catcher, but he went to the mound and

gave us five innings. He kept leading (Saddleback) to ground balls."

Peter Fraaza came on in relief in the sixth inning and completed a

scoreless frame that came with a strikeout.

The Newport Beach All-Stars took control by building a 5-0 lead after

2 1/2 innings. Leadoff man John Doering, who made a great sliding catch

in center field in the fourth inning, scored after reaching on a walk. He

advanced to second on a ground out and moved over to third after a wild

pitch. He scored on a throwing error.

In the second inning, Newport posted three more runs, as Cameron

Koziara, Cory Vitalo and Jack Gerdau scored. The trio loaded the bases

after Koziara singled, Vitalo walked and Gerdau singled. Catcher Beau

Attyah collected an RBI from a sacrifice fly, that scored Koziara. Then,

Brian Hurst singled to right, which plated Vitalo. The big hit resulted

in an error and Jack Gerdau took advantage.

Another run for Newport came in the top of the third. Jack Gerdau

pounded out a triple, that scored Koziara, who singled after his hard-hit

ground ball bounced off the first baseman's glove.

Saddleback answered with two runs in the bottom of the third, and the

score stood, 5-2, until the sixth inning when Doering and Hurst scored to

secure the win. Doering singled to left, while Hurst walked. Parker

Stone, who started at first base, sent a shot to the right field corner

for a two-run single.

Newport's effort was reminiscent of its 8-7 victory over North Mission

Viejo in eight innings July 6. Vitalo blooped a single to left field that

provided the winning run, Colton, in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Colton reached on a single to right center. He advanced to second on a

ground out and proceeded to third after a passed ball.

Vitalo, Fraaza and Jack Gerdau combined for crucial pitching.

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