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CMNLL again resilient

BASEBALL: Little League all-stars one game from district finals after topping Huntington Valley, 5-4, Tuesday.

July 01, 2008|By Matt Szabo

HUNTINGTON BEACH — Confidence is as contagious as home-run hitting for the Costa Mesa National Little League Majors Division All-Star team.

Both attributes seem to be blossoming game by game at the District 62 tournament at LeBard Park.

Dante Capoccia hit a pair of home runs Tuesday and Matt Jarmacz added another as Costa Mesa kept its title hopes alive, edging Huntington Valley, 5-4.

The teams will play again today at 5:30 p.m. at LeBard Park, the winner moving on to the district finals that begin Monday.

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Huntington Valley had beaten Costa Mesa, 12-4, in the tournament opener on Saturday to push Mesa into the loser’s bracket. Since then, Costa Mesa has strung together three consecutive elimination-game wins, although Jarmacz was still thinking about Monday’s 4-3 victory against host Seaview.

“We’ve definitely proven ourselves as a team,” said Jarmacz, who pitched 5 2/3 innings Tuesday, striking out three and allowing three runs. He helped cool a Huntington Valley team that had scored 12 runs in each of its first two wins.

“Seaview said that we were a one-man team, then we beat them in the last inning,” Jarmacz said. “They said it to us before the game we played them, then we hit three home runs off of them. We shut them up.”

The “one man,” Capoccia, did help Costa Mesa considerably Tuesday. He homered with two outs in the first inning, a solo shot to left on an 0-2 pitch to give his team an early lead.

“I didn’t know it was going to go out,” said Capoccia, the CMNLL regular-season home run leader who has also homered in seven of his last eight postseason games. “It felt like a pop-up.”

Costa Mesa added another run in the second inning, when Dylan Reyes scored on Levi Stillman’s RBI single. Huntington Valley’s Matt Tavakoli hit a solo homer in the bottom of the second, but Jarmacz added to the Costa Mesa lead with a solo shot to right-center in the third.

Then came Capoccia’s second home run, far from a pop-up on the first pitch he saw in the fifth inning. The fastball went well over the fence just to the left of the 200-foot sign in straightaway center. The Huntington Valley center fielder didn’t even turn around.

“We just missed our spots on some of their good hitters, like Dante,” Huntington Valley Manager Steve Bogard said. “Last time, [Costa Mesa] didn’t really put the ball in play, and this time they did.”

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