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Newport makes history ... again

Youth Scene

Intermediate All-Stars capture league's first Section 10 title, powering past Central Garden Grove.

July 03, 2013|By Matt Szabo
(SCOTT SMELTZER…)

NEWPORT BEACH — The first home run that Morgan Derifield hit Tuesday night at Bonita Canyon Sports Park was impressive, as he had to reach down to club a three-run shot to center field.

The second home run that Derifield hit, a two-run rocket shot down the left-field line? By the time you read this, that ball may have stopped rolling somewhere near Santa Ana.

"First pitch, up and in," Derifield said of his shot that cleared the black fence 300 feet away. "Black fence, I've one-hopped it, but only in practice. I've never hit it that far."

There also was no doubt about the outcome for Derifield and the Newport Beach Little League Intermediate (50/70) Division All-Stars. Their historic run continues.

Newport Beach defeated Central Garden Grove, 18-4, in six innings, to win the Section 10 tournament. It's the first section title in league history for Newport Beach. The Newport squad, which last week also captured the first District 55 title in league history, advances to the Sub-Division 3 South tournament beginning this weekend.

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A Newport Beach 11-Year-Old All-Star team in 2003 advanced to the Section 5 tournament, but did not have to qualify by winning a district title.

This year's squad will play the Section 8 champion in its opening game of the double-elimination Sub-Division 3 South tournament at 7 p.m. Sunday, at the Canyon Springs Little League fields in Moreno Valley. But where exactly is Moreno Valley?

"Isn't it by San Francisco?" Derifield said before being told by teammate Matt Thompson that no, that's the Little League Intermediate Division World Series in Livermore. Newport Beach is now just three tournaments away from that biggest stage.

Derifield nodded.

"We have the confidence to go there," he said.

Manager Rick Dill's team certainly appears to have the skill to continue its run. Newport Beach improved to 6-0 in postseason play, and all but one of the games has ended early due to the mercy rule. The locals are averaging more than 19 runs per game.

"Now our goal is set on the World Series," Dill said. "We want to go all the way."

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