There were Pirates all over the field Thursday evening at Campbell Little League. It was a game Jack Sparrow would enjoy as Pirates were guaranteed to sail home victorious even before the first pitch. The Santa Clara Briarwood Pirates got their bats going early and often en route to a 14-2 victory over the Mountain View Pirates, winning in a 10-rule mercy after five innings.
Thursday’s game was the opening round of the Tournament of Champions for Briarwood after receiving a first-round bye. Cleanup hitter and home run leader Ozzy Cadena started on the mound and was nearly untouchable. With the score out of hand early, Santa Clara coaches elected to save his arm as Little Leaguers are kept to pitch count rules. Offensively speaking, Briarwood batters who stood out Thursday were middle infielders Seth Ruiz and Alan Ramirez. Both hit home runs, while Ruiz scorched a rocket double in the same general direction as his home run, right-center field.
“It was a curveball on the outside corner,” recalled Ruiz on his home run, before joking about his double. “The double was on a fastball and I thought it was going to be another home run, but as soon as I saw it going down, I just ran hard into second.”
“Seth made a great play at shortstop and then his bat was amazing today,” commented Briarwood Head Coach Emmit Palacios. “He was three-for-three and then he got intentionally walked for the first time this year. When he gets on fire, he’s on fire and he was on fire today. First pitch he sees he took it over the fence, very first pitch. And he went opposite field, just hit the ball hard all three times. His bat is one we need to pick up the slack with other kids out of the lineup. And he can do it.”
Ruiz was hitting seventh against Mountain View, showing the depth that Palacios mentioned in last week’s edition of the Weekly. Every player on the Briarwood Pirates made one of the various All Star teams. For a Major Division team, that is the type of depth that only comes around every so often.
Briarwood’s depth was tested late in the season with injuries. While Santa Clara did manage to get the injured Andrew Palacios back healthy for Saturday’s semi-final game, it wasn’t enough. The Briarwood Pirates were able to storm back from an 8-4 deficit to tie the game up 8-8. Unfortunately for Briarwood fans, the Pirates would go on to lose 16-8.