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Briarwood Pitching and Defense Shine in Season Finale

The All Star season for the Briarwood El Camino Little League 12U All Stars came to a conclusion with a 2-0 loss to Sunnyvale National. While Briarwood had hoped to advance through the District 44 round-robin pool play and into the elimination tournament, the team came up a smidge short.

However, despite the season ending, the Briarwood 12U squad showed some serious skill on the mound and with the gloves in what was a nail-biting pitcher’s duel to wrap up the season.

Victor Hernandez pitched all six innings for Briarwood, allowing just a pair of runs in the fourth inning. Otherwise, the Briarwood ace was nearly unhittable. He even struck out the side in a one-two-three sixth to finish off his pristine performance.


“Victor pitched amazing, kept us in the game the whole time,” noted Briarwood manager Jeff Rosenfeld. “Before the fifth, he hit a ball that was caught on the warning track and he could have gotten in his head and not continued to pitch well, but he stayed focused and faced only six or seven batters in two innings to finish off the game. That’s amazing, especially when he was already at 70 pitches or so going into those last two innings.”

“Victor did great; he basically shut them out,” chimed Briarwood shortstop Jordan Norris. “They got a couple of good hits, but that was it.”

If Hernandez was the top star of the game for Briarwood, Norris was a close second with a trio of fantastic plays at shortstop.

One was a two-hop smash to his left that he snared in the pocket of his glove and another was a high chopper into the hole between short and third. Norris calmly shuffled to his right and got a quick, strong throw off to beat the runner by a half step.

“I like the way he plays; he’s an amazing shortstop,” praised Hernandez on Norris’s play behind him. “When I’m pitching, I always find that I want him right there in that position because I know he can make the plays.”

Along with Hernandez and Norris, a third star of the game for Briarwood would be catcher Helder Guel. Guel threw out a would-be base stealer at second base and, after a wild pitch strike three, threw out a batter at first base.

“Catching all six innings isn’t easy to do at this age,” noted Rosenfeld. “He’s an extremely smart catcher. He’s reading the batters, determining what pitch to throw based upon what the batters are doing. We are not calling signs, he calls the whole game. It shows his maturity and knowledge of baseball.”

Unfortunately, the knowledge that might sting in the back of the minds of Briarwood is they know they hit enough line drives to win. The offense was simply snakebit. Seemingly every line drive, a half-dozen or so hard hit balls found a Sunnyvale glove every single time.

“If their right fielder wasn’t there every time, the score would not have been 2-0,” lamented Hernandez. “Most of those balls would have gone all the way to the fence and we would have had a bunch of doubles and triples.”

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Sunnyvale Yankees Outlast Briarwood Tigers in Pitching Duel


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