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Padre Power! Westside Padres Pummel Cupertino

The Westside Major Division Padres needed just two-and-a-half innings to defeat the Cupertino Giants in their Tournament of Champions (TOC) matchup. With home field advantage, the Padres took the field first and starting pitcher Naithik Viswajith stayed calm and composed despite a couple of unlucky hits dropping in behind him.

With the bases loaded and just one out, Viswajith struck out the fifth and sixth hitters in the Giants lineup to get out of the inning unscathed.

And then the Padres offense went to work. And oh boy, did they go to work.


Number three hitter Mario Ramos destroyed a breaking ball for a three-run homer to left field that easily cleared the 200-foot fence by 100 feet.

“It was a 1-1 count and I got a curveball,” recalled Ramos, who is a daunting figure at the plate, a Little League version of the New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge. “When it’s a slow pitch, it’s gonna drop in on you and you just wait on it. My dad always tells me I don’t have to swing for the fences, just when that ball finds that barrel, it will go over the fence with how much power you have.”

The Padres were far from done scoring in the first inning. Westside would bat all the way through the lineup and then some before hitting into three outs.

Leadoff man Alex Cuello would hit the team’s second homer of the inning, also to left field, but this time a grand slam.

“It was an 0-1 count and I got a fastball. I don’t think they thought I would hit for power since I’m a leadoff hitter,” remarked Cuello. “But I sent that one deep for a grand slam.”

All told, the score would be 10-0 going into the second inning. Westside would tack on five more runs in their second inning of offense and a one-two-three top of the third inning sealed the 15-run rule victory.

Jacob Hanna-Weir finished off the Cupertino Giants with an excellent performance on the mound. Combining to shut out the Giants after Viswajith’s impressive start.

“I just focused on throwing strikes with mostly fastballs,” chimed Hanna-Weir on his effort on the mound. “Fastball, curveball, changeup and two-seam are what I mostly use.”

“I feel like with one out there, if I could just throw strikes, we could end it right there,” noted Viswajith on his first-inning escape. “I wasn’t worried about them stealing or running, just throwing strikes.”

Given what these Padres showed on both sides of the ball, one might expect big things from this year’s Westside All-Stars. Manager Mike Forney talked about how valuable it is to have so much power in his Padres lineup.

“It’s a big plus for us to have those kinds of guys [with power]; we have a lot of guys who can get on base to set them up,” said Forney. “And they have been swinging the bat great all year long. Those two are our best two hitters.”

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