Tri-City All-Stars come back to claim 10-12 Divisions titleBy: Jim Linsdau, Sports Editor
ROCKLIN– Tri-City Little League is on a quest to accomplish that for which they have been preparing the last two years – a trip to the Little League World Series.
The two-time state championship club will play in the Little League Western Regionals in San Bernardino for a chance to make it to Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Tri-City claimed the Northern California Divisional Tournament with back-to-back wins over Section 1, District 35 Petaluma.
After defeating Sec. 7, D-10 Madera, 8-3, in the Divisional opener, the boys of destiny then shut down Sec. 3, D-52 Half Moon Bay, 10-5, the following day. But a determined Petaluma club handed TCLL a 5-2 setback July 24 and sent the locals to battle their way through the elimination bracket.
In a semifinal matchup, Tri-City sent Half Moon Bay back to the coast with a 6-2 victory. Troy Ueltzen started and Nathan Erickson closed, both keeping HMB’s bats at bay.
“It was a rough week with high heat and the Carr Fire moving in,” said TCLL manager Dave Ueltzen. “The Redding staff was great, and we were all trying to make the best of it.”
That set the stage for a championship battle against unbeaten Petaluma, but the stage had to be moved to Sutter Buttes Field, west of Yuba City.
“The subs pulled through again like they have every game with clutch hits to propel us into the lead,” said Ueltzen. “I knew if we could overcome a little sign issue, we could win both games.”
To overcome the sign issue, catchers Aiden Weissenberg-Frost and Troy Ueltzen got the go-ahead to call each of what turned out to be the final two championship games.
With the sign issue resolved, Tri-City won 4-3 July 26 and 7-0 July 28 to earn an invite to Regionals.
Besides his team, Dave Ueltzen heaped praise on the support given by the Tri-City Board, Ryan Stevens of Louisville Slugger, Big Joe Finn (catching and hitting), Tony Padilla (pitching and batting practices) and all the Tri-City parents. The TCLL skipper also thanked Ken Mass Construction and Coca Cola for their support.
The manager also gave a shout out to coaches Ron Rogowski “The Brain”,
Josh Van Der Kamp “The Peacemaker” and Anthony Correia “The Technician” for all their great work.
“We work really hard and receive a lot of support,” said Dave Ueltzen. “If we were all the same, it would never work out.”
But work out, it has.
Tri-City opens the Western Regionals Sunday against Park View Little League of Chula Vista.
Also playing in the Western Regional are Sunnyside LL of Tucson, Arizona, Honolulu LL of Hawaii, Silverado West LL of Las Vegas, Nevada, and Dixie LL of St. George, Utah.