Rocklin's A's top Tri-City for Juniors TOC crown

By: Amanda Calzada/Placer Herald Correspondent
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Rocklin?s Juniors A?s captured the District 11 Junior Tournament of Champions title after a 14-3 win against the Tri-City Dodgers Monday evening. The A?s came into the TOC as the 2012 Rocklin Little League Juniors champions. ?Everyone contributed on this team,? said team manager John Gibson, who admired the players? extra efforts in compensating for a key injury at first base and a significant number of illnesses during the first half of the season. The team said there was no bottom in the order of the lineup as each athlete worked hard to get on base. The A?s Jacob Couch, 13, said his season?s highlight was ?pitching and closing out the first half of the season.? The team celebrated an overall season record of 17-6. 2012 marked the union of Rocklin, Tri-City and Lincoln little leagues. Each league brought seven, three, and two teams into the league, respectively. Although the leagues faced each other throughout the season, the top team from each advanced to the TOC. In the first round of the tournament, Rocklin scored a 13-0 victory against Auburn on June 19 and a 16-1 victory in the second round against Sierra Foothills on June 23. The victory against Sierra Foothills advanced Rocklin to the championship game against the Tri-City Dodgers. The A?s roster held five returning Juniors Division athletes now 14 years old. Five players from last season moved up from the Majors and two came in from outside leagues. Gibson said all three coaches and 12 players agreed that their primary goal was not only to play great baseball physically, but also mentally. He admired the players? attitudes, ability to work together cooperatively and level of sportsmanship. ?During one of the games, the plate umpire told me he was impressed by the sportsmanship our team exhibited,? Gibson said. Parent Stephanie Doty said the team has exhibited the best sportsmanship and camaraderie of all teams her son has played on since he was 5. Gibson thanked the parents for their encouragement, Rocklin Little League for its excellent facilities, and coaches Tom Sullivan and Alan Palmer for their time.