The Palo Alto Babe Ruth 14-year-old all-star team has some unfinished business to attend to next weekend in Woodland. For now, they want to enjoy being District 6 champs after beating Bel-Mateo, 14-2, Saturday at the Belmont Sports Complex.
The all-star team hasn't been together that long. The Babe Ruth city championship was decided Tuesday night and the all-stars played their first game Wednesday night.
Coach Vasken Guiragossian decided to use as many pitchers as he could in the three games of the district tournament just to get an idea of how they would perform under tournament pressure.
All of them answered the call. Jack Dellenbach earned the win Saturday, though it could have easily been any of the ones who took the mound, including Aidan Everett, who will be at Gunn this fall.
Palo Alto has a deep staff, which also includes Ryan Mo, Owen Crevalt, Gianluca Shinn, Palo Alto sophomore Paul Thie, Sacred Heart Prep-bound Donte Cacchione, Liam Mauck and Erick Flores.
It's not all about pitching though. Guiragossian, with the help of assistant coach Chris Lee, a Sacred Heart Prep grad and current player at Vassar, decided to encourage an aggressive approach at the plate.
"We're not going up to bat looking for a walk," Guiragossian said. "If you see a strike, jump on it. Even if you don't get a hit, at least hit the ball hard, try to have a productive at bat."
Palo Alto collected 35 runs and gave up seven in its tournament run. Productive? Heck, yes.
"This team plays good defense too," said Lee, a middle infielder. "It's a solid group."
The all-stars will use the upcoming week not only only to practice but to build chemistry.
"The team can compete with anybody," said coach Rick Farr via telephone from 3,000 miles away at a wedding. "Vaskan will gel the team like the expert he is. That's what this week is for."
As 13-year-olds, Palo Alto reached the state championship game. They're looking to take the next step this year.