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Little League All-Stars coaches' teams to play for championship (Video)

Keldy  Ortiz

By Keldy Ortiz
July 8, 2013 at 2:08 a.m.
Updated July 9, 2013 at 2:09 a.m.

Nick Cantwell of Victoria Northwest collides with catcher Caden Jander of Victoria Southwest as Jander attempts to tag Cantwell out at the plate. Both teams played for the District 27 area 1 championship at the Victoria Youth Sports Complex on Monday evening.

Victoria Northwest coaches Mike De La Garza and Alex Flores waited a long time to coach an all-star baseball team together, and they're guaranteed at least one more game.

The 11- to 12-year-old Northwest All-Stars defeated Victoria Southwest 5-3 in the District 27 Area 1 Championship on Monday night. They will face Victoria Northeast - who defeated Calhoun 6-2 earlier Monday - for the District 27 Championship Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at the Victoria Youth Sports Complex.

Coming into Monday, both De La Garza and Flores were looking forward to this part of the season, but their players were looking forward to the competition just as much, if not more.

"The kids have come out and played baseball together," De La Garza, the Northwest All-Stars coach said. "These guys play together, and they never give up."

Northwest pitcher Nick Cantwell had seven strikeouts, while Southwest pitcher Jordan Fillmore had four strikeouts. Fillmore helped Southwest offensively with a two-run home run in the fifth inning.

Southwest coach Charles Wenske said he was proud of the effort his team displayed Monday. The amount of dedication the team showed in games and during practices was all he could ask for.

"These 13 boys on this baseball team I selected to represent Southwest - I would do it again if I had to do it tomorrow," said Wenske, after which a Southwest player hugged him to thank him for being his coach. "They are a great group of kids, and that's what it is all about. The boys on this baseball team is what made this happen. They never complained. They showed up."

Flores, who is the manager for Northwest, said he doesn't want the season to end. Whatever happens Tuesday, he will enjoy the ride.

"It's all about the kids," Flores said. "It's been a dream of Mike and mine to get this all-star team together. I'm happy that the boys have bonded and have played together. This is the best I've seen in years."



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