By Dan Maneval
The 2009 Coast Junior League tournament ended with an exciting climax on Saturday as the Terrapins downed the Wildcats 3-0 at the Rancho Santa Fe Sports Field.
Winning pitcher Kai Sakurai (two hits allowed over five innings) and reliever Cole Jaczko (save, two innings pitched) combined for a four hitter as the Terrapins handed the Wildcats their only shutout of the season.
"The game was scoreless through three innings, and it looked like the team that scored first would win," said Wildcats manager Tim Perkins.
In the top of the fourth inning, Terrapins center fielder Ryan Crawford drove in Jaczko to put the Terrapins on the board.
Jaczko scored again in the sixth inning on John Remick's single to center field. A double by Andrew Maneval (3 for 3, two doubles) and a single by Kyle Johnson (1 for 3) raised the score to 3-0 in the seventh inning.
The Wildcats mounted a rally in the bottom of the seventh inning when Arturo Silberstein (five innings pitched, one earned run) and John Roussos (2 for 3) each singled to put runners on first and third with only one out. But Terrapins relief pitcher Cole Jaczko struck out the side and sealed the victory for his team.
"The Wildcats are extremely talented and very well-coached," said Terrapins manager Chris Jaczko. "They were in first place the entire season, and entered the game with a 15-3 record. Before the game, we told our team that the burden of expectation was on the Wildcats, and we had no pressure to win. Our guys bought into that and were relaxed. We played a flawless game."
Earlier on Saturday, Manager Trey Mitchell's Hurricanes edged Manager Ray Roll's Buckeyes 2-1 in the final game of the CJL consolation bracket, as Luke Melikian tossed a four-hitter for the Hurricanes.
"The teams were very well balanced again this year," said Bill Rennie, CJL committee member. "The excitement of this League is that every team knows they can win on any given day."
CJL will be hosting the District 31 Junior League All Star Tournament from June 25 - July 5 at Del Mar Heights Elementary School. Two All Star teams from CJL will be representing the local community. One of the CJL All-Star teams (representing Del Mar) is the defending District 31 champion.
For more information about visit