Goleta Valley South’s run comes to an end

After 15 games at four separate locations, played over the course of 30 days, Goleta Valley South Little League’s 11/12 All Star Team’s run at Williamsport immortality has come to an end.

Only the second team ever (and first since 1979) to reach Divisional play from Goleta Valley South, this team also holds the honor of being the only three-time (9/10, 10/11 and 11/12) District 63 Champion in the history of Goleta Valley South. The road to the Southern California Sub Division North Tournament wasn’t an easy one as Goleta Valley was pushed to its limit in a three game series versus Dos Pueblos LL for the District Championship and again in another three game set against Moorpark LL in California Section 1 play.

GVSLL was eliminated by Upland Foothill on Monday at Ladera Little League, 11-0.

Goleta Valley South was led by their shortstop and ace pitcher, Colter Nisbet. Jake Sofro got the starting nod in both District and Section Championship Games and walked away a winner in both. All-World backstop, Sam Drew, started 14 of 15 games behind the plate and smashed several key homeruns early in District play at Saticoy, where his father played years before. James Halleck is the only All Star that wasn’t on the roster the last two years, and clearly his contributions on the mound helped the group reach new levels of success. Dylan Shugart started every game at second base and hit timely homeruns in both District and Section Championship Games. A real warrior, Trey Tank, played third base and pitched; even after being hit square in the eye while batting. Drew Darke patrolled centerfield and contributed innings on the mound for this squad. Isaac Oh smashed a Grand Slam early on, pitched a couple scoreless innings and ably backed up both the shortstop and third baseman. Evan Kling batted in the middle of the GV order and led the team in runs scored. Alex Furukawa had the biggest hit of the All Star season when he “walked-off” against Moorpark in the Section Championship Game. Certainly the loss of third baseman/pitcher, Kevin Barker, didn’t help the team. When Barker broke his hand July 4th, he was hitting nearly .500 and playing flawlessly in the field.

The All Stars were a reflection of their parents, families and friends both on and off the field. The boys also benefitted from the steady hand of their manager, the even-keeled John Nisbet. Fiery first base coach, Dick Drew, oversaw the pitching staff and used nine of the eleven players on the hill.

So the last pitch has been thrown, the last ball hit. No more marathon practices or celebratory pizza dinners. The grandparents have gone home and the siblings are free to go to the beach. The fungos and batting tees can be packed away for the winter. Registration for the Spring 2013 season is only four months away.