Encino Falls in Game 1 of Southern California Championship Series


The 12-and-under Encino All-Stars (12-2) lost 12-1 to Ocean View (11-1) in a mercy Saturday afternoon in West Covina.

Ocean View jumped ahead 2-0 in the top of the first, added seven in the second and three more in the third. The 12-0 margin was too much to overcome for Encino, which had four come-from-behind victories in its previous six games.

Gordon Magruder belted one RBI, Mike Cohen had one hit and scored one run and Jamie Robertson added a hit.

Encino now faces a similar scenario to the sub-divisional. Encino will need to defeat Ocean View two days in a row to win the Southern California Championship Series. It won’t be easy considering Ocean View is the defending Southern California champion, but it’s certainly attainable. Just two years ago, Park View lost in a mercy in game one of the championship series, just like Encino, and eventually won the World Series.

Southern California Championship Series – 2441 E. Cortez St., West Covina

Game 2 – Encino vs Ocean View (7/31 – 3 p.m.)
Game 3 – If necessary (8/1 – 7 p.m.)

Encino Powers its Way to Sub-Divisional Championship


The 12-and-under Encino All-Stars (12-1) defeated Conejo Valley (8-3) 16-10 to clinch the North Sub-divisional championship Thursday night. It was Encino’s fifth win in six days.

Encino jumped ahead 3-0 in the top of the first behind Jamie Robertson’s two-run homer, but relinquished the lead in the bottom half of the inning when Conejo Valley scored eight runs.

Most teams would crumple down 8-3, but it didn’t faze Encino at all. They answered with two runs in the second and third innings to pull within one run following Robertson’s second home run of the game and Justin Greenwald’s sixth home run of the all-star season.

In the top of the fourth, Encino had the ultimate two-out rally. After the first two hitters made outs, Encino scored eight runs. Mike Cohen had the game-tying hit and Greenwald had the go-ahead knock. He finished with four RBI’s.

Seth Stone added his seventh homer in the past 10 games. Blake Hanson belted a two-run double. Grant Berman, Jack Scher and Elijah West blasted one RBI each. Cameron Bolger, Shawn Goosenberg and Gordon Magruder all scored once.

If Encino wins the Southern California Championship Series, they will advance to the Western Regional in San Bernardino, the final step in qualifying for Williamsport.

In the Western Regional, the Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, northern California, Southern California and Utah state champions will all vie for the one western bid.

Encino is one of only three teams in the entire state still alive.

Southern California Championship Series – 2441 E. Cortez St., West Covina

Game 1 – Encino vs Ocean View (7/30 – 3 p.m.)
Game 2 – Encino vs Ocean View (7/31 – 3 p.m.)
Game 3 – If necessary (8/1 – 7 p.m.)

Encino Little League: 12’s Force Championship Rubber Match With Conejo Valley, 14’s Win Sub-Division


It was a do-or-die scenario Wednesday for the 12-and-under Encino All-Stars (11-1) against a familiar opponent, Conejo Valley, (8-2) the only team Encino had lost to all season. Encino avenged the Monday’s 4-3 loss with a 16-5 five-inning mercy to force an “if necessary” rubber game against Conejo Valley for a spot in the Southern California championship series in West Covina at Thursday night.

Encino fell behind 1-0 in the top of the first, but immediately responded with three runs in the bottom half of the inning led by Seth Stone’s first home run of the night.

Conejo Valley kept it close throughout the game and trailed 7-5 heading into the bottom of the fifth, but that’s when the Encino bats exploded into a home run derby.

Justin Greenwald led the inning off with a solo homer and finished the inning with a grand slam. He finished 3-for-4 with five RBI’s and scored four runs.

Seth Stone crushed his second homer of the night and his sixth in the past nine games. Jack Scher added a two-run homer that his teammate Cameron Bolger called a “nuke”.

Elijah West drove in two and scored once. Jamie Robertson and Mike Cohen had one RBI. Bolger, Cohen, Shawn Goosenberg, Blake Hanson, Gordon Magruder and Robertson all scored once.

Encino is one of only five teams in the entire state still alive.

Southern California Divisional Tournament — 2441 E. Cortez St., West Covina

Game 9 – Conejo Valley vs Encino (TITLE) (7/28 – 7 p.m.)

Game 1 – North Bracket Champions vs Ocean View (7/30 – 3 p.m.)
Game 2 – North Bracket Champions vs Ocean View (7/31 – 3 p.m.)
Game 3 – If necessary (8/1 – 7 p.m.)

14-year-olds Win Sub-Division

The 14-and-under Encino All-Stars defeated Golden Hill 7-5 to win the Southern California North Sub-Divisional.

Encino started their ace Jake Gordon on the mound, but Golden Hill quickly jumped ahead scoring two runs in the bottom of the second.

Encino answered with one run in the fourth, but Golden Hill took a commanding 5-1 lead at the end of the fifth inning.

It seemed as though Golden Hill had all the momentum and would force the “if necessary” game, but Encino rose to the occasion. Mitchell Kerner led off the sixth inning with a towering double to right field. Encino then loaded the bases with two singles, a walk and scored one run to make it 5-2.

Jake Fried came to the plate and with an 0-2 count and smashed a double to right field, clearing the bases to tie the game at 5-5. Antoine Gonzalez singled in another run to give Encino its first lead of the day at 6-5, and Chris May forced an error by the third baseman resulting in another run to make it 7-5 Encino.

Tristan Matters got the win, pitching a shutout fifth inning and Anthony Mayorga slammed the door on Golden Hill with five strikeouts to earn the save.

Encino moves on to Riverside this weekend to play the south sub-division champions for a spot in the Western Regional in Laguna Niguel, the last stop before the World Series in Taylor, Mi.

Encino Little League Bounces Back From Loss


The 12-and-under Encino All-Stars (10-1) Little League team rebounded after a heartbreaking loss to defeat El Segundo 2-1 in an elimination game in the Southern California North Sub-Divisional in West Covina Tuesday.

Elijah West pitched five innings, struck out four and only gave up four hits.

“I was just trying to get strikes, just throwing strikes and hoping for pop ups and ground outs and that’s what I got,” said West.

Encino’s pitching and defense was the key to the victory. Cameron Bolger, Mike Cohen, Jamie Robertson and Seth Stone all turned in defensive gems. El Segundo loaded the bases in the fifth inning, but Robertson’s diving catch to get the third out at first base left all three runners stranded.

“Jamie Robertson’s catch was the play of the game,” said Encino Manager Jeff Cohen.

Jack Scher and Mike Cohen blasted solo home runs. Stone added two hits. Grant Berman, Bolger, Gordon Magruder and Robertson each had one hit. Justin Greenwald struck out two and earned a pressure-filled save.

Encino has a chance at redeeming its only loss of the season to Conejo Valley on Wednesday, July 26 at 7 p.m.

They will have to defeat Conejo Valley twice in two days to win the sub-divisional. Encino is in the final four in Southern California and one of the final seven teams remaining in the entire state.

Southern California Divisional Tournament — 2441 E. Cortez St., West Covina

Game 8 – Conejo Valley vs Encino (TITLE) (7/27 – 7 p.m.)
Game 9 – If necessary (7/28 – 7 p.m.)

Game 1 – North Bracket Champions vs South Bracket Champions (7/30 – 3 p.m.)
Game 2 – North Bracket Champions vs South Bracket Champions (7/31 – 3 p.m.)
Game 3 – If necessary (8/1 – 7 p.m.)

14-Year-Olds

The 14-and-under team has a chance to clinch the sub-divisional title on July 27 at 6 p.m. in Tehachapi.

Southern California North Sub-Divisional Tournament (all games in Tehachapi)

Game 5 – Encino vs Golden Hill (TITLE) (7/27 – 6:00 p.m.)
Game 6 – If necessary (7/28 – 6:00 p.m.)

Encino 12-and-Under Rally, But Fall One Run Short, 14-and-Under Continues its Winning Ways


The 12-and-under Encino All-Stars (9-1) lost a heartbreaker to Conejo Valley 4-3 in the winners bracket final of the Southern California North Sub-Divisional in West Covina.

Encino had only one hit in the first five innings, but rallied with five hits and three runs in the sixth inning.

“In the last inning we produced, and that’s what we needed to do. So we’ll just come back and do it tomorrow,” said Grant Berman.

Elijah West had two hits and one RBI. Shawn Goosenberg and Jack Scher each had one hit and scored one run. Seth Stone belted one RBI and scored one run. Jamie Robertson hit one RBI.

Encino plays El Segundo in an elimination game on Tuesday, July 25 at 7 p.m. They defeated El Segundo 13-5 last Saturday.

They will now have to win three games in the next three days to win the sub-divisional.

Southern California Divisional Tournament — 2441 East Cortez Street, West Covina

Game 7 – Encino vs El Segundo (elim.) (7/26 – 7 p.m.)
Game 8 – Conejo Valley vs Winner 7 (TITLE) (7/27 – 7 p.m.)
Game 9 – If necessary (7/28 – 7 p.m.)

Game 1 – North Bracket Champions vs South Bracket Champions (7/30 – 3 p.m.)
Game 2 – North Bracket Champions vs South Bracket Champions (7/31 – 3 p.m.)
Game 3 – If necessary (8/1 – 7 p.m.)

14-Year-Olds

The 14-and-under Encino All-Stars (9-0) kept moving towards their goal of a sub-divisional championship with a 5-2 victory over Golden Hill. The Encino formula of pitching and defense was in full effect with Mitchell Kerner throwing five outstanding innings and not giving up any earned runs. Jake Gordon got the save by shutting down Golden Hill in the final two innings.

Golden Hill took the lead 2-0 in the first inning on two unearned runs, but the Encino bats quickly came alive answering with two runs in the bottom of the first and two more runs in the bottom of the second to take the lead for good.

Thomas Sprague led Encino with three hits. Jake Fried, Antoine Gonzalez, Kerner, Chris May, Anthony Mayorga and Sam Shaikin also added hits to contribute to the victory.

Defensive gems were made by Gordon, May, Mayorga, Shaikin and Zach Lewis.

With this win, Encino moves to the championship game on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Tehachapi against either Saticoy or Golden Hill.

Southern California North Sub-Divisional Tournament (all games in Tehachapi)

Game C – Golden Hill vs Saticoy (elim.) (7/26 – 6:00 p.m.)
Game 5 – Encino vs Winner C (TITLE) (7/27 – 6:00 p.m.)
Game 6 – If necessary (7/28 – 6:00 p.m.)

Encino 12- and 14-Year-Olds Win Divisional Game


The 12-and-under Encino Little League team (9-0) remained undefeated with a 16-9 victory over La Verne (7-1) in the second round of the Southern California North Sub-Divisional.

The offense continued to explode as Encino had three five-run innings. They have averaged 14.2 runs a game their past six games.

Seth Stone blasted four RBI’s including a two-run homer, his fourth in six games. Elijah West crushed a three-run homer and scored two runs. Grant Berman and Jamie Robertson had two RBI’s apiece. Jack Scher had one RBI and scored two runs. Justin Greenwald added three runs. Cameron Bolger and Shawn Goosenberg scored two runs each. Robertson and Mike Cohen each scored once.

Encino plays Conejo Valley (7-1) in the winners bracket final in West Covina on Monday, July 25 at 7:30 p.m. The two teams met 25 years ago, the last time Encino made the divisional tournament, with Encino winning 7-0.

Regardless of tonight’s outcome, Encino will be one of the final 10 teams left in the state.

Southern California Divisional Tournament — 2441 East Cortez Street, West Covina

Game 5 – Conejo Valley vs Encino (7/25 – 7:30 p.m.)
Game 6 – La Verne vs El Segundo (elim.) (7/25 – 5 p.m.)
Game 7 – Loser 5 vs Winner 6 (elim.) (7/26 – 7 p.m.)
Game 8 – Winner 5 vs Winner 7 (TITLE) (7/27 – 7 p.m.)
Game 9 – If necessary (7/28 – 7 p.m.)

Game 1 – North Bracket Champions vs South Bracket Champions (7/30 – 3 p.m.)
Game 2 – North Bracket Champions vs South Bracket Champions (7/31 – 3 p.m.)
Game 3 – If necessary (8/1 – 7 p.m.)

Encino 14-Year-Olds

The Encino 14-and-under All-Stars opened up sub-divisional play in Tehachapi with a hard fought 5-3 victory over North Venice. Zach Lewis and Anthony Mayorga combined on a four-hitter, with Lewis throwing a strong 4.1 innings and Mayorga closing out the game with 2.2 innings of solid relief.

The offense was led by Sam Shaikin, who homered and belted three RBI’s. Thomas Sprague, Chris May and Jake Gordon also had one hit apiece for Encino. Defense was the main key, with Mitchell Kerner controlling the game behind the plate and Antoine Gonzalez, Jake Fried and Tristan Matters all making big defensive plays. The game ended on a clutch 4-6-3 double play, with Gonzales making a great stop, tossing to Shaikin, who threw to Lewis to end the game.

Encino will play Golden Hill in a winners bracket game Monday, July 25 at 6 p.m. at Tehachapi Little League.

Southern California North Sub-Divisional Tournament (all games in Tehachapi)

Game 4 – Encino vs Golden Hill (7/25 – 6 p.m.)
Game C – Loser 4 vs Saticoy (elim.) (7/26 – 6 p.m.)
Game 5 – Winner 4 vs Winner C (TITLE) (7/27 – 6 p.m.)
Game 6 – If necessary (7/28 – 6 p.m.)

Encino Little League Down, But Never Out


The 12-and-under Encino Little League team (8-0) remained undefeated with a 13-5 victory over El Segundo in the first round of the Southern California North Sub-Divisional.

It didn’t come easy, as Encino had no hits in the first three innings and clawed its way back from a 3-0 deficit in the fourth.

“Normally we get down, but that doesn’t mean anything to us. We always just keep coming back,” said Cameron Bolger.

Mike Cohen led the charge with a two-run homer followed by two-run doubles by Seth Stone and Elijah West to take a 6-3 lead.

“After Mike’s home run, we got a lot of confidence,” said Jack Scher, who added a two-run double in the fifth inning.

The team hit around the lineup in both the fourth and fifth inning scoring all 13 runs in that span.

However, in the top of the fifth inning, El Segundo narrowed the margin to 6-5 and had multiple opportunities to tie the game, but Encino’s defense rose to the occasion making two plays at the plate to save the lead for good.

“The fifth inning was the key. We threw three men out,” said Encino Manager Jeff Cohen.

Mike Cohen blasted a two-run homer to dead center and scored two runs. Scher, Stone and West each blasted two-run doubles. Bolger, Gordon Magruder and Justin Greenwald drove in one RBI each. Bolger, Scher, Jamie Robertson and Blake Hanson each scored twice. Stone, West and Greenwald added one run apiece.

Encino plays La Verne in the second round of the divisional tournament in West Covina on Sunday, July 24 at 4 p.m.

Southern California Divisional Tournament – 2441 East Cortez Street, West Covina

Game 3 – La Verne vs Encino (7/24 – 4 p.m.)
Game 4 – El Segundo vs La Mirada (elim.) (7/24 – 1 p.m.)
Game 5 – Conejo Valley vs Winner 3 (7/25 – 7:30 p.m.)
Game 6 – Loser 3 vs Winner 4 (elim.) (7/25 – 5 p.m.)
Game 7 – Loser 5 vs Winner 6 (elim.) (7/26 – 7 p.m.)
Game 8 – Winner 5 vs Winner 7 (TITLE) (7/27 – 7 p.m.)
Game 9 – If necessary (7/28 – 7 p.m.)

Game 1 – North Bracket Champions vs South Bracket Champions (7/30 – 3 p.m.)
Game 2 – North Bracket Champions vs South Bracket Champions (7/31 – 3 p.m.)
Game 3 – If necessary (8/1 – 7 p.m.)