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Orcutt 14U All-Stars ready for Babe Ruth Pacific Southwest Regional | Youth Sports

Orcutt 14U All-Stars ready for Babe Ruth Pacific Southwest Regional | Youth Sports

The 2024 Orcutt 14U All-Stars did not win a Babe Ruth State Championship. However, the team did accomplish a major goal.

Orcutt finished second in the Central California State Tournament and qualified for the Babe Ruth 14U Pacific Southwest Regional, allowing this Orcutt 14U team to aspire to what its predecessor won – a Babe Ruth World Series title.

The 2023 Orcutt All-Star team won the Babe Ruth 14U World Series championship in Virginia, becoming the first team from the Santa Maria Valley to win a Babe Ruth World Series.

The 2024 Orcutt 14U team will look to significantly improve upon the 2023 13U team’s performance in the Regional League, where the team lost 0-2. Many of the Orcutt 14U players played on that Orcutt 13U team.

“I’m very confident that we have a good chance this year,” Orcutt 14U assistant coach Lance Campa said Monday during a team practice at Morrison Field at the Orcutt Babe Ruth Facility.

“We have all the tools, we have all the talent. We just need to execute.”

The 2024 Babe Ruth 14U Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament will be held in Murray, Utah, July 21-27. Like the Central California 14U State Tournament, which was held at the Orcutt Babe Ruth facility, the regional tournament is a double-elimination tournament.

Like Campa, Chris Bormes, also an assistant coach at Orcutt 14U, is confident in the team’s chances. However, “we need to reduce the walks (allowed by our pitchers) and errors,” which played a large part in the team’s downfall in 9-1 and 8-6 losses to eventual champion Madera in the state tournament, Bormes said.

“I think our hitting is probably the strongest aspect of our team,” said Orcutt shortstop pitcher Xavier Horta.

Orcutt scored 62 runs in its six games in the state tournament. The team’s offense faltered only once, in a 9-1 loss to Madera.

However, “we allowed too many walks and made too many errors in the two games against Madera,” said Donovan Dominguez. Dominguez is a pitcher and plays first base and right field for Orcutt.

Bormes said the team’s success at the regional championships will depend largely on the number of pitchers they have.

“We have 11 pitchers,” he said. “The four most important are probably Donovan, Xavier, Israel Rocha and Grayson Cole.”

Orcutt assistant coach Steve Dominguez said, “We have a really good core group of kids. Many of them have been playing together for four years.”

The Orcutt 14U assistant coaching staff consists of Bormes, Campa and Dominuez. The head coach is Adam Cole.

Orcutt will likely get a boost from Rocha being available for the regional tournament. “Israel was away for part of the state tournament and was unavailable,” Bormes said. “He’s a very important pitcher and hitter for us.”

In his last state tournament appearance, Rocha threw a one-hitter against Tulare in the winner’s round finale.

The Pacific Southwest Regional Championship will look different this year. The traditional superpowers Hawaii and Arizona will not be there.

“Madera is in the other half of the standings than we are,” Bormes said. “We won’t play Torrance in the first round.”

Grayson Cole said, “The tournament looks more open for us, but we have to execute.” When he’s not pitching, he’s first baseman for Orcutt.

Horta, Dominguez and Grayson Cole all plan to play baseball at the high school level. Horta and Dominguez will be freshmen at St. Joseph next school year. Grayson Cole will be a freshman at Righetti. All three were consistently effective hitters for Orcutt during the state tournament.

Players on the 2024 Orcutt 14U All-Star team include Horta, Dominguez, Rocha, Grayson Cole, Sam Bormes, Charlie Campa, Johnny Chavez, Cayden Gradoville, Cooper Gradoville, Sam Grupe, Eli Halsell, Eli Hendricks, Carson Viker, Max Villegas and Lucas Woodruff.