Mack All-Stars dominate on their way to District championship

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – McKinleyville’s Breyden Brock delivers a pitch during Thursday night’s championship game.

By Ray Hamill — The McKinleyville 8-10 Little League All-Stars left no doubt as to who was the best team in the district this summer.

The Mack players capped a dominating week with a third shutout victory at the Arcata Little League fields on Thursday night, defeating Redwood Empire 14-0 in the championship game.

In three games at the tournament, McKinleyville outscored its opponents 42-0.

And offense isn’t even this team’s strength.

“We’ve got some strong pitching,” team manager Carlos Avelar said. “Pitching is our strength. They played good defense, but our pitchers don’t allow hits.”

That was the case once again on Thursday, with pitcher Breyden Brock giving up just one hit in a complete-game five innings for the win.

Brock was in control all night and allowed just two walks while striking out eight.

The one hit he gave up was a lead-off triple by RELL’s Parker Morgan in the fifth, but the Mack pitcher quickly responded with back-to-back strikeouts, before a groundout to second base ended the game.

When he needed it, Brock got plenty of help from his defense, with a 1-6-3 double play in the first inning setting the tone.

“We do have strong defense to make the plays when we have to,” Avelar said.

They also had plenty of offense this week, with several players stepping up at the plate on Thursday.

The dangerous Teoh Arredondo continued this impressive season and finished 3-for-3 with a walk, while Brock helped his own cause by going 2-for-4 and scoring a pair of runs.

Hudson Kapko also has impressed this postseason and finished 2-for-4, including a bases-clearing double to highlight a six-run fifth inning.

And patience swinging the bats has been key for this young team.

“They’re comfortable at the plate,” the manager said. “They don’t swing at too many bad pitches. They’re very patient at the plate.”

Even more impressively, this team has had to overcome some adversity on the way to success.

Starting catcher Jared Brunner, who was expected to play a key role for the team, was injured on the first day of practice and sidelined for the tournament.

Brunner, who may return for some of the postseason depending on how far the Mack All-Stars go, has still made his presence felt and has been coaching the bases and encouraging this teammates.

Brock and Colton Hawkes have both stepped up to fill the void behind the plate and both have impressed there.

The Mack All-Stars — who also include Jace Daniels, Asher Avelar, Blaine Martin, Liam Currell, Layne McCullough, Tanner Baxter and Lucas Ball — will now advance to the Area tournament in Chico, which gets under way on July 14.

The two remaining District tournaments will begin within the next week, with the 11s opening on Sunday in Fortuna and the 12s opening next Friday at the Redwood Fields in Cutten.


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