McKinleyville’s Trinity Diesel successfully defended its District 26 Tournament of Champions title at Hiller Park earlier this week.
The four-day tournament featured the best 16 Little League teams in the area, with Trinity Diesel defeating Bettendorf 9-2 in an all-McKinleyville championship game on Tuesday night.
The champions won all four of their games in tournament play, including a hard-fought 6-3 win over McKinleyville’s Murphy’s Markets in a showdown between two of the top teams in the area in the second round.
The hot bat of Teoh Arredondo led the team at the plate, while Blake Carper and Hudson Kapko pitched complete games for the victories on the hill in the semifinal and championship games, respectively.
Kapko, known to his teammates as “The Huddy Badger,” threw 71 pitches in the final, allowing just four hits and one walk and striking out four.
And he got plenty of offensive help.
Arredondo and Everett Greutzmacher each was 3-for-3 at the plate, while Cabella Carper, Tanner Baxter and Tyus Scofield were all 2-for-3.
Kapko and Blake Carper each also was 1-for-1 with two walks, while Cameron Hildebrandt and Reese Combs both had a base hit to round out a 16-hit team performance for the hard-hitting Trinity Diesel bats.
Blake Carper also threw a complete game in a 6-0 semifinal win over the Redwood Empire Dodgers, striking out 12 and walking just one.
The ever-reliable Arredondo again led the way at the plate in the semifinal and was 3-for-3.
The young Mack all-star finished tournament play 10-for-12, including six straight base hits over the final two games.
Kapko also had a big game at the plate in the semifinal and was 2-for-2 with walk, while teammates Scofield, Greutzmacher, Combs, Baxter and Cabella Carper each also had a hit.
“For the past few years, we pride ourselves on having the older players set the example,” Quintin Carper said. “We have a good mix of ages.”
The coach says the matchup against Murphy’s Markets was always going to be one of their most competitive at the tournament, and the players rose to the occasion.
“We knew Murphy’s were going to be tough, going against Brayden Brock on the hill,” Quintin Carper added.
Arredondo got the win against Brock in a showdown between two of the top young pitchers in the county.
A Kapko home run helped propel Trinity Diesel to the three-run win.
Kaydee Carper, Brayden Tullis and Layne McCullough each also played a big part in the success of the team, which was also coached by Caleb Carper and Jaime Arredondo.
Next up are the District 26 All-Star tournaments, with two of three getting under this weekend.
The 10s and 11s will get the action started at the Redwood Fields in Cutten on Saturday, before the 12s begin their tournament the following weekend in Arcata.