East County Sports

Another 18-1 start sends Stars to NBC World Series

2019 San Diego Stars are Wichita-bound once again.


By Nick Pellegrino
East County Sports staff writer 

BARONA INDIAN RESERVATION (7-8-2019) – Ever since the forerunner to the Western Baseball Association was formed in the late 20th Century, two ballclubs — the San Diego Stars and San Diego Waves  — have dominated play, with at least one advancing to the National Baseball Congress World Series every season. In fact, last season, both clubs advanced to Wichita, Kan., for one of the oldest team sport events in the country.However, despite the teams’ successes, it still is a rare occasion for both t0 meet in the championship game of the Western Regional qualifying tournament, as the Stars and Waves hooked up Sunday (July 7) for the first time since 2010.

Nearly a decade later, the victor, in punching their ticket to the NBCWS, were the Stars.

Following a mid-day semifinals triumph over the TB SoCal Gorillas, 6-5, Stars starting pitcher Jon Sintes fired a masterful 5-hitter in a 6-2 decision over the Waves at Stars Field at Barona. The diamond, opened in 1995, is celebrating its 25th anniversary season.

Sintes, who led the San Diego Reign to their first-ever National Baseball Congress World Series berth last summer, is continuing his magic with the Stars. He struck out eight Waves batters without issuing a walk. Barely surpassing 100 pitches, he capped his effort with three consecutive ground ball outs — to second baseman Reece Hernandez, unassisted to first baseman Brady Joslyn, and finally to shortstop Tristan Salinas.

“The moment Sintes broke our 18-game winning streak last summer, I knew he needed to pitch for us,” said Stars owner/manager Mickey Deutschman. “We still finished fifth in the nation, but with Sintes now back on our pitching staff…”

Mickey D. elected not to finish his thought, so not to jinx any possible postseason appearance. Sintes also pitched the Stars to the 2013 NBC World Series and has a pitching staff leader during the Money Ball era.

Meanwhile, the Reign were forced to play a special play-in game in Sunday’s now “Final Five,” made necessary after both the Kearny Mesa Mustangs and San Diego Mavericks were forced to forfeit pool-play contests.

“Both teams had legitimate arguments to be in the semifinals, so it wouldn’t be fair to just eliminate one team on paper,” said Stars president and general manager Kelly Ritayik. “So all of the WBA officials on hand sat down and we all agreed to a play-in game prior to the semifinals.”

The Reign captured the extra game, downing 2017 Western Regional champion Fresno A’s, 6-3. But then the Waves took drenched the Reign to advance to the championship affair.

Just like last season, the Stars and Waves each hold commanding leads in their respective WBA divisions. again making the WBA Championship series moot; a formality to get work in prior to traveling to the Midwest for NBCWS play.

The Stars (18-1 overall for the second straight summer) are 9-1 in the National Division, with no other ballclub above the .500 plateau. The Waves top the American Division.

The Stars offense saw six different players drive in one run each, starting with an RBI triple by Ryan Major in the second, driving home Joslyn (lead single).

Two innings later, Dallas Seidel came around to make it 2-0. Following his lead single, Joslyn walked, then catcher Luke Arias grounded an RBI single up the middle.

The Waves finally reached Sintes in the sixth on consecutive two-out, extra-base hits by O’Brien (triple) and Taawa (double). But the Stars answered with singled runs in the seventh and eighth.

Ryan Culp belted a leadoff double, scoring on a Hernandez single to center. An inning later, Joslyn opened the frame with a triple, with Culp later supplying the sacrifice fly.

Finally, the Waves scored in the eighth on their own triple (Teicher) and sac fly (Moralez) scenario. But the Stars posted two more runs in the ninth on consecutive fielder’s choice grounders by Seidel and Joslyn.

Pineda, Hernandez and Joslyn each batted 2-for-4 for the Stars.

San Diego Stars 6, TB SoCal Gorillas 5
– The Gorillas scored three times in the top of the first, but once the Stars went through the batting order once, they seized control of the ballgame.
The key hit was a 3-run, tie-breaking home run to left field by Joey Krug in the fifth inning, coming moments after Tristan Salinas knotted the contest with an RBI single.

Stars starting pitcher comes through 

Jake Sergent overcame a rough start, capping his 6-inning stint with 5,2 frames of shutout ball to gain the victory. Sergent was followed by one inning each from Tyler Luban (hold), Bailey Lewis (hold) and Clayton Lewis (save).

The Stars comeback started in the fourth on a run-scoring triple by Seidel to bring home Krug (one-out single), with Seidel scoring on a two-out, line single to right by Joslyn.

Joslyn batted 2-for-4, while Seidel, Krug and Culp all went 2-for-4. Krug now leads the Stars in home runs this summer.

By Nick Pellegrino
East County Sports staff writer

BARONA INDIAN RESERVATION (7-7-2019) – San Diego Star Brady Joslyn raised his summer batting average to 474, more than doubling his RBI output by knocking in four runs Saturday (July 6) to pace the Stars to a one-sided 10-4 decision in the final pool-play contest at the NBC World Series Western Regional qualifying tournament.

The triumph left the Stars (16-1 overall) unbeaten at 3-0, gaining the top seed in Sunday’s Final Four contest to determine which ballclub will advance to Wichita, Kan., come August.

Behind Joslyn & Co., the Stars placed this one in the win column early, racing to a 9-0 advantage by scoring three times in the 1st, 2nd and 4th innings.

Thus, starting pitcher Noah Quintana only needed to go the first four innings to collect the triumph. He struck out seven Crush batters.

Austin Seide; also fired two innings of shutout relief, Jeremiah Barr also has a shutout frame, as San Diego mounted a 10-1 cushion before Poway tallied a trio of cosmetic runs in the ninth.

In between, Trevor Elliott did get charged for an earned run, but he did show dramatic improvement by not walking a batter with his fastball.  Elliott was among the national strikeouts leaders in high school this past season.

Three Poway errors aided the three Stars runs in the 1st, the first, setting up an RBI single by Joey Krug to open the scoring.

An inning later, following a Crush double play, Tyler Lindsay stroked a 2-run triple for a 5-0 lead. Lindsay then came home on a hard ground single by Joslyn.

Then in the fourth, with Krug (single) and Lindsay (walk) on base, Joslyn slammed a 2-run double to left-center field and a 7-0 margin.

For the contest, Jrug batted 3-for-4 and scored all three times, Lindsay went 2-for-2 with a walk and also scored all three times, In addition, Alex Golembiewski. Kyle Pineda and Cabot Van Til all registered two hits each.

The Stars’ semifinal is slated for noon at Stars Field. The other game is slated for 11 am. at West Hills High. The Western Regional finale is set for 4 p.m. at Barona, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary as Home of the Stars. 

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