The Cal Ripken 11U All-Stars head off island this weekend for the Cal Ripken Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament in Bakersfield, California. The boys from Guam will battle 12 of the top teams in the country.
The PSRT is where many of the players will receive their first dose of international competition. Roke Alcantara Jr., the team’s manager, hopes to “have fun and create a good experience for the players.”
“I have a young team, not many 11-year-olds, but I like this age group, Alcantara said. "It’s fun to be on this side of things and coaching the next generation of players.”
The team has been practicing several times a week for over a month and confidence is high that they can compete against mainland rivals. “You can only reinforce the fundamentals and help get the boys ready,” Alcantara said. “If you’re going to be a good pitcher, this is the age where you have to learn the right way.”
Terrel Santos represented Guam in 2017 with the Cal Ripken 9U All-Stars and he is one of the few players with off-island experience. He played for the Heartbreakers in the regular season. “You do your best and listen to the coaches,” Santos said.
Jovian Bamba and Dylan Rodeo, also Heartbreakers, played the regular season and are excited about representing Guam. “(I’m) looking forward to playing in front of a lot of people,” Bamba said.
Rodeo is looking forward to “seeing all the players back there and making new friends.”
The 11U Guam All-Stars will be joining the 9U Guam All-Stars who will also be playing their regional in Bakersfield from July 15-21.
The 11U Pacific Southwest Regional will consist of a 12-team field with entrants hailing from around the region.
Guam is in Pool C with Arizona, Northern California No. 1 and Utah South. The top two seeds from each pool advance to a single-elimination playoff with the championship scheduled for Saturday, July 21. The Guam 11U All-Stars open up pool play against Northern California No. 1 on Monday.
Guam Babe Ruth also has organized all-star teams for the Cal Ripken 8U and Babe Ruth 13-15 age divisions, who begin competition July 23-28.
The 8U team will be traveling to Price, Utah, and the 13-15 team will be going to Surprise, Arizona. Those teams will be featured in a future article.
Players: Rikki Johnson, Evan Cali, Donovan Smartt, Jovian Bamba, Jared Datuin, Terrel Santos, Xander-Ray Borja, Jerick Taimanglo, Daethan Alcantara, Aaron Cing, Kaen Castro , John Cabrera, Dylan Rodeo, Jaron Meno, Masato Rabago.
Manager: Roke Alcantara Jr.
Coaches: Jassen Guerrero and EJ Lizama.