The 13U Five Cities Babe Ruth All-Stars team is playing in the Pacific Southwest Regional Championship this week in Surprise, Arizona.
For 43 years, a 13U Babe Ruth league from the Five Cities had been trying to win state to advance to regionals. The one and only time it’s been done was in 1975.
This year, the team secured the state title. The team says the secret to it’s success is the ability to have fun.”We’re definitely more of a goofy team,” said Kaden Tynes, Five Cities Babe Ruth All-Star. “We’ll have more fun than play serious because we all just try to make each other laugh and stuff.”
“We play really laid back. At practice, we don’t really go hard over drills, we’re just laid back. We work on it, but we don’t try hard,” said Marc Byrum, Five Cities Babe Ruth All-Star.
Not trying hard may sound a little unusual, but when these kids have so much fun on the field, they don’t realize how hard they’re actually working. That hard work translated into accomplishing big things. “I’ve never been out of state for this kind of tournament,” said Tyrone Scrudato. “We’ve tried for such a long time and just getting it this far finally, is a huge accomplishment.”
Although the kids know how to have fun, they transform into serious players during games. “A lot of these kids are ready for the big stage. A lot of these names I hope you remember because they’ll be mentioned in high school and I think a lot of them have a bright future playing D1 in college,” said Mike Afzali, Five Cities Babe Ruth All-Stars head coach.
The kids certainly have the big stage, winning mentality. “I feel like our team is so consistent out on the field and with our bats. Like with Ty pitching, he usually goes 1, 2, 3 in the first inning and then we just hit the ball throughout our whole lineup. Like 11, 12 runs in the first inning and then it’s usually over after that,” said Mikey Afzali, Five Cities Babe Ruth All-Star.
The team defeated Southern Utah 23-5 on Monday and won 22-1 over Nevada on Tuesday. They have four more games before the finals and if the Five Cities team wins regionals, they advance to the Babe Ruth World Series.