The Del Norte All Stars 8–10 baseball team’s run through the 2018 Oregon Little League postseason officially came to a close on Thursday. Del Norte had a few exciting moments in Salem, Oregon, at the Oregon Little League State Tournament on Wednesday and Thursday but ultimately fell 11-1 and 15-2 against Hood River Valley and La Grande respectively and were eliminated from the tournament.
“There were a few positive things that we did, but not too many,” said Del Norte All Stars 8–10 head coach Maldo Salcedo. “I think it was just that we have a lot of first-year kids and they weren’t able to perform like we know they can. Heat played a huge factor in things because these kids aren’t used to playing in 100 degrees heat. You could tell that that really wore them out.”
Although Salcedo said the team was disappointed that they weren’t able to pull out a win in Salem this year, he is glad that his players had the experience.
“Just playing on this type of stage is huge for them,” he said. “Most of them have never done it before, so now they see what it is about,” Salcedo said. “We are one of just a few teams that made it this far. The kids need to realize that very few kids got this far, so enjoy it, but also learn from it. Next year it will make you better.”
In order to reach the Oregon Little League State Tournament, teams must first win their respective district tournaments. Del Norte won the District 8 competition in style this year by going undefeated, capped by a pair of close one-run wins over Grants Pass National that went down to the wire.
“I enjoyed coaching each and every one of these kids,” Salcedo said. “It was cool being able to see them at their highest and also seeing them at their lowest. Of course you don’t ever want to lose, but we all win as a team and we all lose as a team.”
Other DNLL All Star teams at state
Although the 8–10 All Stars season has come to a close, Del Norte Little League still has three All Star teams awaiting their respective state tournaments.
The next Del Norte Little League team in action will be the 8–10 All Stars softball team. Del Norte will play at 4 p.m. Friday at the U.S. Cellular Community Park in Medford. The 8–10 All Stars will kick off play against Oregon District 4 champion South Beaverton Little League.
Just 10 minutes later Del Norte’s 9–11 All Star softball team is scheduled to start its state tournament at 4:10 p.m., also at the U.S. Cellular Community Park in Medford. Del Norte will open play against Oregon District 1 champion Beaumont.
The Del Norte 10–12 All Star baseball team will play its tournament at the Holland Youth Park in Salem, Oregon, kicking off play on July 21 at 1 p.m. against the Oregon District 1 champion. Oregon’s District 1 is comprised of the Portland area.