The Brentwood Blast 12U team recently traveled to Southern California for the International World Series, where it competed against 19 other strong traveling clubs.
The Blast did quite well for themselves. They finished tied for third place out of the 20 teams. Over the eight games of pool and bracket play, the Blast went 5-3 and outscored their opponents 49-32.
“Everyone contributed,” said Jason Peterson, team manager. “We had some really amazing players.”
Anthony Bellone was one of the key performers in helping the Blast get where they did. In the game that put them in the final four, he threw five shutout innings. In the first game of bracket play, a 3-for-3 performance from Angelo Salazar helped spark the Blast offensively. Peterson also identified Zack Oksanen as one of the team’s key players as both a hitter and a pitcher who closed out two of the wins.
Peterson noted that every 12-year-old traveling team takes a trip every year. Early in the year, the Brentwood Blast decided it would make the trip to the International World Series.
While the Blast did not leave California, they did travel as far as nearly any other team in the tournament. One other team was from Hawaii. The other 18 were all Southern California based.
In addition to the games, the event featured a skills competition. Events included were a relay race, an around-the-horn contest, and a Home Run Derby. Austin Gould was one of the top performers in the Home Run Derby, finishing third.
“His coach, Jim Barbour, was pitching to him — I don’t know who was more nervous,” Peterson said. “There were three or four guys in front of him who actually hit four over the fence. He hit his fourth on his final pitch.”