Visalia Blue remains only team to win the Cal Ripken Major60 title in front of its home crowd, twice
By Jermaine Johnson II
VISALIA – Visalia has established itself as a powerhouse in the Babe Ruth baseball league. On Friday night, Visalia Blue won their sixth Cal Ripken World Series championship with a 12-0 victory over Ohio Valley of South Bend, Ind. The team won the championship in front of their home crowd, a feat that no other team can boast, and they’ve done it twice.
It was the battle of the unbeatens as Visalia and Ohio Valley faced off. Being the host city proved to be a nice benefit, as the Blue competed in front of a large section of roaring spectators.
“The boys were excited to play in front of their home town fans,” said Frank Durazo, the team’s manager. “They responded really well, were confident, and carried that into the game.”
The team got out to a hot start, led by Carlos Ramos who had a two-RBI single in the first inning. Sebastian Osejo stole the show. He was the winning pitcher allowing only one hit with 13 strikeouts. He also went 3-3 at the plate with two homeruns and five RBIs. He was named the Tournament MVP after batting an average of .889 and 21 RBIs, two new Cal Ripken Major60 World Series records.
Osejo along with Jaxon Griffiths, CJ Ramos, and Erik Rico were named to the All-World Series Team. Kelan Turner was named to the All-Defensive team. “Those four boys played key positions and were real consistent getting on base and getting runs,” said Durazzo. He went on to explain that even though those four players received the honors, it was a team effort and a different player stepped up each game. “The whole team gelled and was playing their best baseball at the right time.”
All 13 players on the roster were able to get into the game and contribute, with nine different players recording a hit. The boys ended their Cal Ripken baseball career on a high note, and will move on to play for their junior high schools along with the Babe Ruth League. As for Coach Durazo, this is his fifth Cal Ripken World Series title and he has no intentions of stopping now.
“I’ve been around 30 years and still got some young grandsons who are coming up [around this age]. Hopefully if my health allows me to, I’ll keep coaching and working with this age group.”