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Youth baseball: Hart Mustang rides to Series

Local 10-year-olds will play in World Series this week

Posted: August 2, 2010 10:29 p.m.
Updated: August 3, 2010 4:55 a.m.

The William S. Hart PONY League Mustang 10U All-Stars hold up the championship banner after winning their zone on Sunday. Hart Mustang moved on to play in the Mustang World Series, which begins on Wednesday in Irving, Texas.

With no bells and whistles, one fundamentally sound baseball team is World Series bound.

The William S. Hart PONY League Mustang 10U All-Stars won the West Zone championship on Sunday in Chino Hills and are now among eight teams vying for the Mustang World Series championship.

The eight-team tournament begins on Wednesday in Irving, Texas.

"They're just scrappy, just a scrappy group with a ton of heart," said Hart Mustang head coach Jerry Miller. "They seem to find away to win even in close games. ... They play baseball the right way. They're a really good, fundamental team and have bought into the system and play good, solid baseball."

Miller, who has been an assistant coach on the Hart High varsity the last five seasons, also coached the 2007 Hart Mustang team to a world championship. That team went 33-0 and hit 55 home runs in those games. The 2010 team has hit just 14 home runs. But the 2010 team also has batted .462, outscoring opponents 402-67.

They are 32-1 heading into the World Series. The one blemish was a loss to the West Hills All-Stars in a non-sanctioned tournament. Hart Mustang later knocked West Hills out of the regional Mustang tournament.

Hart Mustang's road to the World Series has gone through the district, sectional, regional, super regional and finally zone tournaments. Hart Mustang is 20-0 in games played in those tournaments.

Miller said there was one close call.

In zone, Hart Mustang was down 7-5 in the final winner's bracket game in the bottom of the sixth inning (the last inning in Mustang). They came back with three runs in their final at-bats to win the game.

Pitching and defense has stood out for the team. As to if any player or players have stepped up more than others, Miller said it has been a team effort.

"Our motto has been pure team play so it's hard to single anyone out," Miller said. "Four or five weeks into the season, we came up with a motto: ‘United we stand, divided we fall.'"

Hart Mustang opens play at 6:30 p.m. Central time against Joliet, Illinois.

There are six teams in the tournament from the United States, one from Mexico and one from Puerto Rico.

The championship game is 6:30 p.m. Central time on Saturday.



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