CARLSBAD — The Carlsbad Raptors, an 11-U competitive youth baseball team made up of local boys, won the recent Triple Crown Fall National Tournament in Nevada. The team outplayed 29 other teams in their age group from across the county.
Most competitive travel ball teams recruit players from as far as 100 miles away, sometimes doing whatever it takes to put a winning team on the field. The Raptors, though, made up of 10-, 11- and 12-year-olds, has played together since the boys were 7 and 8 years old and the entire team lives in Carlsbad.
The team, managed by Todd Angel and coached by Steve Wezniak and Trae Hernandez, went undefeated in six games over a three-day period with teams from across the country. The final game was played Sept. 13 between the Raptors and the Temecula Irish. It came down to the visiting team Raptors protecting a three-run lead in the bottom of the sixth inning against the home team Irish. With bases loaded, the next two batters struck out and the last batter popped out to second base.
“To play in this tournament you had to win a Triple Crown tournament in your respected region, so it is fair to say that all the teams in this huge tournament were quality teams,” Angel said. “To have won the overall tournament speaks volumes of the talent we have here in Carlsbad.”