2013-08-09 / Sports

Simi Youth Baseball stars win World Series

U-7 squad goes on memorable 28-0 run
By Gilberto Manzano


MEET THE CHAMPIONS—The Simi Youth Baseball Pinto 7A All-Stars won the PONY Western Zone U-7 World Series. Pictured in the front row, from left, are Matthew Ramirez, Grant Rodriguez, Brady Hewitt, Grayden Lucas, Bryce Rainer and Brandon Orlow. Middle row: Caden Sramek, Luke Severance, JJ Bittner, David Hernandez, Trevor Hansen and Tanner Schlegel. Back row: PONY officials Elaine Magner and Chris Barbettini, coach Michael Rainer, manager Jay Lucas and coach David Hernandez. MEET THE CHAMPIONS—The Simi Youth Baseball Pinto 7A All-Stars won the PONY Western Zone U-7 World Series. Pictured in the front row, from left, are Matthew Ramirez, Grant Rodriguez, Brady Hewitt, Grayden Lucas, Bryce Rainer and Brandon Orlow. Middle row: Caden Sramek, Luke Severance, JJ Bittner, David Hernandez, Trevor Hansen and Tanner Schlegel. Back row: PONY officials Elaine Magner and Chris Barbettini, coach Michael Rainer, manager Jay Lucas and coach David Hernandez. The Bronx Bombers have nothing on the Simi Valley Smashers.

The Simi Youth Baseball Pinto 7A All-Stars aren’t officially dubbed the Simi Valley Smashers, but they should consider changing their name after the incredible summer the team had at the plate.

Simi Youth Baseball’s stars finished 28-0 and outscored opponents 334-30 en route to the PONY Western Zone U-7 World Series championship. They beat Charter Oak 9-2 at Kildee Park in Camarillo for the title.


Matthew Ramirez Matthew Ramirez “This was the best summer,” said Trevor Hansen, a center fielder and pitcher for the allstars. “I will never forget winning the World Series.

“It wasn’t that hard to win it. I knew we could do it.”

Trevor’s teammates shared his confidence.

“It was a team effort,” said Grayden Lucas, a first baseman and pitcher. “We all believed we could do it. We all played hard.”

Simi Youth won three tuneup tournaments before dominating in the Region, Super Region and World Series tournaments.

“I think those three tournaments before All-Star play was a big reason why we did so well,” manager Jay Lucas said. “They built chemistry and gave us momentum. Once they started the postseason, they were on a roll.”

Trevor was a top-notch defensive center fielder. He tried to emulate his favorite player, Matt Kemp, a center fielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers.


WONDER BOY—Trevor Hansen made plays at center field, the pitching mound and at the plate for the Simi Youth Baseball All-Stars. WONDER BOY—Trevor Hansen made plays at center field, the pitching mound and at the plate for the Simi Youth Baseball All-Stars. Simi Youth’s 7-year-old ball players crushed everything at the plate, but they were also lights out on the mound.

Trevor, Bryce Rainer and Matthew Ramirez were the aces of the pitching staff.

“I like pitching with Bryce and Matt,” said Trevor, who also plays youth football for the Simi Valley Vikings. “They are good pitchers.”

Grayden was the inspiration for the team. He was born without a right hand, but he doesn’t let his disability slow him down.

Grayden and former Simi Valley High outfielder Cody Jones both make plays on the diamond.

Jones, who graduated from Simi Valley this spring, is unable to use his left hand due to cerebral palsy.


FEELING GROOVY—Simi Youth Baseball All-Stars celebrate a U-7 World Series championship victory. The all-stars went 28-0 this summer. FEELING GROOVY—Simi Youth Baseball All-Stars celebrate a U-7 World Series championship victory. The all-stars went 28-0 this summer. Jones and Grayden have learned to flip their gloves off to make throws after making catches. Readers can read about Jones in the June 14, 2013, edition of the Simi Valley Acorn or online at www.simivalleyacorn.com.

Lucas, whose son, Easton, plays baseball at Grace Brethren High, said the boys on the U-7 team are “always happy no matter what. They play like brothers. They don’t pick on each other. It’s really special to see. They know how to play together. They’re very mature for being 7 years old.”

David Hernandez Jr. is a wizard with the glove at shortstop. He also plays quarterback for the Simi Valley Vikings.


Caden Sramek Caden Sramek “I love playing shortstop,” said David, whose favorite player is New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. “I want to be just like Jeter. It’s fun making plays at shortstop.”

Brady Hewitt is a defensive maestro at second base, and he’s also a top-notch hitter.

JJ Bittner, Tanner Schlegel, Caden Sramek and Brandon Orlow patrol the outfield.

Grant Rodriguez and Luke Severance do it all for the Simi Youth Baseball All-Stars. They patrol the infield and outfield.

“All the boys were outstanding,” assistant coach David Hernandez Sr. said. “They can play multiple positions. Everyone made big plays and had key hits. They were very fun to watch.”

The average margin of victory for Simi Youth Baseball was 12-1—but the players always treated their opponents with respect.

“I think most teams wanted us to win the whole thing,” Lucas said. “All the teams liked us. The boys were gracious winners. They never bragged about winning every game.

“They showed great sportsmanship all summer.”

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