LONG BEACH - The Peninsula Youth Baseball Long Beach Babe Ruth team recently completed a 6-win, 4-loss season in the highly competitive Astoria League.
According to head coach Kurt Kirby most of the players had come straight from Little League and 60-foot bases, and the adjustment to major league-size fields can be challenging to say the least. John Melland and Mike Crislip were the stand out pitchers for the squad. When not pitching, the duo traded off as strong-armed shortstops, with Crislip leading the team in hitting.
Andy Sellard played first base, and Kolby Kirby did the job at second base, also topping the team in bunting and base-running according to the coach. Gunnar Parker, who has since departed to the East Coast with his Coast Guard family, played a stellar third base.
Jacob Nesbitt made like Johnny Bench behind the plate and was also a fine hitter. The outfield was one of the team's strong points defensively, thanks to the play of Thomas Jenkins and Jacob Peterson. Jenkins was the most improved player, in the opinion of Coach Kirby.
Other outfielders included Scott Simmons, David Stull and Jason Huntley. The trio provided clutch hits as well throughout the campaign.
The highlight of the season was the game against Astoria Builder's Supply in which seven players were able to subdue the home team. With the eighth and ninth place spots in the lineup being automatic outs, the Long Beach seven were still able to win by 3 runs.
Besides Kirby, Keith Melland and Tim Bishop also aided in coaching duties. John Melland, Kolby Kirby and Jacob Nesbitt were tabbed for all-star honors.
"This was a fun team to coach, and each player did extremely well and made lots of improvement during the year," commented Coach Kirby.