SAN RAMON, Calif. (KTVU) - The Canyon Creek all-stars are NorCal kings.
“There's between 320 and 350 teams in northern California, and after last week we're the one left standing,” points out head coach Craig Camberg.
Now, they stand one tournament away from the pinnacle of youth baseball - the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA.
“It's really exciting and fun because more and more people are watching you, and people you know are going to your games,” says 2nd baseman Austin Spears.
Although as it turns out, as the crowds get bigger, so do the opponents.
“We show up, we're undoubtedly gonna be smaller than the team we're playing,” says Camberg. “Initially, I think the other teams are sorta like 'we got them.’”
And yet, Canyon Creek has dispatched of all comers, thanks to a winning combination of personality and talent.
“We have some kids that are exceptional hitters, and some that are really athletic, can play great defense,’ notes Camberg.
“We have some kids whose primary role is pitching. So there are 14 kids and they've all had their moment. We wouldn't be where we are today without that key play by every kid on the team.”
Going forward, they’ll need plenty more of those key plays in a west regional that includes the champions of four other states and southern California
. “We're feeling pretty confident,” says Spears. “We definitely fit in this tournament. It's not like there's a top team, we're pretty even. We have a good shot.”