The Santa Monica Pony Baseball Bronco Division All-Stars are headed to the Pony League’s Bronco World Series after winning a pair of nail-biters last weekend.
The team of local 11- and 12-year-old baseballers, one of eight in the international championship tournament, face off with a team from Palm Beach, Fla., at 8 p.m. Friday in Los Alamitos.
On the way to the World Series, Santa Monica knocked off teams from Pico Rivera, Whittier, Chino Hills, West Covina and Torrance in regional play and defeated two out-of-state teams before triumphing over Hilo, Hawaii, 8-7 on Friday and 2-1 on Saturday for the Western Zone Championship.
Only eight teams remain in the World Series contest. Besides Santa Monica and Palm Beach, there are teams from three other U.S. cities as well as from Mexico, Taiwan and Puerto Rico.
“The teams from the South Zone are generally tough and we’ll have to bring our A game if we want to be able to play with them,” coach Anthony Gallegos said of the upcoming match with Palm Beach. “We’ve faced over a dozen tough teams from Southern California, so I think we’re ready for the challenge.”
“It’s been a fun ride. Win or lose, this is an experience these boys will remember forever,” said Justin Rubin, whose son Luca Rubin plays third base and center field. The team also includes Ryan Bley, Benny Casillas, Anthony Ciccarelli, Brett Edwards, Rex Evans, Tristan Gallegos, Julian Galvan, Lucas Gordon, Jashia Jakel, Alex Knight and Thomas McCaffery.