After going three straight years with a dominate hold on the #1 spot among elite travel baseball teams, the Oakley Stingrays are compiling a dynasty. They are well aware that this year, many great teams across the USA are seeking to find their championship formulas . . . So, they head into their 2012 11U season with a solemn and determined view . . . They are “One”! . . . . With that, what else matters?
As this new season heads into the New Year, it’s back to business for the defending “Back-to-Back” National Champions – the 2012 edition of the 11u Oakley Stingrays. This team is coming off an incredible 10u season in which they repeated as USSSA’s Elite 32 World Series Champions and also won the 10U NYBC “New Era” National Youth Baseball Championship held near Memphis Tennessee. Also, for the third straight year in a row, they finished ranked by TravelBallSelect.com as the #1 team in the nation within their age group. Lead by a long list of Southern California’s best baseball players, this year’s team is focused on working hard to stay on top.
They know that they are facing awesome challengers from several great teams from across the USA. To meet that challenge, the Stingrays roster is loaded once again with returning Champions; Jonathan Fuentes, Christopher Campos, Javi Espinoza, Sebass Orduno, Tony Galindo, Anthony Rivera, Raider Tello, Davis Heller, Moi Guzman, Aren Alvarez, and Eric Volpi. In addition, the Stingrays have added two outstanding players; Basilio Pacheco (ace pitcher – formerly of Nomads Elite) along with Justin Lucas (formerly of the I.E. Elite).
The Stingrays are off to a great start in 2012 as they recently finished 2nd in the 12u Division of the Oakley Stingrays “Toys 4 Tots” tournament which they hosted. In this event, they raised over 1000 toys for the boys and girls in Norwalk California. The Stingrays have played 4 tournaments thus far in this new 2012 season. Three of these were in the 12u division wherein they won 1 championship and also finished second the other two tournaments. In addition, they finished 2nd in the 11u So Cal USSSA Thanks Giving Super NIT.
This years slogan for the Stingrays is “ONE” – that means “One team, One Goal, One family, One Mission and win as “ONE”, lose as “ONE”, work hard as “ONE” Get it done as “ONE”. Coaches Larry Patino, Rudy Casillas, Robert Campos and Rudy Garcia look to lead these boys into the important years as they get closer to high school. The Stingrays will be playing in Arizona at USSSA’s Spring Championships coming up during March 22-24 2012. They will also be returning to Florida for the USSSA Elite 32 World Series to defend their 2011 Championship Title.
Meet The Stingrays – listed in order of their uniform numbers:
#1 Raider Tello 3B/SS/2B
Raider (pictured left) is one of the Stingrays team leaders; he is a very competitive, big time gamer who always shows up when the game is on the line. Raider is looking to have another strong year at 3rd base and leading the Rays back to victory circles.
#4 Christopher Campos SS/P
Chris is one of the best athletes on the team. “CC” as known to his teammates is leading the Rays by example through his hard work and dedication to “Winning”. He is an all around gamer who starts at shortstop. He bats lead-off and is a great pitcher who throws 5 different pitches for strikes.
#7 Justin Lucas P/C/OF
Justin is a big addition with a big bat who can flat out swing the stick, he pitches,catches and plays anywhere on the field and is a great addition to the Stingrays team. Look for Lucas to be one of the Nations best in years to come.
#10 Basilio Pacheco P/OF
The West Coast best “lefty” has joined the Rays pitching staff on a mission to be the best all around player. Basilio “Basi” has been working hard on his hitting and pitching and has been crushing the ball. He looks to be a impact player for the Stingrays in 2012.
#12 Javi Espinoza 2B/P
2nd baseman Javi Espinoza is a scrappy player with a great glove. He has great bat speed and hit for power and average he is one of the Stingrays best runners. Javi loves the game of baseball and leads with his hustle on the field.
#15 Tony Galindo P/1B
The Elite 32 World Series “Offensive MVP” Tony Galindo is the power in the Rays line-up. Tony is off to a solid 11u season smashing the ball and pitching really well as “the closer” of this awesome Stingrays pitching staff. Look for another season of Bombs from Galindo and catch him throwing GAS on the mound.
#17 Eric Volpi P/1B
The Stingrays “East Coast” connection Eric Volpi has been working hard on his hitting as it showed in the Thanks Giving Super NIT in California when he batted .750. Eric is a top level pitcher and looks to have a big roll this year in his first full season with the Oakley Stingrays.Eric will have the most frequent flyer miles this season as he will be making the trip from New York to California many times.
#18 Sebastain Orduno CF/P
“Sea Bass” was the TbS 10u “National Player of the year” comes off an amazing season as he hit the cover off the ball all summer long in Florida and Tennessee that helped the Rays win “The Ring”. Sebass will spend a lot more time this year on the mound as he is a dominating lefty pitcher. He throws hard and has some very nasty off speed stuff. When he is not on the mound, look for him to be roaming in centerfield as he is combines speed with a great hands and a strong arm.
#20 Anthony Rivera P/1B
Anthony “Meeklo” Rivera is the ace of this great pitching staff. He has the most “big game” mound time over the past 2 years and a leader on and off the field. He was on the mound in the NYBC Championship game in Tennessee and pitched great. Anthony is working hard on his hitting and looks to have a great year as the Rays 1st baseman.
#24 Jonathan Fuentes P/3B/OF
Jonathan “J-FU” Fuentes the Back-2-Back Elite 32 “MVP” is returning bigger and stronger this year. After taking the 10u season off from pitching much last year Fuentes has been dominating on the bump this season vs 12u teams. Look for J-Fu to take his game to the next level this year and lead the Stingrays on another Championship run.
#26 Davis Heller P/OF
Davis Heller is a very impressive young man with many leadship skills. He is the ultimate team mate who pushes himself and fellow Stingrays to be the best. Davis was the winning pitcher in the Championship game at the Elite 32 and in the semi finals at the NYBC. Davis has a big future in the game of baseball and focused to be one of the best pitchers in the country.
#31 Moi Guzman C/OF
Moi Guzman is a fast scrappy player on the Stingrays who has “Big Boy” pop in his bat. Moi is a hard worker and compete’s on every pitch. He drove in the winning runs at the NYBC Championship game this past summer. Moi is a gamer and will be ready for another great year.
#33 Aren Alvarez P/C/OF
Aren is a all around baseball player who works hard and is a great player to coach as he is always hustling. Aren is coming off a broken hand and looks to be back on the field in January 2012 and contribute at all positions for the Rays. Aren will be another of the Stingrays Elite pitchers.
#57 Chase Adkison – C
Chase is simple an outstanding player. He is a player/coach type of kid who has remarkable baseball smarts. He knows the game inside out. Chase is known as one of the best- if not the best catcher in the country. He shuts down other teams running game and drives the ball all over the field. Chase has taken some time away from the game and will return in 2012.
As the Stingrays move into the base of their 2012 schedule, they will be playing in a number of 12U tournaments as they continue to push themselves to get better and get ready for the tough competition down the stretch of the summer.