The Newport Harbor Baseball Assn. Bronco All-Stars reached the super regional tournament.

The Newport Harbor Baseball Assn. Bronco All-Stars reached the super regional tournament. (Courtesy of NHBA)

The Bronco under-12 all-stars of the Newport Harbor Baseball Assn. had a year to remember this past season.

They reached the Pony Bronco Super Regional Tournament for the first time in at least eight years. That's where their season ended as they were involved in two tight games and lost both this past weekend.

The NHBA Bronco all-stars made quite a run to reach the super regional. With their backs against the wall, they came back twice in an elimination game and beat Placentia A, 9-8, to grab the final spot from the Pony Bronco Southern California Central Region Tournament.

The team also finished second in the section tournament to advance to the central regional. Before the section tournament, the NHBA all-stars won the St. Hedwig Tournament in Los Alamitos and they played fifth in a Memorial Day tournament in Irvine.

In the comeback game against Placentia, Jake Genova was a key player with a three-for-four hitting performance. He also came up big as the pitcher with seven strikeouts. He gave his team the lead with a two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning. He then recorded the final three outs to secure the win.

In the super regional, the NHBA all-stars ended their run with a 4-3 loss to Tecalote from San Diego. They also lost to Whittier, 8-6.

The Bronco team opened up against Whittier. Denny Pender, the manager, thought the NHBA All-Stars had a good shot to win. Cole Pender started on the mound and struck out five of the first seven batters. But in the third inning, Denny Pender said the game got away from NHBA. Whittier drew three walks and built a 6-1 lead.

NHBA struggled to rally against Whittier and couldn't catch up in time.

In the elimination game against Tecalote, Luke Genova, the team's ace, turned in six strong innings. He also belted a solo home run in the first inning to give NHBA a 1-0 lead.

Going into the seventh inning, the teams were tied, 3-3. NHBA went scoreless in the top of the seventh.

In the bottom of the seventh, Tecalote loaded the bases and scored the winning run on a wild pitch.

The NHBA Bronco all-stars were Connor Kincaid, Cole Pender, Luke Genova, Jake Genova, Mason Lindh, Kobe Benter, Tim Maguire, Zach Montgomery, Gage Roberson, Michael Bonds, Charlie Wiggs, Tyler Ross and Kelly Holgate.

— From staff reports

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CdM Aquatics qualifies five teams for JOs

Five teams from the CdM Aquatics water polo program have qualified for the National Junior Olympics to be held in Orange County starting this weekend.

The CdM Aquatics girls' club program qualified three teams at the 14U, 16U and 18U age levels. The CdM Aquatics girls are led by Sam Bailey, coach and girls' club program director.

The girls' Junior Olympics take place Aug. through Aug. 7. To finish the summer season the CdM Aquatics girls teams leave the day after the JOs for the Hawaii Invitational on the island of Oahu. The 14U, 16U and 18U girls' open-club teams each have participants from the Corona del Mar High team that won the California State High School Championships last weekend.

The CdM Aquatics boys are led by Barry O'Dea, coach and boys' club program director. The boys had two club teams qualify at the 16U and 18U levels.

The CdM Aquatics 16U boys finished second in the Southern Pacific region qualifying tournament in June and are seeded fifth for the national tournament. The CdM Aquatics boys' open-club teams return from Hungary this week and will participate in the JOs that start Saturday and end Tuesday.

The CdM Aquatics boys' club team includes players that were part of the 2010 CIF Southern Section championship team from the Corona del Mar High boys' squad.

The national Junior Olympics are being held at pools throughout Orange County with the finals held at the Woollett Aquatics Center in Irvine.

More information can be found at http://www.juniorolympics.com.

For information on CdM Aquatics club water polo go to http://www.cdmaquatics.org or email info@cdmaquatics.org.

— Reader submission