The Laguna Rockpile Groms, a new baseball travel team formed just a month ago, picked up its first two-day tournament victory last weekend, winning the D3 Gold Bracket at OC Octoberfest, an NCS Baseball competition that follows Major League Baseball rules instead of Little League rules.
On Sunday, Oct. 8, the Groms beat Cali Nationals 9-6, then took down Long Beach’s GBC 14-2 in the finals.
“We actually have so much interest at this age level that we submitted two entries for the 10U tournament, over 20 kids,” Peters said. “Having that kind of success this quickly was surprising to us.”
The team, named after coach William Maniaci’s favorite local surf break, was formed after Maniaci, Peters and Adam Crosby noticed an interest for a competitive travel baseball team not affiliated with Laguna Beach Little League. After the coaches recruited local artist Alex “Curly” Carter to design the team logo, the new squad was off and running.
“It’s like an all-star team,” said Peters, who also coaches Laguna’s Little League with Maniaci and Crosby. “There are a lot of kids in town who wanted to play more competitive baseball and were getting pulled out to other cities and towns and leaving the program. So we created a travel baseball team that’s competitive but also developmental to keep all the boys together.”
The team practices at El Morro Elementary School one day a week.
“There’s so much interest in baseball right now, it’s really cool,” Peters said. “The kids are having fun too.”
The Rockpile Groms’ next tournament is the Turkey Trot Warm Up OC on Nov. 18 and 19.