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Lower Division Play Begins in SMLL:

The lower age divisions of Santa Monica Little League began the 2010 season in spectacular fashion on March 6 as every game in the AA and A (machine pitch) and T-Ball divisions ended in a tie.  The season opener for the 5-Pitch division, was cancelled due to rain, begins tomorrow.

Machine pitch games are played at Stewart Park and 5-Pitch and T-Ball games are held at Clover Park. This season SMLL continues “Under the Lights,” which gives lower division teams one additional game at Memorial Park to give players a taste of playing on the big league diamonds.  A new wrinkle added to the AA division during the second half of the 2010 season will be live pitching in an effort to develop better pitching and hitting skills of players graduating to AAA in 2011.

Notes:  There is a power surge this season and the Rosti Homerun Leaderboard is lighting up like a pinball machine. Current Majors players to homer are Tom Fuller, A’s (2), Robbie Kerr, Mets (2), Alberto Alaniz, Reds (1), Xander Carlson, Mets (1), Bradley Finkelstein, Reds (1), Jackson Marcum, Dodgers (1), Greg Melick, Cardinals (1), Jose Nuno, Reds (1)…. Former SMLL, SAMOHI and UCLA star Cody Decker now playing in the Padres organization reported to spring camp at the team’s Cactus League facility in Peoria, Ariz.  Last season Decker was named MVP of the Arizona League where he hit .357, 62 RBI, 15 HRs in 51 games.  He was also named one the minor league hitters of the year by MLB.com….Three former SMLL stars were named to the preseason list of top area high school players to watch this season by the Los Angeles Times – SAMOHI senior Alonzo Gonzalez (LHP/1B) who has committed to play college ball locally at Loyola Marymount University next year, Crepsi junior Scott Heineman (RHP/2B) who has committed to play college ball at Oregon, and Harvard-Westlake sophomore Lucas Giolito (RHP).

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