Eastlake Little League All-Stars swinging for Little League World Series

Team headed to West Regionals in San Bernardino

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - Can history repeat itself for a Little League baseball team from Chula Vista?

The Eastlake Little League All-Star team left for the West Regionals in San Bernardino Wednesday morning to compete in round-robin play with teams from Hawaii, Utah, Northern California and Nevada beginning Friday.

Eastlake will be seeded in a tournament with those teams, and if they win the tournament, Eastlake will head to the 2013 Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

Eastlake Little League All-Stars manager Rick Tibbett told 10News his team is prepared.

"When it comes to the baseball field, they're out here," he said. "They mean business … You know, we've been working at this for the last three years."

Eastlake is a suburban community nestled in eastern Chula Vista, just south of San Diego.

The 12- and 13-year-olds tore through the competition en route to taking the Southern California State Championship. Even with the championship, Tibbett said the players are still humble children.

"They're still little kids. They're our little babies, you know," said Tibbett.

But these "babies" are a few games away from possibly thrusting Chula Vista back into the international spotlight. In 2009, Park View Little League of Chula Vista won the Little League World Series.

"I don't like to think that we're going to win it all because we might get too overconfident," said Eastlake second baseman Micah Pietila-Wiggs.

The boys took their schoolbooks with them to San Bernardino, as nine of the 12 players already started school. Chula Vista's middle schools have year-round schooling and the new year started July 24.

"That's a challenge," said Tibbett.

Pietila-Wiggs added, "It's pretty hard because we still have to do homework and stuff."

If Eastlake reaches the LLWS, they will join Tijuana in Williamsport. The team that's less than 10 miles away from Chula Vista is representing Mexico.



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