Youth Baseball: Glory wins first tourney of the season

The Silicon Valley Glory won the Summer Sizzle tournament Aug. 2-3 at Wilcox High School. The team had a perfect 4-0 record through tournament play. Back row (left to right): Brent Ellis, Troy Swartzle, Chris Spohr, Tommy Castro, Jimmy Lemberger, Anthonee

SANTA CLARA—The Silicon Valley Glory 18-U baseball team was apprehensive heading into its first tournament of the season. Though the Glory had been practicing for about a month, they didn’t think they were ready for tournament play. As it turns out, practice makes perfect.
The Glory went undefeated and took home the championship at the Summer Sizzle tournament Aug. 2-3 at Wilcox High School in Santa Clara. SV edged out Scrappy Baseball 2-1 in the nail-biting championship game.
The game was scoreless heading into the into the bottom of sixth inning when Glory’s Anthonee Bartholic drove in a run to get his team on the board. Scrappy answered with a run of its own to tie the game at 1-1 after loading the bases with no outs. But that’s all Glory pitcher Jimmy Lemberger would allow as he helped his team get easy outs to escape the inning.
Bartholic picked up his second RBI of the game with a walk-off basehit in the bottom of the seventh to clinch the championship for the Glory. Bartholic batted a. 533 through the tournament, only second to Josh Zanger who hit .800 for SV.
“Both of them are just real key players; they’ve played for a long time,” Glory coach Dennis Castro said. “They’re real calm under pressure and they’ve always been kind of our most consistent ballplayers.”
Zanger also took to the mound, pitching a complete game for SV in the contest that landed them in the championship game. Lemberger carried that stellar pitching into the championship, also tossing a complete game which helped earn him the tournament MVP honor.
“Jimmy Lemberger was outstanding,” Castro said. “He’s going to an ace I think at Gilroy High School this year.”
Glory went 4-0 in the tournament, out hitting opponents 22-6 in the process.
The team is a combination of Gilroy and Christopher High ballplayers. Despite being rivals during the prep season, Castro said they work flawlessly together on the Glory team.
“It’s so nice to have them playing together and the chemistry on the team is just so great because these kids have grown up with each other playing Little League and everything,” Castro said. “Not only are they great ball players and competitive, but they’re real good friends too.”
For Castro and his team, wins and losses aren’t what will define their season. Instead, the real satisfaction comes from helping the players earn a starting role on their high school squads—whether they’re a Mustang or a Cougar. They are in good hands too, as Castro has experience at the professional level, having played for the Florida Marlins’ minor league organization.
The Glory will be back in action—moving up from the AAA-level competition it faced at this tournament to Majors play—at the Back 2 School Bash Aug. 16-17 in San Jose.