LARKSPUR — Two days after making history, the Fairfield Pacific Little League 11- and 12-year-old All-Stars were eliminated from the Section 1 tournament with a 4-1 loss to Petaluma Valley, Monday.
On Sunday, the squad became the first Fairfield Pacific 11-12 team to earn a victory in section play with a 6-3 win over Petaluma Valley after going 0-1 in 1978 and 0-2 in 2006 and 2013.
Earlier, Pacific went 5-0 to win its second straight District 53 title.
“It was an experience of a lifetime for the boys,” Pacific manager Chris Gabbart said. “I think there were times that the coaches enjoyed it more than the boys, just watching boys get at it and play so well, seeing them become what we knew they could be.
“A lot of times the best thing we did was just get out of their way and let them play.”
Mill Valley of host District 3 defeated Petaluma Valley 11-1 on Tuesday to win the section title, going 3-0.
In the loss that ended the postseason, Mark Carnesecca, Matthew Miranda, Sammy Meadows and Carlvesi Light had the only hits for Pacific, which got five solid innings from Robert Gabbart, a seldom-used pitcher during the regular season.
“It was a gutsy performance for a kid who didn’t throw 5 innings all year long,” said Chris Gabbart, Robert’s dad. “To come in and pitch in an elimination game showed a lot of courage. He gave us a chance, the bats just fell silent.”
Pacific repeated as District 53 champs for the first time, but had no players back from last year’s title game. For this year’s group, winning was redemption after falling short the previous two seasons in younger divisions.
“This was largely the same group as 10s and 11s that in earlier years was on the doorstep,” Chris Gabbart said. “They played for third as 10s. They played for the championship their 11 year. The group just came together. It was a lot of focus, a lot of determination. They felt they were a better team than they portrayed the previous years. It was just dogged determination.”