SAN BERNARDINO — If El Segundo Little League manager Danny Boehle had a crystal ball, he’d have used his powers to foretell spending at least one day this week back at home.
“I think what’s going to have to happen is we’re all going to drive home for half a day so our laundry and everything else gets done, and come back,” Boehle said Monday. “But (Little League) wants us to stay here, and so we’ll figure that out, and if I had a crystal ball it would be easy.”
While Boehle might do a fair amount of speculation in his role as a chief financial officer in the aerospace industry, he was not able to predict what was going to happen next at the four-team Little League West Region tournament.
“I don’t have a crystal ball, though, so it’s totally spur of the moment and it’s ‘This is what we have to do now,’” he said.
It’s been four days since Southern California’s 11- and 12-year-old champions defeated Hawaii, 6-0, in the first West Region semifinal, and Boehle’s team has spent the rest of the week just one victory away from a flight to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
“It’s been nothing but a dream out here for these kids, myself included, and we look forward to continuing the mission,” Boehle said. “I think the city of El Segundo is finally getting put on the map.”
El Segundo takes on the Northern California champions, San Ramon’s Bollinger Canyon Little League, in the winner-take-all West Region championship game at Al Houghton Stadium on Friday at 6 p.m. (ESPN).
In the tournament opener for both teams on Aug. 5, Bollinger Canyon starting pitcher Jay Murai struck out six over the first three innings but allowed four runs – three earned – on six hits.
“NorCal has some very good pitchers,” Boehle said. “They throw hard, but like I said, ‘We’d rather face speed (pitching) than offspeed.’ That’s a big deal for us.”
Jackson Kalish and Louis Lappe combined to hurl 2⅔ innings of scoreless relief of Ollie Park. Brody Brooks and Lappe had two hits apiece as El Segundo rallied to win, 4-3, with three runs in the bottom of the fourth.
“NorCal only had three runs on three hits – and one of them was a solo home run – so if we stay away from the mistakes that we made by walking a batter or a hit-by-pitch batter to put people on base, then it gives us a really good opportunity,” Boehle said.
So far in San Bernardino, Brooks and Lappe are a combined 7 for 8 with six runs at the top of El Segundo’s lineup. Lennon Salazar is 2 for 4 with two runs.
Little League West Region final
Who: El Segundo vs. San Ramon’s Bollinger Canyon
When: Friday, 6 p.m.
Where: Al Houghton Stadium, San Bernardino