WAIMEA – This is the third tournament the Kauai Ruff Ryderz have had, said the Titans’ Under 12 team manager Francis Gonzaga of California, Monday at the Waimea Canyon Park.
“We were here during the inaugural tournament,” Gonzaga said. “This is our second team who came of age. I’m planning on being back with a third team in the future.”
The Titans had just completed a 12-3 win over the Kauai Ruff Ryderz Grey, an Under 12 team coached by Chad Delanoza, during the opening day of the Baseball in Paradise tournament hosted by the Kauai Ruff Ryderz baseball program.
“This is an islandwide youth traveling team program,” said Brandon Moises, coach of the Kauai Ruff Ryderz Under 11 team who was preparing to square off against the Pasedena Rangers of California.
Five Kauai Ruff Ryderz teams — a 9 and Under, an 11 and Under, the 12 and Under, the 13 and Under, and a 14 and Under — are participating in this tournament that runs through Friday.
Players come from all over from the Eastside through the Westside.
There is also a Ruff Ryderz team, a 14 and Under Ruff Ryderz Baseball Yucaipa of California.
In addition to the six teams participating from California, there is a Maui squad, an 11 and Under Kahului KHAOS, and the four Kauai teams.
Games are played daily through Friday at the Waimea Canyon Park on multiple fields to enable the completion of the different division schedule of at least five games during the tournament for each team.
“Because this is a youth travel baseball program, we have a lot of fundraisers,” Moises said. “And we don’t have too many opportunities to thank the many people who support the Ruff Ryderz by taking part in the fundraisers. We really appreciate the efforts of the community to allow the players an opportunity to play.”
Also participating in the Baseball in Paradise tournament are the Southern California Toros in the 11 and Under division, the Pasadena Rangers and So. Cal Toros in the 13 and Under division.
In other opening day action, the So Cal Toros blanked the Kauai Ruff Ryderz Black, 10-0 in an Under 12 division bracket play.
The Kauai Ruff Ryderz Grey in the Under 14 division redeemed that loss by defeating the So Cal Toros, 15-4 in the first outing. The second outing in the division saw the Ruff Ryderz White get past the Pasadena Rangers 10-2.
Action continues at the Waimea Canyon Park.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.