SoCal Titans 19, Antelope Valley Phillies 5
Submitted by Adrian Nevarez
(Images supplied by Baseballtrenches.com) The SoCal Titans at the 2022 Las Vegas Open were a powerful club put together by Manager Enrique Rodriguez and a couple of his players. It had an All-Star pitching staff that consisted of former major Leaguers Armando Galarraga and Alfredo Garcia, who had a 20-year professional Mexican career. Alex Romero, Aramys Santana, Hector Contin, and lefty Jean Osorio also contributed to these Titans being so impressive from the mound.
Armando is a class act with six years of MLB experience that brought dignity to the scene when his perfect game with the Tigers was lost to an umpire’s mistake. Instead of losing his cool in such an obvious situation, he smiled in disbelief and got the last out of the game. That was one of the most respectful displays of true sportsmanship of all time. We want to thank him for wearing the Titans uniform, signing autographs and taking tons of pictures. He was on the mound for our Championship game and the win.
The bats were never silent throughout the tournament, either. With young shortstop Jhexander Valladares as a leadoff hitter, there was always someone on base with nonstop hits. Jhexander took the batting title. This kid, at only 19 years of age, was getting four hits per game and walking his way to being on base every at-bat. With his glove, he was making diving catches while looking smooth and easy on everything hit his way. This kid is someone to keep an eye on.
Argenis Aldazoro was a bombing machine and blasted his way to the tournament’s MVP. Argenis hit at least four ‘No Doubter’ bombs and put on a legit show. Back in 2009, Aldazoro signed with the Cincinnati Reds out of Barinas, Venezuela. One of his biggest Pro seasons came in the Pioneer League with the Billings Mustangs in 2014. That year he hit 11 home runs with 39 RBI and a .325 average.
So many important guys played the necessary roles. Catchers Alexander Villarroel and Rossmel Perez held it down in those hot days with help from Noe Maldonado at first, Luis Maldonado in right, and Big Luis Tais in center closing down the gaps.
The infield was plugged up by guys like Lupe Castanon, Erick Salcedo, Yohan Melendez, and Sebastian Ochoa. This team was exciting to watch and it was fun to see how much chemistry they played with. Though the Titans were stocked with so many former pro ballplayers, they played like kids who enjoyed every minute. A Big Congratulations to the 2022 Las Vegas Open 18-over Champions!