Impromptu reunion of the Lodi JACL Templars 2015 California State AA champions: (from left) Cory Furuoka, Justin Uemura, Matt Dingess, Keoni Mark, Marty Sakata, Mike Furutani and Kent Furuoka.

MONTEREY — In its inaugural season, the Monterey JACL Maguro took sole possession of first place of the Northern California Japanese American Baseball League, after sweeping a doubleheader from the Lodi JACL Templars at Monterey Peninsula College on July 29.

Monterey and Lodi had been tied for first with six wins and four losses, but the Maguro won the first game 7-5 behind veteran pitchers Mike Furutani, Nelson Villanueva and rookie closer Brayden Martinez.

Offensively, Jake Yamasaki went 2-for-3 with a run scored and a RBI, and Kerry Hirahara went 2-for-2 with a run scored.

In the second game, Monterey’s Cannon Silva pitched a complete game shutout as the Maguro scratched out two runs in the fifth inning to prevail 2-0.

In the other games, at Marchbank Park in Daly City, the San Francisco Hawks split their doubleheader with the Florin Athletic Club on July 30. In Game 1, Florin cruised to a 13-1 victory, but in Game 2, the Hawks came back to defeat Florin 12-7.

The teams stand at attention for the national anthem.

The NorCal JA Baseball League has been active since before 1915 (when the Lodi team was started) with teams as far north as Sacramento and as far south as Fresno. The Central Coast had teams in Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Salinas and Monterey but they disbanded by the 1950s.

This season, the Monterey Maguros were formed to take the place of the disbanded Fresno Sansei. Now the NorCal JA Baseball League consists of four teams: San Francisco, Florin (Sacramento), Lodi and Monterey.

Every Labor Day, teams from the NorCal league and the Southern California Nikkei League meet for the California State AA Championship tournament. This year the tournament will be held in Lodi on Sept. 2, 3, and 4.

For more information about the NorCal league or tournament, call (415) 515-3597 or email

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