LODI — Over the Labor Day weekend (Sept. 2-4), the Lodi JACL Templars baseball club hosted the 2023 California State AA Japanese American Baseball Tournament in Lodi.
Four teams from Southern California — two from Gardena and two from Little Tokyo — traveled north to face four teams from Northern California — San Francisco, Florin, Monterey and Lodi.
In the championship game on Monday, the Gardena Rebels bested the Little Tokyo Giants 12-8 at Yamashita Field in Kofu Park, named after long-time Lodi player and manager Masato “Mauch” Yamashita.
The Rebels’ co-MVPs were pitcher Eddie Haus, who got the win in the championship, and slugger Jeffrey Smith, who hit three home runs in the tournament, including one in the championship.
The Giants got excellent performances from pitcher Noah Ishikawa and David Smartty, who got a three-run home run in the championship.
The Gardena Knights won the consolation game.