El Monte American Reaches the Semi’s
Located 13 miles east of Los Angeles. El Monte is 1,957 miles (3,150 km) west of Taylor. If you drove, it would be a 2,260-mile trip to Taylor’s Heritage Park and the trip would take at least 36 hours.
How they got here: The Southern California state champions arrived in Taylor with a 19-2 record and a five-game winning streak. The El Monte all-stars were 6-1 in the USA West regional tournament in Laguna Niguel, California, which is 53 miles south of El Monte. In pool play, El Monte defeated the state champions of Nevada (11-1), Idaho (18-5), Utah (10-0) and Hawaii (11-6), while losing once to Alaska (4-3). In the semi-finals, El Monte defeated the host team from Aliso Viejo, 9-7. And in a regional championship game that pitted the two state champions of California, El Monte defeated previously unbeaten Northern California champ Rocklin, 16-3. Since the start of post-season play, El Monte has outscored opponents, 215-93.
History: While this is the first appearance by El Monte in the Junior League World Series, teams from California have represented the West in Taylor an average of every other year. This is the 15th appearance by a California team in the 30-year-old JLWS. In fact, teams from California and Hawaii (12 appearances) have represented the West in all but three years of the tournament’s existence… West region champions have won the JLWS world championship 10 times – more than any other region in the world. California teams have won the world title four times: Rowland Heights (1987), Thousand Oaks (1994), Mission Viejo (1998) and LaMirada (2003). Teams from Hawaii have won the world title four times. Pearl City won in 1984 and 2007. Aiea won it in 2000 and 2001 – the only team to win the JLWS championship in back-to-back years. The other two West teams to win the World Series in Taylor were from Arizona – in fact, the only two years Arizona teams have played in the series. Tucson won in 1992. Scottsdale won in 2009.