Southern California resident John Alexiades made the long trek north to the Central Coast this week to catch some baseball.
Part of his reward was seeing his son, Manhattan Beach Mira Costa center fielder Bash Alexiades, play a key role in Mira Costa's 7-5 win over Santa Ana Foothill at Elks Field Friday for the championship of the 14th annual Righetti Spring Classic.
Foothill was going after its third RSC title in the last four years. The RSC championship was Mira Costa's first.
"We actually drove to Paso Robles, first," said John Alexiades. Paso Robles High School is where Mira Costa spent most of its tournament time before winning the title at Elks Field.
"My wife, Chris, drove up Monday, and I came up Tuesday," said John Alexiades. "I work up in Burbank, so that's a little closer.
"It's a nice getaway for spring break."
Bash Alexiades doubled in a Mira Costa run in the sixth inning and made a sliding catch for the first out of the bottom of the seventh.
John Alexiades was one of many who traveled several hours to catch one of the three tournaments taking place in the area during the week, including the Righetti Spring Classic, the Nipomo Baseball Classic and the Best of the West Softball Tournament.
He spoke before one of the RSC semifinals. Mira Costa edged defending RSC champion West Hills Chaminade 4-3 in that one.
Marci Stark was one of the Chaminade parents who was in the stands.
"My son, Jared, is on the team," she said before Chaminade's semi started. "He's a senior. He played for the team that won the championship last year.
"All of us came out. My husband, our in-laws, the whole group. We knew we were going to come out, and we just saved the money in the family budget to do it."
Marci Stark said, "We came out last year. We really enjoy coming up here. It's a nice break to get out of L.A."
Simi Valley resident Carl Deeley was another Chaminade supporter. "My grandson, Roc Riggio, plays for the team," Deeley said. "He's a freshman.
"We've been up here before. We usually stop by here on the way to Cambria. We love being up around here. It's a beautiful mixture of the old and the new."
Deeley said he is friends with Santa Maria Chief of Police Phil Hansen. "We worked together in the L.A. County Sheriff's Department," said Deeley, who said he also knows Ralph Martin, who came on as Santa Maria's Interim Chief of Police before retiring.
Hansen took over for Martin. "It was a great move for (Hansen) to come up here," said Deeley.
Tammy Gannon and Renee Selby were two of the Foothill supporters in the stands. They both have sons who play for the team, Ketch Gannon and Griffin Selby.
"Griffin was the winning pitcher," when Foothill won the RSC title in 2016, said Renee Selby.
Tammy Gannon and Renee Selby spoke during the championship game. Griffin Selby and Ketch Gannon had a rough time on the mound Friday. However, Ketch Gannon hit a solo home run, and Griffin Selby doubled.
"Our spring break was actually last week, and (the Foothill players) missed three days of school, but this is the last tournament the boys will play in," this season, said Renee Selby.
Griffin Selby is a senior, and Renee Selby said her son will play for Sacramento State next year.
"They stayed in the same hotel for three days, and this is the last chance they will get to bond like that," said Renee Selby, who made the trip north with her husband, Greg.
"It's an excused absence (for the players), and (Griffin) will arrange with his teachers to make up the work. That's what he's done before."
Tammy Gannon said she is a Cal Poly alumnus.
"This is the first time up for this tournament for me," said Tammy Gannon, who made the trip with her husband, Danny.
"We need to support our sons, especially as they get older as they play ball. We've very much enjoyed our stay here. We're staying at the Santa Maria Inn, and we found out the history of it. It's very interesting."
Tammy Gannon said, "We were able to see the Presqu'ile winery (which is located in Santa Maria), and it's just beautiful."