Want to see the other Finals pictures? Here's the link!
...and other pre-finals games:
19+ Dodgers triumph over the Hurricanes!
|Congratulations to the Dodgers on winning the Spring 2017 Playoff Tournament in the Legends 19+ Division.|
The 19+ championship was bound to be a close pitcher’s duel. The Hurricanes were coming off of a 3-1 victory over the outstanding Outlaws, who had previously put up 20 or more runs multiple times this season. The Dodgers took a 3-2 nail biter from the consistent Flying Squirrels. The Dodgers struck first in the bottom of the first inning. A leadoff base hit from Andrew Reighard, the team’s batting average and on base leader, turned into a pickoff. But the Dodgers would answer back with a walk from Peyton Hale III, a base hit from Harrison Hale, then a clutch RBI single through the right side from another Hale bro, Austin Hale. A throwing miscue from the catcher allowed Harrison Hale to score on the play as well. Austin Hale would steal second while the Hurricanes responded with a strikeout of one of the Dodgers big hitters, Carson Hale. A Clutch two out double from Trevor Roskind plated Austin, giving the Dodgers an early 3-0 lead. Hurricanes would answer back in the top of the second with a leadoff homerun for their cleanup hitter off of Dodgers starting pitcher, Harrison Hale. Hurricanes would strike again in the top of the third, smacking three hits in a row to tie the game at 3. Dodgers would respond by plating another run in the 4th with another two out RBI from Roskind to take back the lead at 4-3. Clutch defense from Cody Jones at short, Christian Havecker in center, and Tyler Ridings in right helped Harrison keep the Canes at bay in the 4th. A leadoff walk by Peyton Hale Jr in the bottom of the fourth could not lead to the Dodgers taking advantage, as Canes pitcher Alan Oberheim was able to keep the Dodgers at bay with a clutch bases loaded pickoff to end the 4th, his second pickoff of the day.
Austin Hale switched from catcher to pitcher in the top of the 5th , with a 4-3 lead. A leadoff base hit followed by a hit by pitch and a walk would load the bases for the hurricanes with no outs. Austin would pitch out of the jam allowing no runs, striking out two in the process. He would then reply by crushing a mammoth solo homerun in the bottom of the 5th, giving the Dodgers a 5-3 lead. Relief pitching was sold for the Canes, not allowing another run the rest of the game. The Hurricanes would answer right back with opposite field line drive homerun to pull within one run in the top of the 8th. Austin Hale would shut the door, striking out 5 of the 6 outs in the last two innings. He would finish the game with 11 strikeouts, bringing his season total to 61 in 34 innings, with a season ERA of 0.79, solidifying his MVP season. Dodgers would take the game with a score of 5-4. Pitching was most important to the Dodgers this season, with Austin Hale and Harrison Hale throwing 66 of the 87 and 2/3 innings for the squad, with a combined ERA of 1.64.
30+ Nationals Bring Home the Championship!
|Congratulations to the Nationals on winning the Spring 2017 Playoff Tournament in the Legends 30+ Division.|
By Rich Goad
What a sweet day for baseball, the weather was perfect, maybe a little warm, but beautiful for America’s pastime. The 30+ Baseball Championship, once again faced off with two longtime rivals in Legends, Nationals vs. Padres! Both teams have always played really close games over the many years, with the exception of two games. Both of those games were in the Championships, with the Padres crushing the Nationals 27-8 in the Fall of 2010 and the second game where the Nationals returned the favor and beat the Padres 23-8 in the Fall of 2015. I mentioned these two teams have history of close games every season to include two other meetings in the big game. Last Spring 2016, the Padres beat the Nationals with a walk off homerun in the bottom of the 10th inning to win the championship. This season matched up the rivals again, to which a big crowd came out to see the big game, who would win, would it be another close game or blowout. The crowd was not disappointed, because whether your team won or lost, this was another game for the history books.
Throughout the game, the score went back and forth with each team trying to put the other away, however pitching and great defensive plays kept the score close and everyone wondering if we would be going to extra innings like the first championship game of the day.
Sorry no inning by inning drama this year in this write up, but will mention a few plays, players, and final inning. Pitching on both teams were amazing, keeping the ball in the yard most of the day, until Chris Herald belted a 3 run shot heading towards the girls softball field. The Nationals also capitalized with speed on the bases, swiping several stolen bases, whereas the Padres were kept in check on the bases with Brandon “the Wall” Ward behind the plate.
Now for the final inning. The Padres took a one run lead into the bottom of the 9th inning, 5-4. First batter Chris Farrer began the inning with a hit batter, followed by a walk of Al Torres, and an infield hit by Rich Goad, loading the bases for Chris Herald. Chris hit a solid line drive which bent back the second baseman’s glove backwards, moving up the runners and evening the score. Now the Mighty Casey story with big Kevin Mallon coming to the plate with nobody out, tied game, and bases loaded. However, Kevin followed suit and struck-out on a nasty curve ball. So with one out Rob Howell walked to the plate. Would he be able to knock in the winning run? Rob worked the pitcher, who was throwing some really good pitches, with foul ball after foul ball. Finally, Rob connected with the ball and sent it screaming into left field, however it was not a deep fly ball, but would it be enough? Al “Speedy” Torres was ready to give it a try, tagging from third. The outfielder caught the ball and threw a strike to home, however Speedy dove headfirst into the plate and beat the tag, giving the Nationals the Championship!
The Nationals celebrated and Brandon Ward was given the title of Legends MVP for the 30+ Division. Great season Brandon!
Overall, the Nationals played team (family) baseball throughout the season, with everyone stepping up to keep winning games. Just about every game, there was a new National of the week. It never failed, when one person would be down, another would step up and take over. This was another amazing season and look forward to many more great seasons of Legends (Nationals) Baseball.
So where does that leave us with the Rival Story? The Nationals have won 7 Championships, 2 against the Padres and the Padres have won 7 Championships, 2 against the Nationals. Tune in for next year to see if they will once again do battle on the diamond!
40+ Redlegs Defend Their Title!
|Congratulations to the Redlegs on winning the Spring 2017 Playoff Tournament in the Legends 40+ Division.|
By Ron Cortese
The Redlegs ended another magical season in dramatic style – this time coming back in the top of the 9th inning to tie an action-packed game against the venerable Gashouse Gang, then winning it in the 11th inning with a monstrous 3-run homerun to take an insurmountable lead!
The Redlegs trailed 4-0 going into the 4th inning, before slowly chipping away until being just 1 run down in the 9th. The lower part of the order was up, and the plan was simple – get the leadoff hitter Tony Combs on base, then bring him around to score. And that’s exactly what happened! However, the Gashouse stopped further damage in the 9th, but could not get another run in their portion of the 9th. So into the 10th they went! The Redlegs got across 2 runs, hoping it would be enough for the win. However, the Gashouse also rallied in the bottom of the 10th inning to tie it at 6-6!
So into the 11th the game went. Manager “Cap’n Ron” Cortese told his squad – “We scored 2 last inning but it wasn’t enough – so let’s get 3 this time!” Well, long-time Redleg and Hall of Famer Nelly Taveras heard that order loud and clear, as he always listens to his manager! He stepped to the plate with 2 on, and proceeded to blast a 3-run shot well over the right-center fence! The Gashouse this time were only able to get one run across in the bottom of the inning…not enough tie it again!
This incredible win capped a season in which the Redlegs started 0-2, with a combined run deficit of 33-13 only to then reel off 7 straight wins!
Redleg pitching was superlative, as Matt “The Starter” Gaugler continued his dominant pitching, going 5 solid innings, followed by Billy “Your Highness” Pope, who pitched another 5 strong innings. Keith “The Closer” Beale then stepped in to shut the door on the Gashouse Gang in the 11th!
For hitting, Lonny “The Lonster” Schwartz and Nelly “Mr. MVP” Taveras (named league MVP) each had 3 hits. Keith “Crusher“ Beale and Tony “No Combover” Combs each had 2 hits. Other Redleg studs include Josh “Homerun” Glassman, Kirk “Killer” Cooper, Syed “Doc” Ali, Matt “Bubba” Bubnis, Robert “BobbyB” Bumiller, Jon “The Man” May, and Ryan “I need a nickname” Young.
“It was such a total team effort, where we picked each other up – well, not literally, but you know what I mean - when needed”, stated co-manager Chris “The Frenchman” French, who could not play in the finals due to sickness, but did come for the celebration!
A special thanks goes out to our awesome batboy, Tyler Pope, who really helped the Redlegs play their best every game!
Hats off to a great Gashouse team that took us to the limit – it is too bad only one team could be crowned on this day!