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Antiques Win Title in 65+ Navarro Alan Silver Division of Tri-Valley MSBL

Tri-Valley Antiques 4, Tri-Valley Tribe 2

 

'Hinckley and Lopez Hold Down Tribe'

By Nick Marnell, Tri-Valley Giants

The Tri-Valley Men’s Senior Baseball League crowned its third different 65+ Division champion in the last three years as the Antiques swept the Tribe in a best-of-three series in September at Livermore, Calif

It was yet another frustrating end to the season for the defending champion Tribe, who have notched the best regular season record in each year of the division’s three-year existence, only to lose two titles to teams that finished below .500. "We peaked at the end of the season and played really well - especially the defense,” said Antiques outfielder Phil Montes.

Ted Hinckley pitched seven innings and Julian Lopez followed with two scoreless frames, allowing the Tribe eight hits and two walks as the Antiques won the final, 4-2. The score is all the more remarkable as even the last-place Seals - the only division team yet to win a title -  averaged eight runs per game during the regular season.  "The championship game was well played, as the final score suggests, and was an example of how baseball should be played at any age level,” said Tribe manager Mike Ilg, whoseteam dropped the championship round opener 15-10. It was the first year the division used a three-game series to determine its champion, as the 2015 Tribe and 2014 Giants won their championships in a one game final.

The game was indeed played at a very high level, with the teams combining for virtually errorless ball. The defending champs jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first, but the Antiques tied it in the bottom half, scored a run in the second and held on to win. "As they say, in order to be the best you have to beat the best. And that's what we were able to do,” said Antiques first baseman Steve Brye, who played nine seasons in the majors with the Minnesota Twins, Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates.

Zach Jones led the Antiques in the final with three hits and Montes added three stolen bases and two runs scored.  Kirt Simoncini allowed three runs in seven innings for the Tribe, while Calvin Dang paced the offense with two hits, two stolen bases and one run scored.

Brye credited the direction of Antiques manager Denny Brown as the key to the title. "He’s the one who is the glue and keeps everything going in such a positive direction,” Brye said. "No matter how things are going he's always on the up and up. It was a lot of fun this year, and I’m looking forward to next year.”

"I'm very proud that the 65+ division is so competitive and for our third year we have a new and different champion.  I've already heard talk about new teams joining us next year. Our future looks great, thanks to all the players and their support,” said Giants manager and division commissioner Don de Cordova.

The official name of the division is the 65+ Navarro Alan Silver Division, dedicated to the Tri-Valley Giants’ player who collapsed on the mound and passed away during a 2014 league game.

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