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Redwood Empire Baseball
League 55+ Division
Dragons 6, Silver Sox 2
Top row, from left: Doug Thomson, Mark Fess, Marty Wilcox,
Allan Green, Dennis Brandlin, Jerry DeLorenzo, Rick Torkelson. Bottom row, from
left: Bob Harchut, Eli Duran, Ken Block, Pedro Renteria, Greg Berg, Mike
Felder, Jesus Renteria, Jesse Bower.
‘MVP Brandlin Takes Charge on
Bump and at Plate’
Submitted by Allan Green,
Avenging a defeat in the
championship series a year ago, the Dragons held off the Silver Sox to capture
the 2016 R.E.B.L. 55+ championship. Going into the series without injured ace
pitcher Larry Hendrickson, the underdog Silver Sox gave the Dragons all they
could handle in two tough, close, well-played games.
The Dragons were cruising in
the first game behind starter Dennis Brandlin, ahead 7-2 in the top of the
ninth. But the Silver Sox would not die. After two outs, a walk and a series of
hits, including a two-rbi double by Bill Furbush, brought the Silver Sox within
two, 7-5. Rick Chassey then came through with a single that plated two to tie
it before the Dragons could finally get the third out. But the Dragons were not
to be denied. Mike Felder was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the
ninth. He stole second and advanced to third on a ground ball to the right side
by Doug Thomson. In another great situational at bat, Mark Fess drove a fly
ball into deep center field, scoring Felder with a walk-off sacrifice fly.
In the second game, Dragons starter Marty Wilcox held the Silver Sox without a hit into the sixth inning.
His stalwart effort and some clutch help from relievers Jesus Renteria and Brandlin enabled the Dragons to escape with a 6-2 win. Renteria also had a big
day at the plate, with two hits and two rbi.
Neither the Dragons nor the Silver Sox had an easy time even getting to the championship series. The
heavily favored Dragons mustered only six hits against Brandt Rossi in the
first game of the semis against the fourth-seeded Padres. The Padres had the
tying run on second base in the ninth inning before the Dragons finished them
off 5-3. In the second game the Padres jumped out to a 5-0 lead, but Renteria threw five shutout innings in relief and the Dragons offense finally came to
life, scoring seven runs in the eighth and ninth for a 9-5 win.
The Knights pushed the Silver
Sox to a third game in their semifinal series, coming back with a 13-2 complete
game victory by Stan Holloway in game two. Silver Sox shortstop Mark Rudiger,
pressed into mound duty for the deciding game, rose to the occasion, keeping
the Knights off balance through nine innings in a 9-4 Silver Sox win.
Dragons pitcher Dennis
Brandlin was named the 55+ Cy Young award winner as well as league M.V.P. He
finished the year with a record of 13-2, including two playoff victories, with
an ERA of 2.21. He also led the Dragons with a season batting average of .514.