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Tri-Valley Giants 2, Raleigh Braves 1
'Bull Dog' Delzer Holds Down the Braves'
Editor's note: This story is a little different in how we will convey their game. The Tri-Valley Giants started their week 0-3 and ran the table to the championship. Giants manager Art Scears wrote a special tribute to the week and we are posting his words and not our traditional reporter coverage.
Submitted by Art Scears, Tri-Valley manager
After our first three games of pool play on Monday and
Tuesday, we were looking at an 0 and 3 record. We lost the first game 5-4
even though Eddie Delzer pitched an absolute gem. The next two games
we didn't play solid defense, which always kills good pitching, and we found
out how tough the competition was. So, we started by winning our two
games on Wednesday, and then the final pool play game on Thursday to make it to
the semi-finals on Friday.
The starting pitching by Billy "Hawk” Hawkins, Mike Pankow, and Eddie "Bull dog" Delzer was outstanding. In two
crucial spots as a closer, pitcher Fernando "Nando” Naranjo closed game
four in a tight situation with the winning run in the on deck circle and the
bases loaded. Nando then gave us three strong innings in game five
to shut down a very strong Panthers team.
Our run began with our leadoff batter, Tom Schaffer, who
seemingly was always on base. If he didn't initially hit a double he
would steal second base. Mazen "Maz” Barbari (World Series MVP) was an
absolute spark to the team by hitting the ball hard, taking extra bases, and
playing stellar defense. Demetrius Adams, David Lukrich, River Acciaioli,
Loren Peterson, Dean Allman, Manny Lopez, Mike Auer, Stephen Camp, Scott Roix, and Fernando Naranjo all came through with key hits. David Lukrich, River
Acciaioli, Tom Schaffer, and Maz Barbari all made brilliant plays in the
outfield. Infielders Steve Reno, Demetrius Adams, Mike Auer, Jon Burchett,
Scott Roix, and Stephen Camp were defensively sound. Catchers Manny Lopez and Rick Carlson were outstanding.
In the Semi-Final game (Tri-Valley Giants 10, Gamblers 2), Billy Hawkins pitched all nine innings. He gave up one earned run on nine
scattered hits and two walks. In the bottom of the sixth with the bases
loaded Hawkins crossed up catcher Manny Lopez and the ball went to the back
stop. Lopez threw the ball to Hawkins who dove head first into home plate
to catch the ball and tag out the runner. In the bottom of the ninth with
the game well out of reach, we witnessed a play that maybe a handful
of players in the 45 division can make. With a man on first, a fly ball
was hit to deep center field. The runner on first got off the bag about
ten feet when the ball was caught. Center fielder River Acciaioli threw a BB to first baseman Stephen Camp for the double play and the final out!
The runner made a point of coming over after the game to say that the
play was absolutely incredible (which it was).
In the Championship game, "Bull Dog" Eddie
Delzer pitched a complete game giving uponly one run on three hits and one
walk. The defense was equally impressive. Third baseman Steve Reno made
at least three game-changing stops on hard hit balls down the line. First
baseman Stephen Camp made stretch after impressive stretch, picking a couple of
low and/or wide throws, and made some unassisted plays as well. In the
fourth inning left fielder David Lukrich got on his horse and ran down an absolute
shot toward the left field corner. The runner had already rounded second
and would have scored if David had not made the diving circus catch! In
the fifth inning River Acciaioli had a spectacular play of his own, running
down a ball hit deep in the left center gap (about 340 feet) with a runner on
base and two outs.
As for our offense in the Championship Game, we scored a run
in the first when Tom Schaffer hit a ball the opposite way to left and
stretched a single into a double. River Acciaioli sacrificed him to third
base, and David Lukrich hit a sacrifice fly to deep left field to score
Schaffer. In the top of the fifth, with the score tied 1-1 and one out,Manny Lopez hit a single and eventually was moved over to second base on a
single by Dean Allman. With two outs, Stephen Camp hit a fly ball double
to left center, which plated Lopez, and scored what was to be the winning run
for the Giants.
The Raleigh Braves made many
impressive plays all day and their starting pitcher was outstanding.