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Utah Rockies 9, California Hogs 6
Valdez Throws Complete Game Championship Victory’
Rodney Johnson, special to MSBL
November 4, 2017, Tempe Diablo
Stadium, Tempe, AZ -
The Utah Rockies came from behind to capture the 45+ Central title in the 30thAnnual MSBL World Series at Tempe Diablo Stadium. The California Hogs grabbed
the lead by scoring twice in the top of the second inning, but the Rockies came
back to tie the game with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning. Utah
took the lead for good with three runs in the fourth and went on to a 9-6 win.
six games coming into the final innings and every game we had to come from
behind to win,” explained Rockies manager Randy Miles. "We won three games in
the bottom of the ninth and one game in the eleventh inning,” said Miles. "It
has just been a miraculous week for us.”
fourth inning rally started when Phil Young was hit by a pitch. He was forced
out at second bringing up J.B. Walsh, who also couldn’t get out of the way of a Hank Muro fastball. With two on and two out, Brady Field lined a single to left
scoring Young. That brought Bill Uleman in from the bullpen replacing Muro. Matt
Burns greeted Uleman with a two-run single to left giving the Rockies a 5-2
sixth, the Rockies padded their lead with three unearned runs. Cale Shepard led
off the inning by reaching on an error by the center fielder. Sheppard stole
second and scored on a single by Phil Young. Later in the inning, Brady Fieldhit a sacrifice fly scoring Young and Matt Burns singled to knock in J.B. Walsh giving Utah an 8-2 lead.
fought back with three runs of their own in the seventh. Singles by Dale Craig and Bob Lord started the inning. With one out, Bob Linegar’s double brought
both runners home. Dan Murray followed up with a single to score Linegar and
make the score 8-5. The Rockies added a
run in the eighth to pad their lead.
gave Utah a scare in the ninth when they loaded the bases and plated a run on
an RBI single by Keith Crupak. With two outs and the tying runs on base, Hank
Muro flied out to center to end the game.
kind of ran out of time,” lamented Hogs manager James Hixon. "It was a good
game. I think another inning or two we might have got there. That’s a good team
(Rockies) over there and their pitcher pitched a hell of a game.”
Valdez pitched a complete game to earn the win as well as tournament MVP honors
for the Rockies. "Vic is my game seven pitcher and we knew we were going to
do-or-die with him,” said Miles.
In pool play
the Rockies finished 4-2 before winning two thrillers in the playoffs where
they beat Chicago North TSP 7-6 and the Rebel Cardinals 6-5. The Hogs went 3-3 in pool play
before fighting their way through the playoffs to reach the title game. In the
playoffs, California outlasted the Northern VA Twins 14-11 and nipped the Ventura Dodgers 7-6 in 12 innings to set up their finale battle against Utah.
Rockies are a tight group on and off the field. "We hang together; go to Jazz
games, Angel games (Salt Lake PCL) and we even have a garage band together,”
explained Utah first baseman Brady Field. "Our band is called Clothing Optional and to date we have had three gigs. We haven’t gotten paid anything for them,
but it is just one more reason to be together. That’s what all of this is
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Hogs 0 2 0 0 0 0 3 0 1 6 16 4
Rockies 0 2 0 3 0 3 0 1 x 9 10 0
Line: (CA) Hank Muro; Bill Uleman (4); Brad Beckenstedt (6). (UT) Vic Valdez.
Valdez LP: Muro.
Crupak (CA); Linegar (CA); Craig (CA);
Hitters: California: Craig 4x4, 3 R; Lord 2x4, 2 R; Linegar 2x3, R, 2 RBI; Crupak
3x4, 2 RBI, Utah: Walsh 2x3, 3 R, RBI, HBP; Field 2x2, R, 2 RBI; Burns 2x3, 3
RBI; Miles 2x3.
2 (UT); Walsh 2 (UT),
California 11; Utah 8