Find a League In Your Area
Arizona East Valley Yankees 4, NorCal Diablos 3
By Doug Haller, MSBLNational.com
When it was over, as the Arizona East Valley Yankees
celebrated at Tempe Diablo Stadium, manager Jake Dorame had to fight back
"From the very beginning, we have an 18-man roster, and I
told them,” he said. "One way or another, it might be with your arm, it might
be with your bat, it might be with your legs, you’re going to play a part in
this team winning a championship. Our goal from the beginning was to win a
division championship, a playoff championship and a World Series, and we did
David Hostetter pitched seven strong innings, scattering
four hits, leading the Yankees to a 4-3 win over the NorCal Diablos in the
35-central wood bat championship.
It wasn’t without drama. Trailing by two runs in the
ninth, the Diablos came to life against Arizona East Valley closer Joe Wieleba.
After Thomas Schaffer led off with a single, Javier Gonzalez smoked a shot down
the third-base line.
Steve Flores, however, was ready. Inching toward the
baseline before the pitch, Flores dived to his right, fielded the ball cleanly,
got up and threw to second for the force out. NorCal went on to score once in
the inning, but Flores’ play likely saved one run, maybe more.
"There were a couple times when we couldn’t hit the big
hit when we needed it,” NorCal manager Chili McLeod said. "And then in the
ninth, I thought we got one, but the third baseman made a heck of a play.”
Said Flores: "As soon as he hit it, I knew I had to
dive. I thought we had a chance at a
double play, but I couldn’t get it out of my glove fast enough.”
Hostetter put the Yankees in position to win. Relying mostly
on a fastball and curve, he held the Diablos in check for most of the contest.
After giving up two runs (one unearned) in the second, he settled into a groove,
striking out eight.
"He’s our most powerful pitcher,” Dorame said. "And when
he’s on – it’s game over. He’s special.”
Hostetter, 35, said it was a great way to end his career.
In college, he played in a junior-college World Series and he said this
"I gave everything I had,” said Hostetter , who, along
with his wife, is expecting a baby boy to arrive soon. "Left everything on the field.
The Yankees finished 5-1 in pool play, losing only to the
SoCal Titans. The Diablos also finished 5-1. They had some pitching issues in
the finals. McLeod started and pitched five innings, allowing four hits and three runs. The plan
was to go from McLeod, who specializes in off-speed pitches, to Sean Erickson,
who throws harder.
But Erickson lasted just two hitters, forced to leave
because of a sore back. Chondelle Jones took over, pitching the final three
innings, even though he had pitched a complete game the day before.
"That hurt us a little,” McLeod said.