So Cal Scrappers 11; Long Island Cardinals 1

by Rod Johnson

2011 World Series Champs, 18+ Central Division: The SoCal Snappers

Oct. 23, 2011, Tempe Diablo Stadium–The defending champion Long Island Cardinals were brimming with confidence entering the 18 Central Finals, while the 2010 runner up So Cal Scrappers were brimming with anticipation.

On this warm October day, anticipation beat confidence 11-1.

Motivated partly by last year’s finals loss, the Scrappers stormed out of the game. Its first six hitters reached base off of Long Island ace Luis Gomez and all six scored. Gomez didn’t make it out of the first inning. “He (Gomez) just wasn’t hitting his spots; it just didn’t happen,” explained Long Island Manager George Rhein. “That’s baseball.”

By the time Long Island scored their first run in the fourth inning, the Scrappers had already tallied nine times. The Cardinals lone marker came after Matt Kearns doubled and Edwin Delgado singled to drive him in.

So Cal tacked on two more in the ninth for a final score of 11-1.

The Cards were undefeated and had a convincing 7-1 semifinal win under their belt. The Scrappers still bore wounds of a championship game loss the previous year. “It was tough,” lamented Scrappers manger Justin Bray. “We had gone out and had a little too much fun the night before (the championship game) and weren’t ready to play—but we’re ready this year,” he said before the game.

Ryan Schwenn went the distance and scattered seven hits for the win. “The kid was great,” beamed Bray. “He wasn’t overpowering but he hit his spots and we backed him up with good defense.” Eric Lungren went 2-for-4 and laced his sixth triple of the tournament in the sixth inning. He was named tournament MVP. Five So Call hitters had at least two hits each as the Scrappers rapped out 17 hits. J.C. Coleman and Glen Sterlecki had three hits each and Frankie Cervantes knocked in three runs.

Following the game, both teams looked ready to start planning for another rematch. “It made it so much sweeter that we beat them after they beat us last year,” said Bray. “They’re good guys and we enjoy playing them.”

Long Island manager George Rhein echoed those feelings. “We ran into them (the Scrappers) throughout the week and we all kind of knew we would be playing them in the championship game. Heck, we probably will see them in the championship again next time around.”

2011 World Series

18+ Central – Tempe Diablo Stadium – October 23, 2011

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
So Cal Scrappers 6 0 2 1 0 1 1 0 2 11 17 0
Long Island Cardinals 0 0 0 1 0 2 1 0 0 1 7 2

Schwenn and Akers; Long Island: Gomez, Sarnak (1), Atanasle (8), Cinelli (8), Teaot (9) and Joyce. W- Schwenn. L- Gomez. Leading Hitters- So Cal: J.C. Coleman 3×5, R; Eric Lungren 2×4, 3b, RBI, R; Glen Sterlecki 3×4, 2 RBI; Frankie Cervantes 2×4, 2b, 3 RBI. Long Island.: Matt Kearnes 1×3, 2b, R; Edwin Delgado 1×3, RBI; Tom Smith 1×3, 2b.

SAC- Arana (SC). SB- Gutierrez 2 (SC). DP- So Cal 1; Long Island 3. LOB- So Cal 12; Long Island 5

TOG: 2:35