2011 35+ American

Cobras win numbers game in taking 35+ American

The Delco Cobras took two of three from the Chicago Grays to win the 2011 Fall classic 35 American cup.

By Frank Schaeffer, MSBL On-Line


JUPITER, Fla. – Sometimes it’s the moves you make off the field that wins championships.

The Delco Cobras showed up to the 2011 Fall Classic with 10 players, including four who were cross-rostered in both the 35 American and 45 Wood Central Divisions, including manager Michael Lieberman. Lieberman turned to Tim Lobach, who worked the phones for two days and came up with two players – pitcher Fernando DaSilva and catcher Sam Bartoletta. By mid-week the roster was full and the Cobras were on a roll, advancing to the best-of-three finals against the Chicago Grays.

MVP Tim Lobach

DaSilva pitched Game 1 – a 13-2 route – before the Grays battled back to take a 7-4 victory in Game 2. Carlos Cruz, who threw a complete game in the semifinal, the day before, started Game 3, throwing six and two-thirds innings, with DaSilva coming on to nail things down over the final inning and two-thirds as the Cobras took the 35+ American division with a 12-8 victory.

DaSilva played seven seasons from 1992-1998 in the Montreal Expos minor-league system, advancing as far as Double-A in compiling a 50-44 record with a 3.86 ERA in 194 career games (104 starts).

Lieberman said he actually tried to take DaSilva off the mound in the first game of the series after building a 7-0 lead after five innings, in hopes of saving him for Game 2 or Game 3, but DaSilva didn’t want to come out – giving up just two eighth-inning runs in the 13-2 win.

And even after dropping the second game of the series, Lieberman said his team was confident going into the third and deciding game.

“We felt confident because we knew we kicked the ball around some in Game 2 and we were scoring runs all week, so I had confidence in the our offense,” Lieberman said. “”I didn’t know what Carlos could give us in that last game. He just said he would go as long as he could. Then Fernando came in and finished it off for us.”


For his efforts – both on the field and on the phone – Lieberman named Lobach, who went 2-for-3 with a run scored in Game 3 – as the tournament MVP.

Fernand DaSilva

“Timmy spent two days on the phone, he must have called 10 guys,” Lieberman said. “Finally, he came up with DaSilva, who is an absolute stud, and Sam Bartoletta, who caught five games during the week for us and had a lot of big hits. Without either one of those players we don’t win it all. If Tim doesn’t spend that time on the phone we don’t win the tournament.”

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Chicago Grays 0 1 1 0 1 0 2 3 8 13 2
Delco Cobras 1 3 0 0 1 1 2 1 3 12 17 4

Tate and Crump. Cruz, DaSilva (7) and Bartoletta. WP—Cruz. Sv. – DaSilva. LP – Tate. Leading Hitters: (Grays) King 2×4; Hutchins 3×4; Tate 2×5. (Cobras) Didonato 2RBI; Chandler 3×4, 3R; Bartoletta 3×5, 2R; McNeely 2×4, 2R, 2 RBI; Kloska 4×5, 4RBI; Lobach 2×3. 2B-Weiss (DC); Hutchins (CG). SAC-Vetter (DC); Lieberman (DC); Rieves (CG) 2; Crump (CG).

More Fall Classic Stories RSS Feed