2011 35+ Mountain Division

Chicago North Cubs 9, Tri-Valley White Sox 3

The Chicago North Cubs, 35+ Mountain Division Champs

by Jason Johnson

Salt River Fields, November 5, 2011 – Behind stellar, complete-game six-hitter by Jim Balian the Chicago North Cubs defeated the Tri-Valley White Sox 9-3 for the 35 Mountain Division crown.

“Today we got out front early,” said Cubs manager Tony Niezyniecki. “We turned it on, added some runs, extended the lead and Jim (Balian) threw a gem of a game.”

While it was a tough loss for the White Sox, it was still a great experience for them. They brought 25 players with them, the most in two years, and led their division in runs scored and least amount of runs allowed.

“It was a great experience,” said White Sox manager David Lewis. “The experience overall was tremendous. Great host, great organization. It was great all around and everyone had a blast.”

The Cubs employed some timely hitting in the championship to drive in nine runs. With the Cubs leading 2-0 in the top of the fourth inning catcher Oscar Samano drove a clutch two-out two-run double to put them ahead 4-0. Two innings later Chris Oliva hit a triple to right field that drove in Rick Malott and George Jimenez. Samano then followed with a triple of his own pushing the score to 7-1 and putting the Cubs in the driver’s seat.

“We tended to have a lot of clutch hitting this week,” said Niezyniecki. “We’ve had big hits up and down the order.”

The hit barrage didn’t stop there as Javier Gamboa flied a one-out double to centerfield, followed by a Scott Hanish walk and a Mike Torresso double to right field giving the Cubs a 9-1 lead.

Alfonso Quintar had a RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning for Tri-Valley making the score 9-2. In the bottom of the ninth inning Marlen Foster led off with a double and Albert Vasquez drove in the pinch-runner, Charles Loseth to get the score to 9-3.

“They are a great team,” said Lewis. “Hats off to them, they deserved it. They played very well and hit extremely well. Their pitcher did an extremely good job against us.”

Pool Play

The Cubs finished with a 3-2 record. Balian threw a 2-0 complete game shutout against the Scottsdale Scorpions in round robin play.

Tri-Valley earned a 4-1 with pitchers Ron Arostegui and Shane Holbrook leading the charge. . The White Sox played excellent defense throughout pool play by not committing more than one error in any of their games.

The Cubs beat the South Dakota Rustlers 8-7 in the semifinals. Mike Torresso hit a walk-off double in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Cubs the win. Rod Biehl earned the victory.

Tri-Valley defeated the Scottsdale Scorpions 15-2. Pete Hartmann earned the victory in that game for the White Sox.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Chicago North Cubs 1 0 0 3 0 3 2 0 0 9 9 2
Tri-Valley White Sox 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 3 6 1

Balian and Samano. Holdrodk, Brown, Arosegui and Scuitti. W – Balian, L – Holdrodk. Leading Hitters – (Chi) Samano 2×3, 3RBI, Javier Gamboa 2×4, 2R; Oliva 2RBI; (TV) Quintor 1×3, RBI, Eric Pickett 1×3, Foster 1×3. SAC – O’Connor (Chi). SF –Hanish (Chi.) Tinsley (Chi.). CS – Adams (TV), LOB – Chicago 10, 5; Tri-Valley, 4. 2B – Samano, Gamboa, Toresso, Foster. 3B – Samano, Gamboa, Oliva, Picket.