Fort Worth Phillies 9, Houston Baseball Club 8

By Alejandro Rodriguez

Tempe Diablo Stadium, Nov. 5, 2011 —
Frank Phillips’ infield single in the bottom of the 13th inning scored Dan Sosa and gave the Fort Worth Phillies a 9-8 win over the Houston Baseball Club in the MSBL 50 & over Wood Bat Central Championship.

The championship was very gratifying for Phillips, who is in his 18th year of playing in the tournament. Houston was the defending 45 Wood Bat mountain champion.

“To say that winning it this way was exhilarating is an understatement,” said Phillips who was playing in the World Series for the 18th time. “There were a lot of good teams that played really good ball and my team and I had a great time. This never gets old; I’ll definitely keep playing in these tournaments until they have to drag me off the field.

“God willing, I’ll be playing into my 70s.” Phillips said.

The teams traded blows throughout the game. Bennett Fisher’s RBI single in the top of the sixth inning tied the game at 7-7, but Nick Kakoaliski’s RBI-single scored Sosa to give Fort Worth an 8-7 lead. A two out RBI single by Steve Pohlman that scored Herb Goodwin to tie the game in the top of the ninth.

The guns fell silent for the next four innings. Houston loaded the bases in the top of the 11th inning, but the rally ended with a double play.

Sosa led off the bottom of the 13th with a bunt single and, three batters later with one out, scored on Phillips’ infield single.

David Palumbo pitched four scoreless innings in relief to earn the victory and was named tournament MVP. Lindsey Graham pitched four innings without allowing an earned run. Paul Drake went 3-for-3 with two walks and five RBIs.

“It was a tough loss, but considering this was our fourth consecutive championship game, we understand that we’re going to win our share but also lose our share of games,” said a disappointed Steve Booker, Houston’s skipper.

“Coming in second is always bittersweet, but for us to come out and get to this point what with all the tough competition is always very satisfying. We look forward to coming next year; hopefully we can get back to this point for the fifth consecutive year.” Booker said.