Sacramento Giants 16, San Diego Stars 8
By Rick Sorci
Goodyear Arizona, Oct. 22, 2011 – They did it for Dennis.
On September 21 the Sacramento Giants lost a teammate and inspirational leader in Dennis Viegas. He died during a game in Auburn, California, near Sacramento.
One month and one day later the heavy-hearted Giants defeated the San Diego Stars 16-8 to claim their fourth World Series Crown in a row – this time in the 55 American Division title.
“We dedicated this game to Dennis,” said pitcher Dave Kephart, who got the decision in relief. “When we were trailing, we started thinking about him and it gave us strength. But we did this for him.”
When the games started, it didn’t appear there would be any celebrations for the Giants. The Stars (7-2) scored early and often, opening a 6-1 advantage by pounding out 14 hits over the first five innings. Billy Cocchia, Paul Contreras, Mike McCormick and Jerry Enco keyed the offense for the stars and chased Giants’ starter Gary Kleinfeldt and reliever Carlos Bryson off the bump.
Bob Wooden’s RBI single in the fourth scored Joe Soto with the Giants’ first run, but the Stars answered with an RBI single by Cocchia in the fourth, and a Gino Suter’s RBI single in the fifth. Dave Kephart entered in the fifth inning and allowed just two runs the rest of the way.
Meanwhile, the Giant sticks got hot in the sixth inning.
Lead-off man Dave Dietrich opened with a bunt single, Mike Thatcher doubled, Steve Welch had an RBI single and Tom Arguijo reached on an error. Wooden got hit by a pitch to load the bases. After pinch hitter Tim Burkett struck out it looked like the worst was over for the Stars, but Phil Gelhaus singled, Lane got hit by a pitch and Deitrich delivered a base-clearing double that gave the Giants a 9-6 lead.
The Giants added a pair of runs in the seventh with Welch and Wooden RBI-singles to stretch the lead the lead to 11-6.
It was the team’s fourth title in a row including three National Division titles it claimed as the Tribe. But more than anything, it gave the Giants the win they wanted to honor Viegas.
“Dennis played the last 10 years with us,” Campos said, afterward. “He was with us today.
The Sacramento-based Giants finished the4 week at 8-1 including a 5-1 record in pool play. They defeated the California Blues 9-3, in the quarterfinals with Kephart earning the win. They defeated Lehigh Valley 4-3 in 11 innings in the semifinals. Deitrich scored the winning run on a passed ball. Bryson earned a complete game win.
San Diego was also 5-1 in pool play and was the No. 1 seed based on it’s 5-4 win over Sacramento in head-to-head action. They defeated Paladin 55’s 3-2 in 10 innings in the quarterfinals and followed that up with a 4-2 win over the LA Athletics in the semis. Pitcher Rob McKnight tossed a complete-game.
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Kleinfeldt; Bryson (4); Kephart (5); (SD): Lopez, Saban (7), Hilmes (9). WP: Kephart. LP: Lopez. 2B: Thatcher (Sac), Dietrich (Sac); Grace (SD) 2, Encoe (SD), Frolander (SD). Top hitters: (Sac): Welch 4×4, 2 RBI, 3R; Wooden 4×4, 3 RBI, Dietrich 3×5, 4 RBI; (SD): Grace 3×5, Contreras 2×3, Cocchia 2×4, 2 RBI, Encoe 2×4. SAC: Soto (Sac), Arguijo (Sac), Frolander (SD). SF: Contreras (SD). SB: Cocchia (SD), Suter (SD). HBP: Lane (Sac) 2, Wooden (Sac), Burkitt (Sac), Christensen (SD), Contreras (SD). LOB: Sac (9), SD (13). Time: 3:05