Texas Blue Jays 4, Washington Nationals 3

By Jason Johnson

Tempe Diablo Stadium, October 30, 2011 –

Despite getting only three hits, and not even having a base runner in seven of nine innings, the Texas Blue Jays defeated the Washington Nationals 4-3 to claim the Father-Son Central crown at the MSBL World Series at the spring training home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim..

Both teams were making their Father-Son tournament debut.

Chris Barnet earned the win and Tyler Rucker slammed the door for the Blue Jays in the ninth inning to earn the save.

“It’s awesome,” said Blue Jays manager Rick Wright. “It’s the first time we’ve come out for the father/son tournament. I’ve won one other ring in 2008 and this one far exceeds the feeling of that.”

“Our experience has been unbelievable,” said Nationals co-manager Eric Sawyer. “We were talking about that with some of the dads and the kids about the memories that will last a lifetime and we’re already anxious to start playing for next year. It’s an unbelievable format and it’s so much fun to be a part of.”

The Jays used six pitchers and three catchers in the game and used timely hitting to manufacture their four runs. Jordan Wooley pitched a scoreless seventh inning, and then scored the eventual winning run in the top of the eighth inning on an RBI groundout from Steve Needleman. Randy and Zach Wooley both provided valuable defense behind the plate as well.

After Texas took a four-run lead, the Nationals rallied for three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning with clutch hitting from Tyler Campbell and Casey Sawyer. Tyler Rucker entered to pitch with two on and two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning retired the next hitter and then threw a perfect ninth to cap the win.

Round Robin

Both teams were 3-1 after round robin play.

Eric Sawyer earned the win for the Nationals in the semi-final pitching them to a 7-1 victory over the Sacramento Stars.

The Blue Jays used 11 pitchers for the tournament and no pitcher went more than two innings which helped staff stay fresh all week.

Don George and Rucker combined for a 6-5 win over the Seattle Baseball Club in the semifinals. “As cliché as it sounds, it’s been a team effort,” said co-manager Shannon Capps. “We haven’t had a superstar. It’s been a bunch of old guys and young guys chipping in.”

The father/son division brought many great memories for these families in both dugouts. Seven of the eight fathers on the Blue Jays roster play together in the local Dallas league together and were thrilled to finally get a father/son team together for this tournament.

“I’ve followed my son through high school and college and to be able to come back and play with your son is a great experience,” said Wright.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Texas Blue Jays 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 3 0 4 3 0
Washington Nationals 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 3 10 2

Scott Grau, Don George, Chris Barnet, Jordan Wooley, Kyle Grau, Tyler Rucker and Kevin Rucker. Zach Wooley, Randy Wooley, Washington, Casey Herzog, John Herzog and Thomas McFadden and Bret Lort. W – Chris Barnet. L – John Herzog. S – Tyler Rucker. Leading Hitters – (Texas) — Jordan Wooley 1×2; Matt Pauley 1×2. (Washington) Tyler Campbell 2×4. Casey Sawyer 1×4, RBI; Bret Lort 2×3, BB; Nick Raffaele 1×1, HBP, R.

2B – Campbell (W). 3B – Campbell (W). HBP: Grau (T) 2. SB: Grau (T) 2; Lort (W) 2; Wright (T) 2. SAC – Danny McFadden (W), Charlie Raffaele (W), Nick Raffaele (W).. LOB – Texas, 5; Washington, 11

Father Son Central Division Standings

Father-Son Central Division 1 W L T
Washington Nationals 3 1 0
Seattle Rainers 2 1 1
Alamo Astros 2 2 0
Las Vegas A’s 1 2 1
Terre Haute Volkers Group 1 3 0
Father-Son Central Division 2 W L T
Seattle Baseball Club 4 0 0
Colorado Cardinals 2 1 1
Portland Hammers 2 2 0
World Trans Angels 1 2 1
DC Nationals 0 4 0
Father-Son Central Division 3 W L T
Seattle Mariners 3 1 0
Salt Lake City Dodgers 3 1 0
Tri Valley Hawks 2 2 0
Fog City 1 3 0
Long Island Athletics 1 3 0
Father-Son Central Division 4 W L T
Sacramento Stars 3 1 0
So Cal Quakes 3 1 0
Arizona Phillies 3 1 0
Houston Skeeters 1 3 0
Seattle Cardinals 0 4 0
Father-Son Central Division 5 W L T
Sacramento Stars 3 1 0
So Cal Quakes 3 1 0
Arizona Phillies 3 1 0
Houston Skeeters 1 3 0
Seattle Cardinals 0 4 0