Las Vegas Dirtbags 6, Nassau Pirates 3
|The Las Vegas Dirtbags, managed by Kris Barber, earned the 2012 Kickoff title|
By Alejandro Rodriguez, MSBL On-Line
Las Vegas, Nev., March 5, 2012 — Justin Clift was 2-for-4 with three RBI, and Justin Spurrier threw a complete-game as Kris Barber’s Las Vegas Dirtbags beat the Nassau Pirates 6-3 for the Kickoff 18 Aluminum Bat title at Peccole Park.
The Dirtbags scored two in the sixth, and two in the 7th to take a 6-1 lead. Nassau left the bases loaded in the eighth inning, then scored twice in the ninth before its rally expired. Spurrier got Keith Buckholt to fly out to left field for the final out of the game and, with that, the Dirtbags won their third Kickoff Classic title in four years. They won in 2009 and 2010.
Manager Kris Barber doled out plenty of praise for his victorious troops. “We got a couple of clutch hits that were huge,” Barber said. “But it was the key defensive plays that made all the difference in the world for us today.” He said.
“The core of our team has been together for 12 years.” He said. “We occasionally add friends of ours or other guys we’ve played with but the majority of us play together in a league , so there’s definitely the feeling of togetherness in that most of these guys are very familiar with each other” he said.
Other top performers for the Dirtbags were Chris Bannister who went 2 for 3 with two walks and two runs scored and Barber himself who went 2 for 2.
Pirates, Manager Dean Glanzman couldn’t help but feel disappointment at losing in the championship game.”It hurts, we played our hearts out all weekend, but today we just didn’t play well and the score reflects that,” Glanzman said. “When you go home empty handed it leaves a sour taste in your mouth, but hopefully we can come back and win this thing next year.” He said.
WP- Spurrier. LP-Parinella. Leading Hitters – (Dirtbags) Bannister 2×3, 2R; Barber 2×2.