|‘Bulldog’ Billy Deatley taking aim|
Deatley deals, Rodeo rides to win
Southern Maryland Rodeo 14, Boone County Braves 3
By Chris Errington, MSBLNational.com
Jupiter, Florida November 11, 2012 – When manager Joe Rhoads handed Billy Deatley the team tournament MVP award, it came with one caveat – the bat held by bronze figure on the trophy was broken.
It was the only time the Rodeo’s bats were missing the entire tournament.
In yet another dominating performance, punctuated by yet another dominating offensive inning, Southern Maryland captured its first 35 American MSBL Fall Classic championship, finally putting to rest memories of a frustrating title game loss a year ago.
“I’m stressed every inning, but the guys kept telling me before each game, ‘Relax coach. We’ve got it,’ ” Rhoads said. “We believe we’ve got better athletes and our goal is to make teams play nine innings against us, because we know our athletes will take over and win the game.”
As was the story throughout the tournament, a Rodeo team that rolled through its four round-robin games and a blowout victory over the New York Astros in the playoffs, benefited from one explosive inning that effectively ended the game.
Against the Astros, it was an 11-run seventh that turned a shaky 6-5 lead into a 17-6 rout. In the title game, the outburst came one inning earlier, but was just as devastating.
Despite failing to score with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth, Boone County tied the game at 2-2 an inning later when Tim Oakes’ lined a two-out single down the third-base line to score Earl Williams.
Unfazed, Southern Maryland’s offense finally came to life.
One-out, run-scoring singles from Pernell Young, Keith Wood, Jayson Leyner and Mike Foster surrounded John Kloffer’s two-run double as the Rodeo scored nine times to take a commanding 11-2 lead. It was an onslaught for which Boone County had no answers.
“We came in after tying it up knowing we had to make plays to keep it that way,” Boone County manager Ralph Lewis, who’s team lost the championship game for the third time in five years, said. “We hit two batters to start the inning and then they got some hits to open it up. They definitely made the most of their opportunities.”
From there, it was just a matter of Deatley making the newly forged lead stand.
Nicknamed “Bulldog” by teammates, Deatley went the distance despite allowing 12 hits by escaping trouble almost every time the Braves threatened. The victory also served as a bit of redemption after he went 11 innings in the title game loss to Puerto Rico a year ago.
“Bulldog really shut it down,” Rhoads said. “Last year he was fantastic, but we didn’t give him any help. This time, we wanted to make sure we gave him a lead to work with. Once we did, I had no problem leaving him in there to get through the rest of the way.”
Young led Southern Maryland, going 3-for-5, while Wood and Tony Stefko each added a pair of singles.
Mickey Borden had two hits and scored the final run in the eighth off a Williams double to left center for Boone County, which finished the tournament 4-2 – both losses coming against the Rodeo. Jeff Hunter added two hits.
The Braves reached the final by mimicking Southern Maryland’s formula, riding Hunter’s seven strong innings and scoring six times in the eighth to blow open a close game and top the Puerto Rico Gigantes, 17-6.