35 Cactus champion Team Las Vegas

Team LasVegas 9, San Antonio Reds 7
By Jeff McGaw and Les Zoltowski, MSBLNational.com

Goodyear Stadium, Oct. 20, 2012 – San Antonio Reds’ slugger Brent Murphy’s fourth inning grand slam home run was good, but not quite good enough as Team Las Vegas defeated the Reds 9-7 to capture the 35 Cactus division crown at Goodyear Stadium.

Murphy slammed a 2-0 pitch deep to left field and turned a 2-0 deficit into a 4-2 lead, but a gritty Las Vegas squad led by tournament MVP Paul Haack wasn’t quite willing to yield momentum.

Haack stroked a three-run double in the bottom of the third to return the lead to Las Vegas. Haack’s stellar work behind the plate solidified his MVP status.

Team Las Vegas never looked back.
They scored twice in the sixth on singles by Steve Johnston and Scott Bergset, one in the seventh, and one more in the eighth.Las Vegas starter Eric Hauge pitched a complete game to earn the championship win. Santino DeWreede, James Godman, Johnston and Bergset all had two hits apiece.

Tourney MVP Paul Haack and LV manager Mauricio Molina

Reds’ starter Mark Murphy pitched into the seventh inning and as relieved by Brent Murphy who finished the game. Mark Murphy supplied plenty of firepower offensively too with three singles. Brent added a fifth RBI in the ninth inning. Eddie Calzoncit, and Ryan Martin had two hits apiece.

A disappointed Reds’ manager Phil Galloway called it “a tough game.”

It was the ninth game of the tournament for both teams.

The Reds were 6-0 in round robin play. They outscored opponents 74-40. They dispatched the Murietta Mutiny 9-3 in the quarterfinals, and the OC Sox 5-3 in the semifinals at Salt River on Friday night.

Team Vegas steamrolled the competition in its undefeated run. It outscored round robin opponents 105 to 41. It beat the NCBL Canadians 14-6 in the quarterfinals and the Denver Royals 11-1 in the semifinal at Salt River.

The two-run differential was by far the team’s closest call of the tournament. “It was a hard fought game by both teams,” said Vegas manager Mauricio Molina . “San Antonio’s pitchers were tough…the best we have seen in the tournament and their line-up was deep. We matched up well with them. In a three game series, the results might have been different, but our pitchers showed a ton of heart.”

LV first baseman Scott Bergset stretches for throw as San Antonio’s Mark Murphy hustles down the line

“We knew who they were, having faced them in March at the Kickoff Classic, and we knew they were capable of coming back in any inning. They are a great team and no doubt we will see them again,” Molina said.

35 Cactus runners-up San Antonio Reds