2012 65+

DC National Spirit 6, Tri Valley Giants 65’s 4

The DC National Spirit hit the jackpot in Vegas with a 6-4 win in the championship game
By Les Zoltowski and Jeff McGaw

Las Vegas, Mountain Ridge, March 12, 2012 –Gary Sovey and Fred Krause were named tournament co-MVP’s as the DC National Spirit captured the 65-and-over title at the 2012 MSBL Kickoff Classic with a 6-4 win over a tough Tri Valley Giants.

Sovey threw seven strong innings allowing just three runs. He had thrown a complete game in a 17-9 win over the American National Wildcats two days earlier, then threw seven innings in a 10-6, round robin win over the Giants on Sunday.

(For all the 2012 Kickoff Classic Results click here)

Mike Spratt relieved Sovey with one out in the eighth inning. Spratt had thrown a complete game in an 11-1 win over the South Dakota Rushmores on that same Saturday evening less than two days before the final.

The Spirit was short on pitching for the tournament because right hander Bill Moorhead was unable to get back from his consulting job in Saudi Arabia in time for the tournament.

Krause had two hits and three RBI in the final game, and batted .588 with 15 stolen bases in five tournament games. The game was played on a windy day with strong gusts from time-to-time – a departure from the perfect baseball weather in the prior two days of the tournament. Down 1-0 entering the bottom of the third, DC scored three times with two out. Mike Spratt had an RBI single and Krause plated two with a single to give DC a 3-1 edge.
They stretched the lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth when Al Crosby L to R: Bill Shields (OF)Jeff Longo (2B), Gary Sovey (P, 1B) Rocky Graziano (GM, P, 1B) and Mike Spratt (P, SS)

doubled, went to third on an error, and scored on a ground out by Wil Grable. The Giants scraped and clawed to stay in the game. Sal SpRockinosa had an RBI double in the top of the seventh inning to score Jim McAndle. Dan Hecker drove in Robert Gates with a single in the eighth to cut the lead in half.

The National Spirit responded with two runs in the eighth inning. Jeff Blatt doubled in Mike Spratt, and Jeff Longo scored on an RBI single by DH Eric Colliar.

Giant starter John Hopkins helped his own cause by driving in McAndle in the ninth inning, but the rally ended there. Despite being tagged with the loss, Hopkins was outstanding on the mound in the finals and throughout the tournament throwing a total of 26 innings for his team.

Krause and Sovey were outstanding, but team General Manager Rocky Graziano said “the entire team were MVP’s in my book.” Steve Lopes caught over 25 tournament innings and pitched nine innings as well, Graziano said.

The team “really enjoyed the competition this year in the senior division,” Graziano concluded.

65 + Division Finals 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 r h e

Tri Valley 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 4 10 4

DC National Spirit 0 0 3 0 1 0 0 2 x 6 14 2

WP – Sovey. LP – John Hopkins. Leading Hitters—(Tri-Valley) Hecker 2×3; McAndle, 3×4;Neil Nadler 2×3. (Spirit) Bill Shields 2×4; Spratt 3×4; Krause 2×4; Jeff Longo 2×4, 2B — Blatt (DC); Spinosa (TV)

The Tri Valley Giants (65’s) battled hard at the Kickoff Classic narrowly missing the 2012 title.