2013 18 National Metal
Hot bats and Schwinn on the hill prove too much for Dodgers
So Cal Reds 13, Montebello Dodgers 6
By Steve LaMontia, Executive Regional Director
HoHoKam Stadium, Mesa, AZ, October 27, 2013-I knew this would be a day of fireworks when the public address announcer warned the sunning patrons in the stands in Mesa to be aware that the participating 18 and over players are using metal bats and that this is the top skill division in this World Series bracket so watch for incoming foul ball rockets entering the seats.He was correct in his assumption.
The Montebello Dodgers and the So Cal Reds squared off at HoHoKam stadium in this high powered division for the rite to ascend to the top of the heap. The Reds jumped out to an 8-0 lead with runs in the first, second and fourth innings until the Dodgers put two on the board in the bottom of the sixth to cut the lead to 8-2. The Dodgers added two in the seventh and again in the eighth but the Reds answered every time on their way to a 13-6 final.
“We had a rough start this week,” said Reds manager Nick Gontmaher. “We had four no-shows before the tournament. We had two starting pitchers who couldn’t make it and our shortstop got hurt but we all came together and here we are.”
Reds Co-MVPJesse Smith put the pedal to the metal with a herculean blast over the left field wall in the fourth inning as part of a four-run outburst. Smith ended the day 2-4 with two runs scored and his four-bag RBI. Reds starting pitcher Ryan Schwinn had only given up three hits through five innings until the Dodgers put together the four hit, two run sixth. The Dodgers kept the momentum going by starting the seventh inning with three straight hits and chased Schwinn from the game. Matt Paris came in with no outs and shut down the Dodgers, though he gave up a two RBI triple to Dodger Ricky Parra in the eighth that scored their final runs of the day. Reds assistant manager Larry Kowalski threw a perfect ninth inning to finish things off.
Oscar Gonzalez started on the hill for the Dodgers and ran into trouble in the second inning by giving up two hits, walking three and balking a run home while the Reds scored three and jumped out to a 4-0 advantage. The Reds chased Gonzalez in the fourth as they started the inning with three singles, a double, a home run and a walk before making an out. Matt Paris, Jesse Smith, Sabino Pitones, Nick Gontmaher, Co-MVP Abel Medina and Adam Geary were the Red’s catalysts.
The knockout punch was administered in the eighth inning when back-to-back doubles by J.C. Barker and Paris started the inning and was followed by a single by Gontmaher and another double by Medina. “We put up over 70 runs this tournament,” Gontmaher further explained. “We just scored quickly all week and put the other team in a hole. We won our semi-final game 12-2 against the Tri-Valley Twins and scored in the first inning there, too.” This Big Red machine proved to be too powerful for the Dodgers. The Dodgers showcased a superstar of their own in their lead-off hitter Ricky Parra. Parra was 4-4 with a single, two doubles and a triple while scoring a run and driving in three. Teammate Bobby Ruiz contributed a 2-4 day in the losing effort. The Dodgers were outhit 17-12, which is usually the bottom line when it comes down to this division that is loaded with young athletes and metal artillery. On this day the Dodgers saw too much Red.