New Era 13, Dallas Rangers 3

Thrower, Hoffman swing big bats for New Era

Team New Era 50’s back on top

By Steve LaMontia, Executive Regional Director

Phoenix Municipal Stadium, October 18, 2013- Being “Buffaloed” just took on a whole new meaning.

Buffalo-based Team New Era scored five times in the eighth inning on their way to a 13-3 victory over the Dallas Rangers in the 50+ American wood bat division.

Team New Era coach Ralph Proulx’s assembly of players – half of whom, including Proulx – are from Buffalo, N.Y., proved too much on this day. The other half of this powerhouse hail from the San Diego North County MSBL, which is under the leadership of league president Doug Johnson.

Tournament MVP Buzzy Sailer provided a little West Coast flavoring to the mix. The San Diego resident was chosen as New Era’s tournament MVP. “Buzzy led our team all week,” continued Proulx. “He must have hit nearly .700 and played great defense at second base.”

Equally impressive was the performance of former Los Angeles Dodger pitcher Mike Hartley, who took over in a 4-3 game in the fifth and held Dallas scoreless the rest of the way. Hartley only gave up three hits in his five innings of work while striking out six and was never in trouble.

Team New Era started slowly during round robin but then everything fell into place. They got beaten soundly by the same Dallas Ranger team, 14-5, on the first day and had to defeat the Dallas Orioles 10-7 in the playoffs to get to the championship game.

“We started the week 1-1 and then ran the table,” said Proulx. “We have a great, great bunch of guys and they are also great ballplayers. I couldn’t be more proud of them. The Dallas team is a really good team. We played them two years ago in the championship and beat them and they are always a great bunch of guys and I’m sure will bounce back.”

Bill Hanley lead the Rangers with a double in the first inning but got stranded.Randy Lash and Manny Costales both scored in the second inning for Dallas to tie the game but that’s as close as they would come.

Team New Era third baseman Keith Thrower was on base four times, including a critical triple in the seventh, while scoring twice and picking up a couple of RBI.Right fielder Curtis Hoffman contributed a 3-for-4 day at the plate with two runs scored and drove in three. But the day belonged to Hartley on the mound. The Rangers had a rally going in the sixth and Hartley struck out two while stranding runners on first and third to end the threat.

Proulx, a 20110 MSBL Hall of Fame inductee, has led his 50-and-over squad has been to the 50+ finals in each of the past five years. They beat the Dallas Rangers 5-1 for the 2011 title. They were runners up to St. Louis Gameface, the SoCal Fire, and the SoCal Sundevils in 2009, 2010, and 2012 respectively. Team New Era’s 35-and-over team won the 35 Wood Bat American division at the World Series in 2009 and 2010.