“Guido and MVP Hock lead the Moondogs at the plate”

Lehigh Valley Moondogs 9, Philadelphia Phillies 4

By Rodney Johnson, special to MSBL

Tempe Diablo Stadium, October 27, 2013- Sometimes you go until you just can’t go anymore. Sometimes it brings you to your destination and sometimes you fall short.

“We just ran out of gas”, said dejected manager Jeff Blatt after his Phillies dropped the 65+ title game 9-4. Blatt described his troops as ‘the walking wounded.’ “We have two hamstrings, one ankle, two knees and a hip.” All the Phillies could promise was that they would go as hard as they could for as long as they could. That proved to be about 7.5 innings.

The Phillies scored single runs in each of the first three frames to build a 3-1 lead. Starting pitcher Steve Kosuda made it hold up for five innings. Lehigh Valley finally caught the Phillies in the sixth on a two-out RBI single by Jack Smith. The Moondogs forged ahead the next inning on Ron Guido’striple and a single by Dennis Hock.

The Phils fought back with a run in the eighth as Pat Fynes singled home John Entwistle to tie the game. The tank finally ran dry in the bottom half of the inning when the Moondogs struck for four runs on four consecutive two-out extra-base hits. Tony Spidale started the barrage with a RBI triple and Dennis Ritter doubled to chase Kosuda. Juan Mazur and Ron Guido followed with RBI doubles off of Sal Calcagno to seal the deal. “Bottom line, they played well, we didn’t,” lamented Blatt.”We swung the bats well all game, but we were hitting them right at ‘em,” explained Lehigh manager Dick Prue. “Then their pitcher tired a bit and it opened up for us in the eighth.” Sherwin Thingvoldwent 7.3 innings to earn the win. He had pitched 16 innings throughout the week for a tournament total of 23. “Not bad for a 64-year-old,” allowed Prue.

“And the guy that closed it (Ken Herman) is a 67-year old with back trouble.” Prue hasn’t missed a World Series since he began playing MSBL in 1991. “There is nothing striking or unusual about this team” explained Prue. “It is just a group of 65-year-old guys that like to play baseball.”

The Moondogs and Phillies each had 4-1 records in pool play but Lehigh Valley beat Philadelphia 9-3 in the opener for both teams. “We played a horrendous game that day,” grimaced Blatt. “We had eight errors and only gave up one earned run.” The Phillies nipped the 65 Express 6-5 in the playoffs while the Moondogs ran over the Rhode Island Salty Dogs 20-5 to advance to the title game.

Dennis Hock was selected as the tournament MVP after pitching a complete game in the playoffs and getting the winning hit in the championship game.

“We’ll remember this one and go home and start preparing for next year,” said Prue