2014 45+ American

OC Sox 13, Steelhead Tavern 4

‘Darensbourg Tames the Tavern’

By Lois Akahoshi and Tom Crompton, special to MSBL

Tempe Diablo Stadium, November 8, 2014–The storyline between the O C Sox and Steelhead Tavern was the classic underdog versus the unbeaten powerhouse. Tavern breezed to the championship game with a 6-0-1 record, outscoring their opponents 73-39 during their seven game unbeaten streak while giving up only 28 runs in the six pool games. Meanwhile, the Sox took the tougher road, losing their first two pool games then going 1-3 in their first four. Things had to change for a chance to contend and change they did as the Sox began to click both on offense and defense. Sox hits produced runs while pitching and defense limited their opponents to only nine runs in their last three games to the championship. The unbeaten Taverns found themselves facing a red hot O C Sox team riding a four game win streak.

The first inning was a breeze for both starting pitchers, Tavern’s Rich Capparelli and the Sox’ Vic Darensbourg, but the bottom of the second saw the Sox hitters break out. Four hits and a walk led to four runs by way of a two RBI single by Augie Alonso and a two RBI double by Cobi Cradle.

The top of the fourth saw another Sox outburst as they sent four men to the plate, starting with singles by Ted Billick and Alonso and then a double by Cradle and a triple by Mike Alcala. The Sox plated five more runs and the Sox lead was now 9-0. That was all Sox MVP pitcher Darensbourg needed.

Just to be sure, the Sox put up four more run in the fifth as Cradle collected his third hit and sixth RBI. The Tavern tried to answer in the bottom of the sixth when hits by Frank Zamarripa, Rick Capparelli and Paul Miletello produced a run. In the bottom of the ninth they scored three more runs with two coming in on a double by Larry See to end their scoring.

The dominant performance by Darensbourg was even more impressive when taking into account his previous day’s work of 13 innings in two previous-day playoff games. Manager Dave Rice commented, “He is a workhorse, an amazing pitcher and he gave us the wins we needed.”

Congratulations are in order for a team that struggled at the start of the tournament, entered the championship as a underdog but by maintaining their never quit attitude as a team, came out the champions of the 45+ Wood American division champions.

Defensive Game Breaker: Shut down pitching by Vic Darensbourg and Adam Gonzalez

Offensive Game Breaker: Three hits, six RBIs from Cobi Cradle