‘Inaugural trip to Kickoff yields title’
Seattle Frickin A’s 13, Las Vegas Rattlers 12 (10 inn.)
By Jeff McGaw, MSBLNational.com
Las Vegas, Nev., March 10, 2014 – There’s a theory floating around the dugouts in Las Vegas about why the 2014 Kickoff Classic 45-and-over champions from Seattle call themselves “The Frickin A’s.”
The theory is that other teams call them the “Frickin A’s” when describing their personal encounters on the diamond.
“The Frickin A’s” should have lost in the semifinals against a talented Matanzas team, but Steve Towey got a walk-off, RBI double in the bottom of the ninth to catapult the team to a 9-8 win and a trip to the finals.
And a betting man might have wagered that they should have lost in the finals versus the Las Vegas Rattlers too. They were down 5-0 after six full innings, 9-3 after seven innings, and going into the ninth inning they trailed by three runs. “We just needed three outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, said Rattlers skipper Manny OCampo.
But these were the Seattle Frickin A’s and they’re not interested in odds.
So in their first visit to the MSBL’s Kickoff Classic in Las Vegas the Seattle Frickin A’s, a bulky group that looks as much like a football team as anything else, went undefeated (5-0) and capped their run with an exciting, 13-12 extra innings win against a very talented Rattlers team.
Held scoreless for six innings, the A’s notched three runs apiece in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings, and then took the lead in the top of the 10th inning by scoring four times including two on Ivan Mott’s double.
And then things got really exciting.
Seattle reliever, 66-year-old Bart Waldman held the Rattlers scoreless in the eighth and ninth innings, and had two out and two on in the tenth inning when Rattlers’ slugger Chris Hux teed up a pitch and sent it over the left field fence for a three run homer that put the Rattlers to within a run.
Seattle skipper Troy Hanson turned to his late-innings go-to guy, Steve Towey, who yielded a hit and then ended the game by breaking the last hitter’s bat.
“It was intense,” Ocampo said. “Three outs away. That’s what really ate us up, but you’ve got to give those guys credit. They never gave up, and they kept stroking the ball.”
Waldman, who was 2-0 in the tournament, earned tournament MVP award, but it could easily have gone to Joe Williams who hit a scorching .578 (11/19) with 4 doubles and a triple.
Both the A’s and the Rattlers entered the finals unbeaten. The Rattlers earned a bye to the semifinals by defeating Matanzas in the final round robin game. They torched the Utah Pirates 17-5 in the semifinal game with Galloway earning the victory.