Chicago Grays 13, San Antonio Red Sox 2

‘Heinzl Throws and Karas Hits the Grays to Title’

By Russ Christ, special to MSBL

Trick or Treat? Chicago Grays Pummel San Antonio Red Sox 13-2 in 65 Central Division MSBL World Series Championship

Maryvale Stadium, Phoenix, October 31, 2014—On a sun-drenched Halloween morning in Arizona, Steve Faigin, the manager of the Chicago Grays, dressed up his players as hitters. That must have made the baseball look as big as a pumpkin, because Chicago had 15 hits in a 13-2 win in the 65 Central Division championship over the San Antonio Red Sox at Maryvale Stadium in Phoenix.

The Grays exploded for 10 runs on six hits in the fourth inning to break open a tight game. “It’s never easy,” Faigin said. “This is a great group of guys. They just hit.”

The Grays, who had four men with at least two hits, also capitalized on nine walks. George Karas went 3-5 with two doubles, three RBI and a sacrifice bunt to lead the Grays, who finished 7-0. He also stole a base. “We have some good players, but it’s a better group of people,” Karas said.”George had a great week,” Faigin said. “He must have hit .750.”

Larry Milstead, Bobby Hoeffner and Wayne Westphal had two hits apiece for San Antonio, who finished the tournament with a 5-3 record.

Dave Sweeten, manager of the Red Sox, a club team, said he’ll learn from the defeat. “I’ll bring more pitchers next year,” he said. “Everybody pitched all week and they were a little tired, especially at this age, but when you get this far it’s a great week.”

Sweeten said he advanced to the championship game for the first time in nine MSBL World Series attempts. “It was the first time for many of us in the finale game,” he said. “But we knew we were playing a loaded Chicago team.” The Grays’ Joel Polakoff doubled and drove in two, Joe Kutis was 2-5 with a double, Tony Cabrera was 2-4 with two RBI and Frank DiMaria was 2-2, scored three runs, walked and got hit by a pitch.

John Heinzl picked up the win for Chicago. He pitched five innings, scattered six hits, struck out five and allowed only one earned run.Dan Korvas pitched the final four innings for the winners. “It never gets old,” Heinzl, who has won championships before, said. “It was a really good game. We played good defense and that helps you win.” Faigin had faith in his starter. “John has great stuff,” he said. “When he has control we’re fine.”

Rocco Morrell suffered the loss for San Antonio. Morrell allowed three walks and two hits to start the pivotal 10-run fourth. And when Don Wilson and Tom Keyser came in to stop the Grays, it didn’t happen. During the fourth, DiMaria, Karas and Polakoff all doubled and drove in runs to put the game out of reach.

“We’ve had fun all week,” Faigin, a 23-year MSBL veteran, said. “It’s been a pleasure playing with them. This team lost a couple years ago in the championship game and we didn’t plan to lose this time.”