Athletics 12, Capital City Cardinals 2

‘Olson and Gonzalez Lead the Way’

By Lois Akahoshi and Tom Crompton, special to MSBL

Tempe Diablo Stadium, November 2, 2014–The American Division Father-Son 2014 World Series Championship game between the Capital City Cardinals and The Athletics had the look of an upset waiting to happen. Despite the gritty pitching of Phil Gelhaus and solid defense through the first four innings by the Cardinals, the Athletics were not done rolling through the tournament.

The Athletics went 3-1 in pool play with their only blemish being a one run loss to Team Tabu. They had already beaten the Cardinals twice in pool play and now needed a series sweep to win the championship. The Cardinals, going 0-4 in pool play, beat Team Tabu (3-1 pool play) to get to the championship. They beat the Tabu by five runs, avenging their previous 9-1 loss.

The Athletics struck first with Tyler Kozlowski’s double then produced back to back singles to score.A nice running catch by Cards center fielder Kevin Krause helped limit the damage to one run in the first. In the top of the second the Cardinals had men in scoring position, just as they had in the first, but they could not capitalize as Athletics pitcher Danny Pawelek, aided by solid infielders, put down the threat. The bottom half of the inning saw the Athletics get a second run by way of a lead off hit by Zack Kozlowski, a sacrifice bunt by T J Klawitter, then a fielder’s choice got Kozlowski to third. He then scored on an infield hit by Chris Rubio, defining ‘Small Ball’ at its best.

In the top of the third another Cardinals threat was stopped by a double play then a strike out. The Athletics, playing small ball again, got another single and a stolen base by T. Kozlowski, an error followed and then a walk and a wild pitch scored their third run.

Both starting pitchers gave way after four innings of work. The Athletics Preston Olson produced a three up, three down fifth inning that included two strikeouts. The new Cards pitcher, Kevin Krause, was hurt by defensive lapses and strike zone struggles.This gave the Athletics the opening they needed as they scored seven in the fifth, started off by a three RBI triple by Jesus Gonzales to take a 10-0 lead. Olson continued his stellar performance until the top of the seventh when a hit batter and two singles scored the Cardinal’s Josh Hook. Another hit loaded the bases as the Cards lumber woke from its slumber. With one out and bases loaded, the Cards had a chance to climb back into the game but Olson struck out the next hitter and then got the needed ground out to stifle the Cardinal hopes.

The Cardinals scored one in the seventh, avoiding the shutout. Olson breezed through the eighth then gave way to veteran Jim Barker.The Cards found themselves down 12-1 after the Athletics scored two more in the eighth. In the ninth, three infield hits and a single to right gave the Cards their second run. With bases loaded and two outs, the Athletics called on manager Bob Sherwin to finish it on the mound. Sherwin got a ground out to first to end the game and win the championship.

For their special contributions to the series and championship game, Manager, Bob Sherwin named Jesus Gonzales, Preston Olson, Tyler Kozlowski and Chris Rubio MVP’s. The team in turn thanked Sherwin by presenting him with a bat signed by the team.

Defensive game breaker: In the top of seventh and bases loaded full of Cardinals, Olson recorded a strikeout and got a ground out to end Cards scoring threat.

Offensive game breaker: In the bottom of the fifth, Jesus Gonzales smashed a bases loaded triple to start off the seven run fifth inning outburst.