2014 Giants Upset Tribe in Inaugural 65+ Division in Tri-Valley (CA)
Giants 12, Tribe 11
‘The Giants Win the Championship! The Giants Win the Championship!’
By Nick Marnell, Tri-Valley MSBL
The Giants fought back from a five-run deficit and held on through a tense bottom of the tenth inning to defeat the Tribe 12-11 in the inaugural Tri-Valley Mens’ Baseball League 65+ championship game, played Sept. 13 at Livermore High School.
Giants’ pitcher Ben Cabanas struggled early as the Tribe jumped out to a 10-5 lead after four innings.”I couldn’t get into a rhythm,” said Cabanas, who tossed a near superhuman 10-inning complete game in the 90 degree heat. “I had no feel for my curve ball early on. It just wasn’t biting.” Cabanas kept his team in the game as the Giants chipped away, tying the game in the ninth and going ahead in the extra frame.
With the score 10-10, two outs and the bases loaded in the tenth inning, Giants’ designated hitter Wil Hubert hit a lazy fly ball that dropped in center field allowing two runs to score. “He hit the pitch that I wanted him to hit,” said losing pitcher Rich Mangini, who relieved starter Kirt Simoncini in the seventh inning. “It was a tough break.”
The Tribe did not go quietly in their half of the tenth. With two outs, one run in and base runners on first and second, Cabanas induced a ground ball to shortstopBill Bay who flipped to second baseman David Currie for the force, giving the Giants the championship.
“It was a fun game to play in,” said Giants’ first basemanBobby De Stefano. “It came down to one run, just as it should have. Alan was definitely looking out for us.” Giants’ pitcher Alan ‘Navarro’ Silver collapsed on the mound during an Aug. 9 game and passed away that day. The Giants dedicated the remainder of the 2014 season to Silver, their uniforms adorned with a black ANS patch in his memory.
Mike Ilg, Tribe manager, noted high level at which the game was played. “Timely hitting, and the defense was pretty darned good,” he said. “People witnessing this effort would realize that 65+ baseball is credible.” Steve Corneliusen led the Tribe with five hits, two RBIs, a run scored and one stolen base. Steve Owling paced the Giants attack with three hits, one walk, an RBI and a run scored and two stolen bases.