SoCal Matanzas 13, Utah Pirates 6
‘Townsend and Esparza Pace Matanzas’
By Alejandro Rodriguez, special to MSBL National
LA QUINTA – Kevin Townsend went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI, and Refugio Esparza was 4-for-5 with three doubles, three runs scored and three RBI as the So Cal Matanzas defeated the Utah Pirates 13-6 to win the championship of the 45 Wood Bat Division at the Desert Classic.
It was the second straight finals loss for Utah. They fell to the 4-1 to the Central Coast Hogs in 2013.
The Matanzas started quickly, scoring nine runs in the first two innings and led 9-0.
The Pirates answered with three runs in the second inning on three singles and a triple, they then added a run in the fifth and two in the sixth to cut the deficit to 9-6.
However the Pirates were unable to get any closer as the Matanzas held off the Pirates’ rally and scored three more runs in the top of the ninth for the final margin of victory.
Ken Lumpkin was 2-for-4 with three RBI for Matanzas. Augie Alonso was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI while Robert Mendoza was 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Manager Mike Alcala pitched seven innings and allowed six runs (four earned) to earn the victory. For the Pirates, Brady Field went 4-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI, and Randy Miles went 2-for-4.
Alcala savored the victory. “This was a complete team effort. Everybody stepped up. We rotated different guys in and out, and we didn’t really miss a beat,” he said. Team chemistry has long been a part of the team’s success, he added. “Most of us have been playing together for almost 15-20 years. Everybody gets along great, we’re like a family.”
“We enjoy coming out here and playing in this tournament, almost 10 years now, and we look forward to coming back next year and defending our championship.”
Despite the loss Utah manager Randy Miles said his team still enjoyed themselves in Palm Springs once again. “This is the fourth year in a row that we’ve been in this tournament and the second year in a row we came in second, but it’s always a great time, we always enjoy ourselves out here.”