Atlanta MSBL 35+ National
Atlanta Rangers 18, Red Wings 5
Submitted by Tommy Linda, Rangers manager
After a season plagued with injury and life altering personal challenges amongst some teammates, the Atlanta Rangers came together like the quality team they are and fought their way to “The Dance”. After going 9-8 throughout the season, the fourth seeded Rangers swept the Atlanta Bulls in round one of the playoffs and moved into the Semi-Final round to face the number one seeded, defending champions, the Marietta Mets.
Back row L-R: Aris Gil, Reggie Barrau, Ivan Reid, Nasser Arrechavala, Adrian Tillero Bottom row L-R: Wil Barrau, Jon Meier, Cesar Ostos, Tommy Linda, Jeffrey Cohen, Mike Sammond Not pictured:David Mendez, Brad Richards, Nate Parks, Mark Fitzhugh,
In a mention worthy rematch of last year’s finals, The Rangers took game one on the strength of starting pitcher David Mendez. Two months removed from appendix removal, Mendez tossed a complete game victory and gave up only four earned runs to one of the toughest amateur line-ups in the state. On the offensive side Reggie Barrau out the team on his back going 4 for 5 with three runs scored, an RBI and a stolen base. Other offensive contributors were Jon Meier who had two doubles an RBI and a run scored and David Mendez also helped himself going 3 for 5 and driving in three runs.
Game two of the double header went the other way on us setting up the highly anticipatedrubber match on Sunday. Starting pitcher Aris Gil would give the Rangers all they needed to stay close for the first eight innings. Atlanta went into the top of the ninth down 10-8, in what could be their last at bats of the year. Seven hits and a three run BOMB later, the Rangers took a 17-10 lead going into the bottom of the ninth and never looked back. Seems like our pitchers like taking the games in their own hands because that three run blast to dead center was hands down the nail in the coffin and it was hit by Gil.
So on to the Finals and our opponents are Dennis Taylor’s Atlanta Red Wings, a team that handled us pretty convincingly throughout the 2014 season. We lost two of three to them and our win was a one run scrap-fest to close out the season series. As always with this match up, Game one of the finals had the fingernails down to the nubbs. Rangers ace Mendez took the hill again and held the scrappy Wings to an uncharacteristic four runs. After once again going into the last inning neck and neck, The Rangers strung together some patience at the plate and timely hitting to put three on the board,compliments of a Reggie Barrau base clearing double. The Rangers would take game one by a score of 8-4.
So here we are playing “The Last Game of the Season”, and it would be another thriller. With a rested arm and an adrenaline filled body, Aris Gil took the rock and threw a gem. The defense behind him, stellar. Highlighted by web gem after web gem by starting shortstop Cesar Ostos, who also had five hits in the game. Taylor’s Red Wings battled all the way through and put up five to take a 5-4 lead into the ninth, against one of the toughest pitchers in the league. It wouldn’t be enough, though, as The Rangers once again had an offensive explosion in what was their last at bats of the season, scoring 11 and sealing the deal 18-5.
Special thanks to the entire team for being great teammates and leaving their hearts on the field whenever they were asked to contribute. From top to bottom this team had an arsenal of weapons and everyone filled their role like a pro!
An additional special thanks to co-managers Reggie Barrau and Jon Meier. Together we worked perfectly and selflessly in an effort to see this through and we made it fellas!