‘Chavarin and Vega Combine for Victory’
Montebello Angels 2, San Fernando Valley Bulldogs 1
By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications
Daniel Arruda walked to start the bottom of the seventh inning and later came around to score the go ahead run to make it 2-0 in favor of the Montebello Angels, as they tried to hold on to their lead over the San Fernando Valley Bulldogs while heading into the final two innings of the 35-over national division of the 2015 MSBL Kickoff Classic. Things got a little shaky as the Bulldogs came right back in the top of the eighth to cut the lead to 2-1 but the Bulldogs stranded a runner in the top of the ninth and the Angels held on to claim the title, 2-1.
The Angels scored their first run in the third inning with three singles, a stolen base and a walk as Frank Rodriguez came around to score after a leadoff single and a stolen base. A very timely 6-4-3 double play by the Bulldogs stopped any further damage. The Bulldogs had a runner on second base three times in the first seven innings before breaking through in the eighth but the Angels were able to dodge the bullet.
“They played really good defense,” said Angels manager Robert Oskin. “They turned a couple of double plays that really stopped us. We should have scored many more runs but they were always coming up with a great play.”
Ivan Valencia and Mony Apodaca were both 2 for 4 at the top of the order for the Angels to lead the way. Mario Chavarin threw the first seven innings while Cisco Vega closed things out in the eighth and ninth to secure the championship. “We come every year with three pitchers,” said Oskin. “Bobby Yanez, Cisco and Mario all threw complete games and only allowed 12 runs combined, with three of them unearned. Year after year our pitchers keep us in it.”
Oskin praised his total team effort and emphasized that nobody sticks out. “We all play together, pay our own way and that makes us very close,” said Oskin. “We won it last year and many other years since we first came to the Kickoff Classic in 2006. I’m proud of all of them.”
Was there a turning point in the game? “In the eighth inning, when they scored their only run, they brought seven guys to the plate but we got out of it,” Oskin continued. “They had a guy on first and they hit a rocket to our third baseman, Junior Esparza, who dove for it and knocked it down and got the force at second. If that ball gets by him they are still running!”
Those are the plays that stick out when you win a championship game 2-1.Mom always said that defense wins ballgames!