‘Veteran Pawelek Pitches and Hits to Title Victory’
Utah Pirates 18, DC Express 12
Contributed by Randy Miles, Utah Pirates manager
In the semi-finals we beat the 3N2 Rangers 8-7 in a nail bitter. They had the tying and winning runs on second and third with one out in the top of the ninth when our ace Danny Pawelek got their three and four hitters to strike out and pop up.
Our championship game against the DC Express saw the lead go back and forth several times and by the end of the sixth inning they were up 10-9, but then we tore it up and were able to score nine runs in the next two innings to blow it open. Our starting pitcher Danny Pawelek settled down in the final three innings to shut them down. The final score was 18-12. Chad Foster, Dave Gibbon, Danny Pawelek and Phil Young each had three hits in that game. Pawelek went the distant and got the win, and he also got the win in the semi-final game throwing the final 3 1/2 innings of scoreless ball.
Both teams were clearly bushed as the game lasted about four hours and included numerous errors. This is my second Vegas championship, with the last one coming in 2006. The victory also just happened to be on the day of my 50th birthday, so it was a great present!
Our team MVP’s were Danny Pawelek, who had two wins on the hill and batted 583, and our catcher Phil Young who caught every inning and batted 571. As a team we hit .403 with an on base percentage of .510. Everyone played well and chipped in at key times.
We batted everyone in every game. Everyone was penciled into the batting order from the beginning with no A and B list unless they were pitching. I have to keep all my players happy. It was a very satisfying victory and everyone contributed!