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2015 50+ Cactus

Auburn Braves 26, Long Island Yankees 3

‘Braves Pile up 25 Hits to Cruise’

By Russ Christ, special to MSBL

October 23, 2015, Maryvale Stadium (Phoenix, Ariz.) – The final score could have easily been a football game. But there were no field goals or touchdowns. Instead, the game, a baseball championship, occurred in the 28th MSBL World Series 50+ Cactus Division at Maryvale Park, Spring Training home of the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Auburn Braves, from Northern, Calif., jumped out to a 21-1 lead after five innings and coasted to a 26-3 victory over the out manned and tired Long Island Yankees. The Yankees, managed by Bernie Ellison, stormed back to win their semifinal morning playoff in 12 innings, and needed seven pitchers to try and slow down the Braves in the afternoon finale. Nothing worked. The blowout featured three big innings by the Braves, who finished with an 8-1 overall record. Auburn scored four in the second, seven in the third, and seven in the fourth.

Mike Baker, Auburn’s manager, said he expected to win, but not with 25 hits and 26 runs. His team scored nearly 20 runs in two other games during its time in Arizona. “A lot of offense,” Baker said. “The bats came to play. After 16 years of coming here, and this is our fifth trip to the championship game, we finally got it done. We had good pitching, good hitting and good defense all the way through. But the (hot) bats really made it easier on our pitchers.”

Baker was a big part of the onslaught. He scored four runs, knocked in three and had two hits. Taylor Welz, the lead-off hitter, was 3-5 with three RBI. Troy Nogosek was 3-5 with a double and two RBI. Tony Brasher was 2-2 with an RBI. Dave Everingham, the team’s MVP, was 2-3 with an RBI and a double. “Dave was a tremendous shortstop all week. He held down the middle and got it done,” Baker said.

Winning pitcher Gary Stonebrook left after six innings of one-run baseball for the Braves. Tim Burkitt threw the last three innings, allowing two unearned runs. Eric Colon was 2-3 for the Yankees.

Despite the disappointment in the championship, the Yankees ended the week with a 7-2 record. “We had a great week,” Ellison said. “In every game (prior to the playoffs) we scored in double figures, except the loss.”

In its semifinal playoff game, the Yankees trailed 7-0 before winning in extra innings. “We came back and won 9-8 in a walk off,” Ellison said. “Unfortunately we were out of steam for this game. They deserve all the credit. They played great and were ready to play. I wish we could have given them a better game. We ran out of everything. We were exhausted. The manager in me did well. The GM in me did terrible.”

W: Gary Stonework

L: Santos Gonzales

LI Yankees          0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1    3   6  6

Auburn Braves   1 4 7 7 2 0 3 2 X  26 25 3

2B: Braves: Everingham, Daly, Nogosek, Fisher

RBI: Braves: Welz (3), Baker (3), Fisher (2), Nogosek (2), Krantz (1), Fowler (1), Yardley (1), Brasher (1), Burkitt (1), Colbert (1),Hohloch (1)

Yankees: Bakich (1), Colon (1)

SAC: Franco (Yankees)

HBP: Braves: Wooden (2)

DP: Braves: (2)

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