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2015 55+ Cactus (upper)

Mid-South Warriors 10, Comtek Orioles 6

‘Roberts Throw Complete Game Victory’

By Russ Christ, special to MSBL

October 29, 2015, Tempe, Ariz. – Before the championship game against the Comtek Orioles in the 55+ Cactus Upper Division of the 28th MSBL World Series, players on Mid-South Warriors were somewhat pessimistic at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

“It’s David versus Goliath,” one said. “And we’re David.”

They had every reason to be glum. The Memphis-based Warriors, 6-2, were playing an undefeated Orioles squad (8-0), led by manager Mark Moore. To make matters worse, Warriors manager Antonio Jones was down to his last pitcher, lefty Brett Roberts. But Jones and his Warriors emerged with a 10-6 victory after nearly four hours of baseball.

In the top of the first, the Warriors jumped on opposing pitcher Bill Knudsen, scoring four runs on six hits, all of them hit hard. Charles Grove tripled, LeRoy McClain doubled in two, and Tom Nohstadt and Mark Blevins had run-scoring singles.

“We just have an outstanding group,” Jones said. “The last 12 or 13 years we’ve had a greatoffense, so I’m not surprised by our first inning. This group of guys is one of the best (teams) I’ve had since 2003.”

Knudsen’s stint with the Dallas-based Orioles lasted five-and-a-third innings. Roberts pitched a complete game. The southpaw allowed 11 hits, struck out six, hit two Orioles and walked three. It seemed like he threw 150 pitches.

“He kept us off balance,” Moore said, “which is what he was supposed to do. We had our chances to come back. We left a few men stranded, and then they would come back and answer and get one or two back. We could never get over that hump.”

Jones was pleased with Roberts’ performance. “Brett was outstanding,” Jones said. “Nine innings, complete game. He held a real good hitting team probably under four earned runs.”

Roberts said the Warrior’s offensive firepower allowed him to make some mistakes and still earn the win. “It makes it easier out on the mound when you have 10 runs on the board,” he said. “The Orioles are a good hitting ball club. You can’t relax with them up there and that’s why I had some control issues. But it was just a matter of bearing down and getting it done.”

In the fifth Nohstadt added another run-scoring single as the Warriors tacked on three more runs to take a 7-2 lead. Teammate Chris Jackson, who played shortstop, contributed a two-run single. The Orioles scored two runs in the fifth to make it 7-4 and another two in the sixth to trail 8-6. Donnell Harris, who was 3-4, doubled in a run for Comtek. Bill Hanley and Dan Coleman were both 2-4.

But the previously undefeated Orioles couldn’t overcome a slow start, especially when the Warriors tacked on runs in the seventh and eighth. Jackson, Grove, Nohstadt, Kevin Olds and McClain all had two hits for Mid-South in the championship.

“I’m just so excited,” Jones said. “It was a complete effort from the entire team.”

Warriors   4 0  0 0 3 1 1 1 0  –10 15 1

Orioles     0 2 0 0 2 2 0 0 0  —  6  11 2

WP: Brett Roberts

LP:  Bill Knudsen

2B: Warriors: L. McClain (2)

3B: Warriors: C. Grove

RBI: Warriors: Jackson (2), Grove (1), Nohstadt (2), McClain (2), Nolan (1) Orioles: Hanley (1), Moore (1), Mecca (1), Harris (1)

HBP: Orioles: Hanley & Baskerville; Warriors: Blevins

SAC Bunt: Warriors: D. Diaz;

SAC Fly: Orioles:  G. Mecca

DP: Orioles; Warriors (2)