Shurty’s Pub Moondogs 5, California Tribe 2
‘Waelchli and Kinney Hold Down the Tribe’
By Patrick Lagreid, special to MSBL
November 7, 2015 – Sloan Park, Mesa, AZ. – The Shurty’s Pub Moondogs were well aware of the challenge they faced this blustery Saturday morning; beyond dealing with the unseasonably cool temperatures and stiff winds during warmups that had players looking to stay warm, they faced the undefeated California Tribe, who beat them 17-3 earlier in the week and would have Danny Pawelek on the mound.
Pawelek had been one of the Tribe’s most called-upon arms over the tournament, coming into the semifinal game as a first-inning reliever and finishing out the game as the club came back to beat the Arkansas Diamonds 12-6 on Friday. He also recorded a pair of saves, pitching some 18 innings before the championship.
The Tribe threatened early in the first, with Tommy Arguijo reaching on an error, stealing second base before advancing to third on a balk, but quick reflexes by catcher Bob Fatzinger prevented a run from scoring on what would have been a wild pitch, as pitcher Dan Waelchli covered the plate. After a walk to Bob Wooden, Pawelek—who was batting cleanup–got the Tribe on the board first with an RBI single.
While the right hander held the Moondogs to just a pair of singles through the first four innings, their bats woke up in the top of the 5th as Rich Wescoe drove in the first run, following singles from Fatzinger and Mike Zuk. Tim Todd added another base hit before an inning ending double play started by the Tribe’s third baseman Joe Soto held the club fromLehigh Valley, Penn. to a lone run. While the wasted opportunity could have deflated their sails, the Moondogs bounced right back as Waelchli recorded a 1-2-3 bottom of the 5th. After a leadoff single by Dennis Ritter, Randy Fleck took one deep into left-center field that got the runner to third, with a misplay in the outfield allowing him to score and knot the game at two runs apiece.
Todd unknotted the game in the top of the 7thinning with his third hit of the day, a two-out, two-run single to left that plated Zuk and Wescoe to put the Moondogs up 4-2 heading into the stretch. While the Tribe threatened to score in the bottom of the inning, lefty reliever Dennis Kinney got out of a jam with runners on first and third to preserve the lead. His 2 2/3 innings of one-hit, scoreless baseball solidified his bid for tournament MVP after pitching a complete game the previous day.
“Danny did what we asked him to do today, gutting it out for as long as he could,” Kinney said, adding that the defense allowed him to put the ball in play with confidence.
The Moondogs would tack on an insurance run in the top of the 8th as Tom Czysz drove in Gary Search with an RBI single, their 14th of the game. Manager Turk Starniri would add the club’s 15thsingle of the day in the top of the 9th.
Starniri praised his opponents as well as the performance of his own club. “Danny Waelchli was on today, then to go to Dennis Kinney to close it, plus outhitting them – that was the only way we were going to beat them.”
The Tribe’s manager, Ken Chavez, said his team simply couldn’t take advantage of the opportunities they were given. “You let a good team hang around, they get their confidence going and things start clicking, that’s what happened today – credit to them,” he said. While the Tribe managed just four base hits, they left nine men on base.
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Moondogs 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 1 0 5 15 4
Tribe 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 2
Waelchli, Kinney (7) and Fatzinger; Pawelek and Banuelos.
WP: Waelchli LP: Pawelek SV: Kinney
2B: Arguijo, Hughes.
Leading Hitters: Moondogs: Tim Todd, 3×4, 2 RBI; Tom Czysz, 2×4, RBI; Rich Wescoe, 2×4, RBI, R; Randy Fleck 2×4. Tribe: Tommy Arguijo, 2B, RBI;
SB: Moondogs: None. Tribe: Arguigo, Wooden, Thatcher, Paysnoe.
Team LOB: Moondogs 7, Tribe 9
Time of Game: 2:22