Detroit Tigers 8, Washington Nationals 6

‘Tigers Outlast Nationals in 70+ Slugfest’

By Jake Anderson, special to MSBL

October 24, 2015, Tempe, AZ, Auxillary Field #1 – If you like offensive baseball, then field #1 of the Los Angeles Angels’ spring training facility was the place to be. The Washington Nationals faced the Detroit Tigers in the 2015 MSBL World Series 70+ Wood Bat American Division championship game. However, for all of you Cy Young and Gold Glove winners out there, watching this game might have made you cringe. Both teams combined for 27 hits, left a total of 18 runners on base, and combined for seven errors.

It didn’t take long for the hit fest to begin. The Tigers did not hesitate to swing the bat, as they scored five runs on 12 hits in the first three innings of the game while only allowing two hits to the Nationals in that span. In the third inning, the Tigers first seven hitters all reached base on seven consecutive singles. However, the team was only able to manage three runs, as a runner interference and a punchout at the plate were two of the inning’s three outs.

The Nationals took that momentum, as their bats awoke in the next half inning. Three runs were scored on three hits, as the Nationals fundamentally sound sacrifice bunting and aggressive base running forced the Tigers into committing two errors.

In the middle innings, the Tigers’ bats cooled off, as they only managed a total of one hit in the fourth, fifth and sixth. In the top of the fifth, the Nationals only needed a single to take their first lead of the game. The visitors had the bases loaded with only one out, but a big strikeout, followed by a routine groundball to third, failed to bring in any runs.

The seventh inning provided fireworks, as there were a combined six runs on seven hits that resulted in two lead changes. The first took place in the top half when the Nationals loaded the bases with three consecutive singles to lead off the inning. The first of three runs was brought home on a bizarre infield fly play due to the Nationals’ consistent, aggressive base running, followed by a two-run single that gave the Nats a 6-5 lead. In the bottom half, the Tigers responded with three runs of their own, including a go-ahead,two-run double by the Huntsville, Alabama native, Benny Woodall. “He’s a good ol’ boy,” said Tigers manager, Mike Hendrie. “He hits the ball well.”

The Nationals did not recover, as they could not tally another hit for the rest of the game. The Tigers went on to slam the door shut and secure their MSBL World Series title. “It was a great tournament,” added Hendrie. “We did well; better in some games than others. We found out defense is what works. We did not have a good defensive game today, that’s why we were behind in the eighth inning by one and finally, we got ahead and got three runs in the end and won.”

Larry Paladino was easily named the MVP of the tournament, as he reached base on an astounding 18 consecutive plate appearances during one part of the tournament. “He got to first, whether it was an error, hit or walk, and then he was 7 for 7 in the middle of that, so he became our MVP because he couldn’t make an out,” Hendrie said. “He was on two or three times today. He was way down in the lineup, but we left him there because it worked.”

Team                             1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9          R   H   E

Washington Nationals 0    0    0    3    0    0    3    0    0          6    10  4

Detroit Tigers               1    1    3    0    0    0    3    0    X         8    17  3

WP: Custard LP: Johnson

2B: Woodall (DET)

Leading Hitters: Nationals — Johnson 3×3, RBI, R. Tigers – Woodall 3×4, 2R, 2 RBI

SAC: Colcio (DET)
LOB: Nationals 8; Tigers 10