Desert Pirates 6, San Fernando Valley Bulldogs 3
‘Pirates Win Title Behind All-around Effort’
By Alejandro Rodriguez, special to MSBL National
January 19, 2015, Palm Desert, CA – Led by a late inning rally, the Desert Pirates defeated the San Fernando Valley Bulldogs 6-3 to win the championship of the 35 National Division at the MSBL Desert Classic held at College of the Desert in Palm Springs.
The Pirates started quickly, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Frankie Perez led off with a single, Rene Leon walked and two batters later Nick Farmer singled to drive in Perez for a 1-0 lead. Two batters later Nate Rien hit a two-run double to score Leon and Farmer to give the Pirates a 3-0 lead.
In the top of fourth inning, trailing 3-0, the Bulldogs went to work as Fidel Jacobo singled with one out, Carlos Nunez and Ruben Hernandez each followed with a single to load the bases and up came Tony Cabrera who lined a single to right field to clear the bases and tie the game. However, Cabrera was thrown out at second trying to stretch it into a double.
In the bottom of the sixth for the Pirates, Rien led off with a single then Joe Martinez singled and moved to second on a throwing error. Two batters later Rien came home to score on a sacrifice fly to give the Pirates a 4-3 lead and Earl Smith’ RBI-single extended the lead to 5-3.
In the bottom of the seventh the Pirates added an additional run on an RBI single by Alex Renteria for a 6-3 margin.
For the Bulldogs, Jacobo went 3 for 4 with three singles, Hernandez went 2 for 4 with a double, Cabrera went 1 for 3 with three RBIs, Fernando Martin went 2 for 3 with a double and Alonzo Flores went 1 for 4 with a double.
Pirates manager Charles Nava credited his team for the victory. “We were fortunate tocome out with the victory and we got great pitching throughout. Kevin Brown pitched two complete games and Ben Bruff in the championship game had a great effort,” said Nava. “We got great timely hitting and we played error free baseball. I’m proud of these guys.”
In their last two tournaments, the Las Vegas Kickoff Classic in May 2014 and the Desert Classic, the Pirates are 11-0.
For the Bulldogs this was their first appearance in the Desert Classic and manager Salvador Macedo was impressed with their effort. “We played well for this being our first big tournament. We just recently got a team together and it’s going really well, we did really well,” said Macedo. “We look forward to coming back next year and have a great time once again.”
Macedo was most impressed with the great sportsmanship displayed by the teams participating. “This was a great experience for us. A lot of classy individuals participating on some of these teams and they were great to all of us,” he said.