2015 Desert Classic: 45+

Las Vegas Senators 17, Watsonville Angels 3

‘Martinez and Mendoza Lead at the Plate’

By Alejandro Rodriguez, special to MSBL National

January 19, 2015, La Quinta, CA – Aided by a six run third inning and a six run fifth inning, the Las Vegas Senators routed the Watsonville Angels 17-3 to win the championship of the 45+ Division at the Desert Classic.

Offensively, Greg Martinez led the Senators going 5 for 5 with a home run and three stolen bases, Alonzo Mendoza went 4 for 5 scoring four runs, Michael Lawers went 3 for 4 with five RBIs, Bryan Palluck went 2 for 3 with a triple, two runs scored and three RBIs and Bill Uelman went 3 for 4 with four RBIs.

On the mound Sam Colarusso pitched six strong innings, giving up one run while striking out five batters as Javier Alier Riccardo pitched a scoreless ninth inning to record the save and overall gave up one run in 14 1/3 innings throughout the tournament.

Following a tough showing in last years’ Desert Classic, Senators manager Rich Hernandez was very pleased with the outcome of this year’s tournament results. “We decided we wanted to approach this tournament this year with a more serious attitude, we wanted to win the championship. It was all or nothing,” said Hernandez.

Another factor that Hernandez felt made a difference was combining together with another Las Vegas team, the Gin Mill Gamblers. “We always compete against these guys and we’re usually the top two teams in Las Vegas. We figured for all the times we face each other in championship games why not combine to win one together,” explained Hernandez.

The Gamblers are managed by Bill Uelmen. “We love this tournament, we always enjoy coming out here and we look forward to coming back next year and defending our championship,” he said.

For the Angels, Jackson Bernard, Larry Villafuente and Aaron Tollison each went 1 for 4 and Martin Guerrero went 1 for 3.

Despite the loss, Angels’ manager Memo Torres still enjoyed participating in the Desert Classic for the first time. “This is our first year taking our team out of Watsonville and we had a great time. We assembled a great group of guys that are a lot of fun to play with,” he said. “They’ve got a great love of the game and even though we’re in the 45 age range we still have a big love for baseball. We look forward to coming back next year, we feel if we can add a little more pitching we can be a lot more competitive in the championship game.”