2015 Expos Blank Team USA to Claim Tri-Valley 55+ Title

Tri-Valley (CA) MSBL 55+ Division

Oakland Expos 5, Team USA 0

‘Vic Viegas Spins Shutout in Title Game’

Contributed by Panos Lagos, Expos manager

The decision to go to the ’55’s happened in December ’14 at Fenton’s in Oakland following early elimination from our 45-over division playoffs. We only had eight guys committed at that meeting. Art Scears called and asked if he could join us and of course I said yes. We ended up with a total of 20, counting Angelo Crudale who rehabbed all summer from shoulder surgery.

During the 2015 season we never had more than 16 players at any given game while having nine or ten for at least five games. We started strong barely beating Team USA and soundly beating the rest in the first round. It was a different story in the second half of the season, losing two to the Braves and one to the Cardinals.

Having swept the first two rounds of the playoffs we lost our first game of the Championship round to Team USA and Carlos Bryson…and we lost badly. Having used Mike Wilgus in the losing cause and not having Vic Viegas available all year, Vic came out and held Team USA to three runs while we eventually scored eight. Vic was at almost every game and hit as good as anyone else but could not pitch given his pain and a partially torn labrum and torn tendons in his right shoulder….making his amazing playoff contributions even more amazing.

The following week we pitched Vic again and won 5-0 having committed no errors and Vic pitching a three-hitter. It is worth mentioning again that Team USA is a very good hitting team. Also worth mentioning are the individuals who consistently performed well, and in some instances in unexpected ways.

John Hughes and Mike Wilgus hit in very consistent fashion. Also coming through in timely and consistent fashion was the hitting of Jim Collins, Jim Yamada, Dean Asimos and Art Scears. There were very important key contributions offensively and defensively by Mark McNally, Mark Geistreiter and Greg Tarola.

We would not have finished in first without Scott Kawaguchi who faithfully made every game, Tom Evanson who came through with key hits and catches in the outfield and Alan Metheny, whose versatility and defense was essential. Special recognition is due Will Hubert who made almost every game and contributed to our success with the ability to consistently put the ball in play. Mike Wilgus was the workhorse of our pitching staff week after week without whom our success would just not have happened.

It was obviously a fun and very competitive season and we expect to get even more competitive next year.