Rock League (Milwaukee) 55+ Division
Pilots 14, Brewers 7
‘Pilots Sweep Championship Series from Brewers’
Submitted by Bill Windler, Pilots manager
The Pilots defeated a very tough Brewers squad in two tense games, 3-2 and 14-7, to sweep the best-of-three championship series in the 55+ division of the MSBL Rock League in Franklin, Wi.
The title was the fifth in six seasons for the Pilots, who were fortunate enough to navigate through a perfect 15-0 season in a league that includes seven extremely talented teams from the Milwaukee area.
To accomplish that feat, the Pilots needed the efforts of all 20 players on their roster, and the playoff run featured many standout performances.
The peerless John Arnold (1.85 ERA) picked up two playoff victories, beating the Mets, 17-5, in a semifinal, going the distance in the first championship series game and closing the second with two hitless innings of relief. Gary Schultz (9-0), the workhorse of the staff, picked up the victory with seven innings in the clincher.
There was plenty of drama in the championship series. The Pilots had to rally in both games. In the opener, Bill Tschanz’s two-run single and Frank McCann’s go-ahead RBI hit highlighted a three-run seventh that erased a 2-0 Brewers lead.
The seventh was magic again three nights later as the Pilots scored four in that inning to tie it and added seven in the eighth to break the game open. Again, Tschanz’s two-run single was key to the seventh, and Schultz and Ace Vollmer each knocked in two in the eighth. Al Alt and Schultz had three RBI apiece in the final game, and the Pilots threw out three runners at the plate, with Bob Friday applying the finishing touch on each play.
In the semifinal, Terry Teske and Mike Derrick each had three hits, and Bill Wood stroked a three-run, two-out double that set the tone. John Becker totaled five hits in the three playoff games.
For the season, the Pilots were helped tremendously by the additions of catcher Mike Butterfield, second baseman Tschanz and first baseman Tim Urban, and Derrick seamlessly transitioned from second to short.
On a club with a team OPS of 1.031, Teske led the way with a .622 average, Butterfield went 30 for 50 with 26 RBI and the do-it-all McCann scored 22 runs.