Clearwater MSBL 35+ Division
Tampa Royals 8, Slam 5 (10 innings)
‘Royals Win Back-to-Back Titles in Clearwater MSBL’
Submitted by Jack Stern, Royals manager
The Clearwater MSBL 35+ baseball season came to the end on the 25th of October 2015 with the Tampa Royals winning the 35+ League Championship with an 8-5 victory over the Slam. The championship game came down to extra innings but the Royals ultimately prevailed. The Royals took a comfortable lead early on with five runs over the first six innings. Cory Brown pitched one hit ball going into the sixth inning and added five hits throughout the game. The Royals bottom half of the line-up provided most of the key hits and RBI’s. John Cirelli (4 hit game) had two of the key RBI’s and Albert Rodrigues and Jose Bello also contributed with key hits to score runs.
With a tie score going into the 10th inning, Adin Lohry led off with a single. Mike Faniglula pinch-ran for Lohry and the next batter, Roy Smith, walked. Ken Akins sacrificed the runners to second and third. Jose Bello then had what was to be the game-winning single to score Faniglula. The Royals added two more runs before the top half of the inning was over. Roy Smith, who had pitched four scoreless innings to this point, got the win by shutting down the opposing team in the bottom of the 10th for the championship. It was a total team win for the Royals and was the Royals second championship team in a row. Keith Felden went 2 for 5 including a three-run home run and David Lam added a double and a single.
All season long, the Royals maintained superior and consistent pitching performances with a depth of dependable strong arms led by Cory Brown, Rob Suarez and Roy Smith. Although any one of the seven ‘Roster Royals’ pitchers could have been a number one or two on any team in the league.
The Royals average 7-9 runs per game throughout the season led by Mike Faniglula who batted in the .600’s and was the team’s MVP. Other players worth noting are: Cory Brown (.500 batter), Ken Akins (.500 batter), and seven other .400+ hitters. Next season, the Royals will be looking to ‘Three-peat’ their championship.