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2016 35+ Cactus ‘Ring’ Division

Puget Sound Twins 14, Murietta Mutiny 3

‘Lucky Twelve Pays Off for the Puget Sound Twins’

By Jason Johnson, special to MSBL

October 22, 2016, Hohokam Stadium, Mesa, Ariz. – In their 12th year of MSBL World Series action, the Puget Sound Twins – formerly the Gators – captured their second national title by defeating the Murietta Mutiny in the 35 Cactus ‘Ring’ Division championship.

“It is an overwhelming feeling of joy and happiness,” said Twins manager Tom Krause after the Twins walked off the field victorious from defeating the Murietta Mutiny 14-3 in the 35 Cactus Upper Division championship. “This was the first championship of a national nature for many of our guys and I’m so thrilled for them!”  Only Joe Townsend and Krause remain from the Gators roster which won the 35+ Central title in 2007.

The Twins jumped out to an early lead in the first inning when Brian Bill stole home plate on a perfectly executed double steal. Nate Binz was on first base at took off for second on what looked like a straight steal. When the catcher threw down to second Bill immediately broke for home and slid in easily at home. Joe Townsend then hit a fly ball single to center with two outs to drive in Binz for a two-run lead.

In the bottom of the third inning Townsend would strike again driving in two with a single off Brandon Carantin increasing the Twins lead to four. Binz would pile on to the lead with another two-run single in the following inning to make the score 6-0.

With two outs and nobody on in the sixth inning the Mutiny’s bats woke up when the next five batters reached base. Joe Moose and Ray Robarts each had RBI singles to cut the deficit to four. However, with the bases loaded and the tying run at the plate a base running blunder would kill the rally when the runner on second advanced to third on a pitch in the dirt but the runner on third held forcing him into a rundown and eventually getting tagged out by the third baseman to end the inning.

After limiting the damage to just two runs the Twins needed to regain control of the momentum and they answered the bell scoring three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning led by RBI singles from Jack Hussey and Joe Adamo staking the Twins to a 9-2 lead. The Mutiny were unable to mount a substantial rally and the Twins tacked on five more runs for good measure in the seventh inning to put the final nail in the coffin.

“Our teams have always had good chemistry dating back to 2005 and we’re continuing to build on that with the 2016 Twins,” said Krause. “It’s truly been a team effort.”

Pool Play

The Mutiny and Twins both played to 5-1 records in pool play. The Twins landed in the top spot of their division and the Mutiny finished in second in their division. During pool play Mutiny starting pitcher Aaron McDonnell struck out 14 batters in what was a stellar tournament for him.

“He has played incredible and has had a helluva tournament,” said Mutiny manager Brad Allinson.

Playoffs

In the semifinals the Mutiny defeated the Portland Mets 14-5 with McDonnell earning the win to clinch a berth in the championship game.

The road to the championship game was a little bumpier for the Twins. In the semifinal matchup against the Denver Royals the Twins got into a back and forth game that saw the Royals ahead 5-4 in the top of the ninth inning. However, the Twins would show their resiliency and in the bottom of the ninth they scored two runs with Binz getting the walkoff single to send them to the championship. Ryan Patrick pitched the final two innings in the championship game to earn the win and he also pitched six innings in the quarterfinal game to earn the win in that one as well.

This was a big week for Krause as he not only managed his team to a championship but he also received a MSBL Lifetime Achievement Award.

“I was almost speechless which is pretty amazing considering I have a career in broadcasting,” said Krause. “I was deeply humbled and honored but after the ceremony wrapped up I said we’ve got a game to play.”  And the Twins definitely came to play.

 

Team                                 1      2      3      4      5      6      7      8      9              R     H     E

Murietta Mutiny                0      0      0      0      0      2      0      1      0              3      9      4

Puget Sound Twins          2      0      2      2      0      3      5      0      X             14   13     0

Pitching Line:

WP:Holes   LP: Carantin

3B:Adamo (PS)

2B:Rader (MM), Binz (PS)

Leading Hitters: Puget Sound – Binz 3×3, BB, 3 R, 2 RBI; Townsend 2×3, BB, 4 RBI; Trollope 2×4, 2 R. Murietta – Moose 2×4; Robarts 2×4.

SF:Noel (PS), Haller (PS), Hussey (PS)

SB: Zaia (MM), Bill (PS), Simmons 3 (PS), Hussey (PS), Howard (PS), Binz 2 (PS)

Team LOB:Murietta 12, Puget Sound 8

Time of Game: 2:52

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