2016 40+ Mountain

Arizona Angels 10, Sacramento Phillies 4

‘MVP Reliever Bailian Shuts Door on Phillies’

By Jason Johnson, special to MSBL National

October 29, 2016, Tempe Diablo Stadium, Tempe, Ariz – For Sacramento Phillies manager Phil Stokes, managing against the hard-hitting Arizona Angels took him back to his days at Bushrod Park in Oakland, Calif. when he pitched against the likes of Frank Robinson, Veda Pinson and Curt Flood.

“I struck those guys out all the time but the scouts wouldn’t look at me because they said I was short,” laughed Stokes. “Then I said, ‘Wait, Whitey Ford is short!”

The Angels hammered the ball all afternoon and were able to pull ahead for good in the seventh inning en route to their second title in three years and the first ever 40+ division championship.

“It was a good game and the score doesn’t really reflect how much of a hard-fought game it was,” said Angels manager Roberto Ramos. “It got kind of close but we do what we always do and our bats woke up. We brought in pitcher Jim Bailian and he shut it down.”

After the Angels jumped out to a 4-1 lead the Phillies battled back in the sixth inning to tie the game. The first three batters reached base safely to start the inning and they all scored on RBI hits from Ty Sherman and Sterling Odem. Mike West hit a sac fly as well to drive in the third run.

The Angels called on team MVP Jim Bailian in relieve to put out the fire and he was able to get Dennis Huitt to ground out to end the inning. Balian would go on to pitch the next three innings striking out six and allowing just two hits making him the pitcher of record with the win. Bailian was extremely effective out of the bullpen for the Angels after pitching eight innings the day before in the semifinal.

“I wasn’t concerned with Jimmy (Bailian) running out of gas today,” said Ramos. “He came to me early this morning and said, ‘Coach, I’m good to go. Just let me know when you need me.’”

The Angels offense turned up the heat in the seventh inning when Ryan Perry and Mike Kalsek hit RBI singles and Luis Cordova added a sacrifice fly to give them another three-run lead. The final nail in the coffin came in the eighth inning when Jose Rodriguez hit a two-run single to cap another three-run inning stretching the lead to six.

Even though the Phillies fell behind 4-1 early on they battled back to tie the game and showed their resilience. They just ran out of gas in the end.

“We did the best we could with what we had,” said Stokes. “You only win ballgames if you can score runs and I think, generally, we were pretty tired from the game yesterday. But in baseball there are no excuses. If you hit the ball, pitch well and play good defense you win the game.”

Pool Play

The Sacramento Phillies went 3-3 in pool play and the Angels went 6-0. When these two teams faced off the first time they played a very tight one-run game with the Angels coming out on top.


In the playoffs the Phillies defeated the Oklahoma Vipers 13-2 and the Sacramento 51s 9-7 in 14 innings. The game against the 51s was a back and forth game with many intense moments and they had to suspend the game in the 13th inning because their field at Riverview didn’t have lights so they moved it to Tempe and finished it a couple of hours later. When they resumed in the top of the 13ththe Phillies promptly scored two runs on a double by Mike West. In addition to West’s late game heroics, starting pitcher and Team MVP Lou Fisher pitched 13 innings in the game earning the win.

In the semifinal game against the Texas Red Birds the Angels jumped out to a 13-1 lead but the Red Birds battled back. The Angels got control back late in the game and ended up winning 17-11 behind catcher Mike Kalsek’s big bat. Kalsek hit a big home run and came very close to adding a second when he hit it to the wall. Bailian pitched eight innings earning the win.

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

Sacramento Phillies        1      0      0      0      0      3      0      0      0              4      12   4

Arizona Angels                3      0      0      0      1      0      3      3      X             10   15   1

Pitching Line:

WP: Bailian  LP: Rubio

2B:Perry (AA), Barrios (SP)

Leading Hitters: Arizona Angels – Perry 3×3, 2 RBI; Forsythe 2×3, 2 R; Carrasco 3×4. Sacramento Phillies – Castro 2×4, 2 R; West 2×3; Grant 2×4.

SAC:Ramos (AA), Rathbun (AA)

SF:Kalsek (AA), Perry (AA), Cordova (AA), West (SP)

SB:Cordova (AA), Kalsek (AA), Ramos 2 (AA), Mutum (AA)

Team LOB:Angels 8, Phillies 7

Time of Game: 2:41