2016 45+ American

OC Sox 8, Team New Era 2

‘Darensbourg Continues Dominance for OC Sox’

By Rodney Johnson, special to MSBL National

November 5, 2016, Tempe Diablo Stadium- Former big leaguer Vic Darensbourg limited Team New Era to two runs through eight innings to lead the OC Sox to the 45+ WB American championship at Tempe Diablo Stadium. The Sox opened the scoring with an unearned run in the second inning. They added to the lead with a three-run third inning that was capped by a two-run triple by Ted Billick. With a 4-0 lead, Darensbourg cruised the rest of the way getting ninth inning relief help from Eric Orue. Team New Era managed only single runs in the fifth and seventh innings.

The title was the third straight in the division for the Sox. Darensbourg pitched a complete game in the playoffs the day before. He was also on the hill in OC’s championship games the past two years. “He has definitely been our horse,” beamed manager David Rice. Darensbourg pitched in more than 300 games for six big league teams over eight seasons from 1998-2005.

Team New Era (3-2 pool play) is made up of mostly players from western New York. Down by four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, they came back to beat Winberg Construction 5-4 in the semi-finals and advanced to the title game. As a group, the team has been in the finals six times and won twice.

The Sox squad (3-1-1 pool play) is comprised of mostly players from the Sunday leagueteam that plays together in Orange County, CA. The large squad has a few additional players from other local leagues. “A deep roster and experience has helped us get to the title game,” said Rice. The Sox squeaked past US Baseball6-5 in its semifinal game. “Our pitching and defense has been our key,” said Rice. “I think we only made four errors in the tournament.”

Leading 4-1, the Sox broke the game open in the fifth inning. Ted Billick’s two-run double followed by an RBI single from Kenny Lampkin gave the Sox a 7-1 lead. That proved to be too much for Team New Era. “They’re a good team and made some good defensive plays, lamented New Era manager Ralph Proulx. “Our boys battled, but what are you going to do. We’ll be back next year.”

The Sox manager believes that his team’s three straight titles are no fluke. “We have had some personnel changes over the past few years and everybody here gets the program we are running,” said Rice. “We won the Palm Spring Tournament, we won the Labor Day Tournament, we won in league play and now here. We are in a cycle that everyone buys into what we are doing and it is no accident.”

Ted Billick who went two-for three with a double, triple and four RBI was named the tournament MVP for the Sox. Curt Hoffman drove in both New Era runs in a losing cause.

Pitching Line: Team New Era: D. Gawronski OC Sox: V. Darensbourg, E. Orue (9).

WP:J. V. Darensbourg LP: D. Gawronski

2B: T. Billick (OC)

3B: T. Billick (OD)

Leading Hitters: Team New Era: S. Lauck, 2×3, R, HBP; S. Merrill, 1×3, R, BB; C. Hoffman 2 RBI. OC Sox- T. Billick, 2×3, 2b 3b, 4 RBI; K Lumpkin, 2×4, R, RBI; C. Cradle 1×2, 2R, RBI.

SB: K. Woods (OC); A. Alonso (OC);

Team LOB: Team New Era 9; OC Sox 8

Time of Game: 3:01