2016 45+ Cactus ‘Ring’ Division

Lehigh Valley Hurricanes 16, Ventura Dodgers 10

‘MVP Dasco Shows the Way from Leadoff Spot’

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

November 5, 2016, Maryvale Stadium, Phoenix, AZ – Things looked bleak for the Lehigh Valley Hurricanes through four innings. The team from Allentown, Pennsylvania and San Diego were down to the Ventura Dodgers 5-2. Then something funny happened: the fifth inning.

The Hurricanes erupted for four runs, thanks to back to back to back to back hits by Roman Dasco, Mike Cole, Steve Smull and Jamey Ritter. The Dodgers answered with two of their own in the bottom of the inning on a triple by Whitaker, a single by Mitchell and an infield hit by Schmidt but the wave was starting, as the Hurricanes closed the gap to 7-6.

The sixth inning saw the game tied at nine apiece heading into the seventh inning but the Dodgers went ahead 10-9 at the bottom of the frame on a couple of hits, an error and a stolen base. Those are the last runs scored by the Dodgers. By this time both pitching staffs were performing by committee as the climax was looming.

The monumental top of the eighth inning for the Hurricanes saw a combination of three hits and three walks before the Dodgers could record an out! Team MVP Roman Dasco pounded yet another hit to help his 4 for 5 day at the plate, including a walk, while Matt Hanson singled driving in two while stealing a base. “Our MVP is easily Roman Dasco who has been unbelievable all week,” explained manager Steve Smull. “He hit .600 in pool play. He led off every day we played and was a real spark plug.” The breakout inning started with a bunt single by Tito Fuentes. When the smoke cleared the Hurricanes erupted for six runs and put the Dodgers on their backs.

The Hurricanes added another run in the top of the ninth on a Dasco walk, as he eventually scored on an RBI double by manager Steve Smull. That ended the scoring and the Hurricanes walked away with the 16-10 victory and the 45+ Cactus ‘Ring Division’ championship. Phil Torcivia relieved Julio LeBron and Gene Vincent on the hill and picked up the win.

Co-starring with MVP Dasco at the plate were Jamy Ritter, who was 3 for 5 with a walk and two RBI, and manager Steve Smull, who was a perfect 3 for 3 with a walk, a stolen base and three RBI. “The top six guys in our lineup all hit well over .400 for the tournament. They were unbelievable,” added Smull. “What helped is that we won our first two pool games 15-1 and 26-4 so everyone got to play a lot and that really helped us solidify our depth and mindset.”