2016 55+ Cactus ‘Wind Jackets’
Dallas Rangers 10, Connecticut Joe Els 4
‘Iron Man Sierra Cops MVP Honors on Bump’
By Cory Kamerschak, special to MSBL National
October 27, 2016, Tempe Auxiliary Field #1 – The Dallas Rangers scored 10 runs on their way to a 10-4 victory over the Connecticut Joe Els for the Men’s 55+ Cactus ‘Wind Jacket’ Division MSBL World Series title, but it was pitching and defense that sealed the game for Dallas.
The Joe Els struck first with an RBI single in the 1st inning but the Rangers would take over from there scoring early and often.
Donald Harris got the Rangers scoring party started in the second inning when Tony Castaneda brought him home with an RBI double. The Rangers would tack on two more runs with RBI ground outs by Carlos Penaflor and Jim Lee.
They would pick things back up in the fifth inning by scoring three runs and none of them came as a result of a hit. Jerry Castaneda hit an RBI ground out, Jim Lee scored on a throwing error by the Joe Els left fielder and then Cruz Martinez scored on an error by the Joe Els right fielder.
It wasn’t until the sixth when the Rangers really put things out of reach by scoring four more runs on five hits including a two RBI single by Blair Garrett.
Down 10-1 in the eighth inning the Joe Els were able to mount a small comeback scoring three runs on a single, sacrifice fly and a wild pitch. However, those would be the last runs scored in the game as Dallas would wrap things up with a game ending double play in the ninth.
Rangers starting pitcher, Pilly Sierra, was named MVP after throwing five innings and only giving up one run. Sierra had pitched three consecutive games in a row in the tournament and he said it started taking a toll on his body.
“I’ve been working hard for the whole tournament, pitching a lot,” Sierra said. “I was sore and tired but was doing my best so it is an honor to be MVP.”
Rangers manager, Jerry Castaneda, as grown accustomed to pitching performances like that from his team’s most valuable player.
“I’ve been playing with him for 10 years now, and he’s a horse,” Castaneda said. “Nothing you can say except that he’s a hell of a pitcher.”
When it was all said and done, the Rangers may have been short-handed at times, but they rode back to Dallas as MSBL World Series Champions.
“It’s refreshing since we only had 15 guys, so it was an uphill battle,” Castaneda said.