3N2 Rangers 14, LA Athletics 1
‘Ortiz Complete Game and 19 Total Hits Doom Athletics’
By Wes Thomas, special to MSBL National
October 27, 2016, Maryvale Stadium, Phoenix, AZ – When two heavyweights go toe to toe in a boxing ring, the one left standing is usually the one that withstands the pounding , and delivers that one punch that weakens his opponent enough to put him away. That was the case in the 55+ Central Division Championship game at Maryvale Stadium. The two contenders were the LA Athletics, 5 and 1 in round robin play against the 3n2 Rangers at 3-2-1. The Athletics were entering the contest allowing only 27 runs for the week while flexing their pitching muscle while jabbing away with consistent and timely hitting. The Rangers entered with a couple of tough losses but solid play throughout the week and playoffs got them to the final round. Defense was strong for the Rangers all week and it proved to be strong again when it counted.
The Rangers sent John Ortiz to the mound while the Athletics sent their ace Danny Pawelek. Ortiz was masterful keeping the heavy hitting Athletics off balance without a hit until the sixth inning when Marv Oliver and Pawelek got back to back singles. Pawelek kept the Rangers quiet until the third inning when an uncharacteristic error slipped through the defense allowing the first hard right-hand hook to land. The Rangers Rich Seiler singled to left driving home Alan Seybold and the Rangers took their one to nothing lead. The Rangers were quiet until the sixth inning and once again the Athletics allowed the big blows to weaken their legs and eventually be knocked out. After a leadoff walk, a critical error, and a controversial runners interference call, along with another base on balls, Rangers pitcher John Ortiz lifted a fly ball to right center that glanced off the glove of the Athletics right fielder. Larry Davis followed with a single and suddenly the Rangers had put together a four run inning and now led five to nothing.
The Athletics regrouped and made a pitching change in the seventh, which seemed to be the crack that the Rangers needed as they sent 14 men to the plate. They banged out nine hits, including back to back doubles by Larry Davis and Kevin King, and scored eight runs stretching the lead to 13 to 0. The Rangers continued to pound away and placed another run on the board toward their unanimous victory in the eighth mounting a 14 to 0 lead.
The Athletics, a proud group of 60+ grizzled veterans of the game, showed character and put up a last minute flurry and erased the shutout performance handed in by Rangers John Ortiz and scratched out a run, but the Rangers finally put them away and took the crown with the 14 to 1 final.
John Ortiz went the distance on the mound for the Rangers and “scattered” only five hits getting the win. Larry Davis went 4 for 5 with three rbi, while Rich Seler, Rodney Vestal and Glenn Powers all had two hits apiece. Ortiz also had two rbi with a key hit in the eight-run seventh inning to help himself secure the win. The Rangers had 19 hits total and played errorless ball…one of the reasons they reached this game.
Rangers manager Glenn Powers, answered when asked, “What was the turning point in the week and what got you to this big game?” “It was our defense, getting the big play when we needed it, along with huge pitching performances. We got everything out of everybody when we needed it…”
Congratulations to the 3N2 Rangers for a job well done!