San Antonio Lonestars 8, Portland Volcanoes 3
‘Lonestars ‘Hit Parade’ Too Much for Volcanoes’
By Jason Johnson, special to MSBL National
November 5, 2016, Hohokam Stadium, Mesa, Ariz. – Ken Herman of the Portland Volcanoes and Wayne Hand of the San Antonio Lonestars may have been wearing different uniforms but they are fighting similar battles off the field. Last year Herman was diagnosed with prostate cancer – one of the worst that the doctor said he had ever seen. On Thursday, before traveling to Arizona, Hand had a chemotherapy treatment. A little over a week later they were both suited up for their respective teams and ready to contribute in the most important game of the 60 Central World Series.
Hand entered the game to pitch with the Lonestars leading 1-0 in the second inning. He got off to a rocky start when Allen Butler hit an RBI single to tie the game. Courtesy runner Charlie Zunda also came across the plate later in the inning on an error by the shortstop to give the Volcanoes an early 2-1 lead.
The Volcanoes extended their lead in the third inning when Chuck Saul drove in Dave Kenney on a fielder’s choice. After that, Hand took over allowing no runs over the next two and a third innings.
“Wayne came in and shut them down for four innings,” said Lonestars manager Joel Morley. “He did his job.”
In the eighth inning with the game tied Barney Owens hit a fly ball double to center field to drive in Dan Coleman giving the Lonestars a one run lead. They would tack on an insurance run a few batters later when Bill Rector lined a two out single to center field to drive in Owens.
“The errors stopped, the bats started and the pitching started,” said Morley. “We just got back to our game.”
The Lonestars threatened again in the ninth inning when their first two batters reached safely. The Volcanoes turned to relief pitcher Herman. San Antonio would tack on a couple more runs and when the dust settled San Antonio was walking off the field as champions.
“We had 17 hits but only eight runs so they held us down,” said Morley. “We left a lot of people on base and finally got the hitting when we needed it.”
The Lonestars had many standout players throughout the tournament and decided to name four co-MVPs – Dan Coleman, Barney Owens, Ron Piacenti and Wayne Hand.
The Portland Volcanoes has had it’s share of adversity over the years. Two years ago Steve Weckert of the Volcanoes passed away and they’ve dedicated their last two tournaments to him. This was the team’s third straight championship appearance and they were looking for their first win. Additionally, another player had to leave early this year to take care of his wife who was ill.
“We are trying to dedicate today to all of those people,” said Volcanoes general manager Jack Smith. “We hadn’t decided until June that we were coming back. We decided that since Ken (Herman) was getting better we would come back and try one more time to do it.”
The Lonestars defeated the SoCal Dodgers in the semifinals 10-2 to advance to the championship game behind the arm of the winning pitcher Barney Owens.
In their semifinal matchup against the Red Deer Legends the Volcanoes won 2-0 in a five inning game that was shortened due to scheduling challenges from the rain earlier in the week. Dave Kenney earned the win throwing just 51 pitches in the five innings and allowing only two hits.
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
San Antonio Lonestars 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 2 3 8 17 1
Portland Volcanoes 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 8 1
WP:Owens LP: Kenney
2B:Thomas (SAL), Owens (SAL), Anderson (SAL), Kenney 2 (PV), Saul (PV)
Leading Hitters: Lonestars – Owens 3×5, 2 R, 2 RBI; Thomas 3×5; Rector 2×3, RBI; Ahmunado 2×4, R, RBI; Volcanoes – Kenney 2×4, 2 2B; Saul 2×4, R, RBI
SB: Piacenti (SAL), Chichester (SAL)
Team LOB:Lonestars 11, Volcanoes 9
Time of Game: 2:56