2016 65+

Tri-Valley Antiques 22, Philadelphia Phillies 6

‘Tom Turner Voted MVP’

Submitted by Denny Brown, Antiques manager

The Tri-Valley Antiques went 5-1 in the MSBL Las Vegas Kickoff Classic 65+ division to take home the trophy. We opened on Saturday with wins over the Ports (Santa Rosa) and the Phillies (Philly & Detroit). We lost on Sunday morning to the San Diego Mudcats, then beat the Avengers (Springfield, Ill.) On Monday, we beat the Ports again in the semi-finals. Meanwhile, the Phillies, who won the 2014 tourney, beat the Mudcats in the other semi- final. We then knocked off the defending champs in the final. We played six games in three days with a 13 man roster. Two very tired teams faced off in the final. We were the home team based on our #3 seed to the Phillies #4.

The top of the first started very much like the first inning of our round robin game with the Phillies. Jeff Blatt, Mike Spratt and Fred Krause opened with consecutive singles for the Phillies to load the bases with nobody out. I started on the mound and wriggled out of that jam with a comebacker, 1-2-3 double play and a strikeout. In the bottom of the first, Tom Turner again ignited the rally for the Antiques with a walk to lead off. Bob Loflin singled and Mike Souza drove in our first run. Bob Levine got on to load the bases and Rick Rickeman stroked a bases-clearing double. Skip Willard reached on a Phillies error and I helped my cause with an RBI single for the sixth run of the inning.

I started out walking two in the second and Sal Calcagno made me pay with a double to left. After batting around in the first, we did it again in the second inning. This time we batted 12 guys and scored eight more runs. They got Tom Turner out, so Bill Bonekat had to start the rally this time. Rickeman hit another double, this time only driving in two runs. Turner had a chance to make two outs in the inning but instead he drove in the eighth run of the inning.

In the third, Mike Spratt singled again and Fred Krause doubled him home. Krause’s smart base running produced the second run of the inning while we got three ground outs.

Jim Lortz singled and Sal Calcagno got another RBI to manufacture the Phillies’ run in the fourth. In the bottom of the fourth, we put the game away with another eight-run inning. Nelson Solberg’s triple was the big hit in the inning. His triple in the sixth game in three days is pretty impressive.

In the fifth, I still couldn’t get Mike Spratt and Fred Krause out. Same formula: Spratt single plus a Krause double.

On the hill I was running on fumes in the sixth. The Phillies put runners on first and second with nobody out, and the pesky Calcagno at the plate. Sal hit a bullet headed for right center. But second baseman Tom Turner snagged it, tossed to Willard for the double play at second, and we almost had a triple play on the runner on first.

In the seventh we finally got Mike Spratt out. Krause got another hit for a 4-4 game. The final out came on a laser by Gary Gonzalez right at Nelson Solberg in deep left field.

We voted Tom Turner MVP of the tournament. He pitched, caught, played second base, and generally played great defense throughout the tournament. He also led us in key hits to start rallies or drive in important runs.