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2016 70+ National

Sacramento Solons 8, Detroit 70’s 7

‘Solons Battle Back for Walk-off Title’

By Jason P. Skoda, special to MSBL

October 22, 2016, Tempe, AZ.– When the core of the team has been together for more than 20 years and they have at least that many MSBL World Series rings there is trust factor that allows teams like the Sacrament Solons to stick it out in difficult situations.

That was the case on Saturday when the Solons faced a large deficit through five innings, but never quit until coming all the way back for an 8-7 win over Detroit to secure the 70 National title for the second time in three years.

“We battle all the way through 27 outs,” Sacramento manager Ray Newman said. “We knew the bats would eventually come around and make run. We were real close for it becoming insurmountable, but we had just enough.”

The Solons, who went 7-0 for the week, had a little help from Detroit as the pitching and defense went south after grabbing a 7-0 lead through five-and-half innings.

“We had an easy lead, but in baseball there is no secure lead,” Detroit manager Mike Hendrie said. “We did well (on offense) but they changed pitchers. We went to three pitchers but couldn’t stop them. But hey, we had a fun week. We got to the final game, final run, but couldn’t get the final out.”

Detroit went 4-2 to get to the final and looked to be in good position to win after pounding out 11 hits including two each from Sal Calcagno, Jeff Blatt, Dick Woodward and Wayne Brenden, while Robert Custad had two RBIs on his one hit.

The 7-0 lead should have been enough, but a couple of bases loaded walks in the eighth and the two errors in the ninth allowed Sacramento to rally.

The Solons had earlier chances against Dertoit’s Steve Kosuda, but he wiggled out of trouble in his six innings in which he allowed 11 hits and four earned runs.

The Sacramento offense had 16 hits including three hits by Irv Scott, who had two RBIs, Jim Hill and Newman.

The winning rally began and ended with throwing errors by the Detroit second baseman. Scott came around to score the winning run with two outs when the throw to the first base was low and was not fielded by the first baseman after Don Frantz put the ball in play.

Scott was named the team’s MVP for the week and was the winning pitcher in the championship game as he threw four scoreless innings in relief.

“This is a great bunch of guys,” said Scott, who is a 74-year-old retired lawyer. “I didn’t know to be honest, but I just knew at some point we were going to start hitting the ball away from them.

“It’s a special group of guys. We’ve done this so many times before that we just trust that we are going to put it together and win games like we did all week. They were all nail bitters, but (Detroit) made some mistakes and we pulled it out.”

Detroit:          000 231 000-7 11 2

Sacramento:  000 001 511-8 16 1

Kousuda, Custad (7), Brenden (7) and Root. Williams, Scott (6) and Gammill.

WP – Scott. LP – Brenden.

Leading hitters – (Detroit) Calcagno 2×5, run; Custad 1×3, 2 RBI; Blatt 2×4, RBI; Woodward 2×4, RBI; Brenden 2×4, RBI; Hendrie 1×3, RBI. (Sacramento) Scott 3×5, 2 runs, 2 RBI; Hill 3×4, RBI; Newman 3×4, 2 runs; Williams 2×4, run; Hart 2×4, run; Losk 2×3, run, 2RBI.

SAC: (Detroit) Kosuda; (Sacramento) Hill.

IBB: Ropke.

LOB: Detroit 8. Sacramento 8.