Chicago Midwest Suburban AA and AAA Divisions
‘Rippers Claim AA and AAA Titles’
Submitted by Jake Mills, Rippers manager
In 2016 the Chicago Rippers decided to put together two teams in the CHICAGO MIDWEST SUBURBAN BASEBALL LEAGUE AA and AAA divisions. The Rippers travel the country 4-6 times a year to participate in multiple MSBL Tournaments. The Rippers will be traveling to Arizona to make their third appearance in the MSBL World Series and play in the 18 National Division the week of October 18th.
We knew 2016 was going to be a fun but wild year. The reason for two teams is that we had close to 40 guys looking to play this year and MSL rules only allow 25 man rosters. So we took the risk of dividing and it paid off this year winning both AA and AAA Championships.
It was a good feeling to finally take down the MSL power house Wildcats and their 26-1 record going into the AAA Championship series. We were down one game in the series and our back was against the wall but we knew we could beat them. Tony DiMaio came in relief game two and shut the door on the wildcats. Also Nick Mazzone, our crafty hard throwing lefty, was once again dominate on the mound throwing a complete game in game three to lead us to a Championship. The Rippers held the Wildcats scoreless for the final 14 straight innings.
Our AAA record was 22-7. Our AAA team was led on the mound by Steve Lewis (6-1, 1.72 ERA, 89K, 17BB) and Nick Mazzone (6-0, 1.45 ERA, 66K, 7BB).
Our offensive leaders were Tim Gindville, 2016 League MVP Runner-Up, with a .377 batting average, 30 RBI, three home runs and three triples and Andrew Brauer, who spent three years in the Frontier League, two years with the Windy City Thunderbolts and one year as a Joliet Slammer. He finished with a .559 batting average with 19 hits in only 34 at bats, including ten extra base hits. Our outfielder Mike Bolling spent one year with the Schaumburg Boomers and may be one of the fastest human beings on the planet. He finished the season with a .600 batting average and 25 stolen bases.
In game one the Wildcats won 2-0 and then the Rippers came from behind in game two to win 7-2. The Rippers won the championship game 6-0 behind Nick Mazzone’s complete game, including 125 pitches and seven strikeouts.
Our AA record was 23-7. Our big guns on the mound were Mickey Martin, 14-3, 1.22 ERA and 135 strikeouts and PJ Anderson who was 5-1 with a miniscule 0.45 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 59 innings of work. PJ is a former St. Louis Cardinal draft pick.
Offensively we were led by Karl Lundholm and his .345 batting average and Jason Rivero with a .524 batting average and who also won the MSL Silver Slugger Award.
In the championship series the Rippers played the Chicago Red Hawks. The Rippers lost game one of the series 6-4 but bounced back to win game two 4-3 on a 10th inning walk off. The Rippers won game three 10-1 while being led on the mound by MSBL veteran Billy Yeager.