San Diego Athletics 10, Westside Bandits 2
‘Our Guys Came to Play This Entire Week!’ (Steven Woods, manager)
By Patrick Lagreid, special to MSBL
November 5, 2017, Maryvale Stadium, Phoenix, AZ-A quick and balanced offensive attack led the San Diego Athletics to a 10-2 victory over the Westside Bandits from Los Angeles on Sunday morning to kick off the final day of the 2017 MSBL World Series.
The A’s got out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning, with Tom Hill driving in Garrett Nimedez on a sacrifice fly, followed by Griffin Sikes plating Steve Wyland on a single. They’d tack on another two in the top of the 2nd, with Matt Cordaro knocking in Jimmy Davis, followed Pac Gutierrez scoring on a wild pitch by Fernando Medina, who would only manage three innings before his start came to an end.
The Bandits would answer back with a run in the bottom of the 2nd, as Danny Catalan got them on the board by way of an RBI single to score Casey Rihn. That would be all they’d get that inning, though, as the A’s starting pitcher, Henry Buenrostro, kept the damage to a minimum en route to a seven inning performance and the championship game win.
After a quiet 3rd inning, the Athletics would blow the game open with a five-run 4th inning, as championship game MVP Jimmy Davis led off the inning with a double, the first of four that frame including run-scoring two-baggers by Hill and Matt Cordaro, as well as one from Steve Boggs that would give the San Diego club all the breathing room they needed. Nimedez would pick up two RBI on a single, while Dustin Williams drove in a run on a single that inning. When the damage was done, the Athletics sent nine players to the plate that frame, plating five of them.
For Davis, the reason for the Athletics’ triumph on Sunday came down to one word: teamwork. “Everybody contributed, everybody hit the ball well, everybody made good plays…not one guy got down, everyone stayed up,” he said.
Indeed, eight of the ten players in the starting batting order recorded at least one base hit, with one of the two players not to record a hit reaching base twice by way of a fielder’s choice and a walk.
On the pitching side, Buenrostro managed to avoid danger most of the day, never facing more than five batters in the first six innings of work, and only facing six Bandits batsmen in his seventh and final inning of work. He also kept base runners to a minimum, issuing just one walk while hitting one batter.
“Our guys came to play this entire week,” Athletics manage Steven Woods said after the game and prior to getting an celebratory ice water bath. He noted that they used a balanced attack throughout the tournament to reach and win the championship game, adding that he felt like they matched up well with every team they played, which helped them finish the week with a 5-1-1 record.
On the Bandits side, they only made it through the lineup three times, batting 11 players. Juan Avena recorded their lone extra base hit of the day, a double to start off the 7th inning. They managed to load the bases with just one out after Eddie Murray was hit by a pitch and Tommy Bullock notched a single, but Buenrostro got Rihn to pop out to the catcher in foul territory and Mark Martin to ground out to 3rd base to end the threat.
“They got on us early, but I’m proud of the effort our guys put forth,” said Roberto Luna, manager of the Bandits. “Our pitching and defense weren’t up to par today, we had an off day.”
The loss carried an extra sting to it as it was the Bandits’ fifth appearance in a championship game in the past seven years, and they had hoped to get their record in those final games above .500; instead they are now 2-3.
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
San Diego Athletics 2 2 0 5 0 0 1 0 0 10 15 1
Westside Bandits 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 8 1
Pitching Line: Buenrostro, Krout (8) and Hill. F. Medina, Westhorpe (4), O. Medina (9) and Treat.
WP: Buenrostro LP: F. Medina SV: None
Leading Hitters: Athletics — Boggs 2×4, R; Nimedez 2×4, 2R; Wyland 2R; Williams 1×3, 2B, R; Hill 2×3, 2B, 2 RBI, SF; Sikes 2 RBI, SF; Davis 3×4, 2B, 2R; Cordaro 2×4, 2B, 2 RBI. Bandits — 1×2, 2B, R, BB, SB; Catalan, 1×3, RBI.
SF: Hill, Sikes (Athletics).
SB: Davis, Cordaro, Nimedez (Athletics); Avena (Bandits)
Team LOB: Athletics 8; Bandits 7.
Time of Game: 2:27