2017 35+ Mountain/Central
Phoenix Tube 13, Arizona Angels 1
‘Shutterly Dominates in Lopsided Victory Over Angels’
By Russ Christ, special to MSBL
October 21, 2017, Maryvale Stadium, Phoenix, AZ – The outcome of this October baseball championship was never in question. And it was a welcome relief for the Phoenix Tube, which finally got to celebrate.
MVP Alex Shutterly pitched a complete game, scattering 11 hits and striking out three, to lead the Tube to a dominating 13-1 win over the Arizona Angels in the 35 plus Mountain/Central Division of the 30th annual MSBL World Series at Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix.
“I was pretty amped up for most of the game,” Shutterly, 35, from Jersey City, N.J., said.
The Tube’s offense was led by Freddy Flores (2-3 with two RBI), Tucson’s Ricky Valdez (3-4), and Chris Archuleta (2-4 with two RBI).
Phoenix, which ended the week 7-1, nearly went undefeated in the Valley of the Sun. The team’s only loss, a high-scoring pool play game against the Angels (5-4), mattered little.
Originally a team with players only from New York, the Tube’s roster has morphed, which is typical among its MSBL World Series competition. Manager Doug Howe’s team now fields a balanced squad with guys from New York, New Jersey and the Old Pueblo, where Valdez, their three-hole hitter and shortstop, resides.
Howe said his new roster finally gelled this October after years of coming very close, but failing, to win a MSBL World Series championship. “We kind of galvanized all our demons and put them to rest this week,” he said. “It’s a really good group of people. I couldn’t be happier.”
The Angels, inspired by their manager, Roberto Ramos, who went 4-4 against Shutterly, was one of the teams that had prevented the Tube from winning it all. “These guys (the Angels) thumped us three years ago in the championship,” Howe said.
Phoenix scored once in the second, four times in the third and erupted for seven in the sixth (on eight hits) to knock opposing pitcher Derek Roach, a Baltimore resident, out of the game. Archuleta and Flores had pivotal two-run singles in the inning to lead the offense.
The Tube’s right-handed hurler, Shutterly, threw strikes and avoided rallies. A 5-4-3 double play in the third and a 1-6-3 double play in the ninth, which he started, helped. “I settled in around the fifth and it was smooth sailing from there,” Shutterly said. “Pitch count wasn’t an issue today. And our defense was the best I’ve ever had (behind me).”
Howe’s team has been traveling to Arizona from the Northeast for about 10 years to play in the tournament. Kirk Jacobs, his clean-up hitter, handles the general manager duties and works with the pitchers. They both recruit and communicate often. “We pull people in and recruit together,” Howe said. “We talk year round. It’s like a (Joe) Torre and Don Zimmer kind of thing.”
Important contributions from his players helped make this year’s final game different. “We just figured it out,” he said. “We’ve been that team on the other side of the field.”
A few guys, in particular, impressed Howe in 2017. “Freddy Flores had a phenomenal week. He drives the ball so well to right center field. Anthony Franklin was great. He’s had some tough series down here, but we stuck with him and he drove the ball. Jason Reddick and Kirk had a great week.”
0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 —1
1 0 4 0 0 7 1 0 x —13
Double: Ramos (Angels); A. Franklin, M. Tiggas (Tube)
DP: Tube (2)
SAC: A. Garza (Angels); T. Van Wart (Tube)
HBP: D. Desgagne, M. Tiggas
Key Stats: R. Ramos 4×4; A. Cabrera 2×4 (Angles); F. Flores 2×3, 2 RBI; R. Valdez 3×4, RBI; C. Archuleta 2×4, 2 RBI; A. Franklin 1×3, RBI; B. Washington 1×3, RBI; T. Van Wert 1×3, RBI; D. Desgagne 1×3 (Tube)
WP: Alex Shutterly
LP: Derek Roach