OC Sox 6 Team Victory 0
‘Darensbourg Shutout Leads Sox to Title’
By Rodney Johnson, special to MSBL
November 4, 2017, Tempe Diablo Stadium, Tempe, AZ-Vic Darensbourg spent eight years in the Major Leagues and never earned a World Series ring. Now through the magic of the MSBL, he has several. The lefty out of Lewis and Clark State, twirled a six-hit shutout for the OC (Orange County, CA) Sox in the 45+ American Division Championship game at Diablo Stadium. The Sox scored an unearned run in the first inning against Team Victory (Southern California) and coasted to a 6-0 win. Darensbourg’s line was impressive as he allowed only six singles, walked two and struck out six on his way to tournament MVP honors. As if that wasn’t enough, the big lefty also went 3-for-4 at the plate with an RBI.
“Unlike most years, we were able to send a rested Vic (Darensbourg) to the mound,” explained Sox manger David Rice. “In the past Vic would pitch the semifinal game and come back the next day in the finals. This year he was fresh and once we scored three runs in the fifth, we felt pretty confident.” For the Sox, it was their fourth straight division title.
In the decisive fifth inning, already leading 2-0, Ted Billick and Scott Bibee singled. Rice then attempted a sacrifice bunt that was fielded by pitcher Will Flynt who gambled on getting the lead runner. Flynt’s throw to third was late and everyone was safe. A bases loaded wild pitch scored Billick and then Alonzo Mendoza doubled to empty the bases and give the Sox a commanding 5-0 lead. They added an insurance run in the seventh on an RBI double by Kenny Woods to account for the final margin.
Team Victory came into the finals with an undefeated record having finished pool play with a 6-0 mark. The OC Sox went 4-2 in pool play and crushed Team New Era18-3 in their semifinal game to earn a berth in the championship game.
Team Victory manager Frank Bons cited his teams pitching and defense as the keys to its undefeated run through pool play. “Anytime you play this many games with a group of guys, you become a brotherhood,” explained Bons. “There’s probably a lot of teams that have more talent than we do, but we are respectful of each other and play together as a team. That’s the reason we are where we are.”
The title game was redemption of sorts for the OC after losing to Team Victory 6-3 in a pool play matchup. “We’re on a serious roll right now—a four-peat here and a lot of success in Palm Springs as well,” said Rice. “We have a Facebook page and all stay in touch throughout the year. We are already looking forward to coming back here next year for a five-peat.”
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
OC Sox 1 0 0 1 3 0 1 0 0 6 10 0
Team Victory 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 1
Pitching Line: (OC Sox) Vic Darensbourg. (Team Victory) Will Flynt; David Morrow (5); Flavio Torres (9).
WP: Darensbourg LP: Flynt.
2B: Mendoza (OC); Woods (OC),
Leading Hitters: OC: Darensbourg 3×4, RBI; Bibee 2×4, R; Mendoza 1×3, 2 RBI; Woods 1×4, R, RBI. Team Victory: Knoblauh 2×4; Canales 2×3.
SAC: Apodaca (OC).
SB: Darensburgh (OC); Rice (OC).
Team LOB: OC Sox 7; Team Victory 5
Time of Game: 2:15