Raleigh Braves 12, Waikiki Beach Boys 2
‘Seven Runs in Seventh Inning Seals the Deal’
By Rodney Johnson, special to MSBL
October 20, 2017, Tempe Diablo Stadium, Tempe, AZ- Seven is often considered a mystical, magical, lucky, number. Ancient Greeks thought the number to be extremely lucky. There are many references to the number in the Old Testament including a promise to Israelites that marching around the walls of Jericho seven times would cause those walls to come tumbling down. For gamblers, three sevens make a blackjack and the opposite sides on the dice add up to seven. Of course baseball fans stand for the seventh inning stretch, and Mickey Mantle wore number seven. After the 50 + Central championship game, the Raleigh Braves may agree that the number has some magic. It was in the seventh inning that the walls came tumbling down for Waikiki.
Raleigh scored seven times in the inning to break up a close game against the Beach Boys and claim the title at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Going into that seventh inning, the Beach Boys trailed only 5-2. They had threatened in every inning and had left ten runners on base. In that fateful seventh, the Braves batted 11 men, scored seven runs on seven hits and left no doubt as to the outcome. Among the Braves hits in the inning were doubles by Curtis and Gregg Patterson and a triple by Kenny Glanville. That was all that Don Kopitzke needed to secure the win. Kopitzke allowed just one base runner in the last two innings to finish off the complete game victory. He was named the tournament MVP after winning four games including three times in the playoffs. Teammates called him “a freak of nature.”
And what does a MSBL Champion do to celebrate? How about a hike to the top of Camelback Mountain! “Kopitzke and I walked to the top of the mountain one day, and now that we’ve won, we are challenging everyone on the team to go up there and take the trophy along to celebrate,” said manager Dave Halley. “We won in 2012 and 2014, so there has been a bit of a dry spell so this is nice.”
The Braves were undefeated in the tournament after going 6-0 in pool play. In the playoffs they continued to roll with wins over the Utah Pirates 12-1 and the Rochester Redwings 7-4. The Beach Boys, made up of players from Southern California, finished 5-1 in pool play. In the playoffs, they beat the DuPage Angels 5-3 and the 3n2 Rangers 13-3.
The Beach Boys came into the finals as the defending division champs. Manager Gary Firestone new it would be tough to repeat. “These guys are a really good team and are tough to beat,” said Firestone. The Beach Boys are a close-knit group. “We rent two houses and stay together throughout the tournament,” said Firestone. “We barbeque together, hang out together and are really close.”
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Beach Boys 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 11 1
Braves 1 0 0 3 1 0 7 0 x 12 19 0
Pitching Line: (Beach Boys) Roy Herrera; Enrique Borboa (6);Andres Deleon (7); Joe Magallon (7). (Braves) Dan Kopitzke,
WP: Kopitzke LP: Herrera
3B: Glanville (RAL)
2B: Esparza (WAI); Romero (WAI); Aldrich (RAL); Myers 2 (RAL); G. Patterson (RAL); C. Patterson (RAL); Lovett (RAL).
Leading Hitters: Beach Boys- Refugio Esparza 2×4, R; Tony Corona 2×4, RBI; Bobby Dominguez 2×4. Braves- Bobby Lovett 2×4; Gregg Patterson 2×4, RBI; Jack Myers 3×5, 2 RBI; Robert Isbell 3×3, 2 R; Sergio Quintanillo 3×4, RBI; Curtis Patterson 2×3, 3 RBI; Jose Aldrich 2x4m 2 RBI.
SF: C. Patterson (RAL)
SB: Lovett (RAL); Myers (RAL).
Team LOB: Beach Boys 11; Braves 9.
Time of Game: 2:18