2017 55+ Cactus
South Bay Zephyrs 8, Quad City Blasters 4
‘Iron Man Hunter Cops MVP Award’
By Rick Arbogast, special to MSBL
October 26, 2017, HoHoKam Stadium, Mesa, AZ-The matchup between the South Bay Zephyrs and Quad City Blasters was between two undefeated teams in pool play. They both came into the game 8-0 with high hopes on completing the undefeated streak by winning the championship. Something had to give as they began play in the beautiful Hohokam Stadium. The Zephyrs were the home team by virtue of the “runs against” tie breaker.
Quad City began the game with two ground outs before Dean Steffen singled up the middle but was stranded at first as Marion Strickler struck out. In the Zephyrs half of inning one their leadoff hitter, Jesse Low drew a base on balls and two hitter, Robert Butland was hit by the pitch. With one out, pitcher and MVP of the World Series, Jeff Hunter hit a shot to right center for a base hit knocking in the first run of the game and sending Butland to third. Rob Medal stepped to the plate and brought in the second run with a ground out to short stop Marty Pitz. After Mike Pedote was hit by the pitch lefty Joey Paschal hit a gapper to left center plating two more runs as South Bay jumped out to an early 4-0 lead.
The Blasters countered with one in the second on four straight singles with Jason Lewis collecting the RBI. They could only put one more run across the rest of the way as Hunter settled in on the mound and went the distance.
For the series Hunter appeared in eight of the nine games they played and came away with four wins and four saves. There are a lot of adjectives you could use to describe Hunter like iron man, bulldog, rubber arm and most assuredly MVP! Jeff said, “I couldn’t have done it without my guys behind me going 9 and 0. There were a few times we were down but we never quit. It’s a team sport, it’s a great win for everybody.”
Winning Coach Antone Henley had this to say. “It’s a pleasure being here on this 30th Anniversary of the MSBL. Hello Mr. Steve Sigler. Thank you very much Blasters for giving us a great game and to the MSBL for the opportunity for the Zephyrs to play in the 55+ Cactus Division.”
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Quad City Blasters 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 4 13 2
South Bay Zephyrs 4 0 1 2 0 0 1 0 – 8 14 2
WP: Jeff Hunter LP: Frank Dardis
2B: Blasters – Marion Strickler, Van White, Marty Pitz, Dan Dupont
Zephyrs – Joey Paschal, Bob Riley
Leading Hitters: Blasters – Dupont 4×4, R; Marty Pitz 2×4, 2R
Zephyrs – Dan Gutierrez 2×3; Rob Medal 2×3, R, Sac, SB; Mike Pedote 2×3, RBI, R, HBP, SB