California Tribe 9, San Antonio Lonestars 5
‘Revenge Tour Settles Past Defeats for Tribe’
By Jason Johnson, special to MSBL
November 4, 2017, Hohokam Stadium, Mesa, Ariz. – After losing in the 2016 World Series to the DFW Phillies and in theLas Vegas tournament to the San Antonio Lonestars, the California Tribe were determined to get a little payback. The Tribe got their chance when they defeated the Phillies in the semifinals and capped off a great tournament by getting their revenge against the Lonestars in the championship game winning 9-5.
“Payback was mentioned more than once,” said Tribe manager Joe Soto. “The Lonestars did beat us in Vegas 8-7 so today I’m hoping to get into our routine of scoring early and often.”
Things didn’t start off as Soto had planned, however, as the Lonestars jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third inning when Vernon Wells hit a two-run double to left field. In the bottom of the fourth inning the Tribe were able to capitalize on two errors and scored two runs to tie the game.
In the bottom of the fifth inning the Tribe took the lead for good when Tommy Arguijo doubled in Mark Weathers from first.
“We got off to a really slow start,” said Soto. “But I told the boys before the game not to get down if we go down early because we have the capability to come back and that’s what happened.”
Once the Tribe got their offense going they were able to take advantage of their team speed by stealing five bases in the last three innings which helped them pad their lead. Bobby Wooden stole bases in the seventh and eighth inning and team MVP Taylor Welz stole home in the eighth inning as well.
“Their starting pitcher, Danny Pawelek, was very quick to the plate and it was hard to get a good jump on him,” said Soto. “But we hit and ran a couple of times and got people moving and that’s what happens when you start to do that.”
For the Lonestars this year’s loss in the championship game was bittersweet. They had a successful run to the championship game but were unable to pull off the upset against the undefeated Tribe. The team from San Antonio dedicated their tournament to Wayne Hand who passed away a few short months before the World Series. In the 2016 World Series tournament Hand was instrumental helping the Lonestars to a title in the Central division and earning co-MVP honors.
“At Wayne’s funeral over 100 MSBL players showed up in their uniforms,” said Joel Morley. “The funeral procession was like five miles long, he was a very popular guy. He was very active in senior baseball and played in our league for 25 years. We lost him but he’s still here.”
The Lonestars battled to a 2-2 record during pool play. They were led by strong pitching from Barney Owens, Mike Anderson and Danny Pawelek. Leading hitters for San Antonio were Keith Thomas, Bill Rector, Vernon Wells and Dave Minchow.
During pool play the Tribe cruised to a 5-0 record to earn the top seed in the playoffs. Sotocredited his team’s success to a total team effort that saw everyone pitch in during pool play.
In the semis the Lonestars defeated the LA Athletics 6-3 with Barney Owens earning the win on the mound. Keith Thomas and Juan Ahumada had the key hits in the game each driving in two runs for San Antonio.
The Tribe defeated the DFW Phillies 12-0 in the semis in a rematch from last year’s championship game.Gary Stonebrook pitched seven scoreless innings to earn the win. Weathers went three for three on the day with a triple to lead the team on offense.
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
SA Lonestars 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 0 1 5 9 4
California Tribe 0 0 0 2 1 2 3 1 X 9 10 1
WP: Kephart LP: Pawelek S: Jungston
2B: Wells (SA), Baskerville (SA), Arguijo (CT)
Leading Hitters: Lonestars – Anderson 2×3, 2 RBI, R; Wells 1×4, 2B, 2 RBI; Baskerville 2×4; Tribe – Arguijo 2×3, 2B, R, RBI; Wooden 2×4, R; Borba 2×3, RBI
HBP: Morley (SA), Lane (CT)
SB: Baskerville (SA), Piacenti (SA), Collins (SA), Ahumada (SA), Anderson (SA), Everingham (CT), Lane (CT), Wooden 2 (CT), Welz (CT)
SAC: Owens (SA), Foster (CT)
SF: Dietrich (CT)
Team LOB: Lonestars 9, Tribe 5
Time of Game: 2:5