2017 70+ National

Saint Paul 70s 9, Sacramento Solons 3

‘Combo of Lane and Alt Shut Down the Solons’

By Randy Vernon, special to MSBL

October 20, 2017, Riverview Complex, Mesa, AZ – The Saint Paul 70s started the game with a hot first two innings and their solid pitching and defense held the Sacramento Solons scoreless for six innings as Saint Paul claimed the 2017 World Series title for the 70+ National Division.

Saint Paul’s starting pitcher Steve Lane held Sacramento scoreless for the first six innings and finished with seven innings of work. He was assisted by some solid defensive play from shortstop Art Collazo. Collazo had two putouts and eight assists, including helping on two of Saint Paul’s three double plays. Saint Paul manager Pat Thompson said of Collazo, “We wouldn’t be here without his glove work”. Al Alt pitched two scoreless innings in relief to finish the game.

Saint Paul put pressure on Sacramento right out of the gate scoring four runs in the first and two in the second. In the first inning, four of Saint Paul’s first five batters scored as they sent nine batters to the plate. Art Benotti led the scoring with a run-scoring single. Paul Smith followed with single scoring two more. Dick Peters finished the scoring in the first with a double scoring one more.

Saint Paul tacked on one insurance run in the seventh and two more in the eighth inning.

Saint Paul’s offense was truly a team effort. Four players had two RBI apiece (Alt, Benotti, Smith, Peters) and Mark Lilledahl stayed busy on the base paths scoring three times. Alt and Peters also legged out a triple each.

After Sacramento fell behind 6-0 after two innings, relief pitcher Hal Young came on to throw seven strong innings in relief. Sacramento finally got on the board in the seventh inning when a double by Ron Williams scored Young and Jim Hill. Manager Irv Scott then knocked Williams in with an RBI single. Williams and Young paced the Sacramento team with two hits each. Starting pitcher Dale St. John took the loss.

To cap off Saint Paul’s championship win, the team gathered at home plate after the game to celebrate the marriage of teammate Clinton “Tink” Larson to Judy Heckroth, with team mate Bob Sherwin serving as the officiant.