2017 Desert Classic: 35+ National
Desert Pirates 8, Montebello Angels 4
‘Big Eighth Inning Seals the Victory’
By Alejandro Rodriguez, special to MSBL
January 16, 2017, Palm Springs Stadium – Led by a four run eighth inning rally the Desert Pirates defeated the Montebello Angels 8-4 to win the 35 National Division at the MSBL Desert Classic tournament in Palm Springs.
The Pirates started quickly by scoring four runs in the first inning. However the Angels responded with three of their own in the bottom half of the inning on a three-run double by Ken Lumpkin. The score remained 4-3 until the bottom of the sixth when Lupe Catalon led off the inning for the Angels with a triple and then came around to score the tying run on a throwing error.
In the top of the eighth the Pirates scored four runs to retake the lead 8-4 and unfortunately the Angels were unable to mount any kind of rally in the last two innings as they fell to the Pirates.
Despite the loss Angels manager Robert Oskin credited the Pirates. “This Pirates team is a good one. We’ve faced them multiple times before in other tournaments and they’re always a tough team for us to play.”
Oskin credited the new format for the tough competition this year. In previous years the 35+ division was split into two divisions, the National division having four teams and the American having 10 teams. This year the 35 division was split into one division of 24 teams. “This tournament is always very competitive. This new format they created this year made for a lot of great competition and hopefully they keep it for next year.”
For the Angels, Castalon went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and an RBI and Lumpkin went 1 for 3 with the three-run double in the first inning.