2017 Desert Classic: 45+ American
OC Sox 17, Utah Pirates 0
‘Dominant Shutout Pitching Secures Crown’
Fresh off another World Series Championship, the Desert Classic 45+ American division contender OC Sox showed up in the desert of Palm Springs a little rusty. Due to weather, Saturday’s pool play games were moved up and shortened to a two hour time limit. Meeting up in game one against the same team they played in the championship last year, the Sox were unable to dig themselves out of a massive hole. Despite all of the errors and miscues, opening game starter Chris Horrell pitched great for the Sox in the loss.
Manager Dave Rice gave the ball to an ailing Jeff Goossens in game two. Despite being behind early, Goossens, who was injured in game one, gutted out a complete game victory over the tough North County Aztecs, allowing runs in only one inning. The OC Sox would not allow another run.
The sun came out bright on Sunday morning and so did Adam Gonzalez. Rice, not knowing who was going to pitch, decided on Adam just before game time. Adam pitched a complete game, 2-hit shutout as the OC Sox defeated the Inland Nationals 10-0.
On to the semi-finals. The Waikiki Beach Boys were on the same path as the OC Sox, going 2-1 in pool play. Although there were lots of mutual friends, the two teams had never met. It was now Larry Brown’s turn to take the mound delivering another 2-hit shutout. Larry kept the heavy hitting Beach Boys off balance all night, striking out 10. Left fielder Cobi Cradle led the way with three hits, while driving in three runs. Spectacular shortstop Kenny Woods was on base all night. Tournament MVP, center fielder Greg Martinez, had four hits and scored four runs. Third baseman Junior Esparza made his usual game saving plays. Sox win 6-0.
The championship would pit the OC Sox against their old nemesis, and drinking rivals, the Utah Pirates. Vic Darensbourg drew his usual championship assignment. The game was close early but the Utah Pirates ran out of gas as the OC Sox cruised to a 17-0 win. Cradle (2-3), Esparza (1-3, double), Woods (2-3) and Martinez (2-3) would all stay hot. Catcher John Berryman (3-4) drove in two runs, right fielder Alonso Mendoza (2-3, double) drove in two and second baseman Augie Alonso had the big hit with a 2-run double leading the way to a 17-0 Sox championship victory.