2018 70+ American

Sacramento Solons 7, San Diego Mudcats 0

‘Young Notches Complete Game Shutout Victory’

By Matt Akins, special to MSBL

October 20, 2018, Mesa, AZ…The Mudcats of San Diego, led by manager Jerry Brown, advanced to face off against the Sacramento Solons in the 70+ American League Championship. According to Brown “good team defense” is what the Mudcats have done successfully in the MSBL World Series this October. Their bats haven’t been hot lately but good defense allowed them to advance to the championship game.

The Sacramento Solons, led by manager Ray Newman, made it to the championship game behind hot bats and dominating pitching. The Solons were undefeated headed into the championship game. Led by pitchers Jim Alan, Gary Ewbank, Irv Scott and Hal Young the Solons only gave up 16 runs in seven games this week. Jim Alan pitched a shutout in the semi finals to get the Solons in to the championship. Ray Newman said “every one of these guys contributed this week and it was a real team effort.”

The MSBL 70+ American Division Championship started off with the Solons continuing the dominant pitching and team effort on defense and at the plate with hot bats. Hurler Hal Young started off with a strong first inning. Gordy Bennett opened the inning up with a single for the Mudcats but Young and his defense got the next three batters out. The Solons came to the plate and started off on fire with singles from Jim Lortz, Irv Scott, Grizz Williams and Gary Ewbank. Ray Newman added another hit and the Solons went up 3-0 in the first inning.

In the second inning the Mudcats tried to get a two out rally started but Young and his defense behind him shut it down. The Mudcats wouldn’t see another runner on second base till the ninth inning. The Solons added one run in the bottom of the second with a walk from Chuck Williams and a hit by Irv Scott. Williams scored on a past ball to make the lead 4-0 for the Solons at the end of two.

Hal Young kept the shutout going into the top of the third with his second strike out of the day. He capped off the inning drawing a pop up to short and a line drive out to third base. The bottom of the third saw the Solon bats catch fire again as they got singles from Grizz Williams, Ken MCaFee and Gary Ewbank. Ewbank’s single knocked in one run while Jeff Heatherton also singled and knocked in two runs. The Solons made the score 7-0 and never looked back.

Innings four, five and six saw some great defense on both sides. However, it was Hal Young who continued his dominant performance only facing nine batters in those three innings while adding another strike out. Hal’s curve ball kept batters off balance and his fastball went by them when he needed.

“I just went in there with the idea to focus on throwing strikes. After that I just tried to change speeds and mix them up” said Young. A journeyman of a pitcher, Hal is pitching his 30th year in the MSBL. His game plan worked as he pitched nine innings of shutout baseball when it mattered most. He located his pitches and kept the Mudcats missing as he dominated while being supported by his defense. The Solons didn’t allow a runner to advance past second base the entire game. Hal ended the game with five strikeouts and a complete game shutout as he led the Solons to the American League 70+ championship.

Manager Ray Newman awarded the tournament MVP award to his pitching staff of Jim Alan, Gary Ewbank, Irv Scott and Hal Young. Hal was awarded the MVP shirt that came along with the recognition by the pitching staff for his efforts in the championship game. Watching Hal’s performance was like watching a scene from the movie ‘For the Love of The Game’. Hal was much more impressive than Kevin Costner’s character Billy Chapel. The fans received a special treat watching Hal and the Solons win the 70+ championship.

This may not be Hal Young’s last rodeo but manager Ray Newman is retiring from the MSBL after winning his fifteenth championship. “My only regret was not having my number one fan and wife to witness this one.” Well Ray, this writer thinks your wife was definitely smiling down upon you and the Solons as you ride off into the Sacramento sunset.