Indiana Baseball League, 45+ Division
Braves 19, Reds 11
‘Braves Complete ‘Six Peat’ in Indiana’
Submitted by Mike Fisher, Braves manager
The 45 and over Braves of the Indiana Baseball League won their sixth championship in a row on September 24, 2018. The Braves ended the season with a 16-1 record that started off with an opening day loss to the Reds, our eventual championship game opponent. We ended up playing the Reds in the championship game and won 19-11 to cap a great season to earn our sixth straight championship.
The day of the game was mostly rainy and throughout the game there was either a light rain or mist. The weather was not overly cold but with the rain and mist, the lights created an eerie feel to the game. Fortunately the game was on a turf field. Though the ball was wet along with the field, we started off the bottom of the first with three runs scored. We went up 13-3 going into the top of the sixth but the Reds scored seven to cut the lead to 13-10. Fortunately we responded with a 4-spot in the bottom of the sixth to put a little more distance between us. We then held off another rally to prevail 19-11.
We got great starting pitching from Kevin Kluemper, who went the first five innings. Kluemp also had three hits and three RBI’s. John Gordon came in the help us out of a bases loaded jam in the sixth and pitched the final 3 2/3 innings. Gordon also contributed a double and a triple with two RBI’s, which started us off in the first inning. Eric Mertl contributed four hits and two RBI’s while Keith Oehlman showcased his base running by stealing three bases and scoring three runs.
Scott Golden had a great night at the plate, getting on base all five times including three hits, one walk and one hit by pitch while collecting three RBI’s. Brian Wolff was great defensively at first base and also pounded out three hits and an RBI. John Smith was a force behind the plate and knocked in our first run with a triple. Kevin Dotson was a magnet at second base and contributed two hits to go along with his stellar defense. Center fielder James Pruett chipped in with four runs scored while Matt Brown added a hit and an RBI and Brett Behler added an RBI with a sacrifice fly. Also, thanks go out to Ray Starnes, Brett Denneman, Todd Fuller and Greg Rubeo for coaching the bases and getting all those runs home!