2018 Father/Son Central

Maine Diamond Dogs 12, Minnesota Crosstown Traffic 3

‘MVP Ryan DiMascio Homer Ignites Fireworks’

By Jake Rill, special to MSBL National

October 28, 2018, Goodyear Ballpark, Goodyear, AZRyan DiMascio said the Maine Diamond Dogs Father/Son team was filled with a large number of Red Sox fans this year. And mere hours before Boston won the World Series, Maine’s hitters put on a Red Sox-like performance.

DiMascio homered and collected three hits from the leadoff spot, powering the Diamond Dogs to a 12-3 win over the Minnesota Crosstown Traffic to claim the Father/Son Central Division championship. One of the high points of Maine’s dominant offensive performance came in the third inning, when DiMascio led off the frame with a home run to left field. DiMascio jolted a pitch from Minnesota starter Brad Edlefsen over the fence to give Maine a 4-0 lead. “I actually didn’t feel it, but it was amazing,” DiMascio said. “It was a 3-1 pitch, he threw a little hanging curveball, the same pitch he threw 3-0, and I just put a good enough swing on it. I didn’t think it was going to go out, I just put my head down and started running. But after everyone started cheering, it was an amazing feeling.”

DiMascio, whose father, Dan, was also in the lineup, also contributed to Maine’s first-inning rally. DiMascio led off with a single and later scored the Diamond Dogs’ first run on a double steal. Jim Seymour had an RBI groundout and Dan DiMascio contributed an RBI single. “The team grinded this year and didn’t give up any outs,” said Ryan DiMascio, who was named MVP of the tournament. “We played hard every inning, and it was really fun to be a part of this.”

Maine blew the game open with a five-run fifth, which included an RBI single from Seymour and a two-run double by Matt Crandall. Matt Powers went 2-for-4 with a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored for the Diamond Dogs, while Mark Fier also collected two hits. Marc Powers, Matt’s father, started on the mound for Maine and allowed one run over four innings. Steven Edlefsen led Minnesota’s offense, going 2-for-4 with a double, a triple, an RBI and a run scored.

Maine went 6-1 during the tournament, which included five consecutive victories to capture the championship. Before beating Minnesota, the Diamond Dogs notched a 10-6 win over the Whittlesey Reds to advance to the championship game. “It was really awesome, it was a great week,” Maine manager Clair Crandall said. “Just very proud of them. It’s such a wonderful, wonderful thing to be able to play in the father-and-son tournament, to play with your fathers, to watch other families interact.” Crandall is no stranger to the MSBL World Series. He was inducted into the MSBL Hall of Fame as part of the 2018 class, and he has led the Diamond Dogs to five championships in the Father/Son Division since he and his son, Matt, began playing in 2004. This year, Crandall added to his MSBL legacy, thanks in part to the strong offense from Maine in the championship game.

“We were able to get some runs in the first inning, hit some balls hard, run the bases very aggressively,” Crandall said. “That leads to a lot of runs.” It certainly did for the Diamond Dogs, and it also led to the perfect ending to the MSBL World Series for these fathers and sons.