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Don't Go Soft, Play Hardball!

2019 35+ Central

Missouri Stars 8, Perritos BBC, 0

‘Judge Throws 2-Hit Shutout to Seal the Deal’

By Elliot Brownstein, special to MSBL

The Missouri Stars completed their path to the 35+ Central MSBL Fall Classic Championship on Nov 16th 2019 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Manager Barry Grant and ace pitcher Pat Judge founded the Missouri Stars in 2010. Due to an injury Barry Grant had to take the role of manager during this tournament. His excellent in-game decisions and ability to put together a productive lineup would help make the difference in the championship game.

The Stars, along with every other team in the competition, had the adversity of the wonderful Florida weather and the rain that came along with it. Coach Barry Grant praised the grounds crew at FITTEAM Ballpark and thanked them for all their hard work. The crew had the fields in prime condition for these elite teams to compete on amazing ball fields even with the unfortunate weather situation.

In the big game, star pitcher Pat Judge led the Stars to victory by throwing a complete game two hitter. Judge mixed up his fastball and off-speed pitches perfectly with well-located pitches all around the strike zone, keeping the opposing batters guessing and off balance. With his quick pace of pitching Judge cruised through all nine innings by controlling the count throughout the game.  He stayed in pitchers counts against almost every batter he faced.

The Stars defense was also a major contributing factor in Judge’s 2-hit gem, with diving plays in the outfield as well as a fundamentally sound infield. The Stars were smooth all around the diamond making all the routine plays with ease. The Stars had plenty of opportunity to score early in the game, having the bases load multiple times, but left them loaded. This could have led to a more lopsided affair but team Perrito showed their resilience with some clutch defensive plays of their own.

Team Perrito turned a few clutch bases loaded double plays to keep them in the game. There was a nice 1-2-3 double play that was smooth as butter, but unfortunately the offense could never get into a rhythm and turn these defensive plays into momentum for their offense.

Andy Dickinson finally blew the game open in the bottom of the sixth with a 2-run triple to the right field corner that would turn the momentum fully into the Missouri Stars favor and they would never look back. Dickinson also flashed the leather in right field with a diving catch that would help to secure the two hitter! There really wasn’t any doubt from the beginning of the game that the Missouri Stars were in complete control of the game.

Coach Barry Grant had nothing but praise to give to his players. He also congratulated Team Perrito on a well-fought game. He summarized all the hard work and dedication it took for his team to come out victorious. “The pitching staff as a whole was the reason for our success,” stated Grant.  “Throughout the week the pitching staff came up clutch day in and day out even with the rain delays and other unexpected turns that baseball games will throw at you.”

At the end of the game the MVP was awarded to Andy Dickinson. Coach Grant explained how the all-around player made a huge factor in the Stars winning the championship. Once again congratulations to the Missouri Stars on their path to victory at the 2019 MSBL Fall Baseball Classic!

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