Chicago North TSP 7, Tri Valley Giants 6

‘Iron Man Samano Cops MVP Award’

By Jason Johnson, special to MSBL

November 2, 2019, Mesa, AZIn a rematch of last year’s championship, Chicago North TSP was able to rally from a seventh inning 6-2 deficit to overcome the Tri Valley Giants 7-6 in the 45 Central Division championship. Chicago North walked it off in the bottom of the ninth inning when Anthony Arenz was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded driving in Jerry Wayne.

“I promised you this would be an exciting game and it’s truly a rivalry between us and Tri Valley,” said Chicago North manager Max Reising. “The Giants had the momentum but we kept chipping away and were able to shift the momentum.”

Tri Valley’s offense exploded in the sixth inning for five runs led by a three-run double from Andre White. After the Giants added a run in the seventh when Cel Thomas singled in Clint Romero, Chicago North began to chip away at the deficit in the bottom half of the inning.

“After falling behind 6-2 we had a little speech in the dugout to accentuate the positives and reminding everybody we’ve been down to them before and we came back and beat them in 11 innings,” said Reising. “We had three times left to bat and our guys lived up to the task.”

RBI singles from Wayne and George Jimenez for Chicago North cut the score to 6-4. After adding one in the eighth, Bill Postulek hit a game-tying RBI single for Chicago North driving in Mike Torresso.

One of the unsung heroes of the tournament for Chicago North was Oscar Samano. Samano caught every inning of every game and for his gritty effort was named the team’s tournament MVP.

With heavy hearts the Giants dedicated their tournament to Kenny Beecham, one of the two members that still played who were from the original team. Beecham unexpectedly passed away about a month and a half before the World Series but the team brought his number 42 jersey and his 42-ounce bat and put them on display in the dugout for all of their games. Beecham’s personality was as big as his bat and has been sorely missed by the Giants players.

“Kenny was the heart and soul of this team forever,” said Giants manager Art Scears. “Kenny was one of those guys that always had a smile on his face and everybody knew him. He was happy all the time.”

Pool Play

During pool play the Tri Valley Giants scrapped and clawed their way to a 3-3 record behind the arm of pitcher Jeremy Advincula who earned two wins on the mound, had several key hits and stole a few bases. Andre White and Clint Romero also had a very good tournament at the plate for the Giants.

Chicago North TSP earned the top see of the playoffs going 5-1 in pool play. After losing the first game Chicago North won their next five games. Heading into the championship game Chicago North had scored 93 runs and allowed just 45 and the manager attributed that to “solid offense, decent pitching and good defense.”

Semifinals

In the semifinals the Giants defeated a familiar foe in the REBL Cardinals 7-2 with Advincula earning the win for the Giants. The Cardinals and the Giants often face each other in their regional leagues and tournaments so they were no stranger in this one.

Chicago North defeated the Texas Redbirds 12-5 in the semifinals to earn a berth in the championship game. Chicago North blew the game open in the third inning scoring eight runs to give starting pitcher Dave Czosek a nice cushion early allowing him to pitch them to victory.

Team                         1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9          R    H   E

Tri Valley Giants    0    0    0    0    0    5    1    0    0          6    12 2

Chicago North TSP 0    1    1    0    0    0    2    2    1          7    9    1

WP: Bailan LP: Sciutti

2B: Allen (TVG), Adams (TVG), Thomas (TVG), White (TVG), Romero (TVG), Torresso (TSP), Wayne 2 (TSP), Samano (TSP)

HBP: Adams (TVG), Weiner (TSP), Arenz (TSP)

SAC: Cibario (TSP), Otero (TSP)

SB: White (TVG), Barbari (TVG), Torresso (TSP)

IBB: O’Connor (TSP)

Leading Hitters: Giants – White 2×4, 2B, 3 RBI; Allen 2×4, R; Thomas 2×2, 2B, 2 RBI, R; Lookouts – Wayne 3×3, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB; Jimenez 2×3, R, RBI, BB; Posteluk 2×4, RBI

LOB: Giants 6; Lookouts 12

Total game time: 2:40