Mezcal 8, Capital City Cardinals 2

By Rodney Johnson, special to MSBL

October 27, 2019, Tempe Diablo Stadium – When it comes to the MSBL Father/Son Division, winning isn’t the most important thing, but it sure beats losing. Just ask the Mezcal after beating the Capital City Cardinals in the championship game of the National Division. “The biggest thing is the camaraderie that our sons get to see when they play here with us,” said Mezcal manager Anthony Corona. “They love it as much as we do and having them here with us is just a blessing in itself.”

It was all Mezcal after Cap City took the lead with a first inning run. Ramon Apodoca’s two-run single in the second gave Mezcal a lead that they would never relinquish in an 8-2 win. Simon Rodriguez earned MVP honors after pitching the first four innings and giving up one run. He also pitched four shutout innings in his win in the semifinal game the day before. Mezcal finished 3-1 in pool play and beat the CA Capitals 4-0 in the semis. “Everybody knows their role and we play together as a team,” said Corona. “We’ve all known each other for about 25 years. We see each other so much that we know what to expect from everyone and everyone delivered.”

It was a big day for the Fonseca family. Franciso Jr. batted leadoff and contributed a two-for-five day with a pair of RBI. Not to be outdone, his dad Francisco Sr. batted fifth and went three-for-three and also had two RBI. Mario Rodarte followed Rodriguez to the mound and matched Rodriguez’s four innings of one-run ball. Marlon Aguilar closed the game by hurling a scoreless ninth.

For Mezcal, it was their third championship in four years. “Our dads have been together for about 20 years and now our kids are part of this great adventure with us,” said Corona. “Some of our boys are in college so they spend a lot of time away from home so it’s great that they get together with us to play some ball. We all sit in the parking lot and have a beer and talk about the great times that we are having here. It really is a great bonding experience.”

The Capital City Cardinals from Sacramento, California advanced to the finals with a 5-4, 12-inning win over the San Jose Giants in the semifinals. The Cardinals finished second to Mezcal in pool play with a 2-2 record. “All the teams in our division were very competitive,” said Cardinal manager Derek Bulock. “Our dads pitching (George Krause, Roy McDaniel, Dave Stafford) led us to the finals and we got some key hits from a couple of sons (Josh Hook and Ryan Stafford).”

The Cardinals live in the Sacramento area and play in the same league together. “We just have one player from the San Diego area and a couple of guys that are still playing high school that don’t play in our league with us,” explained Bulock. The Cards have a pair of father-son combos that have been on the team together for 17-years; Phil Gelhaus and his son Mike and Derek Bulock and his son Andrew. Through it all, they have only one championship ring to show for it. “That’s not the reason we come here,” said Bulock. “We come here to play catch with our kids and have fun with our friends.”

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

Capital City              1    0    0    0    0    0    0    1    0             2      9     1

Mezcal                      0    2    1    2    1    0    1    1    x             8     18    2

Pitching Line: (Cap City): D. Stafford; M. Leacox. (5) (Mezcal): S. Rodriguez; M. Rodarte (5); F. Aguilar (9) .

WP: S. Rodriguez(Mezcal)

LP: D. Stafford (Cap City)

HR: none

3B: none

2B: J. Hoak (Cap City); J. Acuna (Mezcal);

Leading Hitters: (Capital City): Anthony Robinson 2×3, RBI; Dave Stafford 2×4; Mark Leacox 1×4, RBI. (Mezcal): Francisco Fonseca Jr. 2×5, 2 RBI; Joe Dicarlo 2×4; Francisco Fonseca Sr. 3×3, 2 RBI; Ramon Apococa 2×2, 2 RBI.

SAC: none

SF: Fonseca Sr. (Mezcal)

SB:  R. Stafford (Cap City); A. Robinson (Cap City).

Team LOB: Capital City 12, Mezcal 9

Time of Game: 2:20