SOCAL MSBL, Open Division
Sun Devils 19, OC Bulls 17
Top row L-R: Jacob Mohr, Alan Ray, Brett Wachinski, Alex Castro, John Duran, Vince Payne, Anthony Velazquez, Zack Marton, Brandon Chacon. Bottom row L-R: Derek Clair (Mgr.), Ryan Cheo, Tom Gelatka, Aaron Gates, Gabe Garcia, Jason Greene, Brett Stewart. Not pictured: Dave Morrow and Darryl Williams
‘Garcia Shines in Game one, Fans 19’
Submitted by Derek Clair, Sun Devils manager
The So Cal Sun Devils, based out of Orange County, Ca, swept the OC Bulls in the best of three finals to win the 2019 SOCAL MSBL Open Division championship. The Devils won the first game 4-0 behind southpaw Gabe Garcia’s complete game shutout that included 19 strikeouts!
In the second game, the Sun Devils bolted out to a 16-4 lead before the very talented Bulls came roaring back with 11 straight runs to cut the lead to one. The Devils tacked on 3 late runs and hung on for the wild 19-17 nail biter win to claim the title.
The Sun Devils struggled early in the 2019 season and after being swept in a mid-season doubleheader, saw their record fall to 5-8 on the year. But the Devils stuck to their preseason plan of bolstering the roster with talented players with great attitudes. This process galvanized the team to win nine consecutive games to finish the season 14-8. The team outscored their opponents 84-36 during that span. The Sun Devils motto is to put their best defense on the field with strike throwers on the mound.
The Sun Devils have a rich history, after being founded some 30 years ago by MSBL National HOF Dennis Swartout. They have won 12 league championships during that span. The Devils have evolved from a 30 plus division team, then moved up to the 35+ in the early 2000’s before deciding to challenge themselves by moving to the Open division in 2017. The Sun Devils have also been part of five MSBL National World Series Championships (1995, 1996, 2009, 2011 and 2012). They have claimed titles in 30+, 45+ and 50+ age brackets. The Sun Devils are currently managed by Derek Clair and assisted by Brett Stewart.