2020 35+ National
East Coast Cardinals 11, Safe Financial 4
Submitted by Ralph Proulx
The Cardinals defeated Safe Financial 11 – 4 to capture the 2020 MSBL Fall Classic 35+ National title at Fitteam Stadium in West Palm Beach, Florida. After going 3-1-1 in pool play the Cardinals bats came alive in the playoffs. The Cardinals were led by former big leaguers Jesse Litsch and Lastings Milledge, along with Matt Branz and Rocco Calloway.
The Cardinals disposed of Palm Beach, whom they had tied in pool play by a score of 5-4 behind a complete game by former big leaguer Arnie Munoz. The Cards played flawless defense to move past Palm Beach.
In the finals the Cardinals faced Safe Financial, the team that had beat them in pool play 6-4. Matt Stevens gave the Cardinals 7+ strong innings on the mound, with relief help from Larry Hingle, and the Cardinals were able to secure another 35+ National division title 11 – 4. The Cardinal bats exploded for five runs in the fifth inning to put them up 7-2. After Safe Financial started to mount a comeback the Cardinals were able to score four runs in the eighth to put them into a 11-4 lead.
Strong defense and good pitching all week were the keys to the Cardinals success in the highly competitive 35+ National division. Tournament co-MVPs were Matt Stevens and longtime East Coast Cardinal Coach Steve Garrett. Cardinals Manager Dave Hash stated, “I can’t say enough about the gentlemen we had on our team this year. Everyone on this team played an important part in winning this Championship. Each player on our 2020 EC Cardinals team deserve MVP trophies.”