Southern California Snappers 5, Montebello Angels 3 (18 innings)
‘Pimentel Doubles in Go-Ahead Run in 18th’
Submitted by Frank Sansone, Snappers manager
(Photos courtesy of Ponnie Jackson) The Southern California Snappers in their 21st consecutive Arizona appearance captured their seventh MSBL World Series Championship by beating the Montebello Angels in 18 innings 5 – 3 to capture the 40+ National Championship. Both teams have been historically championship contenders in Arizona and this matchup proved why both teams are considered powerhouses in the adult baseball world. Montebello entered the game going 5-1 in pool play with their only loss to the Snappers. The Snappers entered the game after going 4-2 in pool play. This was a rematch of the 2019 40+ National Championship that Montebello Angels captured.
Tied at three after nine innings and continuing to be tied at three entering the 18th inning, the Snappers led off the top of the 18th with a single by Tony Harden, who was sacrificed to second by Steve Connally. Jack Wilson, who caught all 18 innings, was intentionally walked. This allowed long time Snapper Manny Pimentel to double in the go ahead run. Another run would later score on a wild pitch. With Tony Harden on the mound to close the game out he closed the game out on a line drive double play to secure the victory.
Pitching carried the day for the Snappers in this 5 ½ hour marathon. Pete Hartmann started and went six innings, surrendering three runs, all in the third inning after a dropped pop up with two outs. Then came on Manny Birruete who held the Angels to zero runs over the next 10 1/3 innings.
The game was not without controversy. In the bottom of the 14th with one out the Angels had the bases loaded. A slow ground ball was hit to the Snappers shortstop who fed the ball to Roberto Ramos at second base and as he was turning the unlikely double play he was taken out by the sliding base runner. Both teams thought the game was over until the umpire called runners interference and the inning ended tied. The pictures below probably support this call:
Roberto Ramos had two RBI in the game, including the game tying RBI in the seventh inning while going 2 for 5 with a double. Brandon Kaye was 4 for 7 in the game and Jack Wilson was 3 for 7 with a double.
“It is an honor to play Montebello. They play the game the right way and are very difficult to beat. In the two years we have been in the 40+ we have developed a nice rivalry; however, I would say that both teams are very professional about their approach”.
“Finally, thank you to the MSBL staff and in particular Steve and Tom for allowing us to once again pretend like we are young and live the dream for another week in the sun.”