Inland Angels 9, Paladin 3

‘Ironman Sallo Takes Charge on the Bump’

Submitted by Ted Poleto, Angels manager

This was our first entry into the 65+ division of the Kickoff Classic, as we have been specifically playing in the 60’s.  Half of the team consisted of new guys that have not played with the Inland Angels before BUT the camaraderie perseverance and team work exhibited throughout the weekend was the driving force behind our eventually winning the tourney.

We had a strong team from top to bottom and EVERYONE contributed to the championship.  In the Round-Robin we hit and played defense extremely well but lost to Paladin 5-3 in a hard-fought game.  We didn’t hit well and they shut us down and we knew after that game that the chance of a bye was remote and we would have to play straight double headers to earn a right to the final and whoever the opponent was we would have our hands full.  At that point everyone to a player said they could go 18 straight innings in the field and that’s what happened.

To a man we gutted it out.  The guys NEVER complained and the focus was insane.  Stew Sallo, our starting pitcher in the semis, did a great job in the Mud Cat game overcoming a 3-run first inning and then shutting them down in amazing fashion.  I thought when we got to the final we could ask Stew to go as far as he could against a formidable opponent in Paladin.  After that it would be all hands on deck hoping our hitting and defense would carry us. 

Stew took the challenge head on and ended up throwing two complete games in a row!  It was an amazing display of competitiveness and will!  Also, his battery mate Bill Dettmann caught four games in the weekend and gave up at bats to concentrate on his team winning the title.  It was fun to be a part of this and I am proud of our team victory.

We played some great opponents all weekend and it was one of those tourneys you will remember for the sportsmanship displayed by all of the teams.

I can go through each guy with specifics on what they contributed each game by play if I had to but suffice it to say I was proud to be a part of this team and hope we can all get on the field again in Phoenix for the MSBL World Series and the 65 division!