Chicago TSP Fire 10, San Diego Mudcats 6

‘Karas Shines on the Bump and at the Plate’

Submitted by Dan Gooris, TSP Fire manager

Going into the 2020 MSBL World Series, there were more challenges than in past years. In the forefront, there was the Covid issue and how that was going to be handled, everything from travel to lodging to playing the games was up in the air. Also, confronting this year’s Fire team was the fact that we had finally decided to split and add a 70+ team along with our 65+ team. The older players felt it was time to make the move and to continue the Fire tradition.

In pool play, the 70+ American Division Fire finished with a 3-2 record with a walk-off win against the Sunkings to start the week, followed by wins against the always tough LA Athletics and the San Diego Mudcats. The 3-2 record was good enough for a #3 seed and a place in the American Division championship game against a Mudcat team that went winless in pool play, but upset the Sunkings to make it to the championship game.

The Fire had defeated the Mudcats earlier in the week by a score of 14-7, but knew from experience that they had a team that could hit and they also had a second chance to turn their week around. The Fire scored five runs in the first inning, and one run in the second and appeared to be in control behind the strong pitching of George Karas until the third inning when the Mudcats scored five runs to make it a 6-5 game.

The Fire added three insurance runs in the fifth and one more run in the seventh.  Karas settled down and held the Mudcats scoreless until the eighth inning when he ran out of gas. Sam Ceci came in with two runners on base and no outs. Ceci allowed one run, and got the Fire out of the inning and finished the ninth facing only three hitters. Final score, Fire 10-Mudcats 6.

Hitting honors for the week go to Ken Overton .458 (11/24), Sam Ceci .476 (10/21), Joel Polakoff .520 (13/25) and George Karas .600 (15/24).