San Diego 73 Mudcats 17, San Antonio Broncos 10
Submitted by Jim Teeter, Mudcats manager
In a classic battle the first time these teams met earlier in the week, San Antonio emerged victorious 11-7. The Mudcats would not lose again.
The championship game started precisely the same as the pool game. No scoring in the first two innings as the teams felt each other out. In the third, Alan McKee smoked a towering blast over the left-fielder’s head, nearly reaching the fence. Ron Windell promptly took one for the team and then Father Joe Kelleher dropped a bunt between first base, second base and the pitcher for a base hit. Speed kills. After a wild pitch, Gordon Bennett took a third strike, but got two “RBI” for it to get the Mudcats on the board. With two outs, tournament MVP Allan de los Reyes stepped to the plate. Any drama here? Nope, he ripped another single to put the Mudcats up for good – just like he did all week when there was a crucial situation.
San Antonio fought back for two in the third, but in the fourth the Mudcats exploded for seven runs to expand their slim 3-2 lead to 10-2 and the game was all but over. Starter Frank Weishaar held the Broncos to seven runs in seven innings and closer Frank Milian, who closed the semi-final match, again closed the final two.
Ralph Leef was red hot out of the chute, getting on base at will it seemed. Mudcats bats pounded extra base hits relentlessly, especially the middle of the lineup. Number three Rick Haynie led the team in hitting, and cleanup Marshall Gibbs just crushed doubles all week. So did Frank Weishaar and Ron “Walkoff” Windell. Frank Milian started the fireworks early with a pair of triples. Not to be outdone Allan De los Reyes added a home run to his triple. So, Gordon Bennett said I can do that and hit two homers. Heck, even injured Bob Wengert singled his final AB to reach a .400 average.
Scoring 126 runs in eight games, I’ve never seen better hitting. Defensively our age-enhanced men stole the show with catching anchored by 76-year old Gerry McMillan, and Milo Milakovich in his first-ever World Series at age 76 may have made the play of the week with a running over-the-shoulder catch over second base to kill a rally and end an inning. Milakovich now has both a softball ring and hardball ring, a feat I was thankfully able to match a week later. Don’t brag if you do anything amazing for this team – someone will beat it in no time.