Sacramento Men’s Senior Baseball League, 18+ American division

Blue Jays 7, Orioles 4

Submitted by David Whitesel, Blue Jays manager

(Photos courtesy of Jane Burkitt)-The 2020 season was one the Blue Jays, along with the rest of Sacramento MSBL, is grateful for and certainly will never forget. We ballplayers needed some semblance of normalcy during this unprecedented pandemic. The season started out a little rocky with the opening day postponed over a month, with the possibility of having to play some Saturdays, and with a reduced number of games. Despite all that, without hesitation everybody said they were in for the season. As manager, I’m grateful to have such a dedicated group of guys.

In the regular reason, the Blue Jays finished first with a 10-2 record while the Orioles finished a close second at 9-3. Both teams won their playoff games to earn the right to play each other for the championship. The Jays beat the O’s two out of three times in the regular season with a combined run differential of only one run. To say these teams matched up well would be an understatement. The championship game would be no different.

The O’s started off the top of the first with three runs, capitalizing on a collision between the Jays second baseman and right fielder going after a fly ball. The Jays got one back in the bottom of the first on consecutive base hits by Travis Anderson and Troy Loparco. The Orioles got another run in the top of the second to push the lead back to 4-1. The score would remain the same until the bottom of the seventh when the Jays used some aggressive baserunning to take advantage of a couple of Orioles errors to put five runs on the board to make it 6-4.

In the top of the eighth, the Orioles had a bit of a two-out rally stifled when shortstop Troy Loparco made a leaping catch of a line drive to end the inning. The Jays added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth to make it 7-4, the final score. Starter Jake Thompson pitched five strong innings and Mike Scudero finished up with four scoreless frames in relief.

Thanks to all for such a fantastic season! Thanks to Sacramento Men’s Senior Baseball League President Alan Van Ness for the awesome championship shirts! We’ll never forget the 2020 season!