Milwaukee Rock MSBL, 62+ Division
Racine Blues 17, Pilots 6
‘Big Seventh Inning Propels Blues to ‘Five-Peat’
Submitted by David Froehlich, Racine Blues manager
“This was an amazing year and finish. Coming back after losing the opening playoff game 13-6 as decisively as we did was very special. These guys make my job as manager easy as pie. They are a very special group. Most players have been on this 62+ team all six years it has been in existence. I feel lucky to be a part of it. Below is a recap of our championship game.
Today the BLUES put the final touches on a GREAT season crushing the Pilots again 17-6. This was by far the best comeback finish to date. After losing the opener to the Pilots 12-4, the BLUES decided it was time to buck up and play as they can. The second playoff game was ALL BLUES winning it 19-1 and it served as a warning to the Pilots that the BLUES were not to be denied their FIVEPEAT. And they would not be denied.
The Pilots scored first in the first inning getting a run on only one hit. After a scoreless second the BLUES struck for two in their half of the third inning. John Lenart doubled and went to third on Gary Landreman’s second single of his four straight. Landreman then stole second and Lenart scored on the throw to second. Buck Buchholz then doubled home Landreman. 2-1 BLUES. The Pilots came up and immediately scored two themselves on three singles and a fielder’s choice. 3-2 Pilots. Then the BLUES BOMBERS struck.
Jon Nelson and Jim Reynolds singled. Billy Sweetman walked loading the bases. Vinny Renna then crushed a long single to plate Nelson and Reynolds. Lenart moved Renna, who had stolen second, to third on a fielder’s choice when Sweetman got caught in a rundown. He managed to stay alive long enough for the runners to advance to second and third. Landreman singled in Renna and stole second. Becker followed with a single to send Lenart and Landreman in. Buchholz singled but would die there. 7-3 BLUES. The Pilots would get two in their half of the fourth. 7-5 BLUES.
The sixth inning saw the BLUES add a pair to their tally when Renna led off with a double and with two out Landreman singled again to put two runners on. Becker then tripled both in. 9-5 BLUES. The seventh inning was the total undoing of the Pilots. Rick Czechowicz led off with a single. Nelson doubled him in. Reynolds then doubled in Nelson. Sweetman singled moving Reynolds to third. John Hauch then singled scoring Reynolds and moving Sweetman to second. Lenart singled in Sweetman. Landreman walked to load the bases. Becker walked to push in Renna who was running for Hauch. Buchholz then smashed a long single to plate both Landreman and Becker. 16-5 BLUES.
The Pilots got one back on a pair of doubles. 16-6 BLUES. In the eighth the BLUES scored once more to maintain the ten-run lead. Nelson, Reynolds and Sweetman all walked to load the bags. Renna then hit a long sacrifice fly to plate Nelson. 17-6 BLUES. The Pilots would go 1-2-3 in the eighth and ninth. Special thanks go out to starting pitcher PHIL SMITH who traveled all the way from IOWA to play with the BLUES this year. Five BIG wins with three in the playoffs. THANKS PHIL.
Along with tremendous offense the BLUES also displayed their best defense of the season in the last two games. Shortstop Billy Sweetman made eight great plays in just the last game alone. The infield was tighter than Midas. The pitchers fielded very well as did the outfielders. Catcher Vinny Renna threw out a runner attempting to steal thereby shutting down further attempts.”