Indiana Baseball League, 35+ Division
Dodgers 11, Titans 6
‘Pulley and Justice Share MVP Honors’
Submitted by Erich Rusie, Dodgers manager
The 35+ championship game of the Indiana Baseball League pitted the top two seeds in the division and the game was as good as advertised. The Titans threw reigning Cy Young award winner Bill Draper while the Dodgers countered with Matt Pulley. It set up to be a good game between the two teams that have won the last four championships.
The Titans held the Dodgers scoreless in the top of the first while plating one in their half of the first. The Dodgers answered in the top of the second when Jason Combs had a hard single with one out and newcomer Chad Justice had a hit that split the center and right fielders going all the way to the wall. Justice used his speed to end up on third with a stand-up triple. The Titans were held scoreless in their half of the second. The Dodgers loaded the bases and Adam Wheeler just missed a grand slam when his long fly curved foul. The Dodgers missed an opportunity but eked out one run on a single by Jason Wuerful. The Titans threatened in their half, but Pulley buckled down and catcher Erich Rusie threw out the first of three base runners trying to steal to end the rally.
The Dodgers and Titans were both held scoreless in the fourth and it seemed to be settling into a low scoring back and forth game. The Dodgers broke thru for two runs in the fifth when JR Clark singled and Matt Pulley hit him in with a triple. Adam Wheeler followed with an rbi groundout plating Pulley making it a 4-1 game. The Titans came up empty in their half of the fifth. In the sixth the Dodgers had a lead-off single by Justice who stole second and came to third on Scott Friedline’s single. Justice scored on a groundout by Zack Buchan to make the score 5-1 Dodgers. The Titans came alive in their half of the inning, scoring four runs in the sixth but Rusie again ended the rally by shooting down another Titan would-be base stealer. We had a new ball game 5-5 after six innings.
Matt Pulley led off the top of the seventh with a double and scored on Adam Wheeler’s single. The Titans were held scoreless in the bottom of the frame and the Dodgers lead 6-5 going into the eighth frame. The Dodgers broke the game open in the top of the eighth with five runs with the big hit being provided by Jason Combs who played two runs with a double. The Titans answered with one in the bottom of the eighth making the score 11-6 which ended up being the final.
The Dodgers repeated on the strength of co-mvp Matt Pulley who was 3-6 with a double and a triple and three runs scored and an rbi on offense. Matt also refused to come out of the game on the mound and threw a complete game allowing two earned runs while striking out eight. Chad Justice was co-mvp with a 3-5 performance including a triple and two steals. Jason Combs also had a strong game with three hits including a game breaking 2-run double. The Dodgers repeated as champions thanks to a total team effort with everyone on the field making positive plays. We were happy to win but sad that the season had to come to an end.