Lehigh Valley MSBL, 25+ Division
Lehigh Valley Indians 5, The Kids 1
‘Fontanez Steps Up Huge on the Bump in Playoffs’
Submitted by Tito Fuentes, Indians manager
This was our first season in the Lehigh Valley MSBL as a team and couldn’t be happier with how things turned out for us. Let me give you a little background about me and what transpired before this historic and challenging season.
I spent the prior four years playing in the 45+ division with the Mudcats, last year’s 45+ champions. After a great season, I decided that I wanted to try the 25+ division so that I could play with my son, Gio. I called Cyclones manager Tim Dicks in early November and he asked if me, my son and a couple other guys I knew could join his team. In January I received a text from Tim saying that he was moving to Texas and couldn’t manage the team, so I decided to take over and the rest is history.
At first, I just knew most of the guys by word of mouth, but also knew they were very talented. As time went by and the delay of the season took place, I realized that we had a shot at winning a championship with the caliber of players and pitching we had, but I also knew that most teams would also be strong due to many players coming from other very competitive leagues that didn’t play due to the pandemic.
From the very beginning our team was strong and well balanced with great pitching and hitting, solid defense and discipline and love for the game. Also, we had the right combination of young and seasoned players with good speed.
After finishing the season undefeated we felt good about our chances of winning it all, but never took anyone for granted. We knew teams were going to save their best pitching for us in the playoffs and we had to bring our ‘A’ game if we wanted to finish as Champions, and that’s exactly what we did.
Our pitching was outstanding and we played solid defense. Also, we made sure to make the other team play our style of game, not the other way around. Our lineup was solid from top to bottom.
Our ace Miguel Fontanez pitched a gem in the second to last game of the playoffs against one of the league’s top pitchers, John Barr. We won 2-0. Israel Ruiz mirrored the same performance against the Kids in the championship game where he broke his arm throwing a pitch in the sixth inning and Miguel Fontanez closed it out, striking out the last four batters. We won the championship game 5-1.
We are blessed and grateful for the opportunity to play in this prestigious league and to perform at the level of success we were able to achieve this unforgettable season. We look forward to many more seasons and great competition.