2021 45+

Diamond Dream Mustangs 11, Utah Rockies 10

‘Clough Walk-off Sac Fly Secures Championship’

Submitted by Mike LaComb, Mustangs manager

In these competitive MSBL tournaments, the road to get to the finals is not an easy one, as the Mustangs needed late inning heroics of key hits in the round robin games by Andre Keene and Vince Towns to secure points against some very good opponents. And, big pitching wins by Ray Davis, Rick Clough, Dave Winstead, and Scott McIntosh. On defense, Jose Tovar and Spencer Headley played every inning at short and third respectively. Both also had OBPs of .556 and .533.

It is getting to be a standing tradition in championship games for the Diamond Dream Mustangs to lock horns in seesaw battles with teams from the great state of Utah. This time, it was the Utah Rockies as our opponent. Once again, it was a back and forth battle all game with the lead changing several times throughout the game. Lots of pitching changes on both sides.

Both teams had played a semi-final game in the morning in order to get to the championship game. Ray Davis, who had won the first game of the round robin 1 to 0, took the mound for the Mustangs in the championship and went five strong innings, leaving with the Mustangs up 7 to 5. Chris Dunn relieved for three innings, and Tony Moore came in to pitch the ninth.

At game time the Vegas heat index was at 105 degrees. The Mustangs took an early lead with Mike Burton driving in George Popkhadze. Utah took the lead back with two runs in the third inning.

The Mustangs had a big fourth inning as they scored six runs, powered by Chris Dunn’s double. Spencer Headley, Mike Wood, Ralph Rodriguez, and Tony Moore also drove in runs that inning with base hits.

The Rockies fought right back with three runs in the fifth and three more runs in the sixth to regain the lead. In the bottom of the sixth, Joe Flanagan laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt, and Tony Moore doubled home two runs to put the Mustangs back on top.

The Rockies capitalized on a throwing error in the eighth to score two more runs, and once again the lead. In the bottom of the ninth, the Mustangs rallied to get the bases loaded, and after a bases loaded issued walk to tie the game, Rick Clough drove a sacrifice fly to left to score Omar Arelano for the walk off winning run.

The Mustangs selected co-MVPs: Tony Moore, who had a tournament OBP of .571, two pitching wins and an unbelievable game saving superman flying catch in the quarterfinals, and was key in the team’s win in the semi-final and championship games.

Joining Tony for MVP honors was Mike Burton, who had a team leading .625 OBP in the tournament, caught three games, and had several clutch hits to help propel the team to victory.