Diamond Dream Mustangs 15, So Cal Trojans 2
‘Mustangs Repeat as 50+ Champs’
Submitted by MSBL World Series Hall of Fame member Mike LaComb, Mustang’s manager
For the third year in a row the Mustangs have played in the 50+ championship game at the MSBL Kickoff Classic in Vegas, and for the second year in a row they have come away as champions.
It was more of a feat this year than other years, since we had to win with a shortened roster due to covid restricting many players from being able to join the team for the weekend. The Mustangs applaud MSBL for all they had to go through to host this tournament. Without the National HQ staff’s tireless efforts to deal with the havoc caused by the virus restrictions, the 2021 Kickoff Classic would never have happened.
The Mustangs managed to go undefeated, despite a hard fought 8-4 win in the semifinals versus their perennial competitor, the Utah Braves.
Rick Clough was unbelievable as he pitched wins in both the semi-final and the championship game on the same day. He also banged out two doubles and a homer in the championship.
Chris Dunn relieved Clough in the championship game to get the save, as he was also named MVP for the tournament posting a whopping .782 on base percentage.
Carlos Perez hit his second homer of the tournament in the final game, along with two other hits, despite playing with a partially torn achilles.
Lonnie Maclan roamed center field all weekend to go along with four hits in the championship game.
Ron Barckhoff and Jose Tovar played solid defense in the middle infield throughout the tournament and turned four double plays in the championship game.
The forever iron-man Joe Walsh caught the final game, and shared the catching duties with first time Mustang Joe Flanagan.
Tony Parella held down the clean-up hitter spot all weekend and belted three hits in the final game.
Dave Kaufmann stole 11 bases over the weekend in his own spot and as a courtesy runner with four stolen bases in the last game.
Mark Gleason pitched a gem in the round robin, and held down right field the rest of the time.
First time Mustangs Jason Christopher and Izzy Gonzalez came up big for the team at third base and at the plate.
Tom Taylor closed two games during the round robin for the team.
In the end it was a typical Mustang championship with it being a whole team effort all weekend long, as the Mustang players play for their team and the love of the game.