2021 55+

Diamond Dream Mustangs 13, 55 North County Cardinals 2

Submitted by Carlos Pianelli, Mustangs manager

Day one game one saw the Diamond Dream Mustangs play the stadium game to near full capacity. From start to finish the team took control and won

convincingly 22-7 over the Giltner ’60s.  The Mustang attack of 27 hits dominated Giltner, with Jerry Hirsch leading the way going 4 for 5 and hitting a double and home run. Doug Gastineau also chipped in with his own special magic going 4 for 5 with four RBI’s. Four players impacted the game with three hits each (Danny Williams, Matt Shults, Fred Hayes, Scott Halperin) as the team led from start to finish.  Starter Don Collie pitched a complete eight-inning victory to close out game one.    

Day one, game two of the doubleheader saw the Mustangs down a run going into the eighth inning to come back and pull out another victory, this time against the 55 San Diego North team. Jerry Hirsch started the rally with a triple and Lance Hoffman tied the game with a hit. Now with the bases loaded, Ray Quinteros punched through a base hit to take the lead while Scott Halperin walked to increase the lead to two runs. 

A masterful Ignacio Sanchez held the 55 San Diego North squad in check for seven innings until Jerry Hirsch came in and slammed the door with two shut-down innings to pick up the victory.  

Day two, game three saw the Mustangs now playing for the top seed and a bye for the upcoming playoffs. The team fell behind early in the first inning, giving up three runs on untraditional miscues for a team that prides itself on defense.  The comeback started with two runs each in the second, fourth and fifth innings while the most impressive pitching performance of the tournament was given by the magnificent Danny Williams, throwing eight innings on a 3-hit showstopper.

The game ended with two runners on and Darin Ryburn entering the ninth. He promptly ended all hopes for the 55 North County Cardinals by setting down the next three batters in grand fashion. Darin also collected two hits while Fred Hayes led the way going 3 for 3 and helped the Mustangs earn the top seed and a trip to the finals.

Day Three, Game 4, Championship Monday, Sept 6th 2021-The championship game saw a rematch with 55 North County Cardinals.  But this time with a new pitcher, the Cardinals haven’t seen in Don Collie. The Mustang team was now clicking on all cylinders with a very different look and approach in-store.  The Mustang scored in three of the first five innings to jump in an insurmountable 10-0 lead. A 16 attack and six steals on six attempts were more than the Cardinals could handle.

Four players threw down a magic three; Matt Shults three steals, Jerry Hirsch three RBI’s and both Don Jensen and Danny Williams included three hits each. On the pitching side, the game started with Don Collie’s masterful six-inning pitching performance and the three scoreless innings of Darin Ryburn firmly placed the championship trophy, hat, and t-shirts in the hands of the 2021 “Beat the Heat” winner, the Diamond  Dream Mustangs.

The Mustangs as a team finished with a batting average of .420, OBP of .460, and a Slugging percentage of .509 with eight doubles, two triples, and one home run, as well as 22 steals in 26 attempts.

Five players batted over 500 and the team ERA was 3.18.  The Mustangs, a combination of both 60-and 55-year-olds, were led by Gold Glove performances by Jerry HirschFred Hayes, and Lance Hoffman.  Five players hit over 500 with Doug Gastineau leading the way with a .615 batting average. Jerry Hirsch hit .563 and led the team with two triples, one home run, and seven RBI’s. Danny Williams hit .533 and finished with an ERA of 1.29. Matt Shults hit .533 and led the team with seven stolen bases.

Ignacio Sanchez threw a sold seven innings game two performance, and then decided to hit .400. With a defensive gem in game three, Don Jensen contributed at third base and hit .294. Scott Halperin, along with his gem in right field, chipped in with a .500 average. First baseman Fred Hayes contributed defensively and hit .500 for the team.  Randy Jackson played a solid left field and contributed a double and a .375 avg.  One of the quickest players on the team, Ray Quinteres hit .355. One of two Closing pitchers, Darin Ryburn shut down the opposition in both of his appearances to finish with an ERA of 0.00 and hit .286. Don Collie started and ended the tournament pitching and leading all pitchers with 14 innings and two victories.

As the manager today I am beaming with pride in the contribution each player made, as well as the hustle and determination they all displayed to win.

My Gratitude and Thanks goes out to first base coach Bill Phelps, bench coach and stats man Paul Christie, and a special thanks goes out to Chris Dunn and Mike LaComb