2021 65+ Cactus
Puget Sound Mariners 10, Kansas City A’s 4
‘Nordness Grabs MVP Honors’
Submitted by Tom Evans Krause, Mariners Field Manager
Over a period of 30 hours in the Arizona heat, the 65+ Puget Sound Mariners won back-to-back Thursday and Friday double-headers to claim their first-ever 65 & Over MSBL Cactus Division title. The incredible run concluded with a 10-4 victory over the Kansas City A’s in the championship contest at the Maryvale complex.
The Mariners lost to the A’s earlier in the week during the Round Robin 3-2, so the re-match was expected to be anybody’s game to win.
As predicted, the title tussle was very close for the first four innings, with Kansas City holding a narrow 3-1 lead. The Mariners took advantage of several hits, walks, and A’s miscues to push across six runs in the fifth frame. Building on a 7-3 lead, the M’s added three more tallies in the sixth, while only allowing a sole ninth-inning run to KC.
Bill Knudsen was masterful on the mound picking up the win for the Mariners in a complete-game effort. He scattered eight Kansas City hits while striking out three. Brad Baker took the loss for the A’s. Knudsen finished the week 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP.
Offensive stars for the Mariners in the title game included Rocky Nordness, who went 2-3 with one walk, one HBP, two RBI, two runs and four stolen bases, Lonnie Bloom, 2-4 with one walk and two RBI, George “Doc” Lathrop, 2-4 with a double, and Tag Gleason, 2-3 and one run.
Nordness was named Most Valuable Player for the week. Offensively the MVP batted .556 with three walks, one HBP, 16 RBI, 16 runs, eight doubles, three triples, and 11 stolen bases. In addition to his prowess at the plate, Nordness went 2-1 on the mound with a 1.50 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. Other major contributors for the Mariners included catcher/2B Wayne Ottum, who hit .488, and shortstop Don Russell at .486. Tag Gleason provided offensive support with a .400 average and Wes Lewis finished the week with a .366 average.