North Texas Amateur Baseball League (Dallas), 18+ Open Division
‘Oak Cliff Pelicans Sweep Spring and Fall Championships’
Submitted by Michael Evans, Pelican’s manager
Taking the mound in Game one of the best of three NTABL Spring Open division championship series were former farmhands of the Houston Astros, Brandon Wilkerson and Florida Marlins, Craig Molldrem.
The game was tied at two with the Oak Cliff Pelicans batting in the bottom of the sixth when Dustin Harrison singled on the first pitch of the at-bat, scoring two runs. This was followed by Casey Maack who doubled on a 0-1 count, scoring one run, and Eric Williams doubling on a full count, scoring another run.
The Pels scored four runs that inning on two doubles and a single to take the lead 2-5 and pulled away for good.
The Pelicans racked up seven hits on the day. Eric Williams and Casey Maack each collected multiple hits for the Pelicans. Eric Williams went 3-for-3 at the plate to lead Oak Cliff in hits. The Oak Cliff Pelicans grabbed the lead late and defeated the Dallas Panthers in a 5-3 final.
Another pitcher’s duel took place in Game two of the NTABL Spring Open Division Championship Series. Michael Deacon started on the mound for the Oak Cliff Pelicans facing off against the Dallas Panthers former Minnesota Twins lefty farmhand Blake Martin. Martin allowed one hit and zero runs over seven innings, striking out 12 and walking zero. The Pelicans relied heavily on their bullpen with Andrew Alig and Josh Unumb entering the game in relief after Michael Deacon’s 2-inning, three-hit, one-walk starting appearance.
The Pelican’s defense was otherworldly with double plays in the first, fourth, fifth, and sixth innings ending any Panther’s possible gain of momentum.
In extra innings, the 10th started with a runner on second base. The second-base runner Joe Wilson would score with the help of back-to-back singles by Kyle Redinger and Michael Bernay off Dallas Panthers reliever Tony Harvot.
Miguel Livingston finished the game strong with a combined five Ks in the ninth and 10th innings. Miguel Livingston struck out Mike Elwood to close out the game. The righty went four innings, allowing one walk, one hit, and striking out seven. Livingston was credited with the victory for the Pelicans.
Oak Cliff’s pitchers struck out nine, while the Panther’s pitchers sat down 12.
The Oak Cliff Pelicans four pitchers combined to throw a shutout to defeat the Dallas Panthers 1-0 in the series-clinching Game two of the NTABL Spring Open Division championship.
This was the team’s ninth career championship victory.
The NTABL Fall Open Championship was a battle. The pitching was strong on both sides. The Pelicans starting pitcher Andrew Alig finished with one earned run given up over six complete innings. Alig was dealing, only allowing four hits and sitting down seven.
The Dark Horse opened up scoring in the second inning when starting pitcher Angiel hit a solo home run to left-center. The Pels quickly answered back in the bottom of second with back-to-back doubles by Michael Bernay and Matt Deacon, scoring Bernay to tie the game at one run apiece.
In the top of the third inning Alig, with two outs, walked three straight batters to load the bases but got out of the jam with a ground-out comebacker.
During the bottom of the sixth inning, Oak Cliff took advantage of two walks and an error by the Dark Horse to place lead-off hitter Heath Smith on third base. The Pelicans then took the lead for good that same inning when Dustin Harrison flew out to right, driving in a run.
The seventh-inning appearance of Miguel Livingston closed the door on any possible rally with a ground out, line out, and a pop out.
Matt Deacon went 2-for-2 at the plate to lead the Oak Cliff Pelicans in hits.
Pelicans won their 10th career team championship, sweeping the 2021 NTABL Open Division with spring and fall season titles.