Puget Sound Senior Baseball League, 60+ Ranier Division
Pilots 19, Bears 6
‘Pilots Retool to Log ‘Worst to First’ Finish’
The 2021 PSSBL Rainier Pilots (21-4) Championship season was a true tale of worst to first and a rare accomplishment in Puget Sound Senior Baseball League Competitive division annals.
Coming off their inaugural 2019 season at 2-21, and no 2020 season due to Covid, the Pilots rebuilt their roster bringing back just four players from the 2019 club while signing 15 competitive PSSBL veterans. The Pilots opened winning 6 of 7, and 14 of 18 regular-season games. They capped off the run going 3-0 in the playoffs, winning the Championship game 19-6 over the regular season and playoff runner-up, Bears.
On the field, the Pilots dominated the opposition scoring double-digit runs in 18 of 21 games. The Pilots combined an overwhelming offense with athletic defense and solid pitching. Slashing .426/.490/.528 as a team, and (8) in their line up hitting over .400, the Pilots were led by Division MVP Ron Sherwin (.506/.579/.727). Sherwin led the division in hits, extra-base hits, runs, and finished one shy of the Division RBI title. In fact, the top four RBI leaders were all Pilots.
Pilots pitching was equally dominant leading the Division in ERA, WHIP, fewest hits, and fewest runs allowed. Shortstop/Pitcher Mike Lindberg made a solid case for MVP consideration posting a 2.72 ERA over 39 high leverage innings while hitting .487/.529/.632. Staff workhorse Steve Wallace logged 79 innings and an 8-2 record.
Overall, the Pilots ran off winning streaks of six and eight, the final eight being the last five regular-season games and three playoff games. In that 3-0 playoff run, the Pilots outscored their opponents 43-19. Given their inaugural season when the Pilots finished dead last (2-21) and were outscored by more than 200 runs, this 2021 campaign illustrated the tale of “worst to first” in the most emphatic manner.