Sacramento MSBL, 50+ Central Division
Sacramento Reds 17, Yard Dawg’s 8
‘Red’s Sweep Yard Dawg’s in Championship Series’
Submitted by Steve Brown, Red’s manager
This was a great team win and winning another championship this year was truly special. After winning back-to-back championships in 2019 (Both the Winter/Spring and Night Leagues) the Reds went through a rough patch in 2020 as I am sure most teams did. Let’s be honest, COVID 19 was and continues to be a hardship on everybody for sure. In addition, we lost some great players that year due to health concerns, moving out of town, injuries, work/family conflicts, and normal attrition. Yet thankfully in 2021, we were able to re-build the team back up with some new quality players and ended up with one of the most fun and talented teams that I have been on in quite a while. At this age, it is just great to still be able to play this young man’s game, let alone win another championship. This year’s win means a lot to me.
As for the 50+ Night League Championship, we beat the Yard Dawg’s in a best of three-game format, by winning the first two games. Even though we won the first game by a score of 9 to 5, I was a little worried, because if we lost the second game, we did not really have a team for game three, as half of our team and key players were going down to play in the MSBL World Series Tournament in Phoenix, Arizona and would have had to miss the game. Thankfully, we were able to focus and take care of business to pull out another win. The Yard Dawg’s are a tough team and they never gave up, as they put together a strong finish in the seventh and last inning, scoring five runs.
Our success in the second Championship Game all started with great pitching and defense. Our starting pitcher, Alan Van Ness, pitched great, throwing six of the seven innings, shutting their offense down, and only giving up one earned run. Our catcher, Ever Maldonado, called a great game and was able to keep the fast runners on the Yard Dawgs from stealing if they happened to get on base. In addition, our offense exploded with 23 hits – producing 17 runs which allowed us to play loose and have fun.
As a team rule, we bat everybody and almost everybody on the team got multiple hits, RBIs, and runs. Highlights include Steve Roberts who went 4 for 4 with two RBIs and scored three runs; Greg Hovde who went 2 for 2, with two walks, including a triple, bringing in a total of four RBIs and scored three runs; and Shawn Scibek who went 3 for 3 with an RBI and a run. Other multiple hitters include Shawn Fiser, Dennis McGrath, and Paul Pazirandeh.
I am so proud of all these guys on this team and it took the whole team to get us there, let alone to win. It all happened with the right mix of great pitching, great defense, quality at-bats, solid hitting and scoring, speed on the base paths, and perhaps just as important – good team chemistry. All season long, we kept picking each other up, stayed positive, and never gave up. I could not be prouder of these guys individually and as a team. I just hope we can keep it all together for the upcoming season.