2022 35+ National

Montebello Angels 19, Utah Blues 0

Submitted by Robert Oskin, Angel’s manager

The Montebello Angels compiled a 5-0 record on their way to winning the 35+ National Division of the 2022 MSBL Kickoff Classic in Las Vegas. The way the format was set up was four teams in Group A and six teams in Group B. The division winner of each group represented the National Division.

Great pitching and hitting by the Angels won their pool play with a 4-0 record. But the Angels had to come back in their second game against the Utah Dodgers, 10-9 in a spectacular game for the books. The Dodgers went up 5-1, the Angels came back 7-5, then the Dodgers took the lead, 9-8. With time running out in the bottom of the seventh with two outs, Brandon Hedding got a single, Moni Apodaca stroked a double in the gap to score Hedding to tie the game at eight, and then Ruben Hernandez was able to clutch up with a ball up the middle for a hit that allowed Apodaca to score the winning run.

The pitcher they brought in after going up was definitely their ace. We give him credit, as the guy threw hard and had seven K’s in six innings against us. It was just a great game to remember and a credit to our team for never giving up.

We ended up playing the Utah Blues in the Championship game Monday morning. Even though the score looked out of hand, their starting pitcher Bryan Deshayes did a great job and threw well, holding us to three runs going into the seventh until we finally just exploded for the 19-0 final score. Andy Torres threw a complete game, three-hit shutout along with 11 K’s for us.

All weekend our team hit well with Hedding, Apodaca, Hernandez, Ken Lumpkin, Lalo Saldivar, Lupe Castanon, Daniel Arruda, Torres, and Eddie Nava all batting over .500 for the tournament. Steve Connally, Vic Darensbourg, Nava, and Josh Levine all threw well for our four round-robin wins. We had a fabulous time out there and look forward to coming back next year.