2022 70+ Cactus

MBI 8, Fresno Grizzlies 3

Submitted by Pat Fynes, MBI manager

MBI won the 70+ Championship game in the 70+ Cactus Division with an 8-3 win over the talented Fresno Grizzlies. For the week, MBI finished with a record of six wins, no losses, and a tie. It was a fun week and a big thank you to MSBL for putting together another great tournament. Even though rain impacted the schedule, the staff enabled a smooth transition regarding making up the rainout.

In the Championship game versus the Fresno Grizzlies, the Fresno pitcher held us to 10 hits, our lowest total for the week. But we limited our miscues in the field and our pitcher, Matt Falerios, held the Grizzlies to three runs. Offensively, it was a team approach with everyone contributing. Key hits enabled us to put eight runs on the board against a quality pitcher.  

During the week, every player provided positive effort to enable us to win the title.

  • Al Alt handled the hot corner and pitched us successively through the Semi’s – one of our workhorses on the mound, facing 55 batters during the week.
  • Bobby Hoeffner played a great right field and fought the sun on several occasions to make great catches – had a key DP in the Championship Game.
  • Marse McNaughton covered the outfield and had several key force outs at second by getting a great jump on the ball – had a .500 average and a .590 OBP.
  • Jeff Blatt hit well with a .536 average that included 2 doubles. The only sign we had was for the bunt, and Jeff received the sign 5 times and laid down 5 perfect bunts for 4 hits and a sac.
  • Charles Jeffers flashed gold at second and involved in several double plays – offensive machine with a .647 average and led the team in SL% (.824) and OB% (.760)
  • Dave Reynolds pitched super and played a terrific first base – led the team in average (.667) and had a 3.4 ERA.
  • Fred Krause showcased excellent play from left and had his share of extra base hits -– 3 doubles, a triple, and a home run – .533 average and .800 SLG% – tied for the lead with 16 RBI’s.
  • Gino Baratta smoked the ball to right and right center throughout the week – tied for the lead with 16 RBI’s.
  • John Entwistle is an absolute defensive gem behind the plate – did not remember one passed ball – not one! Also had several key bunts placed perfectly down the third base line. Called every pitch in the Finals and I did not our pitcher shake him off even once.
  • Jim Haller pitched superbly during our game on Thursday and played a great third throughout the week.
  • Matt Falerios is Cool Hand Luke.  He pitched the entire Final game and smooth as could be – the workhorse of the staff, facing 88 batters, and held the opposition to a .216 batting average with a 1.3 ERA.
  • Rick Park.  Where would I be without this guy – helpful in so many ways both on and off the field. Not bad pitching either, matching Matt’s 1.3 ERA
  • Sal Calcagno had a hip replacement last year and it sure proved successful. The best shortstop in the tournament, in my opinion – so consistent.
  • Pete Powell played a great infield with a .550 average – wore out the left field line with frozen ropes.

As a team, offensively we hit .458. We came to the plate 320 times, pounding out 104 singles, 20 doubles, two triples, and one home run. We had 30 walks and received eight free bases via Hit by Pitch, with Charles receiving five of the bruises. We had 18 K’s, five sac bunts, and 82 RBI’s, with Fred, Gino, and Marse accounting for nearly half. Of course, RBI’s always indicate how good the guys are in front of you.

It was certainly an enjoyable and memorable week and a big thank you to all the players and to the MSBL staff.