2022 ‘Beat the Heat’ 18+ American Division

North County San Diego 5, SoCal Sundevils 2

Submitted by Ben Penney, North County manager

The team from North County San Diego entered the 2022 MSBL Beat the Heat Classic 18+ American Division playoffs as the #2 seed after going 2-1 in pool play. North County San Diego (NCSD) made it to the championship game by beating the Vista Grizzlies in dramatic fashion. With two outs in the eighth inning and down by a run, Christian Florido hit a booming RBI double to left center field to tie the game. Brendon Flaherty followed with a run-scoring single to put NCSD up 5-4. Brendon Flaherty also got the win on the mound, going eight innings, giving up three earned runs on nine hits, and striking out six.

In the championship game, NCSD faced the So Cal Sundevils, who had gone undefeated in pool play. NCSD took an early lead in the second inning after Ben Penney doubled in Alex Pacino and Tyler Grihalva with two outs. The Sundevils responded with two runs in the bottom half of the second, scoring on four hits and a walk.

NCSD went ahead in the sixth inning and would never look back. Ryan McClure and Lee Stoops led off the inning with singles and Steve Martinez drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Another run would score on a two-out error and Alex Pacino drove in the third run of the inning with a single.

NCSD played solid defense the rest of the game, keeping the Sundevils off the board. Starting pitcher Ross Milo ended up settling in, going five innings and only giving up two runs while striking out three.

For the tournament, Lee Stoops paced NCSD at the plate, hitting .474 with four runs scored and three RBIs. Patrick Fyfe provided solid defense at second base while hitting .389 with five runs scored and two RBIs.