2022 Puget Sound Senior Baseball League, 18+ Cascade Division
Ravens 7, Diamondbacks 2
‘Seabourne, Jeffress, and Pennick Come up Big’
Submitted by Paul Davison, Raven’s manager
The Cascade Ravens have historically been perennial contenders, capturing six championships and making nine championship game appearances in the previous 12 seasons. However, the 2022 regular season was the worst in the franchise’s history and ended in a 9-13 record and a five-seed. This subpar performance was fueled primarily by spotty attendance and injuries. Even so, come playoff time, the group leaned on their championship pedigree and experience, got healthy, and brought their A-game.
In the first playoff game, the Ravens faced the fourth-seeded Tigers. After falling behind in the first inning, the Ravens plated three runs in the second inning and never looked back on their way to a 10-4 victory. Starting pitcher Todd Jeffress took the hill and delivered a complete game performance. Additionally, Jeffress added three hits and three RBI. DJ Penick and Joe Zimmer added three hits apiece and Roy Granda had four RBI on two hits to help the Ravens advance.
For their second-round matchup, the Ravens faced off against their archrival the Diamondbacks. The top-seeded D-Backs were the two-time defending champions and dominated the regular season with an amazing record of 21-1. But all that regular-season success came to a halt when the Ravens sent staff ace Spencer Seabourne to the mound. Seabourne turned in an absolute gem, holding the league’s top offense in check for eight innings and striking out seven.
DJ Penick and Justin Sherwin provided the offense with two hits apiece. In the ninth inning, the D-Backs mounted a furious comeback bid. However, it fell short as Raven’s pitcher Jim Radovich induced a game-ending pop-up to preserve the 5-4 win and sent the Ravens to the winner’s bracket final.
In the winner’s bracket final, the opponent was the second-seeded Brewers, who finished the regular season with an excellent record of 15-5-2. Spencer Seabourne took the hill for the Ravens again and delivered his most dominant performance of the season. He threw a complete game four-hit shutout, surrendered only one walk, and K’d 11. On offense, DJ Penick’s bat remained red-hot with three more hits and two RBI. Shortstop Derek Jennings also had a three-hit day and the Ravens advanced to the Championship game.
When championship Sunday rolled around, it was no surprise to see the Diamondbacks in the opposing dugout. Coming from the loser’s bracket, the two-time defending champs needed to win two games back-to-back to retain their title. They came out with great energy, smacked around the Raven pitching staff, and posted a 10-4 victory in game one. But game two was a different story.
Todd Jeffress came up huge, throwing his best game of the season in the biggest possible moment. Jeffress went the distance, got the win, and gave up only two runs, eight hits, and K’d nine. The defense behind him was impeccable. On offense, Derek Jennings, Andrew Pratt, and Deryck Christensen all had two-hit games. DJ Pennick continued his playoff rampage with a double and four RBI in the Raven’s 7-2 championship-clinching victory!
The 2022 trophy is the latest in the proud history of the Ravens franchise. It marks the seventh in the last 13 years for the Ravens in the 18+ unlimited division of the PSSBL.