2023 45+ Division

Boston Breakers 9, Montebello Angels 6

Submitted by Brian Bennett, Breaker’s manager

The Boston Breakers defeated the Montebello Angels 9-6 in the Finals to win the 2023 Las Vegas Open 45+ Championship. The Breakers entered the playoffs as the third seed with a 2-1 record in pool play and avenged their only loss of the tournament en-route to their second straight Las Vegas Open title.  

The Championship Game was a close contest, with Montebello leading 3-0 after four innings. The Breakers rallied for four runs with two outs in the fifth. Curt Mascio took one for the team with the bases loaded to start the scoring, then Keith Ciupak broke it open with a two-run double, and Sam Oldenburg added an RBI. Boston rallied for five in the seventh, thanks to consecutive hits from Greg Robinson, Mark Flatten, and Cobi Cradle, then Oldenburg knocked in a pair with a bases-clearing triple. A Tony D’Ambrosio sacrifice fly closed out the scoring for the Breakers. 

Robinson started the final game on the mound for Boston and kept the Breakers in the game early, pitching into the fourth inning before giving way to Keith Ciupak, who got out of a jam and held Montebello to just one run over the next four innings while earning the win. Mark Flatten came in from shortstop to close the game out for the Breakers and earn the save. 

The Breakers advanced to the Finals with an impressive 21-6 victory over second-seeded San Yisidro in their Monday morning semifinal. Boston trailed 6-4 entering the sixth inning but managed to put 17 runs on the board while sending 23 batters to the plate in the inning. Flatten, Cradle, Mascio, Ciupak, Brian Maynor, Alonso Mendoza, Tim DeGrasse, and Luis Maldonado all scored twice in the sixth. DeGrasse went seven innings on the mound for Boston to earn the complete-game playoff win. 

In pool play, the Breakers were 2-1, with a 16-5 win over the Bakersfield Heat on Saturday, and a 12-5 win over the So Cal Indians on Sunday. DeGrasse picked up the win with seven scoreless innings against Bakersfield, while Mascio went the distance to defeat the Indians.  

Breakers general manager Alonso Mendoza assembled a solid squad for the tournament, with every player contributing to the team’s success. Boston played great defense all weekend, anchored by Luis Maldonado and Brett Muche behind the plate. Offensively the Breakers were led by Ciupak (12 hits, .545 average & 10 RBI), Flatten (11 hits, .478 average & 9 runs), Maynor (.500, 6 RBI), Oldenburg (.470, 9 runs, 5 RBI), Cradle (.437, 9 runs, 9 BB), and Robinson (8 hits, .421, 6 runs).