Orlando Brewers 5, Tainos 4
The Orlando Brewers (Brew-Crew) tournament team is managed by Jose Rosado and David Agosto. Jose runs the 38+ Brewers and David the 48+. Both teams play in the Orlando Baseball Association located in the Central Florida area. With players from both teams, some local league teammates, and our out-of-state brothers the Brewers have assembled a team that is capable of competing for a championship in any 45+ tournament.
The Brewers came into the Holiday Classic still reeling from the disappointing finish in the 2022 Fall Classic. Determined to put the fall classic behind them, the Brewers finished pool play as the #2 seed going 3-0, while scoring 43 runs and giving up just nine. Starters Noel Areizaga, Craig Marsden, and Melvin Abreu got the pool play wins with the help of Marki Mergarejo and Eric Roukey behind the plate.
The quarterfinal game had starting pitcher Craig Holman going seven strong innings giving up just two runs and scattering six hits, while Craig Marsden followed with two scoreless innings for the save.
In the semifinal game, the Brewers took on the Tampa Mets fresh over an upset victory over a Powerhouse EC Cardinal’s team. The Brewers cruised to a 14-6 win over the Mets led by starting pitcher Larry Hinge who went six innings giving up just one run on two hits. Craig Marsden once again secured the win, pitching the last three innings.
The Championship game matched the Brewers against a strong Miami Tainos/Sugar Kings team who cruised to the championship game with victories over the Dundalk National (11-1) and Tri-state Bombers (14-3).
The Tainos took an early 1-0 lead but the Brewers came back with three runs in the bottom of the second to take a 3-1 lead. Starting pitcher Melvin Abreu held the lead until the top of the seventh when an error led to three runs and a 4-3 deficit. The Brewers tied the game in the bottom of the seventh and scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI single by Gustavo Silva.
Abreu got two quick outs in the ninth but a misplayed single got the tying run to second. The next batter hit a ball up the middle that was headed to centerfield but shortstop Roman Marcano dove and kept the ball in the infield preventing the tying run from scoring. Abreu got the next batter on a weak grounder to third for the final out and the complete game Victory. This win (5-4) gave the Brewers the 2023 Holiday Classic 45+ National Division championship finishing the tournament undefeated 6-0 and outscoring opponents by 47 runs.
The Tournament MVP Award went to Melvin Abreu who was 2-0 giving up just two earned runs the entire tournament. The Brewers batted .461 as a team led by Gustavo Silva at .611, followed by Joe Williams .579, Andres Hernandez .550, Dan Thomson .533, Reggie Torrealba .526, Roman Marcano .500, Andrew Digatano .500, Steve DiMartino .438, and Lowell Mooneyham .429.