2023 45+Division

Detroit Orioles 11, Holy City Sun Devils 4

Submitted by Sean Moran, Orioles manager

The Detroit Orioles made their maiden voyage to the Sunshine Classic in Panama City, Florida on a quest to win another tournament.  The complex, the competition, and the weather were top-notch. 

We put it all together during pool play, outscoring our opponents 36-11.  Rich Cleve, Mike Dawson, and Jeff Mislevy each picked up the victories on the mound in pool play, with Dave Combest relieving in game two.  Our defensive attack was led by Tournament MVP Shawn Crockett, who shined at shortstop making many amazing plays to keep opposing teams off the base paths, as well as hitting nearly .400 as our leadoff hitter. 

Sunshine Classic Panama City Beach Florida Event Logo


He was not alone on defense!  Matt Enciso dominated in centerfield, making catch after catch with the speed of a cheetah, while Phil Ben Ezra, Byran Santo, and Chris Smith held it down on the corners in the outfield all weekend long.   The rest of the infield went five games only committing two errors, led by Jamal Womble, Pete Smith, Mark Forester, EL Mc Goy, Kivian Taylor, and a host of others keeping opposing batters frustrated. 

We won the semifinal with a dominant game both on offense and defense, winning 15-0.  We combined great pitching by Rob Chafin and hitting by Jason Copeland, who was our Most Outstanding Player in this tournament.  Copeland batted nearly .500 on the weekend, driving in a bunch of runs, and seemingly delivering at almost every opportune time for the Orioles.

The finals were a tough matchup against a very solid Holy City Sun Devils team.  It was close early, with both teams fighting back and forth in the first inning.  Then after a controversial ejection of the Orioles’ entire middle infield during the top of the second inning, the Orioles erupted for seven runs in the bottom of the second showing true grit and teamwork, which ultimately lead to the Orioles winning the championship 11-4. The Orioles were led by Sean Moran on the mound and Dino Martinbianco behind the plate in the Championship game.  Dino caught 39 of our 45 innings over the weekend and showed amazing strength and leadership for the team.  Batting leaders in the final were Bryan Baumann, who was 3-5 with 3 RBI, Dawson, 2-4 with a home run, Copeland 2-5 with 2 RBI, and McGoy 2-5 with 2 RBI.

A great full-team effort over the weekend was needed and realized by the Detroit Orioles team, and led them to a 5-0 record, outscoring opponents 62-15.  Thank you to the MSBL for providing us all the opportunity to play this game we love.