2023 60+ Cactus

Mustangs Baseball Club 12, Sonoma County Cardinals 1

Submitted by Carlos Pianelli, Mustangs manager

We were the first Mustangs team in four years to go undefeated (9-0) and bring home the Mustang Baseball Club’s fourth World Series title and first in the 60 division.  The team shocked the baseball community scoring 126 runs and giving up only 33 runs, of which only 23 were earned.  We hit for power (22 doubles, 3 triples) and stole 58 bases out of 67 attempts, which was an 86% success rate.

The Mustangs scored every way possible; stealing, fake bunts, double steals, contact plays, safety squeezes, and even getting in a run down to score a run twice.  The Big ‘0’ put on a display of dominance, in which umpires started calling the 60 Mustangs a Monster Team, of which Steve Sigler has already pushed us up to Division One next year.

After winning 16 of 17 games over the course of two years, here are some final team statistics for the 2023 tournament:

14 runs per game, team average of .400, OBP .458, slugging .479, and a team ERA of 2.11.  Our defense committed fewer than two errors per game.

Below is a breakdown of some of our main contributors during the title run.

Matt Shults, .400 avg. 13 runs, 13 RBI, and nine stolen bases.  Jim Lakin, .417, four stolen bases, and a crucial safety squeeze in the bottom of the seventh in the quarterfinals.  Gold Glove catchers Dave Blair, with timely hits and steals caught.  He caught a complete doubleheader on day one.  Catcher Mike Settles, .346, nine hits, four stolen bases, and five RBI.

Fred Hayes, .529 average, nine hits, four stolen bases, and six RBI. Doug Gaddy, .346, nine RBI.  Tom Leonard, a .318 average, solid defense in right field, and scored 11 runs.   Jun Belardo was our outstanding winning pitcher in Game #2.  Scott McChesney had a .615 average with eight hits in four games.

Pedro Pena hit .481 with seven doubles and two triples.  He also started a semi-final game, going seven innings and compiling an 0.87 ERA.  Steve Kleinpeter was the top defensive shortstop in the tournament and added a .321 average, nine hits, and eight stolen bases. Jerry Guerra hit .444 and totaled eight hits. Bing Hadley hit .429 and pitched the Mustangs to victory in Game Five with a 2.00 ERA.

Bill Torres hit .333 with a double and triple.  Randy Jackson hit .343, including 12 hits, eight stolen bases, and 12 runs.  Ray Quinteros hit a solid .500 while Albert Ulibbarri hit .529 with nine hits and seven RBI.  Darren Hughart pitched the most important game in pool play and held the Waves to a 9-2 score before departing.

Paul Codiga was our left-handed specialist who came in and gave the Mustangs a quality performance in game two.  Lee Mann hit a whopping .370 out of the number two spot in the lineup with 10 hits, five stolen bases, eight runs, and nine RBI.  He was also the winning pitcher of game #3 with a 2.00 ERA.

Our MVP was Kai Schjangk.  He went 5-0, threw 31.2 innings, totaled 368 pitches, logged 13 K’s, and gave up only ONE earned run, with a 0.22 ERA.

I want to extend a special Thank You to Mike LaComb for his support and Chris Dunn for his help.   Also, thanks to Paul Christie (stats and bench coach) and Bill Phelps and Matt Shults, all of whom were there when the 60 World Series team began in 2018.