Anderson MSBL (Cincinnati), 35+ Division
Anderson Braves 9, Tigers 5
‘Braves Win Second Championship in Four Years’
The Braves ended the season with a regular season record of 17-6 record and the #2 seed entering the playoffs. 2023 was full of ups and downs as the Braves struggled to couple wins together and get any consistency with a lot of rainouts and family obligations. The spring season ended with the Braves having a 7-6 record. After the spring break, the Braves played an undefeated fall league and ended the season 16-6.
The Braves were led all year by the pitching duo of Todd McDonald (2.53 ERA) and Tim Murphy (2.42 ERA) nicknamed “TNT.” For the season the Braves were second in the league in runs scored (200 runs scored) with Zac Boyd leading the way with a .636 batting average. Todd Mcdonald led the team in RBIs with 34 and LeQuan Williamson led the team with 33 runs scored on the season.
The playoffs started against a friendly rival, the Orioles. The Braves won the game off the bat of Zac Boyd who collected three hits in three at-bats, as the Braves defeated the Orioles 6-1. Zac Boyd doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and singled in the sixth inning. The Braves were the first to get on the board in the second inning when John Beaulieu doubled, scoring one run.
Tim Murphy earned the win for the Braves. The starting pitcher gave up three hits and zero runs over four innings, striking out seven and walking none. Todd McDonald appeared in relief for the Braves.
The Braves tallied 10 hits in the games. Jason Ehrhardt went 1-2 at the plate as the second baseman led the team with two runs batted in. LeQuan Williamson and John Beaulieu each collected multiple hits for the Braves. Zac Boyd, LeQuan Williamson, Jason Erhardt and John Beaulieu each stole multiple bases for the Braves. 14 bases were stolen in the game.
The championship game was against the Braves’ nemesis the Tigers. The Braves normally do not fare well against the Tigers. They lost twice this year to the team and the Tigers were the number one seed in the playoffs with an 18-4 record. Zac Boyd drove in four runs to lead the Braves past the Tigers 9-5. Boyd doubled in the fifth inning scoring two, doubled in the first scoring one, and singled in the seventh scoring one.
A tag up by LeQuan Williamson gave the Braves the lead 2-1 in the top of the third. The Tigers captured the lead 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth after a walk and back-to-back singles. The Braves opened the game up in the top of the fifth, scoring six runs on seven hits to take an 8-4 lead. The biggest blow in the inning was a single by Charles Wheeler that drove in two runs.
Todd McDonald earned the win for the Braves. The reliever allowed three hits and one run over four innings, striking out four and walking two.
It was a gutsy win being down against the number one seed and a team the Braves usually lose to. But they didn’t give up and played like champions.
This was a great season overall for the Braves. They showed mental toughness all year and played tough against a lot of adversity!