Columbia Men’s Baseball League, 18+ Division
Columbia Padres 11, Downtown Dodgers 0 (Game two in best-of-three sweep)
The Columbia Padres defeated the Downtown Dodgers 7-0 and 11-0 on July 16 and 17th to win the 2023 Columbia Men’s Baseball League 18+ Championship. It was the team’s first Championship since Manager Chris Lusk took over as President in 2022.
“Going into 2023 we lost a lot of our core players to moving or job commitments, so I hit the recruiting hard, bringing in a handful of former college players that really helped deepen the lineup and strengthen the pitching staff,” said player-manager and League President Chris Lusk.
Padres Starter Dylan Brazzell, who played collegiately at USC-Salk and Newberry, started Game One of the Championship Series throwing a complete game shutout with 13 strikeouts.
The Game Two starter was Andrew Andreychik, who played collegiately at Bucknell. He went five scoreless innings and gave way to Josh Reagan, who played collegiately at the University of South Carolina and then professionally in the Athletics system. Reagan shut the Dodgers down with two scoreless innings in relief.
The stellar pitching wasn’t to be outdone by the Padres’ bats. The Padres managed to score 37 runs in the playoffs while only giving up six as a pitching staff. Nick Beinlich, who was a collegiate All-American at Belmont Abbey, led the way as the Columbia Men’s Baseball League 18+ MVP. Beinlich only got out once in the entire playoffs.
The Downtown Dodgers entered the playoffs as the #7 seed, having to participate in a play-in game just to make it in the tournament. They scraped by with a 1-0 win in that play-in game before beating the #2 seed defending champion Rockies in the first round of the playoffs. They then beat the #3 seed Twins despite playing the entire game with only eight men.
“We shook off a rocky start, losing the opening game on March 5th, to go on a run and win the next 14 straight. This is arguably the most talented team in Columbia MABL history, and definitely, the best since I joined the league in 2015,” said Chris Lusk.
“We look forward to a successful 2024 season and want to thank our league sponsors, Home Team Landscaping, The Free Times, Stinger Sports, and FN America.”