Austin Metro Baseball League, 48+ Division
Express 11, Mariners 2 (Game two in best-of-three series sweep)
Submitted by Chris Hux, manager
The Express defeated the Mariners two games to none to claim the 2023 AMBL 48+ championship. The Express entered the playoffs as the number one seed, going 15-3 on the season. After claiming the first game of the championship series, 8-5, the Express finished things off with an 11-2 victory in the final game.
The Express won the way they had all season, with a deep line-up putting up lots of runs and strong pitching and defense stifling their opponents. After falling behind, 2-0, in the first inning, the Express tied the game in the second. Todd Wilson reached on an error and was doubled to third by Jeff Dainton. Dave Martinez singled in both runs.
With two outs in the fourth, the Express took the lead for good. Robert Calvert reached on an error, and then scored after hits by Wilson and Erik Cary. But the fifth inning was the clincher, as Paul Kallfelz, Manny Barraz, Steve Austin, Kyle Johnson, and Daron Shaw all reached base and scored. The Express padded the lead in the sixth, scoring a single run despite consecutive hits by Cary, Dainton, Kallfelz, and Martinez.
The final margin came via two more runs in the seventh frame, with Austin and Jeff Stuesser being driven in by Paul Moomaw and Shaw. The defense played error-less ball, including a pair of highlight reel plays at second base by Barraz and then Moomaw.
The win went to Lucian Turk, who went four innings and yielded nothing after a pair of runs in the first. Pitching in relief after a complete game victory the previous day, Calvert closed things out with three dominant innings.