2023 Ravens Sweep Rage in Championship Series for 30+ Sierra Title in Puget Sound Senior Baseball League

Ravens 4, Rage 0 (Game two of championship series best-of-three sweep)

Submitted by Paul Davison, Ravens’ manager

In 2022, the Ravens wrapped up their 21st and final season in the 18+ competitive Cascade division of the PSSBL by winning their seventh championship. In 2023, the team moved on to a new challenge in the 30+ competitive Sierra division.

The Ravens had a successful regular season, ending the year with a 17-4-1 record. Outfielder Andrew Cherin led the division in doubles with ten. Cherin and catcher Jason Rivers shared the division lead in RBI with 26 apiece. Spencer Seabourne led the division with a 1.48 ERA and Tyler Rogstad finished second in Ks with 108. However, those standout statistical seasons and the team’s impressive record weren’t quite enough to secure the number one seed.

The Rage, who were four-time defending champions of the Sierra division, finished the season with a record of 18-4 and the top spot. Moreover, the Rage handed the Ravens three of their four regular season losses by sweeping the regular season series 3-0. The Ravens remained confident entering the postseason knowing that the playoffs have historically brought out the team’s best.

In the first playoff game, the Ravens faced the third-seeded Cardinals. The Ravens jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and never looked back on their way to a 9-2 victory. Starting pitcher Tyler Rogstad took the hill and delivered a solid 7-inning performance, allowing only four hits and striking out eight. On offense, catcher Jason Rivers found barrel all day. He went 3-4 with a double, four RBI, and three runs scored. Shortstop Derek Jennings was on base four of five times and legged out a 2-RBI triple. Second baseman Paul Fisher also chipped in a two-for-five line to help the Ravens advance to the winner’s bracket final.

In the winner’s bracket final, the four-time defending champion Rage was ready and waiting for the Ravens. Ravens ace Spencer Seabourne took the hill and delivered yet another solid nine-inning performance. Unfortunately, the trademark defense and run support were not there for the Ravens in this game. The lack of run support was due to Rage flame thrower Josh Richardson. He took the hill and delivered a masterful eight-inning performance, not allowing a single run, giving up only five hits, and striking out nine. The loss knocked the Ravens into the loser’s bracket.

In the losers bracket final, the Ravens faced off against the Saints in a cold and foggy night game. The Ravens bats came alive and defeated the Saints 12-8. Dan Eck got the win on the hill with a complete game effort that sent the Ravens to the championship series with the Rage.

The format of the Sierra division championship was a three-game series. In game one, the Ravens jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first. Then the Rage struck right back and made it a 4-4 tie after three innings. Tyler Rogstad was on the hill for the Ravens and delivered his best performance of the year. Rogstad logged the complete game victory, did not surrender a run after the third inning, and struck out 14 Rage batters on the night.

The Ravens offense broke through in the eighth inning, plating six runs to salt away the victory. Andrew Cherin went 4-6 and Jason Rivers stayed hot, going 3-6 with four more RBI. Derek Jennings added two hits and two RBI.

On the final day of the PSSBL season, games two and three of the Sierra championship series were set to be played as a doubleheader. The Ravens needed to win just one of the two games to secure championship number eight for the franchise.

Ravens starting pitcher Dan Eck did not let the team waste any time achieving their end goal. On only three days’ rest, after throwing a complete game versus the Saints in the losers bracket final, Eck stepped up and delivered yet another complete game gem. This time it was of the shutout variety. Eck kept the powerful Rage offense off balance, scattered only five hits, walked just two, and had the Ravens’ outstanding defense active and in rhythm.

The Rage sent league Cy Young winner Max Bayern to the hill. Bayern turned in his usual outstanding performance. However, the Ravens managed to scratch out a couple of late runs to take a 2-0 lead.  Center fielder Brandon Zinn and Spencer Seabourne both had multiple hit days. First baseman DJ Penick and Jason Rivers each had RBI. With a two-run lead, bases loaded, and two out, Ravens DH Denier Morales smacked a two-RBI single down the right field line to seal the 4-0 victory and the Sierra Division crown!