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2014 Royals Sweep Astros to Claim 25+ Title in Redwood Empire (CA)

Redwood Empire MSBL 25+ Division

Royals 22, Astros 3

Submitted by Stephen Rhinehart, Royals manager

The Napa Valley Royals of the 25-over division of the Redwood Empire (CA) MSBL went 15-3-1 (one loss was due to the Napa earthquake which had to be forfeited) during the regular season and 4-0 in the playoffs, capped by a sweep of the Astros 8-2 and 22-3. The Royals rode the arms of CY Young winner Brandon Alves and Chad Albrecht, who both dominated in playoffs by allowing a combined eight total runs during the playoffs. There was also no shortage of offense as the Royals had a 42 run differential during the playoffs. Fueled by the hot bats of MVP Nick Pike and clubhouse favorite Ross Golding, the Napa Royals scored a total of 50 runs during their playoff run.

The Royals’ only struggle was fielding a complete team of nine guys every week but managed to only be left shorthanded one game this year with eight players. The Royals proved this year that quality trumps quantity any day. The Royals were true road warriors this season only playing six games on their home field in Napa and traveling for the other 13 games. Other notable contributors for the Napa Valley Royals were Tom Long, Phil Freitas, Alex Hanson, Chris Mullins, Dan Poli, Jordan Long, Athan Putnam, and manager Stephen Rhinehart.

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2014 Nuts Rattle Blacksox in Final of Central Coast MABL

Central Coast (CA) MABL

San Luis Obispo Nuts 11, Blacksox 8

Submitted by Robert Bonds, manager

The Nuts went 12-0 in spring 2014. We have also won the San Luis Obispo, CA Men’s Adult Baseball League in the Central Coast (CA) MSBL for summer 2014. This makes back-to-back summer champions for our club. Last year we knocked off the powerhouse Bulls, a team that had won the league five out of six years prior. This summer we beat another great team in the Blacksox 11-8 in the title game. The Blacksox were led by manager Tony Camacho.

The SLO Nuts were led by pitchers Mark Farrar and Lee Collins who both went on the win games in the 27th World Series in Phoenix last month. The Nuts were powered offensively by league MVP John Korsgaden. Korsgaden lead in nearly every offensive category. Catcher Ian Parker was a force behind the plate as well. First baseman Charles Lilly was also a cornerstone both offensively and defensively while shortstop Erik Wanner and Jason Coy had fantastic years. With the players we have returning, plus new additions, the Nuts will look to repeat as summer champions in 2015.

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2014 Cubs Outlast Dodgers in 45+ Central Final in Arizona

Arizona MSBL 45+ Central Division

Cubs 6, Dodgers 3

Submitted by Larry Pickert, Cubs manager

Our team priorities in the Arizona MSBL 45-over Central division, in order, are the health and safety of the players, having a good time and winning. Therefore, we play everyone approximately equal throughout the regular season since we all pay equal. Once “free baseball” (the playoffs) start, we play our “best” players while trying to get everyone into the game. That formula led to a successful regular season (finished second) and winning the playoffs. This was the second championship won by the Cubs in the AZMSBL with the first coming in 2004. We generally don’t have a lot of turnover on the team and we have never “cut” anyone from the team.

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2014 Cardinals Edge Braves for 55+ Title in Tri-Valley MSBL

Tri-Valley (CA) 55+ Division

Cardinals 9, Braves 3

Submitted by Bill Bay, Tri-Valley Cardinals

Tri-Valley 55+ Cardinals Win League Title for Fourth Consecutive Year

The Cardinals defeated the Braves in a best of three playoff final that was a rematch of the 2013 series. Per Sandy Wishnev, manager of the Cardinals, “This was a hard fought contest between evenly matched teams.” The Cardinals and Braves were the top scoring teams in the league and they had the two top pitchers in the league. The Cardinals dependable ace Pat Carroll led the way in the first game with offensive support from Dave Currie (three hits, three runs), Mike Hayden (two hits, two walks), and Cliff Bates (two hits, three RBI’s).

Rick Altman paced the Braves eight run attack in the second game with a single and a double. Mike Wilgus did not need much run support as he limited the Cardinals to just two runs. He helped his own cause with two hits and Toby Pasillas contributed three hits.

In 2013 the final game of the playoffs was decided with two outs in the bottom of the tenth inning. There was less drama in the final game in 2014 than there was in the 2013 final. Scott Schaa led off the first inning for the Cardinals with a single and a stolen base, then scored on Dale Skinner’s base hit. The Cardinals kept hitting and tallied five runs in the first inning. Mark Stas come in to pitch for the Braves and held the Cardinals in check until Larry Lamar scored after starting a rally in the sixth inning. Gary Flores pitched eight and a third innings, giving up only three runs, and Pat Carroll came in to finish. Larry Lamar and Cliff Bates each had three hits while Scott Schaa, Ken Callan and Rich Mangini each had two hits.

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2014 Rangers Hook Muskies in 45+ at Milwaukee-Rock

Milwaukee-Rock 45+ Division

Rangers 4, Muskies 3

The second-seeded 45-over Rangers from the Milwaukee Rock MSBL needed all three games in the best of three championship series to defeat the top-seeded Muskies and claim the 2014 title.

An ace performance by Jerry Gambatese spurred the 45+ Rangers to a 5-1 win over the Muskies in game one. Gambatese pitched nine innings and allowed one earned run, four hits and two walks while striking out four.

Dave Crawford was a workhorse on the rubber for the Muskies. He allowed three earned runs, four hits and four walks and struck out two while taking the loss. The Muskies managed to score one run in the second inning on an RBI triple by Dennis Panfil.

The Rangers never surrendered the lead after the third inning, scoring four runs on a three-run single by Mickey Pruefer.

 

In game two it took the Muskies ten innings to defeat the Rangers 6-5. With the score tied at three in the tenth inning, Mark Van Ells came to the plate for the Muskies, singled and scored Richard Raiche. Raiche reached on an error to get on base in the tenth and then went from first to second on a single by Michael Drilling. The Muskies would not relinquish the lead as the Rangers were unable to weather a three-run tenth inning deficit. The Rangers scored two runs in the tenth on two singles but couldn’t draw even.

Paul Quesnell was solid at the plate for the Muskies. He went 3-5, drove in one run and scored two. He doubled in the eighth inning and singled in the first and tenth innings.Dave Crawford got the win in relief for the Muskies. He pitched three innings and allowed two runs.

Jerry Gambatese was charged with the loss. He lasted just three innings, walked none, struck out two and allowed five runs.

The Rangers jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Terry Teske singled then Peter Jaske singled, bringing home Teske.

Game three saw the Rangers and Muskies passing the lead back and forth but in the end the Rangers held on for the championship victory.

The Rangers took the lead in the first inning, 1-0, and also plated runs in the sixth, seventh and ninth innings. In the sixth the Rangers scored on an RBI double by Matt Sanfelippo, scoring John Arnold.John Barron got on base three times for the Rangers while singling in the sixth. In the ninth inning Barron scored on an RBI single by Mickey Pruefer, which turned out to be the winning run.

Tom Klawiter worked out of multiple jams on the hill for the Rangers but he held on for the victory while allowing three earned runs on nine hits.

 

 

 

 

 

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2014 Yankees Overcome Mighty Orioles for First San Jose Title

2014 Ettare Champion Yankees Team Photo!

(Front Row) Jon Sibal, Sergio Zamoramo, Jeff Arroyo, Greg Cohen, Harlan McCaksey, Topher Chen, Dave Wark (Back Row) Lambert Calvert, Ron Smare, Ryan Erickson, Roy Williams, Joe Gurule, Eric Rynhard, Alex Niedzielski, Israel Rodriguez, Lonell Chattmon (Not Pictured) Jose Mendoza, Michael Chagoya, Ben Raney (Photo submitted by Tiffany Ross)

Regular Season Summary

After enduring 26 years of frustration the Yankees are finally champions of the San Jose MSBL Ettare division and they did it by pulling off one of the biggest shockers in league history by sweeping the four time consecutive champion and heavily favored Orioles!

Charter members of the San Jose MSBL founded in 1988 the Yankees have endured heartbreak for every one of the leagues 26 previous seasons. And last season the Yankees bottomed out with just 4 wins and missed the playoffs entirely which is hard to do when 8 out of 10 teams qualify for the post season.

With the bitter taste of 2013 in their mouths, the Yankees dedicated themselves to putting a winning team on the field with the goal of being the last team standing after the final out of the 2014 Ettare Division Champions Series.

Team Manager Jose Mendoza started his 2014 recruiting efforts early by adding standout pitcher and shortstop Ryan Erickson to the Yankees. Erickson would go on to finish his All-Star campaign with a 7-3 record, 99 strike outs and a 3.01 ERA. He also hit .430 with 35 runs and 27 stolen bases while flashing gold glove leather all season.

The next two important pieces of the team were added during the league’s open tryouts at Los Gatos High School. The Yankees drafted infielder/pitcher Topher Chen and catcher David Wark. Both of these players would play key roles in the Yankees’ championship season. Chen played 2B, 3B and SS, provided key innings on the mound, and finished the season hitting .352 with 6 doubles and 16 RBI. Wark provided exceptional defense behind the plate all year, often catching both ends of doubleheaders and despite the heavy workload behind the plate batted a solid .297 with 7 doubles and 12 RBI.

The Yankees took advantage of their pre-season schedule and practice time to integrate the new players with the existing core, and as the season progressed, they personified the definition of the word “team” with all of the members of the roster contributing throughout the season.

2nd year players Ben Raney and Joe Gurule provided timely contributions throughout the season. Raney played great defense at 2B and SS while hitting .354 with 15 stolen bases, and Gurule pitched, and hit his way to a .302 average.

The remainder of the team consisted of veterans, most of whom have endured 5 or more seasons of Yankee futility and frustration.

Jeff Arroyo battled his way to a .292 average with 17 runs while playing a great center field. Roy Williams continued his solid hitting contributing a .311 average with 6 doubles and 24 RBI. Greg Cohen bounced between the outfield and first base and hit .393 with 19 RBI and 15 steals. Harlan McCaskey came back from foot injuries to mount an All-Star season finishing the year at .424 with 24 RBI and 20 steals. Michael Chagoya provided stellar outfield defense and hit .333 with 16 runs and 9 steals. Lambert Calvert slugged his way to a .462 average with 2 HRs and 14 RBI. Eric Rynhard proved to be a valuable starting pitcher all season finishing the year with 4 wins. Rynhard also came up with numerous clutch hits throughout the season, and he hit .340 with 7 doubles and 15 RBI. Israel Rodriguez and Jonathan Sibal also provided timely hits when called upon. Rodriguez finished the season at .276 with 8 RBI and Sibal hit .316 with 7 RBI. Alex Niedzielski continued to lend support to the team and was extremely helpful to the Yankees’ success throughout the year.

The Yankees overcame a season ending injury to one of its all-star players when Lonell “LC” Chattmon injured his knee after only 9 games. However, LC continued to be a huge part of the team, lending his time and efforts to the management side of the game.

On the flip side, the Yankees got relief ace Sergio Zamoramo back from injury just in time for the start of the playoffs. Zamoramo played a key role during the Yankees’ championship run, winning 2 games and saving one during the playoffs.

This recap would not be complete without recognizing the stellar 27 year San Jose MSBL career of Ron Smare who is the last remaining member of the original 1988 Yankees. Ron endured every frustrating season during the 27 year pilgrimage to the promised land. Smare was a key contributor to the Yankees’ success this season, hitting .400 and providing great coaching support.

The Yankees could not have won this year without contributions from every member of its roster, and behind the leadership of Jose Mendoza, Greg Cohen, Lonnel Chattmon, Lambert Calvert and Ron Smare, they were able to reach their goal that they set in February to win the Ettare Division Championship.

Finally, the Yankees’ winning of the Ettare Division Championship holds an extra special meaning as the division is named after one of the original Yankees, Bob Ettare, who managed the team for nearly 20 years. Although Bob is now retired from playing, this win is shared with him for all of his efforts in keeping the Yankees going year after year.

Playoff Summary

Semi-Final Series

2014 Ettare Division Champion Yankees - Erickson Wins Semi-Finals Game 3

Ryan Erickson struck out 8 in 7 innings for the win in Game 3 sending the Yankees to the Championship Series vs the Orioles (Photo Submitted by Hillary Cohen)

The Yankees finished the regular season with a 12-6-2 record – the best regular season in Yankee history – and good enough to earn the #2 seed in the playoffs and a date vs the #3 seed Red Sox in the semi-final round of the division playoffs. The Red Sox had swept the Yankees in their two regular season games.

Semi-Final Series – Game 1

The Yankees fell behind the Red Sox quickly, trailing 8-2 after 2 innings. Red Sox starter Chris Jensen cruised the rest of the game as the Red Sox easily won by a score of 15-2.

Semi-Final Series – Game 2

Facing season ending elimination the Yankees turned to their ace, Ryan Erickson, who came through with a monster complete game shutout as the Yankees beat the Red Sox 3-0 to force a deciding third game.

Semi-Final Series – Game 3

Game 3 pitted Red Sox ace Chris Jensen versus Ryan Erickson in a re-match of an early season meeting which saw the Sox beat the Yankees by a score of 3-0. In the top of the 1st, the Sox got to Erickson, scoring 3 runs. However, the Yankees were able to come back with 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st against Jensen. The Yankees then added 2 more runs in the 2nd, and took a 4-3 lead into the 6th inning. Not to be deterred, the Red Sox fought back, scoring 2 in the 6th and 1 in the 7th to take a 6-4 lead into the 9th inning. The Yankees, with their backs against the wall, were not ready to see their season end, and they came to the plate in their final at-bat determined to give themselves a chance to win the game.

Michael Chagoya led off the bottom of the 9th with a single. Greg Cohen then followed with a single to left, and Ryan Erickson singled off of Jensen’s glove to load the bases. With nobody out, the Sox pulled Jensen and brought in a new pitcher to face the heart of the Yankees’ order. Harlan McCaskey worked a four pitch walk to force in a run. Roy Williams then battled to a full count before drawing a walk which forced in the tying run and brought up Lambert Calvert with a chance to the win the game, and the series for the Yankees. Calvert worked the count full before smashing a single through the left side sending Erickson home with the winning run.

With their first walk-off win of the season, the Yankees punched their ticket to the Championship Series, and a showdown with the four-time defending champion Orioles.

Championship Series

2014 Ettare Division Champion Yankees Celebrating

The Yankees celebrate their 2014 Ettare Division Championship. (Photo Submitted by Caterina Rynhard)

The Championship Series of the Ettare Division matched the two highest scoring teams in the division with the Orioles scoring 244 runs and the Yankees 198. While both teams boasted capable pitching staffs it was the offense that would take center stage.

Championship Series – Game 1

Eric Rynhard got the Game 1 start for the Yankees and proved to be up to the task. Rynhard threw 4 scoreless innings before running into some trouble in the 5th inning. Luckily for the Yankees, they had built an 11-2 lead by the 6th inning, and although the Orioles scored 5 in the bottom of the 6th, Sergio Zamoramo came on to throw 3.2 innings of 2 run ball to earn the save and lock down the win for Rynhard and the Yanks.

Roy Williams had 4 hits and drove in 5 runs in Game 1 leading the Yankees’ offense to a 16-9 victory.

Championship Series – Game 2

The Yankees gave the ball to their rookie ace, Ryan Erickson, and staked him to a 6-0 lead after one inning. However, the Orioles did not back down, and after the Yankees had pushed their lead to 9-2 after 2 innings, they roared back, putting up 6 runs in the third powered by a grand slam off the bat of Marco Del Real and 4 more runs in the fourth behind a home run from Pasqual Del Real.

Suddenly, the Yankees’ large lead was gone, and they entered the bottom of the 4th trailing 12-11.

The Yankees had overcome adversity all season long and did not yield being down a run after four innings.

Using timely hitting the Yankees pushed 3 runs across in the bottom of the 5th to take a 14-12 lead, then added another run in the 6th, four more in the 7th, and one more in the 8th to push the lead to 20-12.

In his second relief appearance of the day, Sergio Zamoramo was able to silence the Orioles’ big bats with 3 crucial scoreless innings in the Orioles half of the 5th, 6th and 7th innings.

The four time consecutive division champion Orioles would not go quietly and managed to rally in the 8th and 9th innings. With two outs in the top of the 9th the Orioles had cut the Yankee lead to 20-18, had a man on and sent the tying run to home plate in the form of Pascual Del Real who had already hit two homers on the day!

With the game on the line the Yankees went back to Ryan Erickson, who had started the game, to get the final out. Erickson got Del Real to pop up to Topher Chen at short for the final out giving the Yankees a 20-18 win, a two game sweep of the mighty Orioles and the first championship in team history.

The Yankees would like to send their congratulations to the Orioles on another great season, and wish them luck as they move to the Dunn Division next season.

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2014 Liners Tame Cubs for Championship in Tulsa MSBL

Tulsa Liners 12, Tulsa Cubs 7

Submitted by Joe Gho, Liners manager

Tulsa Liners win MTBA League Championship

The Tulsa Liners won the 2014 Metro Tulsa Baseball Association League Championship by defeating the defending league champions the Tulsa Cubs 2 games to 0 in the best-of-three series.

The Liners (#2 seed) defeated the Twins 12-5 in the first round and in the semi-finals beat the Hawks 6-4 to get to the League Championship Series. The Cubs (#1 seed) had a first round bye but won the semi-final game against the Diamondbacks 9-4 to make it into the League Championship Series.

In Game #1 of the League Championship Series, the Liners defeated the Cubs 8-5. The starting and winning pitcher for the Liners against the Cubs was Jeff Goodnight(5-1) with Justin Beal picking up a four inning save.

In Game #2 versus the Cubs, the Liners won 12-7. The starting and winning pitcher was Kyle Carpenter (5-0) with Justin Beal picking up his 2nd save. Blair Hamilton hit a 2-Run Home Run in Game #2.

The Liners finished the season with a 17-5 record while the Cubs ended at 15-6. The Liners, who are managed by Joe Gho, have been a member of the Tulsa league for 26 years and this is their 12th league title.

The Tulsa Liners Players league roster:

Josh Beal, Justin Beal, Bob Biskup, Russ Blaylock, Kyle Carpenter, Tom Dutton, Mike Eckert, Bo Ekiss, Joe Gho, Jeff Goodnight, Blair Hamilton, Glenn Haueter, Lynn Haueter, Bob Kolibas, Jeff Lamb, David Rampey, Mike Robinson, Mark Sherwood, Gary Simpson

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2014 Cobras Strangle Nationals for Puget Sound 19+ AA Title

Puget Sound Senior Baseball League Adams 19+ AA Division

Cobras 7, Nationals 3

Submitted by Lance Jones, Cobras manager

The 2014 season saw the Adams division Cobras of the Puget Sound Senior Baseball League become back to back champions. We once again had strong pitching throughout the year. In the playoffs we had great outings by Jeff Caley, James Renfroe, Robbie Philbrick, Craig Lockett, Aaron Russell, Ivan Moran and Elliott Russell. This success was accentuated by our standout catchers Nick Postorino and Lance Jones. Our bats remained hot going into the playoffs with clutch hitting from our entire team. We played a tough championship series against the Nationals, winning the series in two games. Both games were low scoring pitching duels with strong defense. Thank you to all of the Cobras for another fun season.

The championship game statistics are listed below:

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2014 Pirates Re-claim Title in Southern Colorado MSBL

Southern Colorado MSBL Central Division

Pirates 6, Angels 3

Submitted by Bud Maison, Pirates manager

The SOCO MSBL (Colorado Springs, Colorado) post season tournament was a best of three series between the Champions for the past three seasons. (Angels 2013, Pirates 2012, Angels 2011).

In game one, the Pirates fought back from a 6-0 Angels lead in the final innings and forced extra innings where the Angels won on a walk-of double by John Vaughn in the bottom of the 10th inning and winning 7-6.

In game two, the Pirates and Angels exchanged the lead three times by the end of the game with the Pirates winning 7-6. The game winning difference was LeSean Thomas stealing home in the seventh inning.

In the finals, Pirates pitcher Sloan Soulia took charge and allowed only three runs in the first three innings. He then shut down the Angels offense through the remainder of the game and earned the MVP award. The Pirates finish the season with a 19-3 record with their only losses coming at the hands of the Angels. The Angels finished at 18-4.

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

Pirates-S

0

0

0

0

1

5

0

0

0

6

14

0

Angels

1

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

8

0

Batting Stats

Pirates-S

 

#

Batter

P

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

AVG

 

3

Mannix, R

P

4

1

1

0

0

1

.326

 

12

Skaggs, B

EH

1

0

1

0

0

0

.333

 

8

Carr, D

P

4

0

2

0

0

1

.519

 

9

Davenport, D

C

3

1

1

1

0

0

.350

 

5

Goddish, A

3B

5

0

2

0

0

2

.556

 

38

Matson, N

OF

4

1

1

0

0

1

.313

 

13

Cordova, S

OF

1

0

0

0

0

0

.522

 

7

Wood, J

OF

1

0

0

0

0

0

.400

 

17

Thomas, L

OF

3

0

0

0

0

0

.280

 

21

Capper, K

1B

2

2

2

2

0

0

.343

 

25

Soulia, S

P

3

1

1

0

0

0

.474

 

22

Norman, E

P

4

0

2

1

0

0

.382

 

4

Clavelli, R

P

3

0

0

0

0

1

.161

 

38

6

13

4

0

6

 

Angels

#

Batter

P

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

AVG

1

Vaughn, J

C

3

0

1

0

0

0

.348

7

Milo, C

SS

2

0

0

0

2

0

.400

4

Sierra, A

IF

3

0

0

0

0

1

.440

5

Vaughn, F

CF

4

1

0

1

0

0

.542

2

Gaffney, T

2B

4

0

3

1

0

0

.536

42

Brown, M

P

0

0

0

0

1

0

.000

19

Rucker, J

P

1

0

0

0

0

0

.250

8

Behan, A

SS

5

2

1

0

0

1

.458

29

Wirt, B

P

4

0

0

0

0

0

.000

9

Hicks, L

1B

4

0

2

1

0

1

.600

22

Wendt, T

P

4

0

0

0

0

3

.516

12

Preston, G

3B

3

0

0

0

0

3

.517

37

3

7

3

3

9

Pitching Stats

Pirates-S

#

Pitcher

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

ERA

25

Soulia, S

8.3

7

3

2

3

9

3.38

9

7

3

2

3

9

Angels

#

Pitcher

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

ERA

29

Wirt, B

9.0

14

6

6

2

6

2.03

9

14

6

6

2

6

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2014 Arizona Reds Celebrate Successful Season in 45+ Division

Arizona MSBL 45+ Division

Submitted by Chris Means, Arizona 45+ Reds

The Five Pillars of Arizona Reds 45+ Baseball:

HUMILITY: Don’t think too highly or to lowly of yourself. Look at yourself soberly. You can’t be all things. Be able to say, “This is who I am” and “This is who I’m not.”

PASSION:Don’t be lukewarm! Everyone is passionate when they’re winning, but the successful are passionate when it’s hard. Get better every day.

UNITY: Integrate individual talents for the good of the team. Don’t become fragmented no matter the circumstances. Unity in a losing effort can be molded into a winning team.

SERVANTHOOD: Regardless of your role, be a servant to the team and make your teammates better.

THANKFULNESS: Be thankful for success, but also for what you learn through adversity – that’s where great wisdom can be gained.

I reached out to all of our players and asked for their thoughts about playing on our team this past season. Below are a couple of the responses…

From catcher Mike Sinykin:

The main thing I enjoyed about playing with this team this year was team chemistry and the “never give up attitude”.

From first baseman Terry VanGundy:

This team believed in the following statement: 

*WIN TOGETHER

*LOSE TOGETHER

*PLAY TOGETHER

*STAY TOGETHER

The Reds 2014 season recap: We started our season with a few new players. We managed to upgrade the few positions that were open due to guys dropping off, switching teams, etc. Half way through the season we were in third place in the division (top four teams make the playoffs). We then had a series of injuries, guys on vacation, unpacked bats, etc., that caused us to drop to fifth place in our division – with only five games left in the season! We righted the ship and managed to beat the teams we needed to beat in order to qualify for the #4 seed. We finished the regular season with a record of 12-8-1. We only allowed 142 runs in 21 games (less than seven per game), which was good enough for third lowest in the 45+ division.

Our first playoff game was against the #1 seed Angels (20-1). The Angels averaged almost 18 runs scored per game all season. They handled us pretty well and we lost the first playoff game 13-8. We were now in a “lose-and-go-home” mode. Our next opponent was the White Sox (the other team that had lost their first game). Behind some great pitching by our guy, Rick Urias, who later that month would be voted by his peers as the 45+ Division All-Star MVP, we beat the White Sox by a score of 14-11. One of the players on the White Sox is Brian Kingman. As some may know, Brian pitched for the “real” Oakland A’s back in the day – he was a major leaguer for over four years, played under Billy Martin, and played with a lot of those really good A’s teams from the early 80’s. Our manager, Tony Quilici, wanted to relay to each player on the Reds that Kingman called to congratulate him (and our team) on the victory we had over his White Sox. Tony told me that Brian stated:“You guys wanted it more than us, and you deserved the win. Good luck against the Dbacks.”

This was a classy thing for Kingman to do and Tony and I passed his comments on to everyone on the Reds. Coming from a person with the professional baseball pedigree that Brian has, this meant a lot.

Now we had to face the D’backs in ANOTHER lose-and-go-home game. The D’backs were the defending league champs from the previous year. With a very short roster on our part, Rick Urias AGAIN pitched a great game and we managed to beat the D’backs by a score of 6-1. They threw BOTH of their “aces” at us, but we just were “feeling it” (as they say).

Unfortunately, we did not “feel it” all the way through to the championship game against the Angels. We were in a close game (trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning). But defensive lapses on our part allowed them to score four unearned runs that inning. They had superior pitching going for them that night and we ran out of gas this game. We lost by a score of 7-2. It was small consolation to us that we held the league’s highest-powered offense to just seven runs (again with Rick on the mound). As I wrote to the team afterwards: “We played the Angels three times this season and they beat us all three games. All we can do is tip our caps and get ‘em next year”.