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2019 35+

Montebello Angels 9, Desert Pirates 5

Submitted by Robert Oskin, Angels manager

Once again, the Montebello Angels headed out to Las Vegas for the MSBL Las Vegas Open, finishing 2-1 in the round robin while losing our first game to the ever-tough Desert Pirates. On Sunday we barely beat a really good team from Mexico, 11-10 to get the second seed in the playoffs. After beating the Sultanes in the playoffs we had to once again go back and play the Desert Pirates for the championship.

Our starting pitcher Bobby Yanez thru a gem for 8 2/3 innings, holding them down to four runs. Cisco Vega came in the eighth for the close. The Desert Pirates definitely made it interesting, as they had bases loaded in the bottom of ninth with only one out and their number three hitter, Manny Pimental, representing the tying run at the plate. Vega got him to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to end the game.

It’s always great to play such a quality team as the Desert Pirates, as they have some really great ball players and know how to play the game right. We took a really good squad out to Vegas and overall the whole team did great. Frank Rodriguez, Joel Bustamante, Ivan Valencia and Brandon Hedding led the way for us with their constant heading. Plus, our work horse and savior Bobby Yanez pitched in three games total over the 3-day weekend.

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2019 18+

SoCal Titans 23, Las Vegas Senators 2

Submitted by Enrique Rodriguez, Titans manager

I would like to take a moment to especially thank my sponsors Mulligan’s Painters and Diamonds Auto Body for all the help that our team received to make this trip possible.

Our So Cal Titans team were undefeated at 5-0 all the way to the championship game.  We had a great pitching rotation of Frank Duenas, Josue Iniguez, Brandon Colfman, Dalton Rederick, Jovanny Bramasco and Leo Madrid, who relieved Josue Iniguez on our playoff game and started our championship game.  Leo went seven innings straight with Josue relieving him and closing off our game with a win, behind great support of our line-up of hitters. The MVP of our tournament was Scott Mitchell, who hit for the cycle on our playoff game.

Thank you to MSBL and we look forward to seeing everyone in our next tournament.

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2019 45+

So Cal Blue Jays 6, D Bat Avondale 5

Submitted by Vince Woods, Blue Jays manager

We are happy to announce that the So Cal Blue Jays are Las Vegas Open Tournament ‘back to back’ Champions. This Memorial Day weekend Tournament was lots of fun as we enjoyed a total team effort all weekend.

The 2019 edition of the Blue Jays was compiled of players from the OC Sox, So Cal Blue Jays and a few players from Las Vegas. We had solid pitching performances and lots of timely hitting, scoring 61 runs in five games.

Vic Darensbourg was our Championship game winning pitcher holding a very good hitting team D-Bat Avondale Angels team to only five runs. We were the recipients of outstanding hitting all weekend from Dave Rice, Cobi Cradle, Kenny Lumpkin, Drew Zoulko and Vic Darensbourg.

The Blue Jays have been in the MSBL Las Vegas Open Tournament championship game five years in a row, winning three of them.

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2019 50+

Utah Pirates 25, Central Coast Tigers 9

Submitted by Randy Miles, Pirates manager

The Utah Pirates battered a depleted Tiger pitching staff with 26 hits, 12 being extra base hits, including one home run by Cale Shepherd.  It was a close game through four innings, but the Pirate hot bats kept on hitting.  

Andy Campbell pitched all nine innings for the win.   We saved him for the end and it payed off.   Brent Oldroyd went 5-5 with three doubles, Allen Zentgraf and I both went 4-5 with two doubles apiece.  Tiger’s lead-off batter Erhardt went 3-4 with a home run in the third inning to make it 5-4.  

The Pirates scored 94 runs in five games and had a team batting average of .472.  I think it’s the best we have ever hit in a tourney, of course the slight breeze blowing out all weekend helped.   Duane Lee led the Pirates in hitting for the tourney going 13-20.

In the Semi’s the Pirates had to rally late to hold off the Tri Valley Vets after they tied the score 4-4 in the seventh, with the final score ending up at 14-7.  They played us well and it was a good game.  The CC Tigers beat the Las Vegas 55’s 12-11 in the Semi’s to reach the finals. 

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2018 45+ American Las Vegas Open

D’Bat Angels 8, Central Coast Tigers 7 (12 innings)

‘Angels Win with Ten Able Bodies’

Submitted By: Kevin Cole, Manager, D-Bat Angels Baseball Club

The D-Bat Angels, consisting of players from the Arizona and California MSBL defeated the Central Coast Tigers 8-7 in a 12 inning Championship Game nail biter to capture the 45+ American Division Las Vegas Open.

D-Bat went undefeated through pool play by dispatching the Central Coast Tigers 12-4 and the Great Lakes Tigers 10-1 on Saturday and winning the Sunday morning game 6-5 against the gallant LS Warriors team to secure the top playoff seed. The Angels then beat the Las Vegas 55’s 17-1 on Sunday afternoon and when the Central Coast Tigers knocked off the OC Dodgers for the second straight game, the championship game matchup was set for Monday morning at Sierra Vista High School.

The Angels had a strong roster of 15 players to begin play on Saturday but by Monday morning, the dugout was down to 10 able bodies and each player would be tested by the time this game ended. Both teams started quickly trading runs back and forth and after six innings the game was tied at six. Starting pitchers John Parado for the Angels and Javier Ricardo for the Tigers continued to battle knowing that the next run could decide things. Each met the challenge as Parado got a strikeout to end the eighth inning with the bases loaded and the Angels threw a runner out at the plate to end the top of the ninth. Ricardo matched those heroics by getting strikeouts to end the seventh, eighth and ninth innings with the go ahead run on second base.

D-Bat loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the tenth but Ricardo got a strikeout and an inning ending double play to escape. The Tigers scratched across a run in the top of the 11th but the Angels responded when with two outs and nobody on base, consecutive hits by Teddy Peterson, Moe Hawkins and Dave Uliberri again tied it. At that point, after throwing 11 strong innings, Parado had to leave to catch a flight and Mark Flatten came on to throw a scoreless 12th.

In the bottom of the 12th the Angels again loaded the bases with none down and after having to take an automatic out for the pitcher’s spot in the batting order, Flatten was hit by a pitch that scored Garey Simmonds who had started the game winning rally with a single with the tournament winning run for the D-Bat Angels.

The tournament victory for the D-Bat Angels was truly a team effort led by Flatten’s ten hits (seven that went for extra bases), Hawkins with nine, and Alex Cordova with eight. The Angels starting pitching was solid all weekend as Parado started twice, Garey Simmonds, Andy Miranda and Craig Gudgeon once each and the bullpen was required to throw only two innings.

Monday May 28, 2018   1 2 3   4 5 6  7 8 9   10 11 12   Final

Central Coast Tigers       1 1 2 – 1 1 0 – 0 0 0 – 0  1  0      7

D-Bat Angels                    1 0 2 – 0 2 1 – 0 0 0 – 0  1  1*    8

*1 out when winning run scored

Win – Flatten

Loss – Ricardo

Hitters:

M. Flatten 1-5 Double, 2 RBI, 2 HBP

A. Cordova 4-6 Double, 3 Runs Scored

T. Peterson 2-6 2 Runs Scored

M. Hawkins 3-4 Double, 2 RBI, 2 BB

D. Uliberri 2-5 3 RBI

G. Simmonds 2-6

S. Pepi 3-5

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2018 45+ National Las Vegas Open

So Cal Blue Jays 17, US Baseball-Dairy Queen 4

‘Morrow Goes the Distance on the Bump’

Submitted by Vince Woods, Blue Jays manager

The Blue Jays came out swinging from the start scoring four runs in the first inning.  They started with back to back doubles to lead off the inning then three more scored after two outs were made.

We had an outstanding pitching performance from Dave Morrow who pitched a solid seven innings.

This was a total team effort from the Blue Jays, who never let up. We just kept getting hit after hits.  US Baseball-Dairy Queen threw in the towel after seven innings.

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2017 45+

Venice Beach Vampires 18, So Cal Blue Jays 6

Back row: (L-R) John Love, Oscar Duran, Robb Munson, Tim Lockhart, Manny Salinas, Dale Eby. Front row: (L-R) Dave Morrow, John Knoblauh, Jorge Mora, Rafa Fuentes, Don Bell, Bob Pone

‘Total Team Effort Defeats the Blue Jays and the Temperatures’

Submitted by Dale Eby, Vampires manager

(Editor’s Note: You may have noticed from the picture above that the core of this team, and their jerseys, represent the national powerhouse Team Victory, owner of 24 MSBL National Championships dating back to 2006.  Dale Eby took the reins on this tournament because the team’s managers, Dave Brunette and Rafael Fuentes, were initially not able to attend, thus the name change.)

“I figured that if Rafael and Dave are not going to make it, I’ll change the name to another “V” name out of respect for them not being with us, since I am not the true manager of this team.  I’m just a temporary caretaker,” stated Eby

The story of our weekend is a typical Team Victory tournament: good pitching and excellent defense.  We feel that we have the most athletic defense of any 50+ team out there, which allows us to compete at the 45+ when we must.  We are really strong up the middle, with John Knoblauh in center field, Don Bell and Bob Pone at shortstop and second base, and Pokey Sanchez behind the plate.  It’s easy to talk about hitting stats, but our pitching and defense is what consistently wins for us.  This tournament was no different.  There were quite a few balls hit that would have been base hits elsewhere, and were turned into outs this weekend to kill potential rallies.  Don Bell had multiple diving stops followed by strong throws to turn hits into outs.  Bell and Pone turned several double plays.  It’s hard to get a fly ball to drop around Knoblauh.  We had four double plays turned in our second pool play game against the Great Lake Tigers.   Our defense makes our good pitching that much better.

In the championship game against the Blue Jays we were fortunate to play a team that was a little worn out by an extended semi-final game. (an umpire went down, causing an hour delay in the 100 degree heat).  We just had a little more depth on our pitching roster.  Scott Hildebrandt threw a complete game victory in game one against the Utah Rockies (10-5), I was fortunate enough to throw a complete game victory in game two against the Great Lakes Tigers (21-5), and Rafael Fuentes (who ended up participating) threw a complete game 9-5 victory in the semi-final game against the Central Coast Tigers.  That left a fresh Dave Morrow to throw a complete game victory in the championship game against the Blue Jays (18-6), avenging our loss to the Blue Jays in pool play.  We were able to do this with a fairly small roster (14), and losing two players to injuries in the finals and having two players who had to leave early.

So, great defense allowed us to stretch out our pitching, and this weekend our hitting was just as good (it’s easier to throw a complete game when your team scores 21 runs).  Over the five games our team had a .444 batting average (91 for 205) with eight players hitting over .400.  In the first inning of the first game of the weekend we scored eight runs.  This was truly a team effort up and down the lineup.  In the championship game, the Vampires/Team Victory scored ten runs in the top of the third inning to make the score 15-2.  Then it was just a matter of surviving the heat.  By the end of the game, we only had nine healthy bodies to put on the field.  We lost two to work duties, two to leg injuries in the final game, one who couldn’t feel his left arm due to pitching the morning semi-final game, and we were missing a couple of key teammates who couldn’t play with us this weekend because they had commitments elsewhere.

Our top hitters were Oscar Duran at .684 (13 for 19 with two home runs), Don Bell at .647 (11 for 17), Bob Pone at .563 (9 for 16), John Love at .556 (10 for 18), Jorge Mora at .471 (8 for 17 with a home run in the final), Manny Salinas at .444 (8 for 18), and John Knoblauh hit .421 (8 for 19).  Interestingly, we didn’t have a strikeout on offense until the final out of our third pool play game, on our 137th plate appearance.  Not bad.

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2017 55+

Las Vegas Rattlers 16, So Cal Fire 8

‘Offensive Explosion in Seventh and Eighth Seals the Deal’

Submitted by Manny Ocampo, Las Vegas Rattlers manager

In the bottom of the first inning the Rattlers struck first with two doubles and three singles to score four runs. Our complete line-up was offensively effective in the championship game and throughout tournament, as we went undefeated. So Cal Fire chipped away and tied the game in the third, then went ahead by three runs with the score now 7-4 in the fifth. We rallied up and answered back with three runs and tied the game at seven apiece after five innings. In the seventh we scored four more and then added an extra five in the eighth, not looking back! We then held them down to win 16-8.

“”I will never take So CaL Fire lightly. They always battle and will come back and fight to win,” stated manager Ocampo.

Significant contributors throughout the tournament were Steve Archambo, Paul Joncich and Joe Gho. Steve, our lead-off batter, (DH, only due to right shoulder injury) led the team in RBI’s, hitting two doubles and three triples for the tournament.  Paul was solid at shortstop for all of the games, including a fantastic unassisted triple play.  Paul snagged a line drive line drive at short then stepped on second and threw to first to complete it. Joe complimented Paul at second base, turning double plays smoothly as he and Paul worked well together. Joe batted at the bottom, carrying hits and speed as an extra lead-off hitter.  All other Rattlers had either power and/or speed on offense and even the subs off the bench contributed to all wins.

Dave Nutter was our Championship pitcher, who sat patiently while only pitching one full inning in pool play and not batting at all for tournament. He waited patiently and had no complaints. When he was ready, he came in and did his job. I awarded the championship trophy to him so he can give to his new born Grand Daughter, who was born a day before our first double header in pool play!

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2015 45+ National

“Senators Ride Revenge to Title in 45+ National”

Las Vegas Senators 4, So Cal Blue Jays 2

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

All of the runs in the 45-over championship game were scored in the first four innings.  Pitching, defense and a few prayers took center stage thereafter as the Las Vegas Senators held on for a 4-2 victory over the So Cal Blue Jays to win the trophy.

The Senators opened up the top of the first with a double with a single eventually driving him in after two outs.  The Blue Jays went down in order and the Senators held a 1-0 lead after one inning.  The Blue Jays scored two runs in the bottom of the second on three hits and went into the third inning with a 2-1 lead.  That was the last lead they would celebrate.

The Senators plated two runs in the top of the third while only contributing one hit but that score would hold up as the Blue Jays couldn’t muster up any more runs.  The Senators added another run in the fourth without the aid of a hit and the 4-2 advantage was the final score.  The Blue Jays could only tally three hits in the final seven innings. The Blue Jay pitchers were also stingy by only allowing the Senators three hits over the final five innings.

The playoff run was a path of revenge for both teams. The Senators posted a 1-2 pool play record with losses to the So Cal Blue Jays and the Tri Valley 50’s.  They avenged their loss to the Tri Valley 50’s with a 9-6 semi-final victory to earn the right to play the Blue Jays in the rematch. The Blue Jays went 2-1 in pool play with their only loss coming at the hands of the Texas Reds.  They got their payback in the semi-finals with a 12-8 victory over the Reds.

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2015 55+

“Stonebrook, Welch and Burkitt Lead the Pack”

Sacramento Royals 13, So Cal Fire 1

Contributed by Jim Tygrett-DiNuzzi

The Sacramento Royals took the 55+ MSBL Division Championship at the 2015 Las Vegas Open. A combination of outstanding pitching and hitting overwhelmed the competition with the Royals going undefeated and completing each game including the semi-final and championship by the 12 run “mercy” rule.

The pitchers pitched and the hitters hit. Tim Burkitt threw and won two of the three poolgames while Greg Lichtenberger won the other surrendering only one run. Terry Callahan threw and won the semi-final getting the Royals into the championship where team ace Gary Stonebrook completed the tournament sweep in the championship going all the way.

The offense was plenty with all the hitters contributing and when they weren’t pitching the pitchers were hitting as part of the offense, too. The rest of the hitters included Derek Buluck, Darryl Foster, Brian Fisher, Rob Ericson, Jim Marquardsen, Mark Shillingburg, Mark Vendeiro, Bob Wooden, Steve Welch, and Jim Tygrett-DiNuzzi. Lichtenberger and Fisher just missed hitting balls out of the park. Steve Welch, as usual, caught every inning of every game and was named team MVP.