LA ATHLETICS WIN 2017 MSBL 60+ MEMORIAL DAY TOURNAMENT IN SAN DIEGO
12 teams participated and the Athletics went 4-0 in pool play allowing only 12 runs to earn the top seed in playoffs. They won the semi-final game 5 -1 over the San Diego Heat, as LABL Bandit player Jeff Gould pitched a complete game striking out 8. The Athletics topped the Sacramento Tribe in the finals, 3 -2 as ex-pro Mike Denivi from San Diego also threw a complete game. The LABL was well represented as Kevin Bronson handled the chores at shortstop and Paul McPherson was the usual vacuum cleaner at 3B. Dan Little carried a hot bat through out the tournament and anchored LF. Jeff Wells threw a complete game 5 -1 win in pool play, and manager Bob Sherwin split duties at 2B. This is the 3rd win for the Athletics at the Memorial Day tournament.
Congrats to the Athletics ..... again! This was the 5th championship in a row in Palm Springs for the Athletics. The last 4 were in the 55+ and this year they moved up to the 60+. They went 3-0 in pool play grabbing the top seed in the playoffs by only allowing 11 runs in the 3 games. They won the semi-final against the Nor Cal A's 18 - 0 and then beat Dodgertown West 10 -5 in the big game. Local LABL players who contributed to the success were shortstop Kevin Bronson who was a gem at shortstop; Jeff Wells who threw 3 innings of relief in the semi-final win and Bob Sherwin at 2B. Danny "The Beast" Pawelek from Salt Lake City had two victories on the mound including the win in the championship game. He also hit .637 and was backed up offensively by Dave Globig from Milwaukee who hit .583 and Mike Thatcher who hit .555.
Congrats to the Athletics ..... again! The latest win for the LA Athletics 60+ managed by Bob Sherwin. Because they were excluded from the MSBL 60+ division allegedly because other teams refused to play them, they went to the NABA World Series for the first time. They went 5 - 0 in pool play beating their nemesis, the Berry's 6-5 in game one. They won the semi-final against the Arizona Rustlers 11-0 and then faced the Berry's in the championship game and won 11-6. LABL players that were key to success were co-MVPs Kevin Bronson and Paul McPherson, both of whom hit over .500; Dan Little and Jeff Wells who threw a shut out in pool play against the Canada Red Deer Legends. Danny "The Beast" Pawelek and Wisconsin's John Arnold both won two games each on the mound with Pawelek getting the win in the final game.
Congrats to the 2015 55+ MSBL Palm Springs Open LA Athletics; winning the 55+ division for the 4th straight year. They went 3 - 0 in pool play; defeated the Milwaukee Sox 20 - 6 in the semi-final and then So Cal Fire 10 - 1 in the championship game. Danny "The Beast" Pawelek threw the complete game in the final after throwing 2 1/3 in the semi-final and 9 innings in the first pool play game. Jeff Wells had a complete game win over Milwaukee in pool play. Kevin Bronson had a great tournament as usual playing flawless ball at 2nd and SS and sparking us offensively whenever he got on base.
Congrats to the 2014 65+ MSBL World Seriess Champion LA Athletics. They won based on dynamic hitting and solid defense with very few errors. Local players included Scott Kenning, Gary Firestone and former LABL player Jack Charles. The team went 5 - 0 in pool play and then won a semi final game against the San Diego Mudcats, 4- 3 in 11 innings. First time for the Athletics in the 65+ and a successful one!
Congrats to the 2014 60+ MSBL World Seriess Champion LA Athletics. The LA Athletics won the 60+ Mountain (top division). The team went 5 -1 in pool play and then beat Rhode Island 18 -6 in the playoffs before beating the Greenwood Ridge Dragons 20 -5 in the championship game. The offense was led by several players, including former LABL player Mike Glenn, Mike Thatcher, Wes Thomas, Vernon Wells and Billy Cocchia also were standouts. Jeff Wells gave us one quality start and several innings in relief. Danny "The Beast" Pawelek from Salt Lake City threw two pool play games, 6 innings in the semi final and then 4 in the championship. A great team winning for the 2nd time in the 60+ and avenging our loss in the championship game of 2013.
Congrats to the 2014 Father/Son MSBL World Seriess Champion LA Athletics. They went 3 - 1 in pool play, beat San Jose in the semi final and then beat the Capitol City Cards in the championship game 12 - 2. Local LABL player Jeff Gould and his son Jake were major contributors to our success with Jeff throwing 4 innings in a pool play win and Jake, the varsity catcher at Notre Dame HS, doing the bulk of our catching. We were also paced by former major league players, Tom Klawitter (pitcher), Fernando Gonzalez (3B), and minor league player Preston Olson whose 90 mph fastball was too hot to touch. Local LABL player Tom Kopp and son Nolan were also instrumental in our wins.
Congrats to the 2014 MSBL San Diego Memorial Day Champion LA Athletics. There were 16 teams in the tournament. The Athletics went 3-1 in pool play and won the championship by defeating the Greenwood Ridge Dragons 10 - 3. Players from our LABL that played and contributed to our success were Dan Little (who hit .600 for the series), Jeff Wells who got the win for our 3rd pool play game, Don Bixby (who got the save in the same game), Gary Firestone, Jon Scheuerman who hit a whopping .632, and Bob Sherwin. Our star pitcher was Danny "The Beast" Pawelek from Salt Lake City who has been playing for the Athletics for the last 4 years. Danny threw two games on Saturday and then the semi-final Monday morning to be followed 20 minutes later by the championship game. He pitched 4 of our 6 games and went 4 - 0. And.....he hit .625 as the Athletics # 3 hitter. Pawelek is an amazing specimen, and keyed a nice tourney win for the LA Athletics.
Top Row: Bob Quick, Jeff Wells, Jesus Rodriguez, Dave Howard, Gary Firestone, Jon Scheuerman, Danny Pawelek, Dave Peyman, Tony Frascello, Art Collazo
Bottom Row: Doc Rubio, Mike Glenn, Mark Lenhoff, Don Bixby, Bob Sherwin, Dan Little
Congrats to the 2014 MSBL Caribbean Winter Baseball Champion So Cal Red Sox. They represented the LABL with 14 of the 16 players being LABL players, and won the trophy (and rings) in Puerto Rico over the past weekend in the 25+ Wood division (3 under 25 guys OK). A thanks to Richard Rosenblum who runs the PR tourney. It was a blast!
The team was managed by Jamil Mamdani, and went to the playoffs as the 4th seed with a 2-2 record. The Red Sox were able to pull off the improbable championship with 2 straight tight Sunday victories over very tough eastern teams.
In the semi-final versus the 2-time defending champion East Coast All-Stars, MVP Josue Iniguez, who had already hurled an earlier 1-hitter, went an incredible 10 innings with most of those on just pure heart. The most herculean feat coming in the bottom of the 9th with the score tied at 4-4. Due to time constraints, Olympic rules were in place, so the Stars begin the inning with a runner on 2nd -- 2 more batters reach, to load the bases with 0 outs. Of course the Sox hopes were very bleak at this point, but Iniquez got the next 3 hitters (2 on K's) to turn the tide. In the top of the 10th, with the momentum, the Sox broke it open with a 6-spot to put the game away (key hits by Mamdani, Becker and Healey). Iniguez simply put the team on his back and carried them to victory in the semi-final.
Then after that draining 3 1/2 hour 10-inning affair in the hot PR sun, the Championship game was just a 1/2 hour later. All the Sox were tired and sore, but knew they had to suck it up and give it everything they had versus a very powerful Milford CT team. The Sox played small ball with bunts, sacrifice flies, and outs that produced runs to take a 4-2 lead through 5 innings. With 19 year old crafty LHP Puerto Rican Joel Espada on the hill going for his 2nd victory of the tourney, the Sox were looking good. But miscues in the next two innings made the score 4-4 after 7 innings. In the top of the 8th, the Red Sox scored a crazy go-ahead run as hitting machine Andrew Cherin walked on a 3-2 breaking ball in the dirt with a runner at 2nd, but the Milford catcher thinking Cherin swung, threw to 1st thinking he had to get the out at 1st on a K, and the ball went over the first baseman's head to give the Sox a 5-4 lead. Then in the 9th, the Sox scored a much needed insurance run to lead 6-4. Espada was just out of gas after throwing 13 innings in 3 days, so Jamil Mamdani came in to close the game and championship with two scoreless frames in the 8th & 9th.
What a series of games! And what an outstanding team effort by the So Cal Red Sox. The 2 best catchers out there -- Casey Matthews & Steve Rombro -- did a fantastic job of blocking balls in the dirt and throwing out countless opponent base stealers. Cherin and Mamdani getting tons of hits, Castanon getting on base all the time, and everyone contributed in some way ... leadoff MP, Rum Punch, Rosey, Laz, Ese, Kazy, Angel and Dancer...a great team effort, and the best fans ever (about 12 who made the long journey to PR just to watch), who kept us motivated throughout the whole series!
Top Row: Josue Iniguez, Ethan Wolferman, Chris Healey, Mike Cahill, Marcos Perez, Andrew Cherin, Casey Matthews, Joel Espada, Lupe Castanon
Bottom Row: Andy Lazarus, Angel Torres, Dave Becker, Jamil Mamdani, Kaz Arakawa, Michael Rosenblum, Steve Rombro
LA Athletics claim third straight 55 Crown
Rancho Mirage, CA January 20, 2014 --Behind strong complete game pitching from ace Danny Pawelek, and a monster offensive day by Dan Little, the LA Athletics defeated Dodgertown West 9-3 to capture the 55-and-over Desert Classic title.
It is the third time in a row that these two teams have met in the finals, and the Athletics have won all three. Pawelek, with help from a strong defense, allowed just three runs despite giving up 14 Dodger hits. Meanwhile, Little went wild going 4-for-4 with five RBI, including an inside the park home run. The Athletics entered the tournament expecting to rely on Pawelek (picturede left) for most of the pitching, but big wins by Ruben Otis, Jim Barker, and Mark Sain, who pitched a two-hit complete game in the semifinals against Tri Valley, allowed Manager Bob Sherwin to keep Pawelek rested for the championship final game. Timely hitting by the Athletics, good pitching, and strong defense, especially from third baseman Dennis Clancy, was the story of the game. Dodgers starting pitcher Bob Boehm, along with closer Albert Ulibarri, pitched well, but had little run support. Kevin Bronson, Pawelek and Little shared the MVP honors for the championship game, while Bronson was tournament MVP. Bronson, a middle infielder, stole eight bases in five games. Sherwin said Bronson’s actions on the bases may well have been the difference in a game versus Tri-Valley in which the opposing pitcher, apparently distracted by Bronson’s presence on base, made two throwing errors, and walked four consecutive batters. That broke open a tight game, allowing the Athletics to win and receive a bye in the first playoff round. Steve Barnhart made two YouTube gem catches in left field during the tournament which shut down rallies both times. For the tournament, Bronson and Pawelek both went 10-for-17.Mike Thatcher was 9-for-16 with seven stolen bases.
The 55-and-over division featured 10 teams in two divisions. The Athletics and the So Cal Fire earned passes to the semifinals by finishing tops in their respective divisions. Dodgertown West reached the semifinals by defeating the Arizona Jays 9-1, and then advanced to the finals by upsetting the number two seeded Fire. The Athletics, meanwhile, blanked the Tri Valley Giants 10-0 to move into the finals. Sherwin’s Athletics have played in the Desert Classic 10 times, appeared in the finals eight times, and won the championship six times.
MATANZAS TAKE 2014 DESERT CLASSIC CROWN ... SoCal Matanzas 13 Utah Pirates 6
By Alejandro Rodriguez, special to MSBL National
LA QUINTA – Kevin Townsend went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI, and Refugio Esparza was 4-for-5 with three doubles, three runs scored and three RBI as the So Cal Matanzas defeated the Utah Pirates 13-6 to win the championship of the 45 Wood Bat Division at the Desert ...Classic. It was the second straight finals loss for Utah. They fell to the 4-1 to the Central Coast Hogs in 2013.
The Matanzas started quickly, scoring nine runs in the first two innings and led 9-0. The Pirates answered with three runs in the second inning on three singles and a triple, they then added a run in the fifth and two in the sixth to cut the deficit to 9-6. However the Pirates were unable to get any closer as the Matanzas held off the Pirates’ rally and scored three more runs in the top of the ninth for the final margin of victory.
Ken Lumpkin was 2-for-4 with three RBI for Matanzas. Augie Alonso was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI while Robert Mendoza was 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Manager Mike Alcala pitched seven innings and allowed six runs (four earned) to earn his second victory of the day. (Alcala won the Semi-Final game with 3 innings of relief). For the Pirates, Brady Field went 4-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI, and Randy Miles went 2-for-4.
Alcala savored the victory. "This was a complete team effort. Everybody stepped up. We rotated different guys in and out, and we didn’t really miss a beat,” he said. Team chemistry has long been a part of the team’s success, he added. "Most of us have been playing together for almost 15-20 years. Everybody gets along great, we’re like a family.”
"We enjoy coming out here and playing in this tournament, almost 10 years now, and we look forward to coming back next year and defending our championship.”
Despite the loss Utah manager Randy Miles said his team still enjoyed themselves in Palm Springs once again. "This is the fourth year in a row that we’ve been in this tournament and the second year in a row we came in second, but it’s always a great time, we always enjoy ourselves out here.”
ATLANTA CLOWNS TAKE THE PUERTO RICO 35+ CROWN!- The Atlanta Clowns, which were led by manager Martin White who put together a great team including four LABL'ers (Justin Bunch, Steve Zorn, Kenny Woods & Robert Wasmund), won the just completed Caribbean Winter Baseball Classic in Puerto Rico. Late inning drama unfolded in the 35+ championship game as The Clowns won their first CWBC title, 10-9 in 10 innings. Up 9-6 going into the top of the 9th, The rains came down, and with the wet conditions the Clowns pitcher lost his control. The opponent scored 3 runs to tie the score. In the top of the 10th, Cape Cod had runners on the corners with one out, but were caught with a batter out of turn violation and ended up with a runner at second and two outs. After they failed to score, the Clowns scored in the bottom of the 10th on a walk off two out, two strike infield hit up the middle and won the game, 10-9. Click here for team photo.
2013 Palm Springs Winner: The LA Athletics successfully defended their title by winning the 55+ division of the MSBL Desert Classic in Palm Springs over MLK weekend. Winners of the division in 2012, the Athletics repeated as champions by defeating Dodgertown West in the championship game 9 - 5. With manager Bob Sherwin limited to coaching duties only due to recent shoulder surgery, the Athletics went 2 - 1 in pool play and then beat the So Cal Fire 8 - 6 in the semi final before taking on Dodgertown, the same team they defeated in last year's championship game. LABL pitcher Jeff Wells got the win in the big game going 5 1/3 innings and besting ex major league pitcher, Brian Kingman. Danny Pawelek, aka The Beast, threw 3 2/3 innings in relief and struck out 6 Dodgertown players to preserve the win. Pawelek also pitched 8 innings against So Cal Fire in the semi final the same morning. Big Jon Scheuerman led the Athletics in hitting for the weekend with a .533 average and went 3 for 4 in the final game against Kingman. Mike Thatcher, LA' centerfielder, also came up big hitting .437 and going 4 for 4 in the semi final game. Other local LABL players who helped the Athletics to their 5th Desert Classic title were Jack Charles, Steve Barnhart, Kevin Bronson, Dan Little, Paul McPherson, and Steve Cooper.
2012 World Series Winner: From longtime LABL manager/player, Bob Sherwin of the LA Athletics: We won the 60+ Mountain Division. We went 4 - 1 in pool play and beat El Paso in the semi-finals and then Lehigh Moondogs in the final. Lehigh beat us in pool play with an ex-major leaguer on the mound, Dennis Kinney. A 60 year old lefty who threw better than anyone in our local league. Amazing a guy that age could throw as well as he did. Fortunately he was used in their semi-final game and we didn't see him in the final. We beat them 4 -2. Danny Pawelek of Utah was my winning pitcher going all 9. Danny threw a total of 39 2/3 innings in the week. He threw 21 for us, and 18 2/3 for his Utah Pirates 45+ team. And this was after he threw the same number of innings the previous week with the Milwaukee Brewers 55+ team which won the Central, and my Father/Son, which won the FS American. He is a beast and not human. Our 60+ team had lots of stars including Paul McPherson who played a flawless 3B; Jack Charles who hit over .400; Jon Scheuerman, who pitched a 9 inning win in the semi finals; Dan Little who caught 6 of our 7 games and yours truly, who hit .525 for the week and scored two of the four runs in the championship game. Also contributing were Gary Firestone, Scott Kenning, Ernie Morris, and Gary Faulkes. The rest of the team were my players from Wisconsin and Texas. This was an amazing two weeks for me getting back in the winner's circle picking up my 13th and 14th rings.
2012 World Series Winner: From longtime LABL manager/player, Gary Firestone of the Agua Dulce Reds who won the 50+ Wood Central Division One Championship: Our pitching carried us to the ring! Tony Covarrubias pitched 2 1/2 games in playoffs and championship game. Also 2 1/2 games from Armando Valle and 28 innings from Roy Herrera. Our bats were good, defense great but the pitching was unbelievable all week!
2012 World Series Winner: From longtime LABL manager/player, Bob Sherwin: This was the 6th Father/Son championship for the Athletics. We again won the American (top) Division by going 4 - 0 in pool play and getting the top seed in the playoffs. We defeated the Pro Bat Yankees from New York in the finals and then the LA Skunks in the championship game 8 - 4. Local LA players who helped us to our 6th championship were Celino Escalante Jr. and Sr., Cole Summers and his father Van, Isaac Yoshinaga and his sons Isaac Jr. and Anthony, and yours truly along with my son Rob who now lives in Texas. Our pitching from both Fathers and Sons was outstanding. Our fathers were led by ex-major leaguer Tom Klawitter who pitched 4 innings in the championship game; Jim Barker from Arizona, Danny "The Beast" Pawelek from Utah and Carlos Claudio Sr. from Puerto Rico. Our "son" pitchers were led by Tyler Kozlawski and Johnny Arnold, both from Wisconsin, TJ Klawitter, Rolf Pawelek, Anthony Yoshinaga and Anthony Chavez. Our hitting dominated the tournament and included stand out performances from Jesus Gonzalez and his father Fernando (6 years in the majors) from Puerto Rico, Isaac Yoshinaga Sr., Jr. and Sr Escalange and many others. This was truly a team effort with all 30 of the rostered players contributing to our success. My hope is to keep doing this until my grandson Reed will be eligible to play at age 16. Gee....I will only be 78 years old!
2012 Palm Springs Winner: The LA Athletics won the 55+ division at the Desert Classic Open over the MLK weekend. The Athletics had a smaller squad than normal (only 17 players) and won the division going 2 wins, one tie and no losses. Then they won the playoff game against the South Shore Pilots from Milwaukee 8 – 2, and won the championship game 5 - 0 against the So Cal Dodgers (Dodgertown West). My super star for the tournament was Danny Pawelek from Salt Lake City. Danny (aka: The Beast), pitched a no-hitter in the championship game, allowing only one ball out of the infield and going one batter over the limit of 27 (he walked a batter in the 6th). Danny also pitched 9 innings in game one and 9 innings in the playoff so he threw a total of 27 innings in 2 1/2 days. As is normally the case with him, he gets stronger with the more innings he pitches. He threw harder in the no hitter than in the previous two games. Two years ago, he threw 41 innings in the tournament when Salt Lake City won by beating us in 12 innings. Other big contributors were Dennis Clancy who caught 4 of the 5 games; Kevin Bronson who played an error less second base for 5 games; and Jeff Wells who helped in relief on the mound and at 1B. Steve Barnhart, Jack Charles, Ray Smith, and Mike Thatcher each had solid offensive stats while the leading hitter was Mark Sain from Salt Lake City (the grandson of Johnny Sain). Jon Scheuerman pitched a complete game 8 - 0 victory against the So Cal Fire which clinched the division for the Athletics. Bob Sherwin, the Athletics manager also had a good tournament at the plate, but was unable to play in the field due the slow healing of his shoulder fracture incurred in Arizona. A great weekend for the Athletics having recaptured the title last won in 2009.
2010 Phoenix World Series Winner: From manager Antone Henley: The South Bay Zephyrs are the MSBL 45+ Wood Bat Cactus Division Champions, but it wasn’t easy. We won this tournament with hard work, and great attitudes. Every time something went against us, we came together as a team to work it out. We had a four way tie for 2nd place in the division, and we beat two of the teams that we were tied with, but considering that we didn’t play against the 3rd team that we tied with the league decided to go with runs allowed, and we lost the 2nd place bye with 1 more run allowed even though we beat the team that had the bye (Halo). We won our 1st playoff game, and had to play Halo in the semi finals. We lost the game on a walkoff bottom of the 9th hit, but protested that Halo didn’t play according to the Central Division Rules. We played another 7 inning playoff game the next morning. After we won that game, we had to play the Championship game at 1:45 the same day at Grand Canyon University. We won 6-5 with clutch RBI’s from Mark Grizzle(2), Don Schuoler(2), Antone Henley(1), with the game winning RBI from Sam Adams(1) in the bottom of the 8th. Our hitting star was Mark Grizzle, and our pitching star was Dave Reed who pitched in 3 straight playoff games; hurling 24 out of 25 possible innings. I want to give special thanks to Don Schuoler for his assistant coaching; we would not have won without him.
2010 Phoenix World Series Winner: From manager Bob Sherwin: The LA Athletics lost their first pool play game to the Arkansas Diamonds 7-4 only to then win 6 straight and get into the championship game against the same team. This time we were victorious...7 - 4. LABL players Jeff Wells, Steve Barnhart, Bob Quick, Dennis Clancy, Cedric Watson, Kevin Bronson, and Jon Scheuerman all played key roles in getting us a ring. Barnhart broke his right hand making a web gem catch in the semi final game and yet managed to bang out two clutch hits in the final. Bronson and Scheurman were named co MVPs of the tournament after Big Jon pounded out 18 hits in 8 games. Bronson batted over .500 and sparked the team as its lead off hitter and avid base stealer.
2010 Phoenix World Series Winner: From manager Bob Sherwin: The Athletics again played in the highest division; the American which consisted of 12 outstanding teams. We tied for first place in our sub division going 3 - 1 and played the Maine Diamond Dogs in the quarter finals. Maine is one of the better teams in the country and we faced them in the semi finals last year. This year had a similar result with us winning 8 - 4. In the semi final game we beat the World Trans Angels 11 - 3. In the championship game, we beat the Sacramento Tribe 12 - 4 and picked up our 5th championship in the Father/Son Division.
The Father/Son Division began in 1998 and I have entered a team every year. For the first three years, my team never won a game and only after "getting serious", was I able to start putting together winning teams. This year were a total of 42 teams in Father/Son counting the Central (lower) and American Divisions.
Local LABL players who played a huge role in our success were Dave and Scott Livergood, Jeff and Alex Gould, Mark Batchelor, Gary and Jason Butcher, and Celino and Celino Jr. Escalante. Dave Livergood pitched 4 innings of the quarter final playoff while Scott threw 14 innings in pool play. Jeff Gould threw four innings of our pool play win over the Tribe and then threw four more innings in the championship game. Jeff's son Alex, only 16 years old, showed he could hold his own with the big boys. 16 year old players usually do better in the Central division where the pitching is not dominating. In the American Division, many of the sons are college or ex-college players and younger players tend to get swallowed up. Alex, however, played a solid shortstop and catcher and was able to be behind the plate for the championship game when his dad pitched.
Winning the F/S this year was extremely gratifying since we were missing some of our top pitchers due to injuries. I knew we had a very good team but I wasn't confident we would take it all. It's always great to play along side my son who now lives in Texas and comes out to join me for the tournament. I also love watching the kids mature over the years and playing with a group of great ball players and competitors.
2010 Phoenix World Series Winner: From manager Augie Alonso: Team Victory won the 45+ National Wood Bat division by going 4-0-2 in pool play, then to the playoffs.. 1st Game of Pool Play Recap: Greg Bertand throws 11 innings vs. Tri-Valley 40's. Game ended in a tie, 2-2 at Maryvale Baseball Complex. Game was called a tie due to time restrictions. The 2 runs were unearned, 4K's and 2 BB's.
Semi Final Game Re-cap: Greg Bertand pitched 9 strong inning allowing no runs on 5 hits, with 4 BB's and 4 K's. Team Victory defeats Boston Wolfpack 9-0! Location: Papago Park
In the Championship game: Team Victory defeated Tri-Valley 40's, 4-3, in the championship game held at HoHoKam Stadium. Both teams scored 2 runs in the first inning and from there became a pitcher's dual until the 8th inning. Tri-Valley jumps ahead by scoring 1 run in the their top half of the 8th inning to take the lead 3-2, but in the bottom of the 8th inning, Team Victory comes from behind to plate 2 runs to take the lead, 4-3, and shut the door in the top of the 9th inning by closer Jose Valencia. Key hits and RBI's from Pokey Sanchez (O.C. MSBL) and Oscar Duran in the bottom of the 8th inning was all Team Victory needed.
2010 Phoenix World Series Winner: From LABL member Mike Alcala: The 2010 Victory Custom Athletic Matanzas won the 35+ Mountain MSBL World Series in Phoenix, AZ. The team has been in existence for over 20 years and has played in the MSBL tournaments the last 5 years. The team consists of a combination of players that have mostly played together during those 20 years. The Matanzas; led by manager Mario Diaz went 4-2 in pool play and went 3-0 in the playoffs including a stunning come from behind 9-6 win in the Championship game. The Matanzas players from the LABL include Michael Alcala, Derek Moore, Eric Orue, Jason McClure, Buck Grayson, Raul Vedecia and James Espinosa.
2010 Palm Springs Desert Classic Winner: Put another trophy on the LABL mantle! The upstart Silver Lake Mariners, managed by Jade Devitt, shutout defending '09 champs La Matanzas 5-0 in the championship game to claim the MSBL 35+ Wood National Division crown. Mark Batchelor (13.1 IP, 2 W, 1 Sv, 2.06 ERA) pitched 7+ strong innings for the win and Ernie Johnson (6.2 IP, 2 Holds, 1 Sv, 0.00 ERA) pitched the final frame and a half before the rain came down in buckets in a 9th inning stoppage. The Mariners defense did not commit an error in the final, and was outstanding throughout. Dave Noll (12 IP, 2 W, 0.00 ERA), led the M's to a 2-1 victory in the semi-final over the Central Valley Yankees. The Mariners went 4-1 overall. Offensive standouts were bench coach Phil Leavitt (.471 avg, 6 Runs), David Smartt (.375 avg, 5 Runs), Felix Pacheco (.471 avg, 7 RBI) and Michael Walsh (.444 avg, .611 SLG). Robin Sarchett had 3 hits, 2 rbi, 2 SB and a run in the CG. Scott Brown, Gary Cozine, Eric Burak, John Park and Greg Frey rounded out the total team effort.
2009 Phoenix World Series Winner: Rex De La Nuez took his South Bay Cubs to Phoenix and won for the 4th consecutive year. They beat the Scottsdale Finest, who had 3 ex-big leaguers, 4-3 in the 35+ National Wood Bat division. Congrats to the Cubs, and thanks for making the LABL proud!
Other 2009 LABL affiliated teams participating: LA Grays (Gary Walsh) 25+ Central Wood went 1-3. Agua Dulce Reds (Gary Firestone) 50+ American went 2-4, lost in the playoffs. Christian Audigier's Lions (Angel Torres) 25+ National Wood went 2-2, lost in the playoffs. LA Skunks (Steve Zorn) 25+ National Wood went 2-2, lost in the playoffs. LABL Dodgers (John Chatigny) 50+ Central Wood went 2-4. SoCal Bullsharks (Mateo Valadez) 18+ Central went 0-5. North Valley Bears (Ernie Johnson) 35+ Central Wood went 5-1, lost in the championship. LA Athletics (Bob Sherwin) 55+ National Wood went 2-4. The Athletics (Bob Sherwin) Father & Son National went 3-1, lost in the championship.
2009 Palm Springs Desert Classic Winner: Bob Sherwin's LA Athletics won the 55+ for the 2nd year in a row. They went 3 - 0 in pool play which included a 2 - 1 win over Dodgertown West and former major league pitcher Brian Kingman, who went the distance. Great game! They beat the California Cards in the semi finals and then Sam Beet's California Redbirds in the final game 9 - 7. Congrats to both teams, and thanks for making the LABL proud!
2009 Palm Springs Desert Classic Winner:Congratulations to our LA Jays for winning the NABA California Kickoff Classic 35+ Wood Bat Rookie division over the Martin Luther King weekend! The Jays went 3-1 in pool play, then winning the championship 11-5 over the San Diego Whitesox, who beat the Jays in the 1st game. All of the Jay's players play in the LABL either in Metal or Wood divisions. Phil Leavitt won MVP for the Championship game, Dave Reed won the Gold Glove for the Championship game. Matt Kennedy (2 home runs, 2 doubles, 12 RBI, .625 Ave), Mark Grizzle (1 Home run, 2 doubles, 10 RBI, .438 Ave) & John Scott (.583 Ave) led the way. Complete game pitching from Dave Reed (9 inning Win), Scott Disharoon (5 inning Win plus 3-1/3 relief) & Matt Kennedy (5 inning Win plus 5 inning relief Win in Championship game).
2008 Phoenix Winner: This just in from Nolan Wyatt: I just wanted to let everyone know that the league had another World Series winner in Arizona this year. I managed a team named the Venice A's who won the 25+ Federal Division. We beat the Salt Lake City Buzzards 12-2 at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Saturday 10/25. The team was led by offensive Co-MVP's Justin Collins and Jason Faunt and the pitching of Ari Zagaris, Ruben Hernandez and others.
2008 Phoenix Winner: Our 60+ Tournament Team, the California Cards, managed by Sam Beets (who plays on the Agua Dulce Reds during our regular season) has just won the 60+ National Division Championship at the MSBL World Series in Phoenix, AZ!! Among those playing for Sam from our League were: Bob Sherwin, Gary Faulkes, Ted Betzel, Gary Firestone, and Glen Marshall. Way to go, guys!!!
2008 Phoenix winner: Here, in his own words is Bob Sherwin's Arizona report:
During week #2, my father/son team, the LA Athletics won the Father/Son National Division. We went 3 - 1 in pool play winning the division and earning a bye into the championship game on Sunday Oct 26. We defeated the Rhode Island Cardinals 5 - 2 in the championship game. Rhode Island is comprised of 4 players from Rhode Island and 22 from Puerto Rico, including former major leaguer Junior Ortiz. Rhode Island won the National Division in 2006 and 2007 (defeating us in the championship game last year 5 - 1). It was obviously very exciting and rewarding to beat these guys and get back in the winner's circle.
Playing on my team were of course my son, Rob and fellow LABL players Cole Summers, Bob Quick, Reid Warner, Celino Escalante.
2008 Phoenix runner-up: The final week which just ended saw my 55+ team, the LA Athletics, lose in the championship game of the 55+ National Division. We won the division with a 5 - 1 record and then lost to the Sacramento Tribe in the championship game 13 - 7. LABL standouts were Jeff Wells, who pitched a complete game victory against the San Antonio Rangers, Jack Charles and Gary Faulkes who led the team in hitting, Mark Gorman and Bob Sherwin who combined at shortstop and second base to anchor a solid defense along with Bill Slaughter and Ted Betzel at 1B; Ray Wilson who picked up the final win on the mound in the last pool play game; Bob Quick who played excellent defense at a myriad of positions. Gary Firestone had a good tournament at the plate knocking in some key runs in our final pool play game (which cinched the division) and the championship game.
It was very disappointing to lose when we won the division and had fresh pitching for the championship game. The Tribe however, was a great hitting team and we made too many mistakes in the final game to capture the ring.
Overall, it was a good three weeks: 2 rings and a runner up prize!
I can truly say winning never gets old. Almost as important is the number of friends I've made in attending and playing in the world series. I respect my competitors and I think the feeling is mutual.
(Editor's note: Bob has gone to AZ 18 years and has managed since 1993. His teams have won 10 championships and thus 10 rings. 2 in the 48+; 2 in the 55+; one in the 45+; one in the 60+ and 4 in the Father/Son).