2006 Fall Season
Wood Bat League Champions


MuckDogs Win the Fall Wood Bat Title!

Monday, 11/20/06   El Cariso     7:00pm
Valley Giants - 7   at MuckDogs - 8


2006 PCBL Fall Season Wood Bat Champions

By Scot Sweet / PCBL Staff Writer



It was a nice change ….. spending a November evening in the Sylmar foothills at El Cariso Park without having to bring along a parka. At least that’s what I deal with whenever I’m umpiring there. Fortunately, it was a clear, cool and comfortable atmosphere for this year’s Fall Wood Bat Championship. And it soon proved to be a competitive and heated rivalry as well.
This championship contest between the number two seed Giants (8-3) and the number one seed Muckdogs (9-2) was predetermined to be a battle in more ways than one. The Muckdogs had rolled there way into this championship, having won their last 4 straight games coming into this final. On the flip side, the Giants had lost 3 straight; but are known to be a competitive team who are capable of pulling out a victory at any time and against anyone.
The first run in this contest didn’t come across the plate until the bottom of the 2nd inning. Cleanup hitter Brian Decker would lead off the inning for the Muckdogs. He gets an infield single to start things off. The next two batters would be retired, though a pass ball would advance Decker to second and a sacrifice grounder for the second out would put him on third. With two outs in the inning and Rob Stevenson batting with Decker on third base, the first pitch is a strike which the catcher throws back past the pitcher; scoring Decker from third. The Muckdogs settle for the one unearned run in the inning and take the early 1-0 lead.
Catcher Chew Diaz would lead things off in the top of the 3rd inning for the Giants. He hits a 1-1 pitch up the middle for a leadoff single. A pickoff attempt at first base gets past the first baseman, advancing Diaz to third. Paul Pablos is up with Diaz at third, and he singles up the middle for the game-tying RBI. The next batter would fly out to right, bringing up Ed Watkins with Paul Pablos at first base and one out in the inning. He singles to center to advance Pablos to third. With runners at the corners and one out, Neil Churchill steps up to the plate. With a 1-1 count to Churchill, the double steal was on. Ed Watkins would be safe at second and the overthrow to second would score Pablos from third. The next batter is Dan Dorwartsky, who reaches safely by way of an error on the shortstop who overthrows first; advancing Dorwartsky to second and scoring Ed Watkins with Churchill going to third. The next batter would strike out, bringing up Chris “Sandman” Sanders with two on and two out in the inning. Sanders singles home Churchill for the Giants fourth run of the inning. The Giants end up with four runs on four hits in the inning and now lead the Muckdogs 4-1 through 2 ½ innings of play.
The Muckdogs send up Gabe Vega to start off the bottom of the 3rd inning. Vega singles, bringing up Kenny May who reaches base by way of a fielding error; with Vega being forced out at second. With one out and a runner on first, leadoff hitter Wes Bolton comes to the plate. He singles, with Kenny May advancing to second. The next batter is Lenny Beckerman who grounds into a fielders choice, with Bolton being forced out at second. With two outs and runners at the corners, the always dangerous Jhavik Mahon steps up to the plate. He drives a 2-2 pitch into deep center field; off the fence for a 2-run double. The Muckdogs get two runs on three hits and now trail the Giants by a single run, now down 4-3 through three complete innings.
The Giants start the top of the 4th inning with the bottom of their order, Jeremy Whitcomb. He draws a leadoff walk, bringing up Chew Diaz who goes down swinging. With one out, the batter is Paul Pablos who gets his second hit of the day with a single to center, advancing Whitcomb to third. The next batter is Cody Kimbrel with one out and runners at the corners. He grounds into a fielders choice, but gets the RBI when Whitcomb scores from third. The Giants settle for one run on two hits and now extend their lead to 5-3.

The first two batters for the Muckdogs in the bottom of the 4th inning would go down in order, bringing up Rob Stevenson who singled in his first at bat. With two outs, he reaches first safely due to an error on the second baseman. Second baseman Landon Bress comes up with two out and one on. He hits a line drive deep down the right field line, slicing towards foul ground and coming down right on the line. It is ruled a fair ball, as Bress gets an RBI double, scoring Rob Stevenson from first. However, Bress is caught in a rundown between second and third following the run and is retired. One run in the inning for the Muckdogs as they once again pull within a run of the Giants, now trailing 5-4.
The Giants lead off the top half of the 5th inning with Dan Dorwartsky, who reaches base when his ground ball goes through the legs of the third baseman. The next batter would fly out to left, sending up Chris Sanders who hit the RBI single in his last at bat. He takes the count full and draws a walk, putting two on and one out for Robert Pena. He gets on by way of fielders choice, with Chris Sanders getting forced at second. The next batter is Dave Noll with two out and runners on the corners. He hits a ground ball through the legs of the second baseman into center field, scoring Dan Dorwartsky from third. The next batter is leadoff hitter Chew Diaz. The 1-1 pitch to Diaz gets past the catcher as Robert Pena scores from third. Diaz would ground out, but the Giants would end up with two runs on no hits and two errors in the inning; now leading the Muckdogs by a score of 7-4 through 4 ½ innings of play.
But the Muckdogs would get one back in the bottom of the 5th inning. With two out and nobody on, leadoff hitter Wes Bolton rips a double into the gap in left center field; his second hit of the contest. He would be followed by Lenny Beckerman who gets his first hit of the game; an RBI single, scoring Bolton. They get a run on two hits and now trail the Giants by a 7-5 margin.
The Giants would fail to score in the top of the 6th inning, bringing up the Muckdogs in the bottom half of the inning with a chance to further cut into the slim Giant lead. The Muckdogs lead off with cleanup hitter Brian Decker, who drives a towering blast against the fence in center field for a standup double. Robbie Capollo follows with a towering blast of his own, over the head of the center fielder for an RBI double. The next batter is Brett Emma, who sacrifices Capollo over to third. The next two batter would go down in order, giving the Muckdogs their third straight one-run inning; now trailing by only one, down 7-6.
With the Giants once again failing to score, the Muckdogs come up in the bottom of the 7th inning with yet another chance to take the lead in this game; something they’ve not had since the bottom of the 2nd inning. The Muckdogs lead off the inning with Gabe Vega, who reaches base safely when the first baseman drops the throw from third. The next batter is Kenny May, who sacrifice bunts Vega over to second. Leadoff hitter Wes Bolton comes up with one out and Vega on second. He singles up the middle to score Vega, tying the game at 7. Lenny Beckerman would come up next and he would single to put two on with one out for Jvavik Majon. With one out and the go ahead run 90 feet away, Mahon slugs a drive deep to right field and curving towards the line. The right fielder lays out and makes a great diving catch for the second out. However, on the catch, Wes Bolton tags up and easily scores from third, putting the Muckdogs up 8-7. The Muckdogs would settle for the two runs in the inning, but a huge inning it was as the Muckdogs take the lead late in this championship contest.
The Muckdogs get some brilliant pitching relief work from Eddie Mercado, who had held the Giants scoreless since entering the game in the 6th inning. He continues to dominate in the top of the 8th inning as he strikes out the side to prevent a Giant rally.
The Muckdogs fail to score in the bottom of the 8th inning, but it would be without consequence as Mercado puts the Giants down in order in the top of the 9th inning to seal the narrow victory for the Muckdogs! The Muckdogs overtake the Giants by a score of 8-7 to earn the title of PCBL Wood Bat Champions!
Congratulations to both teams for providing such a tight and exciting contest; and especially to the Muckdogs for a thrilling comeback victory!

Game MVP:  After further research of this game and the outcome, MVP honors would have to be split between offensive and a defensive forces for the Muckdogs. Offensively, we give the nod to Wes Bolton; who went 3 for 4 on the day. His hits included the game-tying single in the 7th inning and his 5th inning double for which he later scored. Defensively, we hand the MVP to relief pitcher Eddie Mercado, who was tough as nails from the time he entered the game in the 6th inning until the last out of the game. Mercado pitched four scoreless innings on only three hits and no walks while striking out four, three of those to strike out the side in the critical 8th inning! A great pitching performance!

Game Time:  7:13pm – 10:00pm  (2 hours, 47 minutes)

Umpires:    (Plate) Chris Chegwin  (Congrats on your recent engagement!)
                 (Bases) Reese Morgan  (Who’s son was our guest announcer!)

Box Scores:

  Giants:   0  0  4  1  2  0  0  0  0       7  13  3

Muckdogs:   0  1  2  1  1  1  2  0  -      8  11  4