2019 League Champions

2019 PCBL AAA-Division Spring Championship
August 3-4, 2019 @ Conejo Creek/College of the Canyons
Wailers (10-7-1) -vs- Regulators (14-4)


In what turned out to be the tightest division in 2019, the AAA Championship would prove to be just as tight - going the full 3 games before the title would be decided.  The 3-seeded, pitching-dominated Wailers squared off against the top-seeded, hitting-dominated Regulators.  Power against power - something had to give...
Game 1
Game 1 started on a beautiful Saturday morning at Conejo Creek baseball field.  Tommy Derry took the mound for the Regulators, and Rod Boaz met him head-on with a lead-off double.  After a Jeremy Boyle single, Ben Gavin knocked him in with a single.  But some defensive wizardry cut down 2 runners on the bases, and the Regulators escaped further damage.
Rod Boaz took the mound for the Wailers and worked a quiet first, before the Regulators struck back in the second.  Andrew Arroyave doubled to lead off the frame, and one out later, Tommy Derry helped his own cause with an rbi-single to tie things up at 1.
But the next 2 innings saw the Wailers bats come roaring back.  After 2 quick outs, Jeremy Boyle singled, and Ben Gavin launched a massive home run to retake the lead.  In the 4th, Kenton Kruger led off with a single, then score 2 outs later on a David "Muggy" Mughadam rbi-double, extending the lead to 4-1.
Meanwhile, Boaz was cruising along, working around a baserunner here and there to keep the score the same.
Heading into the top of the 6th, the Wailers were ready to break things open.  Felipe Tetelboin singled, and one out later, back-to-back singles by Boaz and Boyle plated one, bringing up to the plate Ben Gavin.  For the second time on the day, Gavin launched a missile over the right field wall, this time for a 3-run shot to make it 8-1.
With the game slipping away, the Regulators brough in Andrew Arroyave to stop the bleeding, which he did - to the tune of 3 innings pitched and no runs scored.
However, Boaz was locked in, with his only slip up being the bottom of the 8th inning.  After 2 quick outs, Regulators' lead-off man Butch Zakosek singled, and moved to second when Brandon Hedding was hit by a pitch.  Trevor Nathanson doubled home 1, and Arroyave singled home another.  But that's all the offense the Regulators had this game, as Boaz led the Wailers to an 8-3 victory in Game 1.
Game 2
Game 2 featured Daniel Zakosek (one of 3 Zakosek's to take the field in this series) taking the mound for the Regulators and squaring off against slugger Ben Gavin, taking the hill for the Wailers.
Both pitchers started off strong, with the Regulators striking first blood in the top of the 3rd inning.  With 1 out, Butch Zakosek doubled, and scored on a Brandon Hedding single.  Trevor Nathanson walked, and with 2 outs, Dylan Pereira legged out an infield single.  Tommy Derry, eager to make up for his pitching performance in game 1, laced a double to plate 2 more, and the Regulators found themselves on top 3-0.
The rough inning chased Gavin from the hill, bringing in veteran "fireballer" Ric Pozo.  Pozo worked his magic over the remaining 6 innings of the game, while the Wailers tried to claw themselves to a championship.
After a quiet 4th on both sides, the Regulators tacked on another run in the 5th on a 2-out double by Andrew Arroyave, followed by a single by Dylan Pereira.
Jumping ahead to the bottom of the 6th, the Regulators still led 4-0 on the back of a gem being thrown by Daniel Zakosek.  This is where things started to get strange...
David Mughadam and Rod Boaz led off with back-to-back singles, and after a fielder's choice, Ben Gavin singled to load the bases.  Sean Thomas singled home 2, but Gavin was thrown out trying to advance to 3rd for the second out.  Blake Lichtig smashed the next pitch toward right field, only to have Thomas called out on a controversial "hit by a batted ball", abruptly ending the rally and enraging the Wailers.  After a delay in the action where the umpires met to discuss (video review isn't avaliable at this facility), they decided to let the call stand, further enraging the Wailers.  However, cooler heads prevailed, and we played on with the Wailers now trailing 4-2.
Another magical inning from Pozo, capped off by Kenton Kruger nailing a runner at the plate on an absolute dart thrown from right field, and you felt the momentum swaying towards the Wailers.  But poor defense cost them dearly in the top of the 8th.
Dylan Pereira led off reaching on an error.  After Tommy Derry laid down a sac bunt to move him into scoring position, Danny Platt singled him to 3rd.  Corey Bryant popped up the next pitch, but it was dropped for an error, and pinch hitter Dean Kalogris beat out a potential inning-ending double-play ball to extend the Regulators lead to 5-2.
In the bottom of the frame, the Wailers came right back.  Boaz led off with a single, but was erased on a fielder's choice.  Ben Gavin singled him to 3rd, and a balk brough him home.  But more bad baserunning - this time, a pick-off from second with the clean-up hitter up - ended the threat.  Heading into the 9th, the Regulators led 5-3.
Pozo finally started to wear down, in his 6th inning of work.  A lead-off walk to Brandon Hedding was soon followed by an Andrew Arroyave mammoth home run (complete with bat flip), making it a 7-3 lead heading into the bottom of the 9th.
But the Wailers weren't done yet - they could already see the champagne in the press box!  With Zakosek nearing 100 pitches, Blake Lichtig and Felipe Tetelboin led off with back-to-back singles.  After a strikeout, Kenton Kruger singled to lad the bases, and David Mughadam singled home one.  Rod Boaz launched a deep fly ball to center, settling for a sacrifice fly, bringing up Jeremy Boyle as the potential winning run.  On the first pitch he saw, Boyle launched one to deep left, and everyone at the field could sense the game was over.  They were right - but fortunately for the Regulators (and unfortunately for the Wailers), the ball was run down just in front of the warning track in left to end the game, with the Regulators coming out on top 7-5 (thanks to a complete game by Daniel Zakosek) and forcing a winner-take-all game 3 Sunday morning!  Wow - just wow!
Game 3
Game 3 would move to sunny (and hot) (and muggy) (and did I mention hot) College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita.  With both teams running low on pitching, as well as energy, this had the making of a different type of game.  We were expecting some more offense, and the two teams didn't let us down.
Amazingly, after throwing 6 innings just 16 hours early, rubber-armed Ric Pozo took the hill again for the Wailers.  But the innings showed their wear and tear on him, as a 2-out walk to Trevor Nathanson was followed by a double by Andrew Arroyave (paired with a throwing error) to give a run to the Regulators.  Dylan Pereira and Tommy Derry each singled to bring in another run, taking an early 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the 3rd, the Regulators' bats finally showed up.  With one out, Trevor Nathanson doubled.  Andrew Arroyave singled, and Dylan Pereira singled, bringing home 1.  Tommy Derry walked to load the bases, and Danny Platt walked to bring home another.  Corey Bryant doubled home 2 and chased Pozo from the game, bringing in game 2 starter Ben Gavin.  He walked the first two men he faced - Greg Granillo and Butch Zakosek - before Brandon Hedding grounded into an rbi-fielder's choice.  Gavin finally induced a pop-fly to right to end the inning, but not until 11 batters came to the plate and scored 6 runs, taking a strong 8-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Regulators starter Alex Scarr had been on cruise control, taking a 1-hitter into the 5th.  But it only took a little wildness and one big swing to bring the Wailers right back into the game.  With one out, Rod Boaz worked a full-count walk.  Jeremy Boyle doubled him to third, and Ben Gavin was intenionally walked to load the bases.  That didn't work out so well for the Regulators, as Sean Thomas followed with a full-count, rbi-walk of his own.  That brough Felipe "Flip" Tetelboin to the plate.  After fouling off 4 pitches and working the count full, Scarr made his only mistake of the day, and Flip didn't miss.  Tetelboin launched a no-doubter to deep left for a grand slam, cutting the Regulators lead to 8-5.  We have a ball game here!
With both bullpens completely running on fumes, things got sloppy.  Or sloppier.  In the bottom of the 5th, Gavin walked 4 of the first 5 batters he faced, leading the Wailers to go back to game 1 starter Rod Boaz.  He got out of the bases loaded jam by giving up only a Dylan Pereira sac fly, but the Regulators added 2 runs to their lead.
Back come the Wailers.  Having chased Scarr from the game, Chris Zakosek (for those keeping score at home, that's Zakosek #3 in this series) came in and hit Dave Mughadan with a pitch.  Road Boaz doubled him home, and Jeremy Boyle singled home Boaz, cutting into the Regulator's lead and making it a 10-7 game.
In the bottom of the 7th, the Regulators had the game where they wanted - a lead and their closer ready to come in.  With Boaz tiring, they started grinding out some insurance runs.  Brandon Hedding led off with a single, and moved to 3rd on a Trevor Nathanson double.  A wild pitch brought home Hedding, but a great throw by Wailer's shorstop Sean Thomas cut down Nathanson at the plate and kept the damage limited to 1 (for now.)
Daniel Zakosek (the game 2 starter, and Zakosek #2 again) came in to close the game and worked a quick top of the 8th.  The Regulators put the final nails into the coffin in the bottom of the inning.
Pinch hitter Dean Kalogris doubled, and one out later, scored on a Brandon Hedding double.  Trevor Nathanson was hit by a pitch, chasing Boaz from the game.  Jeremy Boyle relieved him, but had control problems immediately.  He walked 3 of the first 4 batters he faced, and that 4th batter was Dylan Pereira, who hit a 2-run single.  The Wailers were forced to go back to Ric Pozo, who amazingly had enough left in his arm to retire the next 2 batters, but the damage was done.  After batting around for the second time in the game, the Regulators added 5 more runs and took a 16-7 lead into the 9th.
That was more than enough for Zakosek, who worked a perfect inning for the save and a much-deserved champagne shower!
Congratulations on a great season to the Wailers - they left everything on the field and fought until the final pitch.  But this series - and season - go to the Regulators - your 2019 AAA Spring Champions!

Congratulations to the Spring 2019 AAA-Division Champion Regulators!


                    Game 1  
                    Wailers         1   0   2   1   0   4   0   0   0      8     18   2   
                    Regulators   0   1   0   0   0   0   0   2   0      3    10    0
                    Game 2  
                    Regulators   0   0   3   0   1   0   0   1   2      7    10    1
                    Wailers         0   0   0   0   0   2   0   1   2      5    15    3   
                    Game 3  
                    Wailers         0   0   0   0   5   2   0   0   0       7      9    1   
                    Regulators   2   0   6   0   2   0   1   5   X     16    13    0
Pitching Stats:
Game 1
WP: Rod Boaz (Wailers) - 9IP (CG), 3R (3ER), 10H, 9K, BB, HBP
LP: Tommy Derry (Regulators) - 6IP, 8R (8ER), 16H, K
Andrew Arroyave (Regulators) - 3IP, 0R, 2H, K, 2BB  (Championship Series MVP)
Game 2
WP: Daniel Zakosek (Regulators) - 9IP (CG), 5R (5ER), 15H, 5K, BB
LP: Ben Gavin (Wailers) - 3IP, 3R (1ER), 4H, 3K, 3BB
Ric Pozo (Wailers) - 6IP, 4R (3ER), 6H, 2K, 2BB
Game 3
WP: Alex Scarr (Regulators) - 5IP, 5R (5ER), 4H, 2K, 4BB, 2HBP
LP: Ric Pozo (Wailers) - 3IP, 8R (8ER), 7H, 4BB
S: Daniel Zakosek (Regulators) - 2IP, 0R, H
Chris Zakosek (Regulators) - 2IP, 2R (2ER), 4H, K, HBP
Ben Gavin (Wailers) - 2IP, 2R (2ER), 5BB
Rod Boaz (Wailers) - 3IP, 4R (4ER), 6H, BB, 2HBP
Jeremy Boyle (Wailers) - 0IP, 2R (2ER), H, 3BB
Batting Stats (combined):
Andrew Arroyave - 7-12, 3 2B, HR, 6R, 3RBI, 3BB, 3SB (Championship Series MVP)
Dylan Pereira - 6-13, 3R, 6RBI, BB, SACF, 3SB
Butch Zakosek - 4-12, 2B, 3R, 2BB, 4SB
Trevor Nathanson - 3-10, 2 2B, 4R, RBI, 3BB, HBP
Ben Gavin - 6-12, 2 HR, 3R, 6RBI, 2BB, SB
Jeremy Boyle - 7-13, 2B, 5R, 2RBI, BB, SACB, 2SB
Rod Boaz - 6-12, 2 2B, 4R, 2RBI, BB, HBP, SACF
Felipe Tetelboin - 5-12, HR, 3R, 4RBI, HBP