Angels dominate the Dodgers; bring title into focus
June 28, 2008
When the Lake Tahoe Coin, Jewelry and Loan Angels fell into the losers’ bracket on Wednesday night, their one-run defeat only made them more focused to win the South Tahoe Babe Ruth championship.
The Angels won three straight games, including a pair of lopsided victories over the Laub & Laub Dodgers on Saturday, to claim the Babe Ruth title at Todd Fields.
“I’m just real happy for the kids because the whole season our watchword has been focus – knowing what to do when you get the ball, knowing what to do on the bases,” said Angels’ manager Andy Braun.
Alex Vogt went 3 for 3 with five RBI, and Ricky Braun and T.J. Kolesnik combined on a six-hitter as the Angels beat the Dodgers 15-1 in six innings, forcing a second championship game.
The Angels didn’t let up in game two, scoring eight times in the first two innings en route to a 14-7 title-clinching win.
“We were sad, but we played a bad game and were going to step it up the next game,” Kolesnik said of the disappointing 8-7 defeat to the Dodgers on Wednesday. “It feels great. Even the little kids stepped it up.”
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Braun and Kolesnik each collected three hits and scored three runs in the second game – a work load that didn’t bother the Angels .
“We’ve played three doubleheaders this year; they’ve played none,” coach Braun said. “I think we were much-better prepared to play a second game without getting too high or low from the first game, and it may have affected them.”
Because the Angels took care of business in six innings in the opening game, they were able to use their key pitchers in the second game as well.
After getting two innings out of a sore-armed Vogt, coach Braun went to Kolesnik for the middle innings and his son to close it.
“We picked the right pitchers at the right time, and that really helped,” Kolesnik said.
Kolesnik kept the Dodgers off balance with an assortment of off-speed pitches before being nicked for two runs in the fifth inning, and Braun retired four of the seven hitters he faced on strikes.
“I can throw my curveball, Ricky has a curveball and Alex has curveball, so they don’t usually know what’s coming,” Kolesnik said.
Braun swatted a two-run single to key the Angels’ six-run first inning in the second game. The Angels added three unearned runs in the second to build a 9-3 lead. Braun and Vogt crossed the plate in the fourth to make it 11-4, and Kolesnik and Braun touched home in the fifth as Angels went ahead 13-6.
The Dodgers were led by Christian Winslow, who went 4 for 4 with a triple and double and three runs scored. Jess Latta added a two-run single, and Keith Zlendick was 2 for 2 with two runs scored.
In the opener, the Angels scored twice in the first frame on a bases-loaded walk to Vogt and Michael Weber’s sacrifice fly. Vogt added a RBI single in the third to make it 3-1.
The Angels, the regular-season champions for the second straight year, broke it open with six runs in the fourth and six more in the sixth. Kolesnik’s two-run single with the bases loaded ignited the fourth-inning rally. Vogt, Braun and Grant Jones added RBI singles, and a wild pitch led to another run.
Vogt’s two-run double highlighted the Angels’ second six-run uprising.
“I was just relaxed,” Vogt said of his big performance at the plate. “I really didn’t think about anything, I just hit it, and everything went well.”
Andrew Contaxis doubled twice and scored the Dodgers’ lone run.
An 11-1 elimination game victory over the Giants on Friday propelled the Angels into the championship.
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