Rangers take two to win championship
It was the championship matchup everyone wanted: The Barton Memorial Hospital Yankees, the No. 1 seed, against the South Tahoe Refuse Rangers, the No. 2 seed.
The two clubs battled it out Sunday afternoon for the South Lake Tahoe Babe Ruth league championship at Todd Fields.
With the Yankees as the top seed, the Rangers had to win, not once, but twice, to take the title. That’s exactly what they did, beating the Yankees 9-7 and 10-7.
“No one thought we could come in here and win two,” Ranger manager Don Bosson said. “But we did it. I’ve been coaching for 12 years and this is the happiest I’ve been.”
The Rangers had both key hitting and pitching for both games, while the Yankees, who only lost one game during the regular season, couldn’t find the power stroke they had earlier in the year.
Ranger hurler Allen McDermott threw key innings in both contests, keeping the Yanks off balance for most of the time.
“I was just throwing curveballs and fastballs at them, ” said McDermott, who has an unorthodox sidearm delivery.
In the second game, the Rangers jumped out early on the Yankees, scoring three runs in the first inning off starter Spencer Dean.
Kevin Schlange drew a walk to open the game, followed by Ryan “Scoop” Bosson’s single, which sent Schlange to third.
McDermott drove Schlange home with a sacrifice fly and Darren Perrucci delivered a single to score Bosson.
The Yankees tied the game in the bottom of the inning, scoring three runs of their own.
Leadoff man Brian Engler singled and A.J. Russo drew a walk to spark the rally.
Two outs later, Dean loaded the bases with a walk and Garrett Datrio reached on an error to score Engler and Russo. Rob DeKruse also reached on an error to score Dean.
The Rangers added three more runs in the second with Perrucci and Bosson each driving in a run.
The Rangers extended their lead to 10-3 with a run in the third and three more in the fourth before the Yankees made it interesting.
The Yanks scored two in the fifth, one in the sixth and one in the seventh but couldn’t make it all the way back.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Yankees loaded the bases with only one out and were challenging to win the game.
Russo opened the inning with a single, followed by a single by Craig Spencer. Dean laced a base hit one out later to load the sacks.
Datrio then singled home Russo to close the gap to three runs.
DeKruse hit what looked to be a sacrifice fly to right, only to have Datrio doubled up at first to end the game.
“We just didn’t hit the way the Yankees can hit,” Yankees manager Joe Russo said. “But I really thought we had the pitching to win at least one of the two games.”
In the first game of the afternoon, both squads went with the same starting pitchers, Dean for the Yankees and McDermott for the Rangers.
Unlike in the second game, it was the Yankees who got out to an early lead – scoring two in the bottom of the first.
Sho Kashima opened with a single, followed by a single by Engler. Both runners advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Spencer.
The Rangers tied the game at two in the third before opening it up with four runs in the fourth.
With two outs in the inning, Jason “Spud” Holland drew a walk to start the rally. Vinnie Stagnaro and Jesse Smith both walked to load the bases before Schlange drove in two with a single. Bosson followed with a double to drive in two more and make the lead 6-2.
The Rangers led 9-2 before the Yankees scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth to make it a close contest.
Brandon Yost and Engler both walked with one out to set the table for Russo. Russo laced a single to drive in both of them. Bryan Finkel walked and Spencer Dean reached on an error to load the bases. Datrio singled home Russo and Finkel, while Dean scored on an error on the play.
However, Datrio was thrown out in a pickle on a Michael Hatcher single. The Rangers shut out the Yankees in the last inning to secure the win.
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“Let Them Play,” rallies are taking place across California with a mission to bring back high school and youth sports.