2009 PCBL Fall LA Wood Bat Championship


Team Logo, Tigers

Team Pic


2009 PCBL Orange County AA League Champions

Yankees (6-3-1) -vs- Red Sox (6-4)
Tues. 11/24 @ 7pm - El Cariso Park in Sylmar


Tigers Edge Muckdogs in Wood Bat Marathon
By Scot Sweet / PCBL Staff Writer

Watch Final out and Celebration on


One could tell right away in this Fall Wood Bat Championship that we were about to see a tight contest between two top-rate ball clubs. The Tigers and the Muckdogs .... two teams quite familiar with championship competition. So we knew it was going to be a battle for wood bat supremacy. It was a chilly evening in the Sylmar foothills; which is normal for this time of the year, especially at El Cariso Park. That being said, lets get to the action ....

The game is scoreless as we enter the top half of the 3rd inning with the Muckdogs coming up to bat. With 1 out, Scott Bailey draws a walk. He is relieved by a pinch runner who is thrown out at second moments later. Brandon Loomis walks; as does Lenny Beckerman. With 2 out in the inning and 2 runners on, Eder Banuelos triples in the gap to score 2. The Muckdogs settle for 2 runs in the inning to take the early 2-0 lead through 2 1/2 innings of play.

The score would remain 2-0 Muckdogs as we entered the bottom of the 5th inning. The Tigers lead things off with Landon Bress, who walks. He is followed by Steve Nelson who doubles to left; putting 2 runners on and nobody out for Ethan Slimak. He singles home a run to put the Tigers on the board.The next batter pops out to short, sending up Chris Norton who walks. Muckdog starting pitcher Eric Melara comes out of the game at this point; replaced by Rudy Rizzo. He faces Jimmy Holzer to begin his relief effort. Holzer grounds into a fielder's choice, with a run scoring on the play. He is followed by leadoff hitter and starting pitcher, Jared Behnke; who singles home a run to help his own cause. The Tigers end up with 3 runs in the inning to take a 3-2 lead through 5 complete innings of play.

But the Muckdogs respond in a hurry. Leadoff hitter Lenny Beckerman singles to start things off in the top of the 6th. The next 2 batters would be retired, sending up Chris Rodriguez who draws a 2-out walk. He is followed by starting pitcher Eric Melara who singles home a run. The Muckdogs settle for the single run in the inning; now tied with the Tigers at 3 apiece.

This championship game would really slow down at this point; with both teams locked in a defensive stalemate as we approached the 3 1/2 hour mark of this championship contest. Despite some well-timed hits and a number of walks; neither team could find a way to push through the go-ahead run. We were still locked in a 3-3 tie as we entered the bottom half of the 11th inning .... almost 4 hours after we saw our 1st batter of the ballgame.

The Tigers come up in the bottom of the 11th ... looking for that one big break in this contest that could score that one deciding run they had been waiting for. Leadoff hitter Jared Behnke starts things off with a single. The next batter is Justin "J.C." Collins. He pops out to short for the 1st out of the inning. The next batter is Brian Decker. He grounds into a fielder's choice; with Behnke being forced out at 2nd. The next batter is Kevin Enright; with 2 out and Brian Decker standing on 1st base. During Enright's at-bat, Decker steals 2nd base; putting the winning run 90 feet closer to home. Then it happens. Enright hits a fly ball to right field which is routinely playable. But as luck would have it, it is clearly evident that the right fielder lost the ball in the lights right off the bat and as he prepares to make the usually routine catch to end the inning he never sees the ball untill the last minute but too late and the ball falls to the ground and Brian Decker scores the winning run on the play.

Congratulations to the 2009 PCBL Fall Champion tigers; who hang on to win a tough one by a final score of 4-3 in 11 complete innings of play. I'm sure any one of the Tigers would tell you that they didn't want to win that way. But in championship competition, you never know what can happen; so you have to take it however you can get it sometimes. Kudos to both teams for having such a solid fall season and for making it to the big game once again.



MUCKDOGS 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 8 4
SCV TIGERS 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 8 2

WP L. Kowaleski (Tigers)
Pitched 4 1/3 Innings; Allowed 0 runs on 5 hits, with 3 walks and 2 K's

LP R. Rizzo (Muckdogs)
Pitched 6 2/3 Innings; Allowed 2 runs on 6 hits, with 1 walk and 3 K's

Offensive stars:
Jared Behnke (Tigers) 3 for 5; 3 singles, 1 RBI
Jesse Chastain (Tigers) 2 for 3; 2 singles, walk
Eder Banuelos (Muckdogs) 2 for 5; single, triple, 2 RBI's

Game Time: 7:08pm - 11:15pm (4 hours, 7 minutes)

(Plate) Dax Villalta
(1st Base) Jeff Sill
(#rd Base) Carlos Trujillo