2007 Spring Season
Wood Bat League Champions


Team Easton Wins the Spring Wood Bat Title!
Tuesday, 5/22/07   El Cariso     7:00pm
Muckdogs - 1   at Team Easton - 4

2007 PCBL Spring Season
Wood Bat League Champions

Minnis proves a Mennace in Team Easton's Victory over Muckdogs
By Scot Sweet / PCBL Staff Writer

This year's Spring Wood Bat Championship at El Cariso Park in the Sylmar foothills can only be described one way .... a defensive gem. Team Easton, coming off a perfect 10-0 wood bat season, sent their pitching ace Bill Minnis to the mound to face an always tough Muckdog squad, the defending champions of this coveted wood bat title. The Muckdogs would counter with Matt Stone, who has also proven to be solid on the hill with an ERA under 2 in each of the last 3 seasons.

The visiting Muckdogs would send up their leadoff hitter, center fielder Wes Bolton, to start things off in the 1st inning. He would single and steal second shortly thereafter. The next three batters would ground out with Bolton scoring in the process. The Muckdogs get a run on one hit and take the early 1-0 lead.

Team Easton leads off the bottom of the 1st inning with shortstop Chris Plummer, who singles to kick start the Easton offense. The next batter is left fielder Tom Hoke. Plummer steals second as well as third, afterwhich Hoke singles to put two runners on for Martin Orozco. He grounds out to short, but gets the RBI as Plummer scores from third to tie the game at 1 apiece. The next batter would strike out, bringing up catcher Billy Picketts with two out and Tom Hoke on third base. He doubles to score Hoke. Team Easton gets two runs on three hits and take their first lead of the game, up 2-1.

Due to the combination of masterful pitching by both Bill Minnis and Matt Stone, as well as great defense by both teams; the next four and a half inning of play would go scoreless. Team Easton would come up in the bottom of the sixth inning, still holding on to their narrow one run lead.

They would start things off in the inning by sending up Tom Hoke, who scored in the first inning. He lays down a perfect bunt single down the third base line to reach base safely. Martin Orozco follows with a single to right. The next batter would strike out, sending up Billy Picketts with two on and one out in the inning. He draws the first walk by either pitcher in this contest, loading the bases for the DH, Dan Douglas. Douglas flies out to deep center, scoring Tom Hoke from third for a sac fly RBI. Pitcher Bill Minnis steps up to the plate next with two out and Orozco on third; trying to help his own cause. He grounds to second, but a fielding error allows him to reach first safely as Orozco scores from third. Team Easton would end up with two runs on two hits in the inning, extending their lead to a 4-1 advantage through six complete innings of play.

That's where the scoring would end in this championship contest, as Team Easton would hold the Muckdogs to two hits the rest of the way; thereby unseating the defending champs and claiming the title as 2007 Spring Season Wood Bat Champions! Muckdog assistant coach and league president James DuPrey stated after the game that despite being on the losing end of this hard-fought contest; that it was the best defensive game and all-around championship contest that he had ever competed in.

Team Easton pitcher Bill Minnis is, without dispute, the MVP of this wood bat championship. Minnis went the distance, going 9 complete innings, allowing one run on 5 hits with no walks and striking out 9 batters! A great championship performance to say the least! Opposing starter Matt Stone deserves cudos for his pitching performance as well. He pitched a strong 6 innings, allowing 4 runs (3 earned) on 8 hits with only 1 walk and struck out 8 batters. A very solid performance! Muckdog relief pitchers Rick Zeitlin and Caesar Morales each came in and provided an inning of hitless support of their own.

There were simply too many defensive performances between both teams to list. That was the amazing aspect of this game, which is why we saw only one error the entire evening and is also why this game blazed by in an astonishing 2 hours and 14 minutes! Anyone present for this championship game needs to know (if they don't already) that this is the way top-caliber championship baseball is supposed to be played .... and was on this incredible championship evening.

Not failing to give credit to the offensive contributers to this championship, here are some of the standout of the evening:

Chris Plummer 2 for 4 single / double / 1 run
Tom Hoke 2 for 4 2 singles / 2 runs
Martin Orozco 1 for 3 1 single / RBI / 1 run
Billy Picketts 1 for 3 RBI double / walk

Wes Bolton 2 for 4 / 2 singles / 1 run

Game Time: 7:08pm - 9:22pm (2 hours, 14 mins)

Umpires: (Plate) Ron Rubenstein
(Base) Carlos Trujillo