2008 Summer Season
Orange County League Champions

2008 PCBL Orange County Summer Season Champions

Dodgers (2) -vs- Angels (1)
May 18th, 2008 @ Storm Stadium, Lake Elsinore



Dodger's Dolce Dominates at The Diamond
By Scot Sweet / PCBL Staff Writer

As all California baseball fans are aware; the Dodgers and Angels have always been synonymous with the most legendary of crosstown rivalries. That being said, those in attendance for this year's Spring Season Championship were more than ready to see a Dodger-Angel battle of the PCBL Championship variety.
Making this day even more exciting was the venue for this championship match up. The Diamond at Lake Elsinore, reveals its beauty from the time you exit the 15 freeway and roll through this sleepy rural town 75 miles south of Los Angeles. This home stadium for the class A San Diego Padres of the California League is truly a diamond in the rough and is a stunning baseball stadium, inside and out.
The only thing that could be said about this day that could be construed as a negative would be the temperature - HOT! By the time we were approaching the 1pm game time, we had already reached the century mark and there were no signs that indicated any change. So for the exception of those of us who thankfully spent the game in the air-conditioned confines of the press box high above field level; the rest would have to settle in, grab a cool drink, and prepare for battle under the shade of the lodge seats below. Whatever the case, they (as I'm sure you are) were ready for some championship baseball. So lets get to the action ....
1st baseman and leadoff hitter, Andy Szafirski (son of bench coach Pete Szafirski), starts things off for the Dodgers by reaching base by way of a fielding error. 2nd baseman Keegan Cardin follows with a single to left center to put 2 runners on for catcher James Myers. He singles to load the bases for 3rd baseman Morgan Ellson, who grounds into a double play. However, he gets the RBI as Szafirski scores from 3rd. The Dodgers end up with 1 run in the top of the 1st to take the early lead.
The Angels go down in order in the bottom of the 1st inning, sending the Dodgers up in the top of the 2nd to try to extend their lead. The leadoff hitter in the 2nd inning for the Dodgers is starting pitcher Anthony Dolce. As with the leadoff in the 1st inning, he also reaches base due to a fielding error. The next batter would go down swinging, bringing up David King who singles. With the next batter reaching by way of a fielders choice, manager Eric Ellson comes up with 2 out in the inning and he gets on due to the Angels' 2nd error of the inning. The next batter is the Andy Szafirski who is hit by a pitch, followed by a Keegan Cardin single. When all is said and done, the Dodgers get 3 runs on 2 hits and a pair of Angel errors and now lead by a score of 4-0 through 1 1/2 innings of play.
The game would remain scoreless at that point until the top of the 7th inning. The Dodgers David King comes up with 1 out in the inning and he hits a double into the gap in left center field. He is followed by Scott Hessman who doubles to left, scoring King from 2nd. The next batter is Eric Ellson who singles to put runners on the corners for Andy Szafirski. He grounds out to 2nd, but gets the RBI as Hessman scores from 3rd. The Dodgers end up adding a pair of runs in the top of the 7th inning to go up by a score of 6-0. They would never look back, shutting down the Angels the rest of the way and claiming the title of Orange County PCBL Spring Season Champions!

Congratulations go out to the Dodgers squad on their championship team victory, and as I'm sure they will agree; the clear MVP that made this outcome possible for the Dodgers was pitcher Anthony Dolce.
Dolce (as the headline had indicated) put on a pitching performance in this contest that was literally as close to a perfect game as you can get. It was truly amazing to watch and the best overall pitching performance I have ever witnessed in this league or any other for that matter. Dolce had a perfect game alive and well through 6 2/3 innings until the base hit to right field by Nick Madden gave the Angels the only base hit of the game; as well as the only Angel to reach base. Once the game had ended, the realization set in that it was the sole single by Nick Madden that proved to be the spoiler of the PCBL's first perfect game.

Dolce's numbers were staggering:
Complete Game Shutout: Allowed 1 hit with 15 strikeouts (7 consecutive), no walks

His comments after the game when asked about his amazing performance: "I was just trying to keep within myself and continue throwing strikes. I really wasn't thinking about the strikeouts as much as I was just working on getting outs." He definitely did that! Congratulations to the Anthony Dolce for the most obvious of Championship MVP honors and for providing the pitching performance of a lifetime! It was truly one that will be remembered for years to come!
It needs to be noted that the Angels starting pitcher Pat Wilson has a pretty respectable outing of his own - 7 innings pitched, allowing 6 runs (only 3 earned) on 7 hits and 1 walk, striking out 8. A solid performance which was unfortunately overshadowed by the dominance of Anthony Dolce today.
The game stats:

DODGERS    1 3 0 0 0 0 2 0 0      6 7 0

Angels    0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0      0 1 4
Game Time: 1:10pm - 3:20pm (2 hours, 10 mins)
 Umpires:   1st Base:   Evan Hughes
                3rd Base:   Kwang Kim

                 Home:  Jeff sharp

Winning Pitcher:  Dolce, A (Dodgers)    9 IP / 0 runs / 1 hit / 15 K's / 0 walks
Losing Pitcher: Wilson, P (Angels)    7 IP / 6 runs (3 earned) / 7 hits / 8 K's / 1 walk
                       Olson, D (Angels)    2 IP / 0 runs / 0 hits / 1 K / 1 hbp