Valley Giants
2005 Summer Season
Wood Bat League Champions


Here's a battle for the ages that never disappoints at any level - the Dodgers versus the Giants. A classic rivalry that almost always spells excitement for those who like to witness good 'ol fashioned head-to-head competition. And this evening's 2005 Summer Wood Bat Championship between our own Dodgers and Giants would be no exception.

The visiting Dodgers start the game with leadoff hitter Phil Jones singling to right center. Gil Jasso follows with a single of his own to put runners at 1st and 2nd for Paul Prince. Prince doubles to clear the bases and give the Dodgers the early 2-0 lead. Cleanup hitter Nathan Apperson singles to put 2 on for brother and manager Steve Apperson, who singles to score 1 more run - Dodgers now up 3-0. This would be all the scoring for the Dodgers in the inning, but they start the game off with 5 straight hits and take the immediate lead in this championship contest.

The Giants would start the game in a completely opposite manner, with their 1st 3 batters being retired in order in the bottom of the first inning. The Dodgers come up in the top of the 2nd attempting to further extend their early lead.

The Dodger's Alfredo Rubio comes up and hits a 1 out single. Joe Sullivan follows and he gets on by way of a fielding error. There's 2 on and 1 out for for leadoff hitter Phil Jones, who also reaches base by way of an error, the 3rd charged against the Giants in the inning. A run scores in the process, putting the Dodgers up 4-0. Gil Jasso would follow up with an RBI single, extending the Dodgers lead to a seemingly comfortable 5-0.

The Giants come up in the bottom of the 2nd knowing that they better start generating some offense real soon if they were going to have any chance of closing the gap against this Dodgers club who obviously came to play. Cleanup hitter Kody Kimbrel would start things off for the Giants. He doubles and then advances to 3rd on a wild pitch to Pete Langenberger. With a 2-2 count, Langenberger singles home Kimbrel; putting the Giants on the board - now down 5-1. The Giants would settle for the 1 run and go into the top of the 3rd inning hoping to contain the Dodger offense. They do in fact shut the Dodgers down in the inning, going into the bottom of the 3rd with yet another chance to find the offense they'd been lacking thus far in this final contest.

The Giants start with their leadoff hitter Chew Diaz, who draws a walk. Garrett Benke is next up. Diaz steals 2nd on the 1st pitch to Benke, and then scores on the next pitch as Benke singles. Jeremy Sheilds would fly out to left, bringing up Kody Kimbrel with 1 out and 1 on. He singles home Benke, bringing up Pete Langenberger who also gets an RBI with a single of his own. The Giants settle for 3 runs on 3 hits and close the gap, now trailing by a narrow 5-4 margin.

The Dodgers would be shut down again in the top of the 4th inning, sending the Giants up with the momentum they've been waiting for. They lead off the inning with the DH, Fred Goetschel, who singles. Brian Tampa follows, but strikes out for the 1st out of the inning. Dave Noll singles to put 2 on with 1 out for leadoff hitter Chew Diaz. He promptly doubles down the left field line to score 1, tying the game at 5. Next up is Garrett Benke who doubles to score 2 more, giving the Giants their 1st lead of the game - now up 7-5. Jeremy Sheilds follows with an RBI single of his own, extending the Giant lead to 8-5.

The Dodgers would pull starting pitcher Ceasar Rojas at this point and replace him with Jose Garcia with 1 out and 1 on in this 4th inning. His 1st challenge would be Kody Kimbrel, who welcomes him into the game with an RBI double. The Giants would end up with 5 big runs on 6 hits and now take a 9-5 lead through 4 complete.

Both teams would go scoreless in the 5th inning, as would the Dodgers in the top of the 6th - now scoreless in 4 straight innings. The Giants come up in the bottom of the 6th maintaining the 9-5 lead they acquired 2 innings prior. They lead off the 6th with the top of the lineup - Chew Diaz. He reaches 1st safely by way of a fielding error. The next batter is Garrett Bemnke, who triples to score Diaz. Jeremy Sheilds would follow with a single, scoring Bemnke. A pass ball to Kody Kimbrel would send Sheilds to 2nd and a deep fly to center moves Sheilds to 3rd. Pete Langenberger would follow with a single to score Sheilds. The Giants end up with 3 runs on 3 hits and now dominate in the contest through 6 complete, leading 12-5.

Both teams would go quietly in the 7th inning and the top of the 8th would produce nothing for the Dodgers, who have been all but shut down since their 2-run rally way back in the 2nd inning. The Giants, with the combination of their success on offense and the pitching of Bob Diaz throughout the game; seemed to have little to worry about as they came up in the bottom of the 8th inning. However, Kody Kimbrel looked to add insult to injury as he banged a double of the wall in left to lead things off. Pete Langenberger would fly out to center, with Kimbrel tagging and advancing to 3rd. Chris Norton would come up next and single home Kimbrel from 3rd. The Giants settle for 1 unnecessary run as they now lead the Dodgers 13-5 going into the 9th inning.

The Dodgers would produce a single run in the top half of the 9th, but that would be all they would come up with as Bob Diaz and the Giants complete the dismantling of the Dodgers in grand fashion, holding them to 1 run in the last 7 innings of play and earning themselves the title of PCBL Summer Wood Bat League Champions! Bob Diaz went the distance and was masterful, allowing 6 runs on 11 hits; striking out 3 and walking only 2. The numbers may not sound staggering, but what should be noted is that once he settled down after the 1st 2 inning, his numbers were far different - 1 run on 4 hits. That's a game-winning effort!

Another side-story that makes this particular Championship a great one is the Giant's father/son battery. Seeing Bob Diaz the pitcher with his son Chew Diaz, his catcher, during the post-game celebration was indeed special. Even more so as they posed for a picture as Chew poured champagne over Bob's head! Congratulations to the Wood Bat Champion Giants for a great season and a great Championship Game!

Game Time: 7:05pm - 9:35pm (2hr 30min)
Umpires: Plate - Gary Montalvo / Base - Peter Sakajian