2005 Summer Season
National Division Champions

PCBL National Division Championship

Saturday, 9/10/05 - 10:00AM @ JetHawk Stadium

SoCal Quakes -vs- Glendale Coyotes

By Scot Sweet / PCBL Staff Writer
We were all refreshed and ready to put our efforts and concentration into this single Championship Game - and one which would rightfully be the finest of them all, with these two top division rivals playing for Championship bragging rights after splitting the two meetings during the regular season.

Today's Championship between the So. Cal. Quakes (17-2) and the Glendale Coyotes (14-6) was predetermined to be a competitive contest with two quality teams both showing up to win. Both teams have proven records and they know how to win games, as they have demonstrated time and time again throughout this season as well as in seasons past.

The Coyotes would retire in order to start off the top of the 1st inning, bringing up the Quakes with a chance to draw first blood.  Leadoff hitter Robert Mendoza singles to left field to start the Quake's offense.  Mendoza is quickly forced out at 2nd when Nick Gontmaher grounds to the shortstop.  Josh Goldfield follows with a single, putting runners at 1st and 2nd with 1 out for clean-up hitter Scott Sharts.  Sharts hits a high fly ball which sails over center fielder Mike Roux’s glove for a base hit.  With the basses now loaded Juan Vargas smacks a single to left through the drawn-in infield scoring two runs.  Quakes take an early 2-0 lead.  With runners at 1st and 3rd, the Quakes quickly bring home another run during Matt James’s at bat as both runners advance one base on a wild pitch thrown by Coyotes starter Scott Webber.  James draws a walk putting runners on 1st and 2nd for Billy Picketts.  Vargas then gets picked off in a rundown between 2nd and 3rd for the second out of the inning.  Matt James advanced to 2nd on the play then moves over to 3rd on a pass ball that got passed catcher Brian Eggleston.  Pickett then bangs a single to center scoring James. The Quakes come up with 4 runs in the first on 6 hits to take the early 4-0 lead.

The Coyotes would fail to score in the top of the 2nd inning allowing the Quakes a chance to extend their lead. The first two batters for the Quake's flew out respectively bringing up designated hitter Donovan Wallace.  With 2 outs recorded Wallace scorches a double to the right center field power alley that one-hoped the wall.  Leadoff hitter Robert Mendoza quickly brings home Wallace by swatting another single to left field.  After Nick Gontmaher’s base hit the inning is abruptly distinguished when Josh Goldfield goes down on strikes. Quakes now lead the Coyotes 5-0 through two completed innings.

Sensing that the game may get out of hand, Coyotes manager Vince "Sarge" Iuculano brought in relief pitcher Ivan Lopez to restore order.  Lopez went to work right away by disposing clean-up hitter Scott Sharts with a strike out.  Lopez then proceeded to baffle the Quakes batting order for the next three innings jamming hitters and setting them down with K’s.

The Quakes finally got to Lopez in the bottom of the 6th and added 2 more runs thanks to a 2-out walk by Matt James followed by RBI base hits by Billy Picketts and Jim Vatcher. Holding a 7-0 advantage through 6 complete innings, the Quakes perfect defense and stellar pitching left the Coyotes little hope that they can somehow muster enough offense to mount a comeback in the closing innings. However, the Coyotes sent up only 11 batters in the last 3 innings, producing only one hit and drawing one walk in the process.

Throughout this contest the afternoon belonged to Quakes starting pitcher Tim DeGrasse. The Coyotes offense proved to be no match against DeGrasse, as he overpowered them with pinpoint accuracy mixing fastballs and curveballs keeping the Coyotes off-balanced and confused.  DeGrasse flexed his MVP muscles and proved once again as he had done all season by going the distance pitching a 5 hit complete game shutout.  DeGrasse handed 10 batters a souvenir K and never allowed a runner past second base.
Final score Southern California Quakes 7 Glendale Coyotes 0.
By winning the championship the Quakes handed the trophy to their manager Paul DuPrey who finally won a much overdue title.  Since 1998 DuPrey had seen his teams loose in the championship game 4 times at Jethawk Stadium as was feared he’s developed the Jethawk jinx.  But seeing his team pull off this victory, he can finally breathe a sigh of relief and be at ease that he can put those ghosts to rest for good.  Congratulations!!

Game Time: 10:15am - 12:35pm (2 hrs 20 min)

(HP) John Klosstermann
(1B) Juan Cortez
(2B) John Loughlin
(3B) Gary Montalvo