2007 Summer Season
American Division Champions

2007 PCBL Double A Division Champions, Platoon

SCV Raiders (7) (8-9-2) -vs- Platoon (5) (11-6-2)
August 26, 2007 @ Epicenter Stadium, Rancho Cucamonga

Platoon has a "Whaley" Day against SCV Raiders
By Scot Sweet / PCBL Staff Writer

This would be the second game of our Championship triple-header at the beautiful Epicenter in Rancho Cucamonga, home of the Annaheim Angels, Minor League team the Quakes. With a perfect day of mild weather ahead of us, it was to be sure that we could expect an equally perfect day of baseball.

This American Division matchup between the 7th seeded Raiders (8-9-2) and the 5th seeded Platoon (11-6-2) would be a battle of two teams who have one major thing in common – both teams are scrappy ballclubs who found a way to squeeze their way into the big game. As low seeds, they fought there way into this final and it was one that we knew would be interesting to witness.

The Raiders would lead off the game with Teddy Atler, who is drilled by the first pitch. With Atler on first, the next batter is Mike Pierson who gets on by way of an error on the second baseman. Coming to bat next is Josh Schreck who singles home Teddy Atler. The raiders settle for one run on a hit and take the early 1-0 lead.

The Platoon squad started things off in the bottom of the first with their leadoff hitter, Jason Spratt. He hits a shot past the diving shortstop and into left center field for a base hit. The next batter is Steve Galvin, who takes the count to 1-1 as Sprat steals second. He lifts the next pitch deep to right for an out, with Spratt tagging and reaching third base. The next batter is Mike Cirricione who singles home Jason Spratt from third. Platoon settles for one run in the inning and ties the game.

The Raiders would come up empty in the top half of the second inning, bringing up the Platoon squad with a chance to break the early tie. Platoon starts off the bottom of the 2nd inning with Jesse Kozlowski, who drops one in front of the charging center fielder for a base hit. The next batter is first baseman Wyatt Whaley, who drives a shot deep down the left field line for a 2-run homer. The next three batters would go down in order, but Platoon grabs two big runs on the shot by Whaley as they take an early 3-1 lead through two innings of play.

The 3rd inning would go scoreless, bringing the Raiders up in the top of the 4th inning. They lead off with center fielder Sergio Almanzar who hits a hard shot between first and second into right field for a base hit. Eric Ashbrook is the next batter and he takes the count full with Almanzar advancing to second on a pass ball in the process. With Almanzar on second, Ashbrook drives one hard into centerfield for a base hit, scoring Almanzar. They would settle for one run in the inning and they cut the lead to one – now trailing 3-2.

Platoon would come up in the bottom of the 5th inning, still maintaining the narrow 3-2 lead. They send up catcher David Lemos, who drives one hard past the pitcher into center field for a base hit. He is followed by Wes Munion who responds with a hard base hit of his own to left field. The next batter is Brandon Grice, who draws a walk to load the bases for leadoff hitter Jason Spratt. He hits a bloop single over second base to score two. They would settle for those two runs in the inning and now extend their lead to a 5-2 margin through five complete innings of play.

The Raiders fail to score in the top half of the 6th inning, giving Platoon a chance to further extend their lead. They lead off the bottom of the 6th inning with Jesse Kozlowski who draws a walk. He is followed by Wyatt Whaley who provided the 2-run shot in the 2nd inning. He adds a double to his offensive resume, putting two on and nobody out for David Lemos who singled
in his last at bat. Lemos hits a sacrifice fly deep to right scoring Kozlowski from third. They get the one run in the inning and now lead the Raiders by a score of 6-2 through six complete.

The Raiders once again come up empty on offense, bringing up the Platoon squad in the bottom of the 7th inning with a 4-run cushion and a chance to really put things out of reach. They send up leadoff hitter Jason Spratt who draws a walk. The next batter flies out to left, bringing up Mike Cirricione who also draws a walk. Tyler Carr follows and he is hit by a pitch to load the bases for Chris White with one out in the inning. White pops up to left center as the shortstop backpeddles into the outfield to make the catch. On the play, Jason Spratt wisely tags and scores from third. The next batter is Jesse Kozlowski who is hit by a pitch to load the bases, thus ending the day for starting pitcher Mike Ferara after 6 2/3 innings of work. He is replaced by Casey Klein who will face the deadly Wyatt Whaley with the bags full and two out. Whaley hit a 2-run homer in the 2nd inning and a double in the 6th. He comes through again with a bases clearing double in the gap, scoring three. Platoon ends up four runs in the inning and now coast; leading by a score of 10-2 through seven complete innings.

The Raiders would score a run on 2 hits in the ninth inning; most notably on an RBI single by Mark Luketic, which gave him four hits on the day with an RBI. However, the damage would be done as the Platoon squad proved to be too much for the SCV Raiders as Platoon would cruise to a 10-3 victory in this American Division Championship.

MVP honors undoubtedly went to Wyatt Whaley who was on fire at the plate; going 3 for 4 with a 2-run homer and a pair of doubles, one producing 3 RBI’s. That’s five big RBI’s on the day for a guy that was grateful, yet humble when asked how he felt about his championship performance:

“I don’t know … I guess I was just hitting the ball pretty good today. I’ve had a string of luck in the playoffs this year. I had a couple home runs the last two games – one was a walk-off the last game to win it which was huge for our team and I’ll tell you ……. I was excited, man!”
And when asked about the 3-run double in the 7th to break the game open for
“ That was actually funny. A new pitcher was coming in and my coach, Ryan Walker, came and talked to me and told me that I might want to take a pitch. See what’s going on with this guy – see what he’s got. I told him I’ve been doing pretty good going after that first pitch and so he said to go for it. The first pitch was a belt-high fastball and I just swung as hard as I could
– I connected, I guess.” (Yeah …. I guess!)

Pitching Stats
Platoon: Tyler Carr (8 inn, 2 runs, 8 hits, 5 K’s, 2 walks)
Brandon Grice (1 inn, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 K’s, 1 walk)

Raiders: Mike Ferrara (6 2/3 inn, 7 runs, 9 hits, 7 K’s, 4 walks)
Casey Klein (1 1/3 inn, 3 runs, 1 hit, 4 K’s, 0 walks)

Game Time: 2:30pm - 4:50pm ( 2 hours, 20 minutes)

(Home) Reese Morgan
(1st Base) Gary Montalvo
(2nd Base) Andrew Marquez
(3rd Base) Joe Campanella

PA Announcer: Mike Gulatto

National Anthem performed by American Idol contestant Sherman Pore