SFV Tigers
2003 Summer Season
American Division Champions

Game Summary

With the sun finally settling back behind the wings of JetHawk Stadium, we knew that the intense heat would not be a factor in this championship game as it was with the earlier games. However, the nightcap would come to offer plenty of intensity on it's own, sun or no sun.

The Dodgers wasted no time in getting on the board in the 1st inning when Troy Pipes reached base on an error and Ben Fiandaca picked up an RBI with the 1st base hit of the game. The Tigers evened things up in the bottom of the 2nd with a little help from the Dodgers, who gave up a pair of walks and an error to the Tigers in the inning, tying the score at 1 through 2 complete.

The Dodgers had the favor returned to them in the 4th inning; as the Tigers gave up 2 errors of their own, along with doubles from Steve Seig and Chris Ortiz and a single from Rob Wagner. The Dodgers score 4 runs in the inning to move up on the Tigers 5-1 through 3 1/2 innings. The Tigers would come up empty in the bottom of the inning, turning the offense back over to the Dodgers to start the 5th inning. In a continuation of the inning prior, the Dodger's bats went to work. Bobby Rodriguez leads off the inning with a single, but he is picked off trying to steal later in the inning. The Tigers record a strikeout in the inning as well, leaving the Dodgers to work with nobody on and 2 outs. That seemed to have inspired the Dodgers, who followed up with singles from Kent Ervin and Troy Pipes, as well as a pair of doubles from David Parker and Brett Draimin. Throw in an error and a batter hit by a pitch and you have another 4 run inning for the Dodgers, who increased their lead to a comfortable 9-1 score

Needing runs desperately, the Tigers started the bottom of the 5th inning with a leadoff walk. Will Morrow stepped to the plate and hit an RBI triple to put a quick run on the board. Lou Oberlander sacrificed Morrow from 3rd to add 1 more run, and the Tiger's deficit was reduced to a score of 9-3. The Dodger's went down in order to start the 6th inning, giving the Tiger's a light of hope for a comeback. The Tiger's 6th inning leads off with a Jim Holzer single, after which Ryan Tintsman is hit by a pitch. Will Morrow, who tripled in his last at bat, comes up with 1 out and 2 on. He duplicates his previous effort by tripling in the gap to score a pair. Jesse Chastain follows by singling home Morrow. Then Lou Oberlander answers by doubling home Chastain. 4 huge runs on 3 hits draws the Tigers to within 2 runs, down 9-7 through 6 complete innings.

The Dodger's, who had watched an 8 run lead dissipate in short time, needed to find another gear. They started the 7th inning with a leadoff single by Bobby Rodriguez, his second hit of the game. He is sacrificed over to 3rd and scores on a pass ball to the plate, extending their lead to 3 runs, up 10-7. The Tigers go down quietly in the bottom of the 7th, as do the Dodgers to begin the 8th inning. The Tigers, knowing it was definitely a critical time of the ballgame, now needed 3 runs in 2 innings to bring this game back to even.

Fortunately, Will Morrow was to leadoff the 8th inning for the Tigers. Fortunate, because he had only tripled in his last 2 at bats, an amazing feat for anybody to accomplish. He does not disappoint once again as he doubles to start of the inning. Jesse Chastain comes to the plate and answers with an RBI single. The next 2 batters would strikeout, bringing up Doug Siembieda with 2 outs. He singles to send home Chastain. Singles by Cirringione and Holzer would follow, although the inning ended with a strikeout with the bases loaded, holding the scoring for the inning at 2 runs, Tigers now down by a score of 10-9.

The Dodgers came up in the top of the 9th knowing that a 1-run lead would not be a source of comfort for them. Despite attempting to rally their offense just one more time, they failed to do so and went down quickly in the top of the 9th; leaving the door open for a Tigers team that has shown time and time again that they can score runs when they need them.

So here comes Brian Bromber leading off for the Tigers in the bottom of the 9th, down by a single run. He is hit by a pitch and gets a free walk to 1st. Bad move, considering who was to step in the box next .... Will Morrow. His last 3 at-bats - triple, triple, double .... as hot as hot can get. Here's the pitch ... Morrow doubles, moving Bromber to 3rd. With runners on 2nd and 3rd, Jesse Chastain is intentionally walked to load the bases for Lou Oberlander. Oberlander would end up striking out, but not before a wild pitch would move everyone up 90 feet, scoring Bromber from 3rd. Game tied 10-10. With 1 out and runners once again at 2nd and 3rd, Warren Branum is intentionally walked to load the bases.

So here it is .... bases loaded, 1 out with the winning run at 3rd, and up steps Doug Siembieda who singled in his last at bat for a critical RBI. There would be no RBI, however, as critical as the one he would have a chance to get across the plate now ... the walk off RBI. Siembieda waits, he swings ... base hit into left field. Ball game! Winning RBI. Pandemonium ensues on the field. The champagne is en route as once again we witness a mob of jubilant champions tackling and dog-piling one another like that of an NFL goal line stance. Arms and legs everywhere. It was an amazing ending to a great game that this writer was honored to witness and be part of. Final score: Dodgers: 10 / Tigers: 11

Congratulations to the PCBL American Division Champion SFV Tigers on one of the most incredible comebacks in PCBL Championship history! None of us there that day thought that there was any way that the 1st 2 games could possibly be eclipsed, yet most believe that we were proven wrong following this game. And though this reporter never heard reports of an MVP for the game, common sense would tell me that the only candidate for MVP honors would be that of Will Morrow, based solely on his numbers: 4 for 6 with 2 doubles and 2 triples and 4 RBI's ..... WOW! Congratulations, Will, on an unbelievable day at the plate!

In closing, as one of the people fortunate enough to had seen all 3 championship games; I can only say that I have never witnessed a better day of competitive, quality baseball than we were able to see that day. No team ever let up and it was more than apparent when looking at the box scores. All teams involved on Championship day should be proud to have been part and to have put on such an enjoyable day of championship baseball! I'm sure I speak for all parties involved when I say thanks to all of you ..... Players, Managers and Umpires alike; for making the 2003 PCBL Championship a day that will go down in history as one of the best ever, bar none. See you all in the Fall!