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Submitted by Allan Green, Dragons manager
Three strong pitching performances and three memorable
innings of offense were enough to carry the Dragons to the mid-level
championship in the three-tiered 60+ Memorial Day Tournament in San Diego.
The Dragons’ first pool game turned into a well-played
pitcher’s duel between Rick Morgan of the Norcal Antiques and Rich Epidendio of
the Dragons, who was relieved by Pat Carroll after four innings with the score
1-1. The Antiques took the lead 2-1 in
the top of the sixth on singles by John Hughes, Morgan and Rob Segura. Morgan proceeded to strike out the side in
the bottom of the sixth and had limited the Dragons to four singles to that
But the Dragons came alive in the
seventh (and final) inning. John Metras led off with a hit and stole second. Allan Green doubled him home and scored on a single by Tom Novy. An
error, walk and wild pitch plated two insurance runs for the Dragons. The Antiques brought the tying run
to the plate in the seventh on a walk and a double by Panos Lagos, but Carroll shut the door to keep the final score at 5-2.
Carroll came back to pitch a gem in the semifinal, limiting
the Seattle Silver Foxes to three hits and no earned runs. This time the Dragons took an early lead and
held on. They took charge with a
four-run first, on base hits by Epidendio and Carroll and 2-rbi singles by Jesse Bower and Craig Rickeman. They
added two more in the third on hits by Bower, Don Johannsen, and Ray Allen and
held on to win 6-2.
The final game presented a rematch between the Dragons and Norcal Antiques. The Antiques scored in
each of the first three innings, building a five run lead as Lagos and Steve
McNeely both had hits in their first two at bats. But the Dragons capitalized on three walks
and five singles to open the bottom of the third, scoring seven times with no
one out. Noah Clark scored an eighth run
on a triple by Mark Adams. Epidendio then took charge on the mound, limiting the Antiques to one more run and preserving
the 9-6 victory for the Dragons.
Outstanding hospitality is the hallmark of this tournament,
now in its seventh year. Combining that with
perfect weather and gorgeous ball fields, the tournament organizers, led by Jim
Teeter, have done a tremendous job creating an enjoyable event for the truly