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DuPage Red Angels Fly to First Championship in LaGrange MABL

LaGrange (IL) MABL

DuPage Red Angels 1, LaGrange Bulldogs 0


Back Row L-R: Josh Larson, Andy Kelliher, Kevin Knott, Jack Marta, Mark Rubel, Jake Trumpis, Jackson Faut, Nick Moore, Mike Marrera, Marty Stanczyk. Front Row L-R: Dom Gerace, Matt Marrera, Kevin Jakubauskas, George Cote, Luke Stanczyk, Brandon McSheffery, Commisioner Chuck Mally. Not Pictured: Anthony Ciango, Christian Mahnke 

‘Faut and Trumpis Lead Way on the Bump’

Submitted by Luke Stanczyk, Red Angels manager

After five years of playing in the LaGrange MABL and six total seasons together, the DuPage Red Angels earned their first league championship on Sunday, August 13.

The Red Angels earned the title by winning twice on Sunday. DuPage downed the LaGrange Bulldogs 4-1 in game one behind a complete game from rotation mainstay Jackson Faut, who also went 4-for-4 with three RBI in the contest. In the second game, pitcher Jacob Trumpis tossed another complete game for RA, striking out 13 while shutting out the Bulldogs offense in a 1-0 win. Right fielder Josh Larson, who is one of just seven players left from the team’s inaugural season in 2012, drove in the team’s lone run of the contest on a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning. 

RA took an interesting path to the championships this season, as the team earned the sixth seed in the regular season after finishing with a 9-9 record, dropping two seeds from 2016’s tournament. However, the Red Angels proved to get hot at the right time, winning the last game of the regular season 9-1 over the LaGrange Buddies before throttling the third-seeded Westmont Storm 12-1 in the opening round of the playoffs. After defeating the Westchester Chargers in a tense 5-3 contest two days later, RA was sent to the loser’s bracket after a 4-3 loss to the Bulldogs. However, RA would not be deterred, winning 12-8 over the Buddies on Friday night to earn a chance at revenge against the Bulldogs, playing 18 innings of one-run baseball to win the first championship in team history. 

Pitching has been RA’s calling card since the team entered the league and 2017 was no different. The Red Angels ended the season with an astounding 3.06 ERA to go along with a 1.27 WHIP. In addition, the team recorded 193 strikeouts in 194 innings pitched as well as 10 complete games. Individually, Jackson Faut (5-2, one save, 3.21 ERA, 56 innings, 48 strikeouts) and Mike Marrera (5-3, 2.89 ERA, 53 innings, 63 strikeouts) anchored one of the most dominant staffs in the league. Kevin Jakubauskas (3-2, one save, 2.65 ERA, 24 strikeouts, 37.1 innings), Jacob Trumpis (1-3, 2.66 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 30 strikeouts, 23.2 innings), and Anthony Ciango (two saves, 1.80 ERA, 22 strikeouts, 15 innings) also played key roles and displayed RA’s great depth.

On offense, center fielder Jack Marta, another one of RA’s charter members, had his best season, leading the team with a .431 batting average, 28 hits, and 16 runs scored in just 20 games played. He also finished the year with four doubles, a triple, and four steals. Infielder Andy Kelliher (.322, 19 hits, three doubles, four steals) and Faut (.318, 21 hits, one double, one home run, 12 RBI) also hit over .300 for RA, who hit .262 as a team. Josh Larson (.266, four steals) led the team with 15 RBI, while newcomer and shortstop Matt Marrera finished with a .269 batting average and a perfect season on the base paths, going 21-of-21 on stolen base opportunities.

Defensively, RA featured one of the top units in the league. Catcher George Cote (.255, four doubles) proved to be a weapon behind the plate with his arm. The infield crew of Dom Gerace, Kevin Jakubauskas, Kelliher, Matt Marrera, Nick Moore, Kevin Knott (.288, four doubles), and Faut was elite all season long, while Marta, Larson, and Mark Rubel made up arguably the league’s top outfield.

The DuPage Red Angels were coached by Marty Stanczyk, player-manager Luke Stanczyk (.237, 18 hits), and player-coach Brandon McSheffery. RA is excited to build off its first championship and is already itching to get back at it in 2018 in one of the most competitive men’s leagues in the Chicagoland area!

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