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Ravens Capture Title in 'Walk-off' Fashion in Puget Sound 19+ Cascade Division

Puget Sound Senior Baseball League, 19+ Cascade

Ravens 6, Indians 5


‘Walk-off Base on Balls Seals Championship’

By Paul Davison, Ravens manager

The playoffs in the Cascade division of the PSSBL had a double elimination format.  The #3 seed Ravens defeated the #1 Seed Indians 3-2 in the winners bracket final… the Ravens and Indians faced off again in the championship round and the Ravens won 6-5… both games were well played, went down to the wire, and the final game ended in the just about the most dramatic fashion imaginable.

The Ravens won their first playoff game 10-5 over the Rays behind a very strong outing from starting pitcher Jim Radovich.  In the second round, the Ravens faced a difficult test against the Phillies who were the #7 seed, but had pulled off an upset in their first playoff game and were playing with a lot of confidence and momentum.  Conor Moynihan threw brilliantly and Paul Fisher came in for four innings of relief as the Ravens outlasted the Phillies 7-6 in 12 innings.  On the other side of the bracket, the top seed Indians posted two convincing playoff wins over the Cannons and Diamondbacks of 10-3 and 16-6, respectively. 

That set up the winner’s bracket final match-up between the Ravens and Indians. The Indians had beaten the Ravens three out of four times in the regular season … however, the one Ravens regular season win came when Jason Castro was on the hill for nine innings … he got the start and threw nine strong innings yet again.  Even so, the Indians held a 1-0 lead in the top of the seventh.  That is when Ravens leadoff hitter and shortstop Paul Fisher hit a solo home run to tie the game and ignite the Ravens. 

In the eighth inning, Ravens cleanup hitter DJ Penick smashed a 1-2 breaking ball that was down around his ankles into the opposite field gap for a 2-RBI double to give the Ravens a 3-1 lead.  The Indians refused to go down quietly … getting one run back in the bottom of the ninth… but the Ravens escaped with runners on base and advanced to the championship round.

The Indians beat the #2 seed and defending champion Reds in the loser’s bracket final 5-2 to advance to the championship.  The final game took place on a perfect Saturday night in Puget Sound at Edmonds Community College.  After a week of rest, Jason Castro started on the hill again for the Ravens … he threw another great nine innings … but the Indians were out for revenge and determined to win and force a winner take all final game the following day.  Their bats were alive from the start and the Indians also got some great starting pitching from Andru Roysden

The tribe carried a 5-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth … But the confidence and never quit attitude of the Ravens was not to be denied … Deryck Christensen led off the inning by smashing a single … Matt Kruse followed that up by beating out an infield hit… and Jeremy Thornton had a great at bat to draw a walk and load the bases.  With the pressure on, Chris McCormack stepped to the plate … the count started 1-2 … then he worked it full… Chris fouled off three straight 3-2 pitches… then he found an elevated fastball that he liked … and he put it off the wall in deep left center for a 3-RBI double to tie the game 5-5.  The Indians changed pitchers and the Ravens loaded the bases again … This time John Trupin stepped to the plate … Trupin sealed the Ravens championship by drawing a walk off base on balls.

It was an outstanding season all around… notable achievements for the Ravens were as follows:  Scott Holstad and Deryck Christensen led the team in hitting in 2017 with averages of .486 and .456, respectively.  Paul Fisher, Matt Kruse, DJ Penick, Brady Summers, and Andrew Barry all ended the season hitting .350 or better.  On the hill, Conor Moynihan finished with an overall record of 5-2 and had a 1.15 ERA in 55 innings pitched.  Jim Radovich had an ERA of 1.85 in 45 innings pitched.  John Trupin went 5-0 and had an ERA of 2.43 in 37 innings.

This year’s championship marks the fifth for the Ravens in the last nine seasons!

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