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Chicago-Brooklyn Royals 10, Atlanta Braves 5
'Landing's Effort Seals the Title for the Royals'
By Chris Errington,
special to MSBL
November 14, 2015, Clearwater,
FL – With the game tied at five and a championship hanging in the balance, Lucius Landing never wavered and never worried. With the offense the Royals
possess, he knew there was no reason. In the end, Landing
was proven correct and Chicago-Brooklyn earned another championship.
"We’ve already won
the 25 Nationals and 35 Nationals,” Landing said, "so we knew to stay calm. We’d
been here before and we’ve played together so long that we know what to do.
Nothing is new to us.”
late to pull out victories. After watching an
early two-run advantage dissipate, Landing, who started at catcher, replaced
starting pitcher Noel Areizaga in the sixth and promptly shut down the Atlanta bats. The righty tossed 3.2 innings of shutout ball, and when Chicago-Brooklyn plated a run in the bottom half of the sixth to tie the score at five, he became
the focal point of the Royals title run.
"I knew once we
brought [Landing] in, he’d throw a lot harder and would keep them off balance
with his slider,” Chicago-Brooklyn manager Kal Tate said. "We all knew that
once we got the lead, we’d shut them down.”
It took until the
eighth for the worth of Tate’s confidence to pay dividends. Peter Balis and Tony Herron worked one-out walks, before leadoff man Chris Yates punched a
single to left that plated pinch runner Glen Russell with the eventual winning
run. Charle King followed with a two-run double to right-center and later scored
on an infield error. The fifth and final run of the sudden outburst occurred
when Paul Crump drilled an RBI single to right. From there, it was
just a matter of Landing setting the Braves down one more time to clinch the
title in just the Royals second Fall Classic 45 division appearance.
"I just told the
guys to keep swinging and it all worked out for us,” Tate said of the deciding
eighth inning. "We had a feeling their lefty [starting Atlanta pitcher Jeff
Sanders] would give us fits, because he did that to us the first time we played
them [a 12-7 Braves round-robin victory]. We wanted to keep battling until he
got tired and once they brought in the righty, we knew we’d get some hits.”
well after surrendering single runs in the first and second, keeping a potent Royals lineup at bay long enough for the Braves to take a 4-2 lead. This
occurred despite Atlanta leaving the bases loaded without scoring in the second
and having a runner cut down at the plate to end the third.
Chicago-Brooklyn scored a pair of runs in the fifth, then answered an Atlanta run in the sixth
to tie the game at five and set the state for the eighth-inning outburst that
settled the issue. Atlanta manager Gus
Dotsikas, who entered undefeated in three Fall Classic championship games, the
last title coming in 2013, knew the early missed opportunities were critical. "It was very
frustrating to not score early, because it could have made a huge difference in
the game. We could have gotten the momentum on our side. Then in the eighth, we
had some close pitches that turned into walks and that just put a lot of
pressure on the defense.”
The victory capped
a 6-2 week for Chicago-Brooklyn, which lost in the 2014 quarterfinals. This
time, it reached the title game thanks to Tate’s complete game semifinal victory,
a 12-3 decision. Meanwhile, Atlanta finished round-robin play 3-2 before
defeating the Maryland Monarchs 9-1 behind Steffen Majer’s complete-game
Atlanta 0 0 0 2 2 1 0
0 0 - 5
Chicago-Brooklyn 1 1 0 0
2 1 0 5 x – 10
WP: Landing; LP: Craft. Pitching: Sanders, Craft, O’Brien and Bender (A). Areizaga,
Landing and Landing, Trujillo and Crump (C-B). 2B: Goehrig and Bender (A); McGoy and King (C-B).