Cubs Claim PPBA Pinto and Mustang Titles, Yanks Win Bronco Division
By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
The way both sides were scoring, it appeared the team with the last at-bat would prevail and that was the case last Tuesday afternoon at the Field of Dreams.
Walter Sibson singled to begin the bottom of the sixth inning, Gavin Kynal hit a fly ball double to move Sibson to third and Matteo Koudsi belted a double to lift the Cubs to the Pacific Palisades Baseball Association’s Pinto Division title with a 15-14 victory over the Pirates.
There were four lead changes and the teams combined for 47 hits (the Cubs had 27, the Pirates had 20) before the Cubs posted their fourth victory of the season against their new National League rivals.
The Pirates led 6-1 before the Cubs plated six in the third and one more in the fourth to carry an 8-6 lead to the fifth, but the Pirates answered with six runs, highlighted by Ryan Klein’s three-run home run over the left field fence. The Cubs responded in the bottom of the frame with six runs of their own for an 8-6 lead.
The Pirates pulled even in the sixth but were unable to take the lead thanks to shortstop Tribe Edwards, who caught a pop fly and threw to first baseman Gavin Kynal for the double play.
Colton Nassour, Graham Doble, Charlie Iwanyk, Isaac Farag, Benji Fleiss, Cade McCoy, Rowan O’Donnell and Brett Rosenblatt all contributed throughout the Cubs’ postseason run.
The next day, the Cubs won the Mustang Division title with a 3-2 victory over the Tigers, who had won four straight to reach the finals.
In a classic pitcher’s duel, Dylan Iwanyk struck out six in four innings for the Cubs before reliever Liam Nassour came in to strike out five of the last six batters. Tigers pitchers Max Meier, Tommy Lavia and Aydan Martin combined to allow three runs in five innings.
Iwanyk scored on a wild pitch in the first inning and Beau Schinto and Nassour scored on a double by Nikolas Koudsi in the third.Tommy Lavia and and Mason Rufeh scored in the fourth for the Tigers.
Owen Andrews, Luke Davidson, Johnny McNown, Colin O’Donnell, Brendan O’Malley, Wyatt Schinto, Moses Wilson and Jake Yoon also contributed to the Cubs’ triumph.
In the Bronco Division, Brian Grimes’ Yankees forced a deciding game by scoring eight runs in the top of the fourth inning and tacking on three in the fifth to avenge an earlier 14-9 playoff defeat with a 14-6 victory over the Red Sox last Tuesday. The two teams met again last Thursday and after starter James Min allowed zero hits and only two unearned runs in three innings, Thomas Wynperle took the mound to close it out and did just that—striking out six batters in three innings, the last with the bases loaded in the sixth, to preserve a 7-2 win.
Wynperle also proved to be a force at the plate with three RBIs, including a two-run homer, catcher Gage Grimes added two RBIs and a double while Lawson Holland and Jasper Hoegh-Guldberg each had one RBI. Hoegh-Guldberg and Harrison Rautbort both had two hits.
The Yankees finished first in the American League with a record of 16-5-1. Rounding out the squad were Hunter Burkett, Matthew O’Connor, Spencer Rodman, Ethan Seung and Luca Umekubo.
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