Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart – ISN
Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Shark Club Dodgers took advantage of two first inning errors by the Applebee’s Athletics to score a pair of runs and then rode a sensational pitching performance by Kevin Pockett to an eventual 3-1 victory in the third and deciding game of the Victoria Mavericks Baseball League Rithet Cup Championship Thursday evening at Lambrick park.
For the Athletics and their starting pitcher Adam Cessford, the scenario was eerily similar to Cessford’s last start in the semi-finals against the Braves, in which the A’s gave up 4 first inning runs en route to a Game 2 loss.
The Dodger’s Kevin Pockett was golden on the mound Thursday, giving up just one run in the Dodger’s Championship win (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
In Thursday’s final, things started well for Cessford with a lead off ground out, but then Jake Salter reached on an error, as did Bobby Scott, when A’s third baseman Jeff Vickers threw an easy double-play ball into right field. Leighton Marshall would then score Salter with an RBI single to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Scott would then come in to score when Marshall would steal second and the Dodgers had their 2-0 lead.
The A’s Adam Cessford would retire the final 12 Dodger batters he would face, but a 2 run first inning would be the difference in the A’s 3-1 loss Thursday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
That brought Kevin Pockett to the mound, pressed into pitching duties due to the wear and tear on the arms of many of the Dodger starters due to the lateness of the season. That did not seem to phase Pockett, who would pitch as if he were in the regular rotation all season, ultimately allowing just a single run on five hits, while striking out 10 in the complete game win.
The A’s Jared Gale attepts to track the ball through the arms of a sliding Jake Salter during Thursday’s action (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
“I honestly did not know if I could go tonight” said Pockett after the game. “My arm was really hanging after throwing in the first round, but when I warmed up tonight I felt really good so was good to go. It was also the last game of the finals so I think that gave me a little adrenaline boost and helped me stay focused on the game.”
A’s second baseman Jared Gale pirouettes for a nice double play during Thursday’s action (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Pockett’s only damage came in the 4th inning, where despite striking out the side, a walk and then a pair of back to back hits from Matt Phillips and Charlie Strandlund would generate the only A’s run. After that, Pockett would retire the side in the 5th and 6th innings, and shut things down in the 7th despite allowing a runner on due to error and a single to get the victory.
The Dodgers Kevin Seginowich (15) and pitcher Kevin Pockett celebrate the final out Thursday while Athletic first base coach Akira Kikkohjin looks on (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The A’s loss overshadowed another fine pitching performance by Cessford, who after the 2 Dodger runs in the first, would surrender another run in the 3rd, but then retire the next 12 Dodgers in a row the rest of the way, finishing with a 5-hit performance with 7 strikeouts.
Mavericks League president Patrick Nahirney (left) presents the Rithet Cup to the Dodger’s Kevin Seginowich (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The A’s Charlie Strandlund sympathized with his starter, “You know we did the same thing to him in the last round against the Braves, throwing the ball around in the first inning, and we just couldn’t recover. That’s just the way this game goes sometimes.”
Winning pitcher Kevin Pockett (left) and brothers Ray and Kevin Seginowich (right) pose with the Rithet Cup after their 3-1 win Thursday (Photos: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The win was the Dodgers second Championship in a row in the Mavericks League and was a sweet win for pitcher Pockett. “It feels really nice to win this thing for the second year in a row and get that old trophy. I just want to go and drink some beers out of it now!”
The 2012 Mavericks Men’s League Rithet Cup Champion Shark Club Dodgers (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)