After losing Game 1 of the Golden State Collegiate Baseball League championship 8-4, the Alameda Merchants (31-13-1) bounced back and won the winner take all title game 7-5 over the Auburn Wildcats (22-22). With the victory, the Merchants claimed their first GSCBL championship!
The story of the deciding game was timely hitting and clutch relief pitching for the Merchants. Trailing 2-1 in the top of the fifth, Alameda erupted for three runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth to take a convincing 7-4 lead.
Blaine Carlile delivered the big blow with a two RBI single to give the Merchants a 4-3 lead. The next inning Alameda put together three runs on a Kelly Starnes sacrifice fly, a Roger Luna single and an RBI walk by Tyler Buchanan to make it 7-3.
After the Wildcats chased Alameda starter Ian Ocon out in the fourth inning, ace reliever Joel Deporte came in and changed the momentum of the game. Deporte entered with no outs and the bases loaded in the 5th inning with the Wildcats threatening to break the game wide open. However, hewas able to retire the next three Auburn hitters and keep the score tied at 4-4.
The righty relief specialist gave up just two hits, allowed no earned runs, walked four and struck out four during his four innings of work.
In the ninth inning, Alameda turned to hard throwing closer Ricky Delgado to seal the deal and he did just that. Auburn pushed across a run to make it 7-5 and was one hit away from tying the game, however Delgado struck out Tyler Evanoff with runners on second and third to claim the title for the Merchants!
Evanoff got on base four times in the game for Auburn. He scored two runs and had one RBI. He tripled in the third inning and singled in the sixth inning.
Reliever Matt Evanoff brought the heat against during his outing. The Merchants managed just one hit off of Evanoff, who allowed no earned runs, walked none and struck out two during his two innings of work.
Brennan Forster ended up on the wrong side of the pitching decision, charged with his fourth loss of the year. He lasted just 1 1/3 innings, walked two, struck out one, and allowed three runs.
Playoffs Most Valuable Player
Joe Armstrong was named the MVP of the GSCBl playoffs. In four games, the Alameda shortstop posted some impressive numbers. Armstrong finished 8 for 18, with 10 runs scored, a double, triple and four RBIs. He also walked four times in four games.