(Photos are the property of Rich Schmitt Photography and may not be used or reproduced without permission.)
It took the Mustang Orioles two games to finally beat the Rockies 7-5 in the championship game on June 2. Although this team coached by David Hoffman, was seeded first in the division with a record of 10-4, their main nemesis during the season and in playoffs was the Rockies.
During the regular season, the Rockies and Orioles faced each other four times and split the results.
In the run for the championship, the Orioles beat the Rockies in the first game of the tournament, to send them to the lower bracket.
The Rockies clawed their way back, beating the Pirates, Tigers and Cardinals, in order to face the Orioles in a championship game on May 25. And then, they forced a second game by beating the Orioles.
After their loss on June 2 Rockies coach Garen Hartunian said, “You guys got so good. We were dangerous, no wanted to play us.
He told his players, “We beat them twice. They beat us twice. I’m so proud of you this season was incredible.”
After clenching the title, Orioles coach David Hoffman called his players up one by one and acknowledged a specific contribution each had made during the season.
About the Rockies, he said, “I’m not sure any team worked harder than them.
“We had the two best pitching teams,” Hoffman said, noting that he emphasized to his kids that “it’s the little things that win baseball games.
“It’s not about winning, but about having fun and focusing on each pitch,” Hoffman said.
Afterwards he told CTN that the most gratifying aspect of the season was “the way boys had fun with each other. They came together as a team.”
Hoffman said that “they supported each other and were eager to get better at baseball.”
Hoffman’s three boys have all played baseball for PPBA and his oldest now plays second base at Brentwood.
“I can’t wait until the 4th of July parade,” Hoffman said. “It will be like a mini-reunion – I can’t wait to have all the boys back together.
Members of the Orioles roster included: Leaf Armm, Brandon Gimelstob, Daniel Gruft, George Himes, Wil Hoffman, Lucas McNellis-Barrutia, Abel Samulon, William Schwarzman, Luke Sklar, Jack Waters, Leo Wolfberg and Henry Wyman.