Game 1--SLO MSBL Championship Series

Blacksox hand Angels first defeat of 2022

The Blacksox and Angels faced off today in Game 1 of the SLO MSBL Championship Series. 

To get here, the Blacksox grinded out a 8-5-1 regular season record. Next they swept the Outlaws and the Legends in consecutive playoff rounds. The Blacksox earned their birth with a slew of big plays, a bulldog on the mound and talented hitting.

The Angels blazed a different path to the championship series. Led by consistent play on the field, dependable pitching and reliable hitting, they found success everytime they were on the field. From game one to their last playoff win, the team never lost a game. The only minor blemish of their season was a tie.

That tie was in April, against the Blacksox, in the second game of the season. 

In three previous match ups this year the results were a tie, an 11-5 Angels win and a pitchers dual resulting in a 3-2 Angels win. 

Of all the teams in the SLO MSBL, these two are likely the best matched. Both have faced off against each other for years in the old 18+ division. In this year's integrated league, both teams proved they belong duking it out for the title. 

Game day

Sinsheimer stadium
Sinsheimer Stadium 
Sinsheimer Field is prepped and ready for today's game. The temperature at game time sits at 75 degrees on an unusually overcast and humid summer day in San Luis Obispo. 

The Angels starter today is  Cole Steverson. His battery mate is Nick Sweeney. 

The Blacksox will be putting  Austin Muro on the mound with AJ Campos setup to receive behind the plate. 

Tim Golden will be calling balls and strikes as the plate umpire and Garth B. will keep on eye on plays at the bases. 

The home Angels manager is Boz Baron. The visitor Blacksox are led by Tony Camacho. 

At 10:05 it's time for first pitch.

Game recap

1st inning

Cole steverson
Angels starter, Cole Steverson
Steverson struck out the Blacksox's Anthony Campos to start off the game. An error at 2B allowed Nick Doyon to reach safely. Austin Muro doubled over the left fielder's head in his first at bat of the game. 

With runners on 2b and 3b, and AJ Campos at bat, 2 pass balls allowed two runs to score. Campos gets a single. The next batter grounded into a fielders choice to second base. The top of the inning was over after Nilsen Legernes hit a soft grounder back to the pitcher.

Austin muro
Blacksox starter, Austin Muro
In the bottom half of the 1st, Muro struck out the side on 15 pitches. 

2-0 Blacksox

2nd inning

In the top of the second inning, Steverson started finding a groove. He put down Ernie Salinas on a weak grounder in front of the plate, a strike out of Colin Princi and a ground out to the pitcher by Hank Muro.

In the bottom half, Austin Muro got 3 outs with a groundout to 3B and two strikeouts. 

2-0 Blacksox

3rd inning

Steverson hits the first batter of the 3rd inning and follows that with a walk to Tony Camacho. He strikes out Anthony Campos on three pitches. With Nick Doyon up, he throws a wild pitch allowing the runners to advance. On the next pitch, Doyon is hit. With Austin Muro at bat, another wild pitch gets away, allowing Jacobs to score and the runners to advance. Muro hits a sacrifice fly to right field allowing Camacho to come home and Doyon to take 3B. AJ Campos walks then takes 2B on defensive indifference. The last out is a strike out of Chris Cahill on three pitches.

The bottom half of the 3rd starts with a routine groundball to shortstop by Greg. That's followed by a strike out of Mike Massicotte and a fly out to left by Chris Sosa. Muro hasn't allowed a runner through 3 innings.

4-0 Blacksox

4th inning

Mike massicotte
Angels reliever, Mike "Lefty" Massicotte
Steverson's day is over as Mike "Lefty" Massicotte takes over on the mound. Mike struggles to find the strike zone early in the inning, walking the first two batters on nine pitches. He gets a break when he induces Princi to hit into a 6-4-3 double play. Hank Muro hits a sharp grounder back to the pitcher as the third out.

Austin Muro strikes out Mason for the first out in the bottom of the inning. That's followed by a strike out of Justin for the second out. With a full count, Eddie hits a grounder to 2B that's fielded but thrown in the dirt for an error, allowing the first Angels' baserunner of the day. The next batter, Derrick, hits a fly ball to LF to end the inning. 

4-0 Blacksox

5th inning

Leading off the 5th inning, Jacobs hits a double to LF. On the next pitch, Camacho hits an RBI single to RF. Ricky Iniguez hits a short pop-up to SS.  Anthony Campos walks followed by Doyon popping up to 3B. Austin Muro reaches on a fielding error by the third basemen to load the bases. AJ Campos knocks a 2 run single to RF. Cahill grounds into a fielder's choice to end the at bat. 

Austin pitches
Austin Muro delivers to his catcher AJ Campos
The Angels bats started showing signs of life in the bottom of the 5th. Nick Sweeney drew a full count walk to lead off. Oscar popped up to shortstop. Boz and Greg hit back to back singles to load the bases. Lefty hit a slow roller back to Muro, who threw to home to get the lead runner for the second out and temporarily preserving the shutout. Chris Sosa hits a 2 run single that just gets by the shortstop glove. Pat came to bat, pinch hitting for Mason and hits a double that scores Lefty and on a throwing error home, Sosa comes across to score while Pat advances to 3B. Back at the top of the order, Justin strikes out looking.

7-4 Blacksox

6th inning

Lefty gets Legernes to fly out to RF to start the 6th. A fielding error by the third baseman allows Salinas to get 1B. Princi walks. Hank Muro gets a single to load the bases. Jacobs gets out on an infield fly. The third out came on a close play at first. Camacho hit a sharp ground ball to the second baseman and Lefty just barely beat the runner to first base to receive the throw and save a run. 

In the bottom, a throwing error allows Eddie to reach on an error. Logan pinch hit for Derrick and hits an 0-2 double to score Eddie. Muro gets Sweeney to pop out to the second baseman for the first out. With Oscar at bat, Muro makes a throwing error on a pick off attempt to 2B. That allows Logan to go to third. Oscar hits a ground ball to the shortstop who throws a strike to Campos to get the runner trying to score. Boz walks on the next at bat followed by single from Greg. The inning ends with Lefty hitting a fielders choice grounder to the shortstop. 

7-5 Blacksox

7th inning

Anthony campos
Anthony campos awaits the pitch. Nick Sweeney catching

Boz Baron takes the mound in relief. Iniguez pops to 3B for the first out. Back at the top of the order, Anthony Campos drives a ball over the centerfielder for a stand up triple. Doyon pops to second base. Austin Muro hits his second double of the day to drive in Anthony. With AJ Campos at bat, Austin gets a little too aggressive going to 3B and gets picked off easily by Boz to end the top half.

Muro is still on the hill. Sosa reaches on a throwing error by the shortstop. But he's not on base for long as he's caught stealing by AJ Campos and is tagged out at 1B trying to retreat. Muro strikes out Pat for the second out. Justin works a full count walk. Eddie lines back to Muro to end the 7th.

8-5 Blacksox

8th inning

The top of the 8th inning is another rough one for the Angels. AJ Campos leads off with a single and Cahill draws a four pitch walk. Legernes hits an infield fly for out one. Boz hits Salinas on a 2-2 pitch to load the bases. Princi hits a two run single and a third run scores on a throwing error to home plate. Hank Muro steps in and doubles a run home. Jacobs lines out to shortstop and Camacho flies out to centerfield to end the top.

Logan leads off the Angels' 8th with a single. Muro strikes out Sweeney looking. He then gets fly balls to CF from Oscar and Boz to get out of the 8th on 10 pitches

12-5 Blacksox

9th inning

Boz gets a quick out on a fly out to RF by Iniguez. Greg Hadley (he is in his late 60s but is still a true ball player. Much respect to him) gets his first at bat of the day. He works a full count for a walk. Boz issues another walk to leadoff man Anthony Campos. Doyon pops up to third base. Austin Muro singles and Hadley sprints home from 2B. AJ Campos flys out to centerfield to end the Blacksox half of the inning.

Muro stays on the mound, going for the complete game. Greg battles him in an 11 pitch at bat but Muro strikes him out looking for the first out. Lefty works a full count for a walk. Sosa walks on four pitches. Pat pops up foul to the first baseman. Justin gets hit by a pitch to load the bases. On the last pitch, Eddie flys out to left field to end the game.

13-5 Blacksox Final Score

Take away

The Blacksox showed up to play. Led by Austin Muro and AJ Campos, the Blacksox offense was running on all cylinders. With the exception of the 5th inning, Muro shutdown the top team in the league in a complete game victory. Even with 5 errors, the defense held strong and didn't allow mistakes to compound into big innings. 

Muro finished with 3 ER 7 H 12 K 5 BB 1 HBP

The Blacksox finished with 13 R 12 H 5 XBH

The Angels came in as the favorites today. They are a talented team from top to bottom. In this game though, they didn't look like the team that went undefeated. 

The pitching was uncharacteristic, struggling to find the strike zone and issuing 9 walks along with 3 hit batters. The defense made plays when given a chance but the Blacksox batters kept finding the holes for hits. The Angels bats showed some life in the 5th inning but struggled through most of the game. 

As the saying goes, tomorrow is another day. Both teams will be keeping that in mind when they take the field to battle for a win in game 2 tomorrow morning at 10am. 


Play ball


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