SLO MSBL Championship Series

Angels survive Game 2; Win the Championship

2022 league champions
2022 SLO MSBL League Champions

Sunday is Baseball Day

The Angels and Blacksox arrived at Sinsheimer Stadium on Sunday knowing only one would walk away with the SLO MSBL Championship. The overcast sky and moisture on the diamond wouldn't dampen the hopes of victory.  Both teams walked confidently down the steps to their dugouts to decide a winner in 2022.

Having been a player in the league for the last 4 years, I've had the pleasure of watching and playing against both of these squads. Year in and year out, they are the teams to beat. 

The Blacksox, managed by Tony Camacho, bring athleticism, talent and heavy hitting to the field. The Angels, led by Boz Baron, rely on consistency, solid defense and team cohesiveness to win game in and game out. 

For years, these two teams have faced off in the former 18+ age division of the SLO adult baseball league. And in this year's realigned league, it's no surprise to anyone that they were matched against each other once again to determine this year's champion. 

On Saturday, the Blacksox took Game 1 of the best of 3 series, 13-5, behind the arm of Austin Muro and great hitting by the whole team. On Sunday, it was win or go home for the Angels or a game 3 if the Blacksox couldn't seal the deal. 

Game 2 Summary

Austin Muro
Blacksox ace, Austin Muro
The Blacksox took the field with ace Austin Muro on the rubber after he pitched a complete game victory the day before. After giving up a leadoff single to Justin, he got the next three outs to get out unscathed. 

Pat Haugen
Angels ace, Pat Haugen

Needing to win this game, the Angels went with their ace, Pat Haugen, to start. He issued a leadoff walk to Anthony Campos, but got the next three batters to start the game off.

The top of the second inning saw Nick Sweeney reaching safely after a throwing error by Muro. That ended up costing the Blacksox when the next batter, Logan, smacked a double to drive in a run. Two batters later, a comebacker to Muro led to a run down as Logan was caught going to 3B and he was eventually tagged out. The Blacksox got out of the inning without any more runs given up. 

The bottom of the second the Sox answered back. After a leadoff strikeout, Nilsen Legernes singled, then stole second base. Two batters later, Colin Princi hit a 2 out double to score Legernes. Haugen struck out the next batter looking to get out of the inning. 

The next three innings had both teams trading outs as a pitcher's duel between Muro and Haugen emerged.

The sixth inning started off with a single by Eddie, a flyout to rightfield a single by Chris Sosa and Sweeney being hit by a pitch to load the bases. Logan then grounded into a fielder's choice that produced a run to make it 2-1 Angels. Muro got out of the 1 out bases loaded jam with a sharp liner to secondbase, followed by a strike out. 

The Blacksox bats stayed quiet in the bottom of the inning and the 7th was scoreless for both sides.

The Angels went down in order in the top of the 8th. In the bottom of the inning, AJ Campos led off with a single and a stolen base. The next two batters both went down on grounders that failed to advance the runner. That brought up Ernie Salinas who was scheduled for a knee replacement the next morning. He took a ball, then whiffed on the next two pitches. With 2 outs and 2 strikes, Salinas roped the ball to centerfield to drive in the tying run. Princi singled on the next pitch, but Sosa made a perfect throw to gun down the runner rounding too far off second base.

Going into the 9th inning, the game was knotted up at 2 apiece. Muro struck out Logan but AJ Campos couldn't corral the ball. He made a throwing error to firstbase that allowed the runner to get on. Haugen singled and Logan took 3B. Haugen advanced on defensive indifference on the next pitch. Oscar grounded out to the shortstop.

That brought Boz up to the plate. On the first pitch from Muro, Boz hit a single to right center that drove in two runs. Those runs would be the deciding ones of the game. Next, Greg hit a single. Justin struck out and Eddie was hit by a pitch to load the bases. With 2 outs Derrick smashed a stand up double to tack on 2 more runs. Sosa would ground out to end the inning. 

In the bottom of the 9th, Haugen was still on the mound to close it out for the Angels. On the first pitch, Hank Muro hit a double as the Blacksox fought to make up the deficit. But Haugen struck out the next batter and got a groundout folling that. With Anthony Campos up, Haugen produced a comebacker but threw it away at first base, allowing a run to score. That wouldn't be enough, though, as Nick Doyon would fly out to Chris Sosa to end the game and force a game 3 to decide the series. The final Score was 6-3 Angels.

This game was one of the better adult baseball games I've been lucky enough to witness. The grit of both pitchers. The determination of the hitters. The excitement of Salinas's tying single in the 8th. And the go ahead and deciding runs driven in by team manager, Boz in the 9th. It was incredible baseball by both teams.

Pitching lines


Muro (L) 9IP 4ER 8H 1BB 9K 2HBP


Haugen (W) 9IP 2ER 7H 1BB 9K 

Game 3 Summary

Game 3 was decided pretty early on. 

An hour and a half after getting the last out in the game 2 victory, the rubber match started with Pat Haugen back on the hill for the Angels. He gave up a two out double to Austin Muro, but otherwise, the Sox went down quietly in the 1st.

Nilsen Legernes
Blacksox game 3 starter, Nilsen Legernes
Starting for the Blacksox was Nilsen Legernes. After retiring the first batter, Derrick and Sosa both singled. That was followed by a fielder's choice attempt at second base that was late allowing the bases to get full. Nick Sweeney got a hit to drive in two runs and that was followed by a single from Haugen to drive in another. Legernes was able to get the next two batters out to stop the bleeding.

In the 2nd inning, Chris Cahill hit a leadoff single and a stolen base, but the next three batters failed to produce and left him stranded. 

The bottom on the second was much like the first inning for Legernes. A single by Mike "Lefty" Massicotte started the inning. Greg was hit by a pitch on the next at bat. Then Eddie got on base on an error. Legernes got Derrick to fly to rightfield for the first out. Next, Chris Sosa blasted a double to left field that scored 2 but the cut off throw from the shortstop got away from the catcher allowing another run to come across and Sosa to advance to 3B. Logan promptly singled Sosa home before the Sox could get the next two batters out. 

The Blacksox threatened to score in the third with 2 walks and two singles but a laser line drive to Eddie at 3B was snagged and he doubled up the runner by tooking the base to preserve the shut out.

Legernes got through the bottom of the third unscathed, though, giving up 2 walks. A line out to shortstop and a throw to double the runner at 1st saved helped the effort. 

The Blacksox finally scored in the 4th inning, but it could have been a much bigger inning if not for an amazing defensive play. Nick Doyon started the inning with a single. Austin Muro then blasted a deep ball to left center field that would have been sure extra bases. But out of no where came leftfielder Lefty sprinting and flying to make a spectacular catch. AJ Campos was able to put it out of Lefty's reach in the next at bat, slamming a deep full count double to score the Sox first run. Haugen got the next two outs to end the rally.

Anthony Campos
Blacksox reliever, Anthony Campos
In the bottom of four, Anthony Campos came in to relieve Legernes. He was able to get a 1-2-3 inning for the Sox. 

In the top of the 5th, Princi hit a one out single then stole 2B. Hank Muro drove him in with a single. That would end up being the Sox last run of the game. After getting the next 2 batters out, Haugen was done for the day. 

The Angels added a run in the fifth inning when Sweeney scored on a sacrifice fly by Oscar. 

Boz Baron
Angels reliever and Manager, Boz Baron

In the sixth, Boz Baron came in to relieve Haugen and made quick work of the Sox. In the bottom of 6, Campos gave up a single to Eddie and a walk, but was able to get out of the inning.

The top of 7 was a quick one for Boz thanks to a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning . In the bottom half, Chris Cahill relieved Campos and got through the inning despite a walk. 

With the eighth inning, the Blacksox went down 1-2-3, aided by a hit stealing, diving catch by an outstretched Sosa running in from center field.

The bottom half saw Cahill get into trouble when he walked three straight batters. He was relieved mid inning by Colin Princi who tried to stop the damage, but by then, it was too late. By the end of the inning, three runs had come across and the score was 11-2.

Boz stayed out to finish the game and try to seal the championship. Matt Jacobs flew out to centerfield. Greg Hadley struck out looking. That brought up Tony Camacho. In what seemed like a fitting end to the series, it was Manager versus Manager with 2 outs in the 9th inning. Camacho swung and missed on the last pitch of the game. 

That strike out completed the Angels victory and made them the 2022 Champions. 

Pitching lines


Haugen (W) 5IP 2ER 7H 1BB 2K

Baron 4IP 0ER 1H 1BB 2K


Legernes (L) 3IP 6ER 6H 2BB 2K 1HBP

Campos 3IP 1ER 2H 2BB 3K

Cahill 1+IP 3ER 0H 4BB 0K

Princi 0ER 1H 1BB 0K

Congratulations to the 2022 SLO MSBL Champion Angels

You can check out all game results from the 2022 season here.

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