'Another' 1,000th for Deutschman
after Stars walk-off the Force, 2-1,
on Enriguez triple in the 9th
© East County Sports.com
WICHITA, Kan. (8-5-13) — The San Diego Stars may be forced to travel the near impossible road through the losers bracket of the 79th annual National Baseball Congress World Series, but they will eventually return home with a massive smile. BOXSCORE
In a ballgame which began just after midnight on Monday (Aug. 5) morning, ANDRES ENRIQUEZ again came through in the clutch. One strike away from elimination, Enriquez stroked a 2-run, walk-off triple, as the Stars instead eliminated Western Baseball Association rival San Diego Force, 2-1, at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.
On a 3-2 pitch with two outs, Enriquez sent a drive down the right-filed line, barely eluding the diving attempt of the Force outfielder, allowing a pair of pinch-runners in CARLOS OCHOA and STEVEN TAFT to easily score.
"The wind was taking the ball away from the right-fielder, who I think got a piece of the ball with his glove," said Stars owner-manager MICKEY DEUTSCHMAN, who earned his 1,000th career victory for the second straight night. "Once the ball skipped past him, both of our guys easily scored."
"Our guys just raced to Andres for the greatest dogpile I've ever seen," noted Deutschman, who owns an updated career mark of 1,000-551 in 31 seasons as Stars skipper. "And it all occurred right in front of the Force dugout. It couldn't be any sweeter than that."
The victory gives the Stars a final mark of 7-4 against the Force this season. The Stars earned a 3-2 edge in WBA action, a 3-2 margin in regular-season tournament play, plus this NBC victory in a contest which ended just past 3 a.m. CT.
The winning rally saw MICHAEL LANGE reach on an error by the shortstop. Lange stole second base, so was replaced by the speedier Ochoa as the potential game-tying run.
Force starting pitcher Conner Little followed with a pair of strikeouts, giving him eight on the night. But when he walked BRIAN SOS, the Force went to the bullpen just one out short of a complete-game victory for Little.
But after Sos was replaced by Taft, Enriguez delivering by lacing the ball down the line.
"I guess the baseball gods were watching over us," added Deutschman.
Stars starting pitcher LUCAS WHITMORE, who was flown in just to pitch this one NBCWS ballgame, was on a verge of the loss after allowing just a single run in the 3rd inning on a simple groundout for an RBI by Tim Williams until Enriquez' heroics.