PALM SPRINGS, CA — Saturday night’s SCCBL/OCCL All-Star Game wrapped another exciting season for Southern California Collegiate Baseball League action. The league’s 5th season put on a competitive race for the two coveted playoff spots, as three teams finished the regular season separated by just two games.
The POWER ran away with the regular season crown, going 19-1 in league play, but the So Cal Athletics, LA Thrashers, and Azusa Pirates duked it out for the #2 seed. The Athletics won their first four SCCBL games and brought their perfect record to Palm Springs Stadium to face the POWER in Palm Springs’s first league game on June 8th. The Athletics lead 5-4 before the POWER took the lead in the bottom of the sixth and added nine more runs in the seventh and eighth to win 15-5.
That started a string of six straight POWER wins in the SCCBL (11 straight overall) before they were finally downed at home by the Azusa Pirates on June 22. With that win, the Pirates stood in third place at 6-4, just a shade behind the 8-4 Pirates and 6-1 POWER. It was the first game between Azusa and Palm Springs, and after the POWER and Athletics dominated the early going, the Pirates showed they could contend for the SCCBL title.
But the POWER responded. Traveling on the road the next day to Azusa, Palm Springs picked up its first two road wins in a double-header against the Pirates. The POWER snuck past the Pirates in game one despite a two-run home run by Azusa in the eighth inning, falling just short of a come back 4-3. The POWER pulled out a comeback performance in game two, trailing 4-2 after three innings, but finishing the game with eight unanswered scores in innings five through nine.
It was all POWER from there. Those two wins started a POWER record 20-game winning streak, including nine straight in league games, taking complete control of the league.
After the Athletics lost in extra innings on July 10 at Palm Springs Stadium to the POWER, their fourth defeat at the hands of Palm Springs, the tables were set for a thrilling finish in the final two weeks of the SCCBL season. The POWER, Thrashers, Pirates, and Athletics all had good chances to make the playoffs. The POWER stood atop the four teams with a 13-1 mark, followed by the Athletics (11-7), the Thrashers (8-6), and the Pirates (9-9).
A doubleheader loss the next day nearly knocked the Thrashers out of contention, and despite back-to-back wins against the Aces and Athletics (the team they were chasing), they went in to the final weekend eliminated. A July 17th Athletics victory over the Inland Empire Aces clinched the #2 seed for the SCCBL Championship.
Both teams finished their regular season over the next week, tuning up for the postseason. Then, on July 26, the Athletics made the trek out to the desert for game one of the SCCBL Championship Series against the Palm Springs POWER.
The Athletics struck, scoring a run in the top of the first in game one, but the POWER quickly answered with a three-run home run in the second. It was all POWER for the rest of the series, as they won game one 6-1 and game two, on the road, 11-1, to capture the SCCBL crown.
The SCCBL celebrated the fantastic year with a great showing at the SCCBL/OCCL All-Star game at Palm Springs Stadium on July 30. Ryan Garvey (Palm Springs POWER) won the derby with 10 home runs and the SCCBL All-Stars defeated the OCCL All-Stars 3-2 with a walk-off solo home run from Ryan Jones (Palm Springs POWER) in the bottom of the tenth inning.
Thank you to all the players, friends, family, and fans of SCCBL baseball this season, and we will see you all at the ballparks again in 2012!