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Worst All-Time Twins Tournament, Nolasco Round, Day 1: Not a broken ladder

Nor a belly-itcher.

Minnesota Twins v Baltimore Orioles
Hitting a baseball is like playing first base: it’s incredibly hard.
Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

The bracket has reached the two best-of-seven rounds as the field narrows to four.

Selig Sectional (played)

(9) 1956 Senators 4
(5) 1981 Twins 1
‘81 trails 1-0

A semifinal-opening pitcher’s duel was decided by men on base at the time a baseball was hit a long way.

Lou Berberet’s three-run home run provided more damage than Rob Wilfong’s solo shot, and Camilo Pascual outdueled Brad Havens en route to a 4-1 victory for ‘56.

Pascual pitched eight three-hit innings, holding ‘81 without a runner until Wilfong’s fourth-inning home run.

But that home run came with ‘82 already down 3-0. In the top of the second, Havens plunked Jim Lemon and allowed a single to Clint Courtney before Berberet lined a fastball just inside the right field foul pole for an Earl Weaver special.

Havens allowed just two more hits and a walk in his six total innings of work, but his offense was powerless against Pascual, who dominated ‘81 bats.

‘56 added an insurance run off Jack O’Connor in the eighth on three one-out singles, but even it proved unnecessary. Pascual retired ‘81 in order in the bottom of the eighth before Bob Chakales worked around an inning-opening single and error to pitch a scoreless ninth.

Manfred Regional

(10) 1982 Twins 3
(6) 1948 Senators 2
‘48 trails 1-0

Despite 7.2 strong innings from Ray Scarborough, two errant pitches resulted in a loss.

Early home runs by Tom Brunansky and Ron Washington gave ‘82 a 3-0 lead and the bullpen hung on for a 3-2 series-opening win.

‘82 managed just five hits off Scarborough, but the first three resulted in their three runs. Brunansky opened the scoring in the second with a solo homer, and to lead off the third, Gary Gaetti singled before Ron Washington sent the next pitch over the wall.

It took several innings, but ‘48’s offense finally strung together hits off Bobby Castillo in the fourth, striking four singles to push a run across. But with the bases loaded and one out, Castillo struck out Junior Wooten and induced a groundout from Al Evans to escape the inning.

Al Kozar’s sixth-inning RBI double, one of his four hits of the game, brought ‘48 to within one, but again Castillo stranded a pair in scoring position, getting Wooten to ground out and striking out Evans.

Five ‘82 relievers combined to shut out ‘48 over the final three innings, Jack O’Connor stranding a pair in the eighth in between 1-2-3 frames in the seventh and ninth.

Park Round, Final Day | Nolasco Round, Day 1 | Nolasco Round, Day 2