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Worst All-Time Twins Tournament, Nolasco Round, Day 5: Aces in spades

Four high-level starting performances; only two could emerge victorious.

Washington Senators v Chicago White Sox
Aces in spades always lift the hearts of their clubs.
Photo by: Diamond Images/Getty Images

Selig Sectional (played)

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

While Brad Havens pitched well for ‘81 in his five-plus innings of work, he was no match for Camilo Pascual.

Pascual allowed just five hits over seven innings as he and Bud Byerly combined to shut out ‘81 5-0 and send them into the finals.

While Pascual kept his shutout going, Havens lost his in the sixth. Until that inning, he had allowed only four hits and walked three.

But Pete Runnels opened the sixth with a second-pitch single, Jim Lemon’s subsequent double putting men on second and third with nobody out. Havens worked Courtney to a 1-2 count before he singled in Runnels, and Lou Berberet singled home Lemon on the next pitch.

With ‘56 threatening to break the game open, ‘81 summoned Bob Veselic from the bullpen, and Veselic concluded the inning masterfully, striking out three men (around one walk) to preserve the two-run deficit.

As Veselic had thrown 19 pitches, Darrell Jackson relieved him to open the seventh, and Jackson immediately fell into trouble. Like the previous inning, a single (by Roy Sievers) and double (by Runnels) put two men in scoring position with no outs; unlike the previous inning, Jackson retired the next two batters. But after he walked Lou Berberet, closer Doug Corbett trotted out of the bullpen to finish the inning. In constrast to Veselic’s inherited runner, those Corbett came in with were apparently willed to score, as Herb Plews lined a double down the first-base line that brought all three around the bases.

Byerly relieved Pascual to open the eighth and concluded the game with two solid innings, allowing a single in each but preventing anyone from coming around the bases. When Kent Hrbek’s fly settled into the glove of Sievers in left, ‘56’s performance in the tournament was at last finished, leaving ‘81 with one last round of baseball.

Series LVP

Darrell Jackson, ‘81 RP
4 G, 4.0 IP, 6 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 5 BB, 4 K, 20.25 ERA

Manfred Regional

(6) 1948 Senators 1
(10) 1982 Twins 3
‘48 loses 4-1

In low-scoring games, the last team to score often wins. This game was no exception.

After ‘48 took a fourth-inning lead, ‘82 added three runs over the next two innings to take what proved to be a winning 3-1 margin, making their way out of the bracket.

Starters Bobby Castillo and Ray Scarborough lasted six innings, each putting forth a quality start. Scarborough, however, allowed more hits (eight to six) and runs (three to one), the latter proving to be the difference.

‘48 had more chances than their one run shows, as they put man after man on base in the fourth and fifth. A double and single put men on the corners with one out in the fourth, and Gil Coan’s fly ball brought home the first run of the game. Another single and walk loaded the bases, but Castillo induced a groundout from Al Evans to keep the deficit at one.

That deficit nearly increased in the fifth. With Mickey Vernon on first and two outs, Bud Stewart doubled him over to third, again putting men in scoring position. But Eddie Yost worked the count to 2-2 before fouling out to Kent Hrbek at first.

Instead, that inning saw ‘82 flip the lead. After a popout, Randy Johnson singled and John Castino walked to put two on. Gary Gaetti flew out, but Ron Washington and Bobby Mitchell followed with RBI singles to put ‘82 ahead.

An inning later, Johnson added to the lead, singling home Tom Brunansky.

Four ‘82 relievers combined to face just 10 batters over the last three frames. Although ‘48 tallied four hits in that time, they grounded into a double play in each inning, Evans’ 6-4-3 bouncer ending the game, the series, and the Nolasco Round.

Series LVP

Al Evans, ‘48 C
2-15, 2 1B, 6 K, 12 LOB, .133/.133/.133

Here are your two finalists. Next article, you’ll properly meet them.

Nolasco Round, Day 4 | Nolasco Round, Day 5 | Nishioka Round, Preview