Oct 30 2061: Williston Wins in 5! - by crash_davis on October 25th, 2023
The Pioneers were nearly unbeatable all season compiling a 105-55 regular season record and kept getting stronger taking the World Series in commanding fashion, 4-1.
The pitching was phenomenal in the Series beyond Cy Young candidate Eric Beck who started the first and last game. The Pioneers had a quality start in each of the five games.
Outside of game four, the hitting was just as effective highlighted by a 12-run outburst in one inning in game 2...a two-out rally for the record books.
Jul 16 2061: Williston, West Route East in All Star Game - by crash_davis on September 27th, 2023
19-1! The West All Stars started earlier and didn't let up piling it on the East All Stars in the one-sided affair.
The West pitching staff featured five Pioneers, and the trio of Pino, Beck and Lombardi baffled the best of the East to the tune of 9 innings, 5 hits and one earned run. Relievers Avila and Rosa were also available but not needed. As for the Pioneer bats, they did their share of damage with the quartet of Romero, Villasenor, Rivera and James going 7 for 17 with three walks (Avg .418, OBP .500) and scoring 10 runs with 6 RBIs and a SB on top of it.
The Pioneers were well represented with 9 All Stars, which should come as no surprise with Williston a solid 10 games in first place in the west with a dominating 57-23 record. "It's a great start, but no one will remember the first half if we don't see it through during the second half and win the pennant," Manager Gordon DiMaggio said. "We've had a number of players break out during the first half so it will be on them to continue producing. With La Grande winning at a pretty steady clip, they will be keeping the pressure on us."
Oct 30 2057: Pioneers Slam way to second consecutive World Series Title - by crash_davis on December 21st, 2022
The Williston Pioneers broke out the big sticks in their 4-1 World Series win over the Hampton Isotopes connecting on seven home runs including three grand slams.
In the recent past, it was the pitching that highlighted the Pioneers' championship teams and again, the pitching staff played a big role in getting the team another division title. But this time the offense picked up the slack in a big way, and it all started in Game 1. The staff ace Johnnie "Bagels" Beasley got roughed up early against the Isotopes surrendering 2-run first and second innings creating a 4-0 hole. Enter breakout star candidate Albert DeJesus who responded with the first grand slam of the series to tie it back up. DeJesus would go on to hit a triple and two doubles going 4/5 with 7 RBIs in the game. Hampton took the lead back, but then the Pioneers really came alive after DeJesus tied the game again with a double and Rudy Romero connected on the second grand slam of the game for a 14-7 win.
The Pioneers got a bit more help from the pitching staff in Game 2 as Juan Manuel Saenez gave six solid innings of three-run baseball. The offense this time came from Jesus Villasenor with a 3/4 day and two runs scored and "Big" Dirk Cody who also went 3/4 with two RBIs and a home run pushing the lead to 5-1 before the Isotopes closed the gap to 5-3.
The Isotopes stopped the skid by getting after Lefty Lombardi in Game 3, chasing him after 2 1/3 ineffective innings jumping ahead 6-0. Behind the 3-run HR by Ernesto Ibarra, the Pioneers narrowed the gap to 6-4 and stayed within striking distance until Hilário Viciedo hit a 3-run HR in the 8th to cement the 9-5 win.
Game 4 was an anomaly for the series, the rare pitcher's duel. Villasenor led the bottom of the first with a single, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and worked his way home on consecutive ground outs for a 1-0 lead. After that, both starting pitchers got down to business. But Sonny Perry was masterful, continuing off last year's impressive World Series' performance, throwing 8 innings of one-hit baseball, walking three and striking out five and the Pioneers won the pivotal game 1-0 to go up 3-1 in the series.
Game 5 saw the return of the offensive onslaught as the Pioneers looked to end this in their home stadium. The Pioneers jumped first with two runs in the first inning, but ended on a double play when Ernesto Toledo was caught at home tagging up. A few innings later, when the Isotopes tagged Beasley for four runs in the third, that failed sacrifice fly loomed large. Then entering the sixth inning down 4-3, Pedro Aguilar connected for a grand slam, the third of the Series, to put the Pioneers ahead for good at 7-3. But they didn't take the foot off the pedal as Ryan Buckley added a 3-run home run in the seventh and Toledo hit a solo shot in the eighth for an 11-5 clinching win.
Toledo had a strong Series going 7 for 19 with 3 RBIs and runs. But it was that last at bat that could be a fitting end to the future Hall of Famer, hitting a home run in possibly his final at bat in the playoffs. Barring retirement, the team figures to bring him back to see how much gas is left in the tank, but he will be 35 next season and already saw a bit of drop in his power numbers, though still was among the team leaders offensively with a .284/.379/.507 slash and 27 HRs, 89 RBIs and 93 runs.
May 10 2057: Pioneer win streak halted at 18 - by crash_davis on November 6th, 2022
Williston is off to blistering start to the season with 25-6 record and a large early lead in the standings.
The season began with a 5-game win streak, but that was just an appetizer for the main course. A tough seven game stretch left the Pioneers at 7-5, but then the team reeled off 18 consecutive wins before dropping a 1-0 decision.
"The key is to not let this start a losing streak to pull us back down," Manager Gordon DiMaggio stated. "And while the win streak is over, we still have won all but one series so far this season, and that is a streak we want to continue. Winning series."
During the streak, veteran DH Ernesto Toledo launched his 400th career home run. At 35, it was not clear how much he had left in the tank.
"Everyone is happy for Ernesto, but he is more excited about competing for another championship then personal records," DiMaggio said. "He's not just here for milestones; he's still contributing at a high level and as long as that continues, he will get at bats."
Nov 02 2056: Perry, Pitching Pace Pioneers to World Series Victory - by crash_davis on October 5th, 2022
The Williston Pioneers capped an incredible end of the season run with another World Series title, 4-2 over the Savannah Titans.
After a slow start the season during which the offense struggled throughout, the pitching kept the team within reach until everything clicked resulting in a 35-12 record to clinch the pennant and homefield advantage in the World Series.
Just like the regular season, the Series started off rocky with the offense mustering a single run off six hits against Darren Lance. It was enough for seven innings before the Titans finally broke through against Johnnie "Bagels" Beasley, downing the Pioneers 4-1.
But games two and three saw the offense spark back to life coupled with lights out performances from Sonny Perry and Juan Manuel Saenez in a 12-1 and 9-2 victory. OF Jesus Villasenor, who led the offense throughout the playoffs, was particularly destructive in the game three win going 4 for 5 with a home run and three doubles.
Looking to take a commanding 3-1 lead, Lyle "Lefty" Lombardi struggled in his lone start. After building a 4-1 lead, the Titans rallied for two runs in the sixth and four runs in the eighth for a series saving 7-4 win.
But that was as close as the Titans would get as Beasley and Perry shut down the Titans in games five and six to the tune of 7-1 and 5-1 to win the team's second title in three seasons. Perry was magnificent leading the rotation, which featured four all stars, going 15 2/3 innings with a 1.15 ERA and 18 strikeouts. The offense was much better in the playoffs than the regular season with every player getting at least one hit but Villasenor was the clear standout hitting .429 with two homers, four doubles and eight runs and RBIs.