The Portage Padres came away one step closer to becoming the 2022 Santa Clara Baseball League (SCBL) champions on Tuesday night.
The Padres ultimately won the July 26th deciding Game 3 contest by a score of 5-2 to take down the defending league champion Carberry Royals and head to the league's final round. However, as the game approached its crunch time in the bottom of the 6th inning, the Padres trailed by a score of 1-0. That was before the bats got hot, and the boys from Portage pulled out five runs, taking a 5-1 lead into the top of 7.
Carberry battled right until the end, scoring a run in the 7th to make it 5-2 and even loading the bases with two outs before the Padres finally recorded the game's last out.
Shane Moffat, manager of the Padres, tipped his hat to Carberry, noting that they made the padres sweat it out until the very end.
Moffat spoke about the bats lighting up at the right time.
"We had some clutch hitting, and good teams come through like that. You know our batting lineup today, 1 through 9, was very, very good, and I thought that we would score a lot more runs than five, but I mean, we got them, and that's all it took. So yeah, I'm proud of the guys here, and we are looking forward to the finals."
Moffat says the team's mindset now switches to the finals, as the Padres await the winner of either the Neepawa Cubs or Plumas Pirates.
"We will maybe have a couple of practices. We don't practice very much. Guys are busy. They're working. But I think this year the guys are a little bit keener. We lost in the final last year, and I don't think we want to do that again."
Game 2 between the Neepawa Cubs and Plumas Pirates goes down tomorrow (July 27th). Plumas leads the series 1 – 0, and if they capture victory tomorrow, they will be the team the Padres will look to take down on route to another league title.