Pirates are RBRL 2023 World Series Champions with Sweep of the Royals
Royals vs. Pirates 6-13-23 at Moscariello Ballpark
READING- The Pirates take the 2023 World Series with a 7-4 win over the Royals, to secure their first title since 2012 and only their second in League history.
In a series lacking much firepower (GM1 7 hits, GM2 8 hits) it was the Pirates defense, aggressive baserunning and steady pitching that made the difference.
The Pirates only issued 3 walks, had 3 errors and stolen 12 bases in the series, and the Royals walked 10 batters with 6 errors and 6 stolen bases.
Several Pirates were worth consideration for World Series MVP between Brandon LaMontagne, Isaac Robinson, Hayden Mirasolo and Nolan McKinnon but it was LaMontagne that was the choice of the Press table.
Lamontagne played a flawless shortstop while making plays look easy, was on base 3 out 4 appearances with a hit, 2 RBI and 2 steals, and pitched three innings in game one allowing just one unearned run.
The Pirates scored three runs in the first inning when Mirasolo lined a single down the right field line and scored on a Lamontagne grounder.
Later in the inning the Bucs scored two more with the benefit of a walk, an infield error and Owen Prior’s infield ground out.
The Royals were not deterred by the early deficit and put two of their own on the board when Brady Keaveney scored after walking stole second base and came around on a Nathan Vitarisi single.
After Vitarisi stole third base he scored on a sacrifice fly by Dylan Martello but not before Mirasolo threw straight to home plate from center field and made the play at the plate close.
A focused Pirate coaching staff appealed that the runner left early but it was denied.
A nightmarish second inning for the Royals cost them two runs with only Ethan Filipski garnering a hit as the Pirates took advantage of a walk and some sloppy ball handling allowing what turned out to be the winning run to score.
The Royals scored two runs in the second inning when they loaded the bases with one out after singles by Jack Joyce and Grady Ventura and an error.
The Pirates limited the damage after Martello’s walk forced home a run as the next two batters grounded out, one bringing home the Royal’s fourth run.
The Pirates took a little tension out of the air in the sixth scoring two runs without the benefit of a hit, as the Royal’s pitching depth was tested and using their fifth pitcher of the game.
From there the Royals went down quite easily in their last two at-bats.
Isaac Robinson closed out a two inning save for the second straight night facing just six batters and relying on the string infield defense anchored by LaMontagne, with a stellar first base from Frankie Travassos and a nice catch on a tricky line drive to right field by Gio Santunioni.
The Pirates finished the season with a 11-5-1 record with a roster of 16 which was 1 or 2 more than all other teams (which is a disadvantage). They escaped the Phils in the semis 3-2 in a classic, survived a late game meltdown against the Rockies to win 12-10 with the bases loaded and no outs, and then saved their best for the Series with a very consistent and fundamentally sound team effort.
For the Royals (9-7-1) they had a strong pitching rotation but had very little room for error to offset a weaker hitting lineup and in the end too many mistakes doomed them in two games they were in position to win.
This concludes the 2023 RBRL Spring season thanks to all for the commitment and support of Players, coaches, parents and umpires.
PIRATES (7) – Mirasolo 3-1, Robinson 2-0, LaMontagne 1-1, Marchlik 2-0, Prior 2-0, McKinnon 1-0, Filipski 2-2, Santunioni 2-0, Travassos 0-0, Manfredi 2-0, Criscuolo 0-0, Jenkins 2-0, Reid 0-0, Prescott 2-0, Rimkunas 2-0. Totals 25-4
ROYALS (4)-. Keaveney 2-0, Vitarisi 3-1, Ventura 2-1, A Koehler 1-0, Martello 1-0, Fitzgerald 2-1, R Koehler 2-0, Payne 2-0, Lewis 2-0, Macari 2-0, Zelch 1-0, Borges 2-0, Joyce 2-1 Totals 24-4
PIRATES 320 002 0 -7
ROYALS 200 200 0 -4
Marchlik 2IP 2H 2ER 1BB
McKinnon 3IP 2H 0ER 1K
Robinson 2IP 1BB
Martello 1IP 2H 2ER 1BB 1K
Keaveney 2IP 1H 1ER 2BB 1K
Vitarisi 2IP 1H 2BB 1K
Lewis 1IP 1ER 2BB
Fitzgerald 2IP 2K