Mavericks League, Sports

Senators win Mavericks League championship

The Senators receive the 2022 Mavericks League Championship trophy following their win against the Mavericks on Sept. 3. (JOSHUA MANES/Keizertimes)

They were the league’s top offense, and surrendered the second least runs in the regular season. And while their season was up and down, the Senators finished the 2022 Mavericks League season on top.

The 9-2 win against the Mavericks in the championship game on Saturday, Sept. 3, capped off an amazing run through the final month of the season. The Senators went 11-3 in August, averaging more than 10 runs per game in that time, and moved from last place to first — giving them the regular season pennant and an automatic berth in Saturday’s game.

And on Saturday, their bats were just as hot as they had been to close out the season, a season where they scored 62 more runs than the next highest total, and were the only team to finish with a positive run differential.

Isaiah Dominguez had three RBIs for the Senators, going 3-for-4 from the ninth spot in the order. Designated hitter Willie Barcena was 2-for-3 with two RBIs. 

But it was a costly two-run error by Mavericks second baseman Rodny Rodriguez that got the scoring for the Senators started in the bottom of the first on a two-out, bases loaded ground ball. 

The Senators led from that point on. The Mavericks challenged, getting as close as 3-2 in the fifth inning before the Senators put up six runs in the sixth.

The fifth inning was the Mavericks best chance at getting into the ball game. They loaded the bases with no outs, but only scored one on a Rodriguez double play. 

The fifth inning was also the first with a hit for the Mavericks. Senators starter Cole Nelson went 3.2 innings without allowing a hit, though he did allow one run. 

Despite not allowing a hit, Senators manager Dave Wong hada short lease with Nelson, bringing Sam Wells the first time the Mavericks threatened in the fourth inning. 

The 2022 championship and regular season pennant are a big turnaround for a Senators team that won just nine games last season, though Wong feels that at the end of 2021 they were playing the best baseball. 

“At the end of last year, I thought we were the best team on the field,” Wong said. “We had the Campesinos down 3-1 late in the game last year, we just didn’t close. I kind of mismanaged the bullpen, and that still haunts me to this day.”

Wong can now maybe exercise some of those demons from last season, and he gets to do it alongside some of the guys that were there with him.

The Senators had 11 players on the roster this season that were with them in 2021. There were six position players including 2022 league home run league Angeddy Almanzar, Blayze Arcano, Garrett Kueber, Matt Loken, Kai Takahashi Ho and Edgar Vela, as well as five pitchers, AJ Burke, Matt Dunaway, Nathan Gilman, Dustin Hamilton and Tyler Jackson. 

While none of the pitchers appeared on Saturday, the five position players that were available played, all except for Almanzar. 

“I’m glad some of those guys came back, got a chance to win it all, and make them feel better” Wong said.