Taylor Farms California A’s are 2009 Best of West Champions

In what might be the oddest ending to a tournament that I can recall in recent memory, Taylor Farms California Athletics were declared the winners of the 2009 Best of the West tournament Sunday in Santa Barbara, when the other three members of the “Final Four” could not stay for the championship game at 3pm, as they had to catch flights home.

Pueblo Colorado defeated Mexicali, 3-0 in a quarterfinal after earning the first round bye, but had to catch flights home, and could not stay to play Taylor Farms, in a scheduled 1:15pm slated semi-final.

Meanwhile, in the other bracket, Portland CR Rockers and Innovative Communications squared off in the other semi-final, with the winner to play Taylor Farms, who advanced to the championnship game by virtue of the forfeit win over Pueblo.

It got worse, though, when Portland CR Rockers (from Oregon) and Innovative Communications (from Utah) also had to catch flights home. They stayed to play their semi-final matchup (underway as we write this post), but Taylor Farms has already been crowned the 2009 Best of the West champion, with the second forfeit win of the day. Taylor Farms was 2-1 on Saturday and entered Sunday as the #3 seed out of 15 teams. They won their first two single elimination playoff games, a 4-0 win over the Santa Barbara Young Bucks in an 8am game, and a 5-0 win over the Bakersfield Silverhawks in an 11:30am quarterfinal.

Marcus Tan,
the shortstop for Taylor Farms California Athletics (and newest member of Team USA), earned Most Valuable Player honors, while Jeremy Manley captured the Most Valuable Pitcher trophy. Manley had 48 strikeouts in 3 games on Saturday, and surrendered but one run all day yesterday. He capped that performance with another shutout win over Mexicali, his second shutout win over them in as many days.

We’ll catch up the details on the early games, but that’s a wrap from Santa Barbara, other than the outcome of the Portland v. Innovative semi-final game.

Update: Portland CR Rockers beat Innovative Communications of Utah in the tournament’s final game, 9-2 to determine the runner-up.

Taylor Farms California Athletics are the 2009 Best of the West champions, while Portland CR Rockers second and Innovative Communications third. The winning pitcher was Randy Frame, losing pitcher Lee Cose.

Odd ending, a little disappointing for fans looking forward to the championship game.

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