The Athletics from the American League are the 2016 city champions after defeating the Diamondbacks from the Nationals side on Monday in a 6-4 final.
But it wasn't easy to get to this point for the American Majors champs who overcame an eight-run deficit in the American championship game to win it in a walk-off.
“In our league title game we came back from being down eight runs and scored nine to win it in walk off and it was unbelievable,” said A's head coach Kirk Johnson. “So we expected to come in and battle and we knew we had to play well overall, especially since they didn't have their ace.”
The A's didn't dawdle as Griffen Sotomayor, who was also the starting pitcher, launched a two-run homer over the left field wall on the third pitch to make it 2-0.
Ward Doss-Sitkin of the D-Backs opened the game for his team after hitting an RBI single to make it 2-1.
Just before the inning ended, the D-Backs tied the game after walking in the second run but that was all the damage done.
“I thought they did well throughout the game, pitching was awesome, their defense was great with some outstanding pop flies and they held them from going off too much,” said D-Backs head coach Abel Medina. “Overall we did well, not everyone was hitting, but overall it was pretty good.”
The A's pulled away again in the bottom of the third after scoring two runs that ended with a walk scoring to take a two-run lead.
Sotomayor was subbed out in the fourth inning after 3 2 /3 innings and Matt Leonesio came in to finish the game.
Shane Reid of the A's followed up with an RBI double in the fourth to extend the lead to 5-2 heading into the fifth.
“We had to put the ball in play and hold them because we knew they could hit as well,” said Johnson. “So we had to be careful. We expected to win, but it wasn't like the other night with a walk off. They are relieved because there were a lot of people here, there were nerves but that was minimal.”
Under the lights and with a packed house and the outfield walls filled with spectators, the A's kept it easy but the D-Backs battled and scored two runs in the top of the fifth to cut the lead to 5-4.
“They were a little nervous but I told them how happy I was of them getting this far and very proud of them and the kids battled,” said Medina. “This was my first time managing a team and it's very exciting to go like we did our first time out especially since the group of kids are so talented.”
The A's capped it off with a run in the fifth before Leonesio went three up and three down in the sixth to close it out.
“I know we had a great year, losing three to the same team but winning in playoffs and coming here, yeah they are upset but they are upbeat kids and they are confident moving on,” said Medina about playing in the Tournament of Champions.
Next for both sides will be the Tournament of Champions which is scheduled to take place at Julien from Saturday through Thursday at times yet to be determined.