SoCal’s Eddie Mathews hits grand slam to send I-5 APBA Series to a decisive Game 7
The Southern California All-Stars rallied to force extra innings, then defeated Northern California 7-3 in Game 6 thanks to a grand slam by Eddie Mathews in the top of the 10th to send the I-5 Golden Greats Series to a decisive Game 7.
The I-5 Series between players who grew up in Southern California vs. players who grew up in Northern California is played on the APBA game engine. The 34-man rosters were chosen by fans via latimes.com/sports and sfchronicle.com/sports. More than 100,000 votes were cast. The NorCal team is managed by Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle and the SoCal team by Houston Mitchell of The Times.
I-5 Series Game 6 video
SoCal trailed 3-1 in the ninth, with closer Dennis Eckersley on the mound for NorCal when the comeback began. With one out, Mark McGwire doubled down the first base line. Mathews drew a rare walk against Eckersley, putting runners on first and second. With the Oakland Coliseum crowd anticipating an on-field celebration, SoCal sent up Fred Lynn to hit for Robin Yount. He quieted the crowd by doubling to right, scoring both runners and tying the score. Eckersley was replaced by Tug McGraw, who gave up a single to center. Lynn tried to score, but was thrown out by Joe DiMaggio. Rollie Fingers retired the side in order in the bottom of the ninth.
McGraw stayed on the mound to start the 10th and struck out Lance Parrish, then walked Jackie Robinson, George Brett and Ted Williams to load the bases. That brought Dave Stewart into the game to attempt to escape the jam. McGwire flied out to center, but Robinson did not try to score on DiMaggio’s arm. Mathews then hit a slam to center. The ball was hit so hard that DiMaggio didn’t even move.
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Fingers pitched a perfect 10th to send the series to Game 7, which will be played at Oracle Park on Monday.
DiMaggio was the star of the game for NorCal, making several nice defensive plays in addition to hitting a two-run home run.
SoCal starter Bert Blyleven sprained his right ankle covering first in the second inning and will not be available for Game 7. Bobby Bonds homered for SoCal’s first run.
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