Kings win Langsdorf League title over Sheboygan
August 11, 2012
The Kenosha Kings defeat the Sheboygan A's in game three of the Langsdorf League championship to take the title.
(Two Wisconsin State League teams, the Kenosha Kings and Sheboygan A’s, are battling for the Langsdorf Leauge of Southeastern Wisconsin championship. This is not part of the Wisconsin State League schedule or standings.)
Some teams in the Langsdorf League are more talented, younger, more highly-pedigreed and might even look more polished.
But none of them have what the Kenosha Kings do.
Displaying all the traits that have made them the league’s dominant force — continuity, commitment, execution, hard work — and a dominating pitching performance from stalwart Randy Johnson, the Kings dispatched the Sheboygan A’s, 3-0, Friday at Simmons Field to capture their sixth consecutive Langsdorf League title.
It was the deciding game in the best-of-three series, with the teams trading 11-inning wins in the first two.
“It’s about not just execution on the field, but really it’s about commitment,” Kings coach Tim Pulizzano said of his team’s dynastic run. “You see so many of these teams that come out and they kick the snot out of you for one game. But the next game, they’ve got half their team there. These guys show up every day, and we’ve matured that way.”
Johnson is the perfect example of that, having been around for all of the Kings’ championship run.
There was no better choice to hand the ball to on Friday, and Johnson delivered by striking out 10 and walking none in a performance that looked nearly effortless. Combined with the strong pitching of Sheboygan’s Taylor Schwarz, the game was completed in a snappy 1 hour, 49 minutes.
Johnson, named the championship series MVP, struck out 14 in the Kings’ Game 1 victory over the A’s.
“He’s here between starts working,” Pulizzano said. “He’s running the stairs in the stadium, he’s running lines, he’s running poles. Everything he’s gotten better (at) through the years is because of the work he’s put in.
“So no one else deserved the ball (Friday).”
Johnson stranded lead-off doubles in both the second and fourth innings, proceeding to retire 12 straight after the fourth-inning double. He allowed just one single after that, repeatedly getting ahead with his fastball to set up hitters for his off-speed stuff.
“I was able to get in a good groove,” Johnson said. “My catcher (older brother Billy Johnson) was calling a great game, and the people behind me were making the plays when they needed to make the plays.”
The Kings didn’t manage a hit off Schwarz until Tyler Eickmeyer’s bunt single with two outs in the bottom of the third. J.T. Schneider followed with a base hit, then Billy Johnson delivered them both home with a double to the gap in right-center.
The Kings added a run in the seventh when Joe Ferro ripped a one-out triple and scored on Eickmeyer’s sacrifice fly to left.
It took awhile to get this game underway. The A’s extended the series with a win on Aug. 2, and Game 3 was originally scheduled for Saturday before being rained out.
Sheboygan was then unavailable to play again until Thursday because of its participation in the Northeastern Wisconsin Baseball League playoffs. Thursday’s soaking rains forced the game back yet again, but the Kings finally got their chance at another title and delivered.
“It means a lot to us,” Randy Johnson said. “We come out here, and we play hard every day. Our goal is just to win this championship every year.”
Story and photo by: The Kenosha News
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