Dave Larson’s Taz Devils (49-32) emerged as the winner the 2017 OAPBA World Series, edging Jonathan Stilwell’s Otters (45-36) in a hard-fought World Series to give the Devils the 2017 OAPBA championship. The teams were evenly matched, with two games going into extra innings and the Devils scoring 18 runs to the Otters 17 runs.
After the teams split the first four games, the Devils won Game Six 5-4 in a 10-inning thriller and lefty Rich Hill, acquired by the Devils in midseason from the Road Warriors, blanked the Otters 3-0 on one hit in the finale to clinch the Devils victory in the Series. The 2017 championship was the sixth league championship for Larson and his first title since 2004.
The Otters Freddie Freeman, the OAPBA MVP for 2017, led all hitters with six hits in the Series. Devils C Buster Posey had five hits, including the game-winner in the opener and a key single to tie Game Five. Posey and lefty Rich Hill, who won the final game of the Series, were named Series MVPs.
The Devils won the league’s second half by three games. The Otters had won the first half by burying the Devils 15-2 in a one-game playoff after the two teams had tied with identical records after the end of regulation play in the first half.
For the Otters, it was their second appearance in the OAPBA Series in the past three seasons. Walt Taylor’s Whatevers were the defending league champions, winning both halves in 2016, but falling to last place in 2017 while undergoing a rebuilding year.