But Tordena, the champion in 1964 at Springfield, sneaked into the finals from the losers' bracket, winning two games by one run. Gary Ryerson, a polio victim who has to wear a brace on one leg, struck out 24 batters in a 13-inning 4-3 victory over Des Moines. First Baseman Jeff Osborn, who will room with Ryerson at Arizona State this fall, knocked in the winning run. Tordena was used to coming back. It had not even won its own league title in California, but had fought back to gain the Pacific Southwest regional title.
Since Toledo was unbeaten, Tordena had to beat it twice in a row for the championship. The first game, Wednesday night, was a ridiculous seesaw. Tordena took and lost the lead three times and trailed 12-11 in the bottom of the seventh (Connie Mackers play only seven innings). The first two batters went out, but then two singles and a hit batter loaded the bases and Jeff Osborn doubled in two runs to win the game. The blooper fell just between the right fielder and second baseman. Thursday night's game was a 10-0 rout, with Tordena's Dave McCormick throwing a no-hitter, and the East was thwarted again.
Following the tears and the cheers, Tordena got the big trophy in ceremonies at home plate, but the sad Toledo delegation in the stands bravely continued its postgame custom of singing a chauvinistic song, We're Strong for Toledo. The song was listened to sympathetically by the polite people of Farmington—Oil Capital of the San Juan Basin, Energy Capital of the Southwest, headquarters for amateur baseball and hospitality capital of the world.