The
NEVADA DUSTERS
The Story of a
Major League
Baseball Franchise
September 1963
Dust-up with the Dodgers (September 2-4)
The Dusters started September off with their final tilt against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Game 1 turned out to be a pitcher's duel between Sandy Koufax and Joe Horlen. Through five innings each team had gotten exactly one hit. "I figured by then that it was going to boil down to who made the first mistake," said Ben Naylor. The Dusters made their mistake in the 7th. Maury Wills led off with a double and reached third when Frank "Hondo" Howard flied out to right. Then Bill Skowron hit one back to Horlen, who overshot Donn Clendenon at first, and Wills scored on the error. But the Dusters tied it up in their half of the 7th as Jim Fregosi tripled down the right field line and scored on a Johnny Roseboro looping single into center. The game remained tied at 1 through nine. In the 10th Hal Reniff took the mound and promptly gave up a single to Skowron. Del Crandall bunted Skowron to second, and then Naylor had Reniff issue a pass to Billy Klaus. Jim Gilliam bunted the runners to second and third, and Naylor had Reniff walk Daryl Spencer, loading the bases. Pinch hitting for Maury Wills, Manny Mota hit a two-run single through the hole, and then Spencer scored on a throwing error by Fregosi to make it 4-1 Los Angeles. Naylor conceded that his was the biggest mistake of all. "I should've let Hal pitch to Klaus with two outs, and if not to him, then certainly to Spencer," who was batting .235 on the year.
Al Downing started Game 2 for the Dusters, and retired the first ten Dodgers he faced. Meanwhile, Nevada jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the 2nd when Jim Fregosi clubbed a two-run homer to center off Johnny Podres. Los Angeles cut the deficit in half in the 4th when Willie Davis doubled, stole third, and scored on a Tommy Davis fly ball. The Dodgers put two men on with no outs in the 5th, but couldn't reach the pay station. In the 6th they had two men on with one out, but Downing wouldn't give in. "They just couldn't rattle him," remarked Conn Hudson after the game, "which just goes to show how much Al has matured this season." In the Dusters 7th Lee Maye opened with a walk, moved to second on a Billy Williams grounder, and scored on a Jerry Adair three-sacker. Adair scored when Jim Fregosi hit a towering fly ball to center and it was 4-1 Nevada. That was all for Podres, but the Dodgers weren't quite done. Bill Dailey gave up back-to-back solo homers to Willie Davis and Tommy Davis in the Los Angeles 8th and just like that it was a one-run game. But Hal Reniff, still smarting from his loss in Game 1, shut down the Dodgers in the 9th for his 48th save. Downing (7.0 ip, 4 h, 2 bb, 1 r, 1 er, 5 k) improved his record to 11-3. Jim Fregosi ended up 2-for-2 with three RBIs and his sixth homer of the year.
In Game 3 the Dusters drew first blood as Clete Boyer led off the Nevada 3rd with a double and scored when Albie Pearson hit a two-out single up the middle. That lead, however, didn't last long. Don Hoak doubled in two runs in the Dodgers 4th. The Dusters fought back in their half of the 4th as Jerry Adair hit an RBI double and catcher J.C. Martin had a two-run single, making it 4-2 Nevada. The Dodgers rallied in the 7th, scoring a run on two singles and a walk at the expense of starter Dave McNally; then reliever Claude Raymond gave up a two-run double to Tommy Davis. Frank Howard followed with a two-run homer and Los Angeles enjoyed a 7-4 lead. The Dusters collected four hits and a walk in the bottom of the 8th but had only a single run to show for it -- a run the Dodgers got back in the 9th for an 8-5 victory. Raymond (6-4) took the loss while McNally was charged with five runs in 6.2 innings of work. The Dusters had fourteen hits to ten for the Dodgers, with Lee Maye going 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs, Billy Williams 4-for-5 with a run scored, and Boyer 3-for-4 with a run scored. It was the first series loss for the Dusters in a month, and some suggested that the Dusters bullpen was not as invincible as it had once appeared to be.
Game 1
R
H
E
Dodgers (LAD)
4
5
0
Dusters (NEV)
1
6
2
Game 2
Dodgers (LAD)
3
9
0
Dusters (NEV)
4
6
0
Game 3
Dodgers (LAD)
8
10
0
Dusters (NEV)
5
14
0
Dusters record: 92-40

 Melee with the Mets. (September 7-9)
Having secured his twentieth win in his previous outing, Nevada ace Steve Barber pitched a gem in the first game of the series with the Mets -- allowing just one hit in nine innings. "It was the best pitching performance I've seen all year -- from anybody," said Conn Hudson. To go along with their solitary hit the Mets drew just one walk for a total of 26 at-bats. In contrast, the Dusters collected fifteen hits, including homers by Billy Williams -- his 19th -- and Johnny Roseboro -- his 14th -- on the way to a 10-0 romp. In addition, Donn Clendenon, Jim Fregosi, Albie Pearson and Lee Maye all hit two-baggers while Jerry Adair registered his eighth triple of the season. Pearson was 3-for-5, Williams 2-for-3 with two walks, a pair of runs and two RBIs, and Fregosi was 3-for-4 with a walk and a run scored. Even Steve Barber contributed, going 2-for-4 with a walk. As for the New York Mets, Jay Hook (5-15) took the loss while Jim Hickman got the one hit.
Game 2 was as different from Game 1 as night is from day. Stung by the previous day's humiliating loss, the Mets came out swinging, and scored two runs in the opening frame, as Jim Hickman scalded an RBI triple into right and then scored when Duke Snider hit a two-bagger down the third base line past a diving Clete Boyer. New York added two more in the 4th, helped along by Johnny Roseboro, who allowed a passed ball, and a two-out error by Jim Fregosi that allowed the first run to score. Meanwhile, against Mets starter Galen Cisco, the Dusters managed just two hits and left five men stranded in the first three innings. In the 4th, though, Cisco walked the first two batters, setting the stage for back-to-back RBI singles by Albie Pearson and Donn Clendenon that made it a 4-2 ballgame. Jim Brewer took the hill for Nevada in the 5th, and was victimized by Sammy Taylor, who cranked a two-run homer over the right field fence. Shaken, Brewer walked three consecutive batters, and Jim Hickman singled in a run to make it 7-2. The Dusters were down, but not out -- in the bottom of the 6th Johnny Roseboro hit his 15th homer of the year, a two-run shot over the right field fence. Then Lee Maye singled, Pearson was hit by a Ken Mackenzie pitch, and Donn Clendenon walked to juice the bases. Facing Gary Kolb, Mackenzie walked in a run before Billy Williams hit a line drive single to center that scored two more runs, and when all was said and done the Dusters had five runs on three hits and had tied the game. It remained tied until the 10th, when Dusters reliever Dwight Siebler, facing a bases loaded crisis of his own, walked in a run. In the bottom of the 10th Mets reliever Don Rowe walked Billy Williams before serving up a home-run ball to Jim Fregosi, and Nevada had come from behind to win, 9-8. Clendenon went 3-for-5 with a walk, a run and an RBI, while Williams was 1-for-3 with three walks, a run scored, and a pair of ribbies.
The Amazin' Mets got their revenge in Game 3. The Dusters -- with Ben Naylor resting Billy Williams, Albie Pearson and Johnny Roseboro -- took a two-run lead in the 4th, as George Banks walked and then scored on Jerry Adair's second triple of the series (and his 9th for the year). Adair scored, too, as Rico Carty, called up from AAA Bakersfield for his first major league start, flied out to right. The Mets evened it up in the top of the 5th; with the bases loaded, Nevada starter Al Downing hit Rod Kanehl with a pitch, and a Joe Gaines grounder scored another run. The game remained knotted at 2 until the 7th, which Mets shortstop Al Moran opened by reaching on a fielding error committed by Carty. Moran scored on a double by former Duster Doug Camilli. A few minutes later Marv Throneberry hit a two-run double into the right field gap, and New York led 5-2. Pinch hitter Albie Pearson narrowed the gap with a solo home run in the 8th off Mets reliever Tracy Stallard. Hal Reniff took the mound for Nevada in the 9th and had a rough outing, as two more Nevada errors, combined with two New York hits, gave the Mets a three-run inning. Clete Boyer's solo homer in the bottom of the 9th made it 8-4 but Ken Mackenzie retired the next three Duster batters. Downing (11-4) took the loss; he was charged with five runs, but only two of them were earned. Disgusted with the three errors committed by his squad, Naylor told reporters his boys "looked like they were sleepwalking out there."
Game 1
R
H
E
Mets (NYM)
0
1
0
Dusters (NEV)
10
15
0
Game 2
Mets (NYM)
8
12
1
Dusters (NEV)
9
10
1
Game 3
Mets (NYM)
8
10
1
Dusters (NEV)
4
7
3
Dusters record: 94-41

 The Pirates come calling. (September 10-12)  
The Pittsburgh Pirates were next to come calling on the long home stand, and they struck first in Game 1 when Lou Klimchock was hit by a Dave McNally pitch in the 2nd before scoring on a Dick Schofield single. The Dusters evened things in their half of the inning, but Pittsburgh left fielder Ted Savage led off the 3rd with a solo homer. With two men on in the Dusters 4th, Savage lost an Albie Pearson fly ball in the bright Nevada afternoon sun and Clete Boyer scored from second to tie the game again. The Dusters took the lead in the 5th when Jim Fregosi hit his eighth homer of the year, a solo shot. Then three singles -- Jerry Adair, Johnny Roseboro, and pinch hitter Vic Power -- added another run to make it 4-2 Nevada. Reliever Claude Raymond struggled in the 8th as Roberto Clemente's triple, Bill Mazeroski's two-bagger, and a Johnny Logan single added up to three runs. But pinch hitter George Banks doubled in Roseboro in the Nevada 8th and for the third time the game was tied. Jim Brewer and Bob Duliba held the Bucs in check through the 10th. Lee Maye led off the Dusters 11th and scored on an Adair single to give Nevada the 6-5 victory. Duliba (6-3) got the win. The bottom half of the batting order racked up most of the hits -- Fregosi went 2-for-5 with two runs and a RBI, Adair was 3-for-6 with a run scored and a ribbie, Boyer was 2-for-5 with a run, and Roseboro was 3-for-5 with a run and a RBI.
Nearly 29,000 fans were on hand at Horizon Field for Game 2, with Nevada drawing first blood thanks to a Billy Williams RBI single in the 1st. The Pirates answered with Bill Mazeroski's solo blast over the right field fence in the bottom of the inning. In the 2nd Albie Pearson's three-run homer to center made it 4-1 Dusters, and Bucs starter Joe Gibbon was done, replaced by Vern Law. Law didn't fare much better, however. Williams homered off him in the 4th for three RBIs, stretching the Nevada lead to 7-1. Meanwhile, Dusters starter Pete Richert pitched relentlessly well, allowing the opposition just one more run through six innings of work. His relief, Bob Duliba, was victimized in the 7th by Jim Pagliaroni, who clubbed his own three-run homer over the center field fence, closing the deficit to 7-5. The Pirates threatened in the 9th with a Ted Savage double and an erro committed by Nevada third-sacker Clete Boyer; with two men on and only one out, closer Hal Reniff retired Bill Virdon and Roberto Clemente to end the inning. Claude Raymond secured the win -- and his second save -- in the 9th. Richert improved his record to 9-3. Williams was 2-for-4 with a run and four RBIs, improving his batting average to a league-leading .333.
Already wrestling with decisions about who to keep on the payroll in 1964, Conn Hudson had asked skipper Nails Naylor to give bench players like Vic Power, Gary Kolb and Julio Gotay as much playing time as possible in September. Naylor often made a substitution or two in the batting order for the third game of a series, especially if the Dusters had won the first two contests. So, for the final game with the Pirates, he put Kolb in right field and Gotay at short. Losing the offensive production of Lee Maye and Jim Fregosi seemed acceptable with Steve Barber on the mound. Seeking his 22nd win of the season, Barber pitched his usual fine game, giving up three runs on three hits in eight innings while walking five and fanning six. Two of those walks were issued to Roberto Clemente and Joe Torre to start off the Pittsburgh 2nd, and Barber paid the price a few minutes later when Dick Schofield's two-bagger plated both of the baserunners ahead of him. Trailing 2-1, the Dusters loaded the bases in the 2nd, just as they had in the 1st. But, just as had happened in the 1st, they came away with just one run. The Pirates took back the lead when Bill Virdon led off the Pittsburgh 7th with a triple and scored on a Johnny Logan fly out. Kolb opened the Dusters 7th with a three-bagger of his own; Jerry Adair drew an intentional walk, and Clete Boyer's single scored them both. Nevada held on to win 4-3, sweeping the Pirates. Hal Reniff recorded his 49th save and Barber got his 22nd win -- the most by a pitcher in either league -- and the pundits gave him the inside track for the Cy Young Award.
Game 1
R
H
E
Pirates (PIT)
5
8
1
Dusters (NEV)
6
15
1
Game 2
Pirates (PIT)
5
14
3
Dusters (NEV)
7
8
1
Game 3
Pirates (PIT)
3
3
1
Dusters (NEV)
4
10
1
Dusters record: 97-41

 Last tilt with the Giants (September 13-15)
The San Francisco Giants were next on the list for the Dusters' mid-month home stand, and though he walked six batters, Giants starter Juan Marichal kept the Nevada batters hitless during his seven innings on the mound. The Dusters didn't lack for scoring opportunities, putting eleven baserunners on and stealing three bases, but it was all to no avail. Fortunately for Nevada, Joe Horlen brought his "A" game, too, allowing no runs and only three hits in eight innings of work. From the 4th through the 7th innings only one San Francisco batter -- shortstop Jose Pagan -- reached base, and he was quickly picked off. In the Giants 8th Marichal was pulled for a pinch hitter, Harvey Kuenn, who reached second with two outs. After a mound conference with catcher J.C. Martin and Horlen, Ben Naylor had an intentional walk issued to Felipe Alou to get to Orlando Cepeda, who flied out to end the inning. (Afterward, Nails admitted that he'd let Martin, who believed Alou was seeing Horlen's pitches better than Cepeda, talk him into walking Alou.) In the Nevada half of that inning George Banks, pinch hitting for Horlen, hit reliever Bobby Bolin for an RBI double. Then Rico Carty scored on an Albie Pearson sac buntm, a perfectly executed suicide squeeze,  to make it 2-0 Dusters. Willie McCovey led off the San Francisco 9th with a double off closer Hal Reniff and scored when Ed Bailey reached first on a Jim Fregosi error (the shortstop's second of the day). With two men on, Reniff struck out Jim Davenport to end the game and collect his 50th save of the season, putting him well ahead of the pack as league leader in that category. Horlen's record improved to 11-2.
In Game 2 the Giants took a 1-0 lead in the 2nd inning when Willie McCovey walked, Tom Haller singled, and Nevada starter Al Downing hit Steve Boros with an errant pitch to load the bases for Jose Pagan, whose grounder scored the run. But the Dusters answered back in their half of the 2nd. Vic Power, starting at second base for Jerry Adair, led off with a double and Jim Fregosi singled. Next up was George Banks, who reached first on an error charged to Boros, and Power scored. Then Fregosi tagged up and went home on a Rico Carty sac fly to right, beating a strong throw by Felipe Alou, and Nevada was up 2-1. In the 4th the Dusters traumatized Giants starter Jack Sanford, collecting five runs on three hits. Sanford walked three batters in the frame, and a throwing error by shortstop Pagan -- what should have been an easy out of Downing at second -- allowed two runs to score. Lee Maye hit an RBI double and Power got two ribbies with a single that scurried down the right field line. The Giants got one run back in the 5th, which Willie Mays opened with a triple that put him in position to score on an Orlando Cepeda single to left. Yet another Giants error -- this one committed by catcher Tom Haller -- resulted in another Duster run in the 5th to make it 8-2 Nevada. Thanks to Downing (7.0 ip, 8 h, 2 bb, 2 r, 2 er, 5 k) and reliever Bob Duliba, who allowed just one hit in two innings, San Francisco failed to mount another threat, and Nevada had its 99th win. Power, taking full advantage of a rare chance to start, went 2-for-5 with a run and two RBIs, while Fregosi finished 2-for-5 with a pair of runs.
Having won the first two games of the series, and up ten games on the Cincinnati Reds in the NL lead, Ben Naylor would have made wholesale changes in his starting lineup but for the fact that his "hard luck kid," Dave McNally was on the mound. With an ERA of 2.88, McNally had pitched consistently better than his 10-8 record would indicate, and Nails wanted to give him every advantage in this game. To that end the two replacements -- Gary Kolb in right field and J.C. Martin as backstop -- had better batting averages than the players they replaced (Maye and Roseboro). But it didn't do any good. As was usually the case, McNally pitched well, giving up two runs on six hits through five innings. His mound opponent, Billy Pierce, pitched an even better game, giving up just one run on six hits through nine while striking out five. That one Nevada run was a Jim Fregosi homer (his ninth of the year) in the 6th inning. That made it 2-1 Giants, who had scored both of their runs in the 5th, with doubles by Chuck Hiller and Alex Grammas and a single by Pierce himself. In the 8th Steve Boros homered over the center field fence to make it 3-1, and while the Dusters managed to load the bases in the bottom of that inning, they could not capitalize.

Game 1
R
H
E
Giants (SFG)
1
4
1
Dusters (NEV)
2
6
2
Game 2
Giants (SFG)
2
9
3
Dusters (NEV)
8
9
0
Game 3
Giants (SFG)
3
8
0
Dusters (NEV)
1
6
0
Dusters record: 99-42

 Hot time in Houston. (September 16-18)
By this time both Ben Naylor and Conn Hudson believed -- though they would not say so publicly -- that the Dusters were going to win the NL pennant. But it was still statistically possible for the hard-charging Cincinnati Reds to catch up, so Naylor did not stray from his policty of starting the "first string" in the opening game of a series when the team headed for the Gulf Coast to take on the hapless Houston Colt 45s. The Nevada lineup managed just eight hits against Houston hurler Ken Johnson, who struck out nine. Donn Clendenon hit a solo homer in the 3rd to make it 1-0. Duster starter Pete Richert led off the 7th by reaching on an error committed by Houston backstop Hal Smith, and the Dusters proceeded to do what they'd done so well all season long -- play small ball. Albie Pearson moved Richert to second with a sac bunt, and Clendenon moved him to third with a single hit up the middle. Then Lee Maye tapped an infield single and Richert beat the tag at home to make it 2-0. Clendenon ended up 2-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored, while Maye went 3-for-4 with an RBI. But the real hero was Richert, who pitched a two-hit complete game, walking just three Houston batters. It was his finest performance of the year. The Nevada franchise had its 100th win, and enjoyed the best record in the Major Leagues, two games better than the AL-leading Minnesota Twins.
In Game 2 Naylor decided to start George Banks in place of left fielder Billy Williams. Williams had gone 5-for-13  in the series with the Giants, but 0-for-4 in the first game with Houston. Philadelphia's Tony Gonzalez was challenging Williams for the league's batting title, and some thought Naylor should let Williams play every day. But Naylor responded that he was not going to treat Williams any differently than he treated the other regulars -- resting them as much as possible as post-season play loomed. Conn Hudson defended the skipper's decision. "It would be great if Billy could win the title," said the GM-owner, "but the first priority is the team. Nails is doing what he has always done, and so far it has worked. We haven't had a single one of our hitters on the DL this year. He's not going to change the way he does things now, and I don't expect him to. Besides, George is a fine hitter and deserves a chance to start." And Banks delivered, going 2-for-5 with a pair of ribbies, one of them in the 1st to give Nevada an early 1-0 lead. In the 3rd Banks singled again to juice the bases for Jim Fregosi, whose sac fly scored Albie Pearson to make it 2-0 Dusters. In the Houston 5th, Nevada ace Steve Barber did something he hadn't done all year -- walk in a run. Howie Goss opened the Houston 6th with a walk and later socred on a Pete Runnels grounder to tie the game. It remained knotted through the 10th, even though the Dusters loaded the bases in that frame against the formidable Turk Farrell, who struck out Clete Boyer to end the threat. In the top of the 11th former Duster Jack Spring replaced Farrell on the mound -- and with his second pitch surrendered a homer to Johnny Roseboro. Nevada added an insurance run when Banks collected his second RBI with a grounder, and Hal Reniff foiled a bases-loaded Houston rally in the bottom of the 11th to secure the win, notching his 51st win the process.
Ben Naylor started Rico Carty and Bob Bailey, both recently called up from AAA Bakersfield, in Game 3, the former in right field and the latter at third base. Carty started the Nevada 4th with a single and moved to third on a Billy Williams single. Jim Fregosi's double plated Carty, and later Bailey's grounder scored Williams to make it 2-0 Dusters. Starter Joe Horlen seemed to have matters well in hand -- until the Houston 5th, when Johnny Weekly, pinch-hitting for Houston pitcher Don Nottebart, jacked a two-run homer over the left field fence to tie the game. The game remained knotted until the 8th, when, with the bases loaded, Houston third sacker Bob Aspromonte singled through the hole to score Johnny Temple and Howie Goss. That was all for Horlen (7.2 ip,  8 h,  3 bb, 4 r,  4 er,  6 k), who suffered his third loss of the season. Williams improved his league-leading average to .333 by going 4-for-4 on the day, while for the Colt .45s Pete Runnels, Hal Smith and Bob Lillis all went 2-for-3.
Game 1
R
H
E
Dusters (NEV)
2
8
0
Colt 45s (HOU)
0
2
2
Game 2
Dusters (NEV)
4
11
2
Colt 45s (HOU)
3
6
2
Game 3
Dusters (NEV)
2
8
0
Colt 45s (HOU)
4
8
0
Dusters record: 101-43

 One more trip to Shytown. (September 19-21)
On the day that the Minnesota Twins clinched the American League pennant, the Dusters gave the Chicago Cubs a drubbing in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field. In the process, the third-place Los Angeles Dodgers were eliminated from the pennant race in the NL, leaving Nevada 12.5 games up on the Cincinnati Reds. Al Downing (12-4) took the mound for the Dusters against Cubs ace Dick Ellsworth (15-6) -- and Downing excelled, allowing no hits through the first five innings and giving up just two runs on three hits in his seven innings of work. Meanwhile, the Nevada batters tattoed Chicago pitching for twelve hits, including seven off Ellsworth for five runs. Jerry Adair got the ball rolling with a first inning triple for two RBIs. In the 5th, a two-out single by Billy Williams scored Donn Clendenon, making it 3-0. The Cubs got their first runs in the bottom of the 6th when Hank Aaron led off with a single to left, and Ernie Banks homered over the left field fence for a pair of ribbies. But the Dusters got those two runs back in the top of the 7th, as Clendenon hammered a shot into the right field stands after J.C. Martin drew a walk. The Dusters weren't through playing long ball. Don Elston took the hill for Chicago in the Nevada 8th, and promptly served up a home run to Jerry Adair, the second baseman's 23rd of the season. Martin followed in short order with his sixth downtowner of 1963. In the Nevada 9th Cubs reliever Tom Baker had no better luck than Elston; he walked two and gave up doubles to Williams and Martin, the latter for three RBIs, which gave Nevada's backup catcher four ribbies for the game. With the Dusters up 11-2, Ben Naylor gave Jim Brewer the mound in the Chicago 9th. Dick Bertell opened the frame with a single and then Brewer issued three consecutive walks to make it 11-3. Hank Aaron singled in another run, and Ernie Banks collected an RBI with a sac fly. But Brewer bore down and got Ron Santo and Andre Rodgers out to end the game with the final score 11-5. Downing got the win and Williams, 4-for-5 on the day, improved his average to .337.
As in the last game of the recent series with the Giants, Ben Naylor hoped his # 4 starter, Dave McNally (10-9), could secure a win, and to that end the skipper started his regular lineup in the second game with the Cubs. And, as had happened in his previous start, McNally pitched very well -- and still lost. McNally worked six innings, giving up two runs on six hits while walking three and fanning three. His mound opponent, Larry Jackson (13-10), pitched a complete game, allowing just one run on four hits. That Nevada run came in the 2nd, when Jerry Adair hit a solo homer, his 24th long ball of the year. In the Giants 4th Hank Aaron singled, Ernie Banks reached on a throwing error by Adair, and Ron Santo drew a walk to load the bases for Ken Hubbs, who hit a two-run single that gave Chicago a 2-1 lead. The Dusters mounted a threat in the 8th, loading the bases with singles by Albie Pearson and Billy Williams and an intentional walk drawn by Lee Maye. But Jackson induced ground outs from Adair and Jim Fregosi, ending the threat, and the Cubs held on to win. McNally, his 2.88 ERA the second-best in the starting rotation, suffered his 10th loss of the year.
In sharp contrast to the previous contest, Game 3 turned out to be a slugfest, with the teams collecting fifteen hits apiece. The Dusters jumped out to an early lead when Jerry Adair hit a two-run single in the 1st and Lee Maye jacked a grand slam homer over the right field fence in the wnd, sending Cubs starter Bob Buhl to the showers after just 1.1 innings of work. Nevada made it 8-0 in the 3rd thanks to a two-run double by Maye (3-for-5, 6 RBIs), but Chicago came charging back in their half of the inning as Ernie Banks hit his own grand slam to cut the Duster lead in half. Maye led off the Nevada 6th with a triple and Billy Williams homered for two ribbies off former Duster hurler Bill Faul to expand Nevada's lead to 10-5. Bob Duliba took the mound in the Chicago 6th and served up home run balls to Cub shortstop Ken Aspromonte and pinch hitter Charlie Dees. Back-to-back doubles by Ron Santo and Dick Bertell scored another run in the Chicago 7th to make it 10-8 -- and then, with a Cub on every base, Claude Raymond walked in a run and it was 10-9. Hal Reniff held Chicago in check in the 8th and Jim Brewer did likewise in the 9th to secure the win for Pete Richert (11-3). Brewer got his 7th save, Williams (3-for-4) hiked his batting average to .340, and rookie third baseman Bob Bailey went 2-for-4. Ben Naylor grumbled about the four errors committed by his squad in the series, but there was worse news -- # 2 starter Joe Horlen had suffered a hand stress fracture and would be on the DL for 18 days.
Game 1
R
H
E
Dusters (NEV)
11
12
2
Cubs (CHC)
5
7
0
Game 2
Dusters (NEV)
1
8
1
Cubs (CHC)
2
6
0
Game 3
Dusters (NEV)
10
15
1
Cubs (CHC)
9
15
0
Dusters record: 103-44
 Down Houston way. (September 22-24)
The third leg of their three-series road trip took the Dusters back to Houston, and Game 1 had Steve Barber starting for Nevada and seeking his 23rd victory. He contributed with his bat as well as his pitching; his two-run double in the 2nd gave the Dusters an early lead. His opposite number, Bob Bruce, pitched well, allowing only those two runs on six hits through six innings. In the 7th, against reliever Jim Umbricht, Nevada added to its lead when Jerry Adair hit a single to right with the bases loaded to score a pair and make it 4-0. In the bottom of the 7th the Colt 45's got their only run courtesy of a double by Carroll Hardy that brought Howie Goss home. Houston threatened in the 9th, with a double by Carl Warwick, an intentional pass to Bob Aspromonte, and a fielding error by Clete Boyer pitting Hardy on juicing the bases for pinch hitter J.C. Hartman. But Barber, who had asked for and received Ben Naylor's blessing to shoot for a complete game, induced Hartman to line out to center. It was Barber's seventh complete game of the season. Gary Kolb, starting in right field in place of Lee Maye, went 2-for-3 with a pair of walks, while Jerry Adair was 2-for-4 with a run and two RBIs.
The Colt '.45's turned the tables on the Dusters in Game 2, taking a 2-0 lead in the 1st off Dwight Siebler, who started in place of the injured Joe Horlen. Don Nottebart had a strong outing for Houston, allowing two runs on four hits while striking out eight Nevada batters in seven innings of work. He held the Dusters scoreless until the 7th, when Rico Carty walked and Johnny Roseboro hit a two-run blast over the center field fence of Colt Stadium to tie the game at 2. With Claude Raymond taking the mound for Nevada in the 9th and retiring the first two batters, the game seemed destined for extra innings. But Bob Lillis singled to right and pinch-hitter Al Spangler singled to center to advance Lillis to third. Next up was Carroll Hardy, who drew a walk to juice the bases. Then Raymond committed an unforgiveable sin in Ben Naylor's book -- he walked Pete Runnels and Lillis scored the winning run. Raymond (7-5) took the loss. Siebler pitched well through six innings, giving up two runs on four hits. Bill Dailey worked the 7th and 8th frames, allowing just one hit. His 1.68 ERA remained the best on the pitching staff. But the Nevada bats could manage just five hits in the 3-2 defeat.
Game 3 pitted young Al Downing against the veteran hurler Hal Brown. The latter allowed two runs during his stay on the mound. The first was Jim Fregosi's tenth homer of the season, a solo shot in the 2nd. Fregosi was Brown's nemesis again in the 4th when his grounder scored Lee Maye from third to give Nevada a 2-0 lead. Through five innings Downing allowed no more than one Houston batter to reach per frame. But in the bottom of the 6th the Colt .45's managed two hits -- and that, coupled with a walk and a fielding error by Fregosi, was enough to put one run on the board for Houston. It could have been worse, with the bases full of Houston men and only one out, but Downing bore down and fanned Carroll Hardy before inducing a fly out by Johnny Weekly. That gave Naylor reason to believe that his starter was good for at least one more inning. But in the 7th Johnny Temple singled, Howie Goss was intentionally walked, and Carl Warwick singled in Temple to give Houston a 3-2 edge. That was all for Downing. In the 8th Hal Woodeshick went to the hill for the Colt .45's; Johnny Roseboro singled and so did Donn Clendenon. An intentional walk to Billy Williams loaded the bases. And then Woodeshick walked in a run before serving up a two-bagger by Jim Fregosi that scored two more. Hal Reniff retired the side in the 8th and Claude Raymond, seeking redemption for his failure the day before, did likewise in the Houston 9th to nail down the 5-3 Dusters victory. Fregosi, who had gone 5-for-12 for the series, accounted for four of the Nevada RBIs. Though satisfied that Nevada were 6-3 on the nine-date road trip, Naylor wasn't happy that his team had committed at least one error in six straight games.
Game 1
R
H
E
Dusters (NEV)
4
9
1
Colt 45s (HOU)
1
7
0
Game 2
Dusters (NEV)
2
5
1
Colt 45s (HOU)
3
7
1
Game 3
Dusters (NEV)
5
8
1
Colt 45s (HOU)
3
7
0
Dusters record: 105-45
 The Fightin' Phillies. (September 28-30)
The Phillies had last played the Dusters in mid-July, losing that series two games to one. They hoped for a better result this time. But Nevada took an early lead in Game 1 with Jim Fregosi's two-run, 1st-inning single. Nevada starter Dave Mcnally got out of a bases-loaded jam in the Philadelphia 2nd by fanning slugger Tony Gonzalez. In the 4th, though, McNally ran into trouble he couldn't get out of, and Gonzalez got his payback with a one-out, two-run triple. Then Tony Taylor scored Gonzalez with a two-bagger and Don Demeter's three-run homer to left gave the Phillies a 6-2 edge and sent McNally packing. Donn Clendenon's two-run homer in the 4th helped matters some, but in the 5th Gonzalez struck again, this time with a three-run shot into left -- and Philadelphia was up 9-4. The bullpen combination of Bill Dailey, Jim Brewer and Claude Raymond allowed just one Philly baserunner from the 6th inning on, while the Dusters tried to catch up, scoring a run in the 5th and another in the 6th. In the 8th J.C. Martin doubled and scored on an Albie Pearson single to make it 9-7. But with two on and only one out, neither Lee Maye nor Billy Williams could deliver. Philly closer Ryne Duren retired the side in the Duster's 9th. McNally's record went to 10-11. His was the only losing record in the rotation.
Game 2 started out in promising fashion for the Dusters, as Nevada brought ten men to the plate in the 1st and scored five runs on six hits. George Banks (2-for-4), starting in center field to rest Albie Pearson, got things rolling with a single. Donn Clendenon followed with a double. With two outs, Jerry Adair hit a two-run double down the right field line. Next up was Jim Fregosi, who clubbed a homer to right for two RBIs. Clete Boyer doubled and scored on a Johnny Roseboro single. The Dusters added another run in the 2nd. Meanwhile, Nevada starter Pete Richert retired ten Philadelphia batters in a row before Tony Taylor managed an infield single in the 4th. One frame later, Don Demeter hit his second home run of the series -- and 29th of the year -- a solo shot to left. The Dusters made it 7-1 in the 5th but in Philly's half of the inning Wes Covington's three-run blast turned it into a ballgame at 7-4. Nevada expanded its lead with two runs in the 7th, one of them a solo homer by Clete Boyer (his 14th of the year). Reliever Bob Duliba took the hill in the 8th and wiggled out of a bases-loaded predicament without suffering any damage. In the 9th, with two Phillies on base and only one out, he induced a pop up from Don Zimmer and a ground out from Tony Gonzalez. Richert (6.0 ip, 5 h, 1 bb, 4 r, 4 er, 6 k) got the win, improving his record to 12-3. Six Nevada batters got two hits apiece; one of them was Clendenon, who enjoyed his second good day in a row at the plate (4-for-8 with three runs and four ribbies in the first two games of the series.)
With the series split at one win apiece, the Dusters went into the rubber game counting on the skills of ace Steve Barber. But Barber didn't bring his best game. Three hits and a hit batsman translated into a Philly run in the 1st, and then the Philadelphia batters shelled him for four runs on five hits in the 2nd, including a two-run triple by Tony Taylor. Trailing 5-1, the Dusters battled back in the bottom of the 2nd. Bob Bailey, starting at third base to give Clete Boyer a rest, opened with a double, and two runs were scored on a pair of subsequent singles. The Dusters tied the game in the 3rd when Rico Carty -- like Bailey, a AAA prospect called up to test his mettle in the Big Show in September -- opened with a single and scored on an Albie Pearson hit. Pearson, in turn, scored on a Donn Clendenon chopper up the middle. With Barber gone after three innings (his shortest start of the season), the Phillies scored one run in the 4th off reliever Jim Brewer, but Nevada tied it up again in the 5th. They might have done more, with the bases loaded and one out, but Billy Williams struck out and Jerry Adair grounded out to kill the rally. Carty (2-for-4 with a walk and two runs) and Bailey (1-for-2 with two walks and a pair of runs scored) participated in a Nevada 6th that produced the go-ahead run, but Clay Dalrymple's solo blast in the Philly 7th tied it once more, this time at 7-7. Williams answered with his own solo shot in the bottom of the 7th, and the Nevada bullpen successfully battled to preserve that one-run lead. Claude Raymond (8-5) got the win and Hal Reniff notched his ML-leading 52nd save. The two teams combined for eighty hits in the hard-fought series.
Game 1
R
H
E
Phillies (PHI)
9
12
0
Dusters (NEV)
7
14
1
Game 2
Phillies (PHI)
4
9
0
Dusters (NEV)
9
14
0
Game 3
Phillies (PHI)
7
14
0
Dusters (NEV)
8
17
0
Dusters record: 107-46