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Hatfield Pirates Claim Bux-Mont 30+ Title with Victory Over Royals

Bux-Mont (PA) MSBL 30+ Division

Hatfield Pirates 4, North Wales Royals 1


Top Row: L- R Paul Luceri; Bob Fluck; Matt Lucas; Al Fitch; Bill Dudeck; Case Simpkins; Jason Lagler; Andrew DeGaetano.Bottom Row: L- R Tony DeAngelis; Phil Bard; Scott Romanski; Ed O’Brien; Steve Lowery. Not Pictured:  Phil Kelly; Ryan Windt; Mike O’Brien; Kory Kollar 

‘Pirates Tour-de-Force Pitching Proves to be Difference’

Submitted by Andrew DeGaetano, Pirates manager

The 30+ Bux-Mont Championship was a 5-year match-up in the making.  The one and two seeds finally met after a much-anticipated showdown had been missed out by both teams over the last five seasons.  The Hatfield Pirates (2014 Winners) faced off against the North Wales Royals (2010 Winners) who’s head-to-head regular season record of 5-5 during this 6-year wait, finally came to fruition.  The two perennial powerhouses met for the first time in the Finals to determine who the better team was.

Finals Game 1:  On a hot Saturday morning, the Pirates sent 30 year old Phil Kelly (ERA: 1.35) to the mound to stifle the overwhelming offensive juggernaut of the Royals.  Phil did just that with a masterful 2-hit shutout. "Phil pitched like Greg Maddux who mixed up his pitches to keep their good hitters off balance,” said first year manager Andrew DeGaetano.  The Royals sent ageless wonder and former first round Yankees draft pick Rick Balabon (ERA: 1.36) to the mound.  It came down to pitching in Game one as the battle for supremacy in the league started off on a high note.  Kelly struck out nine while Balabon struck out eight.  The Pirates captured game one by capitalizing on key errors in the fourth and came away with a 3-0 victory. 

Finals Game 2:  The Royals pitched flamethrower Gordy Kocher (ERA: 2.86) while the Pirates sent Ryan Windt (ERA: 3.85) to the hill.  The Royals pitching was too over-powering for the Pirates strong offensive lineup as Kocher was electric through four innings.  The Royals young righty suffered a leg injury and pulled himself late in the fourth inning but was up 5-3 at that point.  "Gordy’s stuff was electric today and his slider was nearly unhittable.  It’s unfortunate that he experienced the mid-game injury,” said Royals team manager Jim Merritt.  But, that’s all the Royals would need as shortstop Justin Cooper came in and silenced the Pirates bats.  Justin completed the game to capture the win forcing a decisive Game three.

Finals Game 3:  It all came down to a nine inning duel on another hot Sunday morning as the stage was set for a great final between two teams that, according to Vegas odds, was a coin flip on who would take the coveted title.  The Pirates sent journeyman Bob Fluck (ERA 1.48) and the Royals countered with BJ Winters (ERA: 1.50).  The Pirates got on the board early in the second inning with a 2-RBI single by leadoff Eddie O’Brien and that’s all Fluck and the Pirates would need.  Gordy Kocher, who pitched in Game two, could not sit on the sidelines and potentially watch the title slip away.  With the score 2-1 in the Pirates favor, Gordy, though injured, came in the fifth inning for the Royals to keep the game close.  Bob silenced the Royals attack when it mattered most, as they managed to score only one run on the final day of the season.  The Royals had runners in scoring position five out of nine innings but could not capitalize due to the stingy defense of the Pirates.   "I was getting very anxious in the 6th, 7th and 8th innings as this could have gone either way.  The Royals are a great hitting team with A+ pitching.  I knew it was going to be decided by just a couple of runs,” said DeGaetano.  The Pirates tacked on two more insurance runs in the top of the ninth to win the 30+ Bux-Mont title 4-1.

Finals MVP's:  The Hatfield Pirates finals pitching staff.  Phil Kelly, Ryan Windt, and Bob Fluck managed to keep the highest-scoring team during the regular season to only six runs in three games.

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