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Montgomery Yankees Repeat in South Jersey 52+ Division

South Jersey MSBL, 52+ Division

Montgomery County Yankees 11, South Jersey A’s 1 

Kneeling L-R: Dan Maggiani, Tony D’Aulerio, Mark Greenspan, Bob Creedon, Marc Gold, Mark Goodman, Frank O’Brien, Jeff Lichter. Standing L-R:Craig Stein, Jack Kapenstein, Jamie Heldring, Tom Koelzer, Steve Farina, John Clark, Jeff Budin, Tom Gallagher, Joe Lynn. Missing: Bob Morrell, Phil Moses, Greg Wagner. 

‘Gallagher Tosses Two-Hitter in Complete Game Victory’

The Montgomery County Yankees, managed by Mark Greenspan, won their second consecutive South Jersey MSBL 52+ Championship in 2017 by defeating the top-seeded South Jersey A’s  (17-1) in the best-of-three finals, two games to one. The Yankees (14-3) entered the playoffs as the #2-seed, having lost two of three regular-season meetings with the A’s, and earned a spot in the finals by defeating the #3-seed Delaware Pirates, 9-3, in one semifinal. The A’s defeated the South Jersey Phillies, 13-4, in the other semifinal, to set up a rematch of the 2016 finals.

Game one of the finals saw the Yankees jump out to a 5-0 lead after three innings, en route to an 11-3 win behind the complete-game pitching of Tom Gallagher, who allowed just four hits and one earned run. Gallagher also homered to help his own cause, while John Clark paced the Yankees’ offense with three hits, including two doubles, and two RBI. 

Game two had a similar start, but this time it was the A’s jumping out to a 6-1 lead in top of the third on their way to an 8-3 win, knotting the series at a game apiece. Mike Chmielewski tossed the complete game on the mound for the A’s, while Julio Vigo paced the offense with three hits, including a double, a run scored, and five RBI. This would set the stage for a game three showdown, featuring Chmielewski and Gallagher on the mound. 

The A’s struck first in the bottom of the third, when Chmielewski singled, advanced to third on a couple of wild pitches, and scored on a ground out. But the Yankees quickly responded with two runs in the top of the fourth on RBI singles by Steve Farina and Bob Creedon to take a 2-1 lead. The score was still 2-1 after five innings, when Chmielewski was replaced on the mound. The Yankees would eventually get to the A’s bullpen, adding a run in the sixth to make it 3-1, and four more in both the eighth and ninth innings. But the final score was not indicative of how close the game was. Gallagher was even more masterful on the mound in this game than game one, allowing just the one run and two hits in tossing the complete game. He again helped himself at the plate with two hits and three RBI, while Farina paced the Yankees’ attack going 5-for-5 with two RBI and four runs scored.

The league championship was the Yankees' 13th in their 27-year history, having won six Montgomery County MSBL championships (1994-1999), four Bux-Mont MSBL championships (2005, 2006, 2007 & 2010) and one Tri-State MSBL championship (2012), prior to joining the SJMSBL in 2016.

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