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Senators Go 'Back to Back' in 50+ Division in Central North Carolina MSBL

Central North Carolina MSBL 50+ Division 

Holly Springs Senators 18, A's 17

 

'Pitching by Committee Secures Title in Slugfest'

Submitted by Rob Isbell, Holly Springs Senators manager

The second season for the Central North Carolina Men’s Senior Baseball League (CNCMSBL) 50+ division was an even bigger success than the inaugural season. 2016 saw the CNCMSBL50+ division expand to five teams.

Although there was a league expansion and lots of trading, the results were the same; the Senators of Holly Springs defended their championship run from last year making them back-to-back champions.

Though the Senators were never out of first place, the Athletics, managed by Pat Ferrick, were tied or within two games of first place throughout the season and, as expected, the two faced off in the championship game.  The championship was originally scheduled for a best of three series but Hurricane Matthew hit the Carolinas and finding fields became a challenge. Mike Wilson, the CNCMSBL president, was forced to make it a winner take all affair.

Leading up to the championship game was an exciting elimination game with the Senators defeating the expansion team Red Sox. Just like last year, Jim Bauckham (now 71 years young) pitched an excellent five innings frustrating the typically well hitting Sox. Bauckham gave up only four hits and two unearned runs while the Senators provided plenty of offense. This solid pitching performance by Bauckham allowed the Senators to spread out the pitching for the remainder of the game and set them up for the championship game the following day. 

In the Championship game Mark Simpson started on the bump for the Senators, as he did so many times throughout the summer and kept the A’s off balance for three innings. With two quick outs in the fourth suddenly the Athletics bats came to life and Simpson had to be relieved by William Garner. Garner, junk ball pitcher, was able to silence the hot hitting Athletics for a couple of innings until they eventually figured him out as well. It took power pitcher Dave Halley to finally come in and end the Athletics dream of  a championship but not without a little excitement. The tying and winning runs were on base before Halley was able to slam the door and get the win.

The Athletics, anchored by power hitting Cliff Morgan, kept pouring on the offensive threat throughout the contest, but the Senators' plethora of pitching proved too much to overcome.

The Senators ended the season 16-4 and were led offensively throughout the season by catcher Jeff Moore with a .660 batting average and utility man Doug Hammond at .560.

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