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Top Lumber Expos Go 'Back to Back' with Delco (PA) MSBL 25+ Title

Delco MSBL (PA) 25+ Division

Top Lumber Expos 10, Clifton Orioles 1


'Expos Sweep Playoffs for 'Back to Back' Titles'

Submitted by Carlos Law, Top Lumber Expos coach

In our second year as the Expos, and winning a Championship in 2016, a few quality players retired from baseball.  So Len Montano, Manager of the Expos and Owner of Top Lumber Wooden Bats Company went on the recruiting trail.  Fortunately, Len acquired two pitchers, a young catcher and two infielders to make my job as coach easier.  We went to capture first place at 18-2 during the regular season while riding the savvy veteran Barry Blundin on the mound with an 8-0 record and 3.71 ERA, along with sound defense and timely hitting.

We received a bye to the Semi-Finals of the playoffs and faced the fourth place Delco Tigers and we came out on fire after a two week layoff.  Andrew DeGaetano led off with a single and stole second. Larry Greenwich Jr doubled to left center and drove in Andrew. Matt Nelson singled to right and drove in Larry.  Champ Sanchez singled to center and drove in Matt after stealing second. Len Montano hit a sacrifice fly to deep center to drive in Champ, who stole second and third.  Ed Bahamonde and Kevin Archer then singled to load the bases and the new young catcher and MVP of the season, Dan Cooper, doubled to drive in two RBIs and we are up 7-1 after one inning of play.  We cruised to a 15-4 victory and Barry Blundin got the win while Larry Greenwich Jr and Dan Cooper each hit home runs. 

In Game two we set the tone in the second inning.  Steve Smith doubled to left then Ed Bahamonde singled to center to drive in Steve.  Kevin Archer singled to right and Dan Cooper walked to load the bases while Anthony Monzo followed with a single to center to drive in two. Anthony DiGregorio and Andrew DeGaetano each hit sacrifice flies to center so we scored five runs in the second inning.  But, the Delco Tigers clawed back with Matt Zebley's two hits and two runs scored and Rhett Whitton's three hits and three RBIs made it 6-4 after six innings.  However, it was Kevin Archer's diving catch in right center and throwing out a runner at second base to stop the Tigers rally in the sixth that sealed the victory.  The Expos scored two insurance runs in the last inning for an 8-5 win.  Ed Bahamonde pitched a complete game win to put us in the Championship 

In Game one of the Finals against the Clifton Orioles, it was a pitcher's duel between Barry Blundin of the Expos and Wes Erdman of the Orioles, which is normally the case.  With two outs in the bottom of the second inning, Dan Cooper singled to right then Anthony Monzo reached on an error.  Andrew DeGaetano singled to left to put the Expos up 1-0.  Wes Erdman settled in with five strikeouts but in the sixth inning Ed Bahamonde singled to left and stole second, and once again Dan Cooper singled to right and put the Expos up 2-0.  In the meantime, the savvy veteran Barry Blundin was pitching a 2-hitter of shutout ball over six innings with five strikeouts.  However, the Clifton Orioles were not going down without a fight. In the seventh inning Jerry Benedict led off and got on base via an error.  Kyle Belwoar grounded out but Brian Fulcher then singled to center. Brandon Guillemin walked to load the bases then Adam Wisniewski doubled to right center to tie the game.  Kurt Kebaugh followed with a single to put the Orioles up 3-2 and  tasting victory.

Andrew DeGaetano came in for the Expos to stop the rally and got the next two batters out.  Now the Expos are down one in the last inning of Game one of the Finals.  Andrew DeGaetano started the inning with a single to left and stole second.  Larry Greenwich Jr laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Andrew to third base then Matt Nelson grounded to the pitcher for the second out. Champ Sanchez promptly singled to center to tie the game 3-3 then stole second base. Manager and Delco Hall of Fame member Len Montano stepped to the plate and hit a walk off single to right to drive in the game winning RBI.

In Game two, after a thrilling victory in Game one, the Top Lumber Expos took control and won 10-1 over the Clifton Orioles to seize ‘Back to Back’ Championships in the 25 + Delco MSBL.  This game epitomized the entire season of a total TEAM effort which were revealed in these highlights: Andrew DeGaetano ( 3-4 ); Larry Greenwich Jr ( 1-4 ); Matt Nelson ( 1-3 ); Champ Sanchez ( 2-4 ); Len Montano ( 2-3 ); Ed Bahamonde ( 2-4 ); Kevin Archer ( 1-3 ); Dan Cooper ( 1-2 ); Zac Penman ( 1-1 ); Dave Kowalski ( 1-1 ) and Anthony Monzo ( 1-3 ).  In the meantime, Matt Papa pitched a solid 5 1/3 innings and only allowed one run while Brian Stumpf closed.  Now the Top Lumber Expos can savor what they accomplished the past two seasons while Len Montano's Top Lumber Wooden Bat Company continues to grow with the support of Steve Sigler and MSBL...

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