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D.C. Express 7, South Atlanta Twins 3
'Lee Dominant from the Bump'
By Chris Errington, Special to MSBLNational.com
Clearwater, FL., November 15, 2014 – In
what had been a theme throughout the 2014 Fall Classic, dominant pitching consistently
defeated dominant hitting. For the D.C.
Express, the equation equaled a first team title.
Rich Lee tossed a
five-hitter and Wally Hurd had a key eighth-inning hit to capture the 45
Central championship and made a winner of manager Will Harvey for the first
time in five tournaments. "It’s been a long
time coming, but it definitely lives up to the expectations,” Harvey said of
winning a title. "It’s very stressful when you get to the last game, so this
probably won’t sink in until after my third beer.”
The standout pitching
performance was the second straight for the Express, who received a
complete-game effort from James Kent in a 10-1 blasting of the Columbus Dragons in the tournament semifinals. Against South Atlanta, Lee was just as
impressive. To cap a stellar week
in which he finished 3-0 in 22 innings pitched, Lee earned his second title in
four years by being nearly unhittable all game. His only trouble came in the
fourth, when an error led to three runs to cut the D.C. lead to 4-3. Jeff
Chrismon led off the inning with a bunt single and an error put a pair of
runners on base. Gregg Russell drove in both with a single, before scoring on Tim
Garrett’s hit to cut the deficit to a single run.
But that would be as
close as South Atlanta would get. "I just said after that inning, ‘They’re not getting another run,’ ” Lee said.
"I didn’t want us to have any excuses in the end. I didn’t want the game coming
down to the ninth inning.” A three-run eighth
made sure it didn’t.
A Kent single put
runners on first and third with one out and both scored on Hurd’s single to
push the lead to 6-3. Later in the inning with the bases loaded, Harvey was hit
with a pitch to force in another run and put the game out of reach.
D.C. appeared to be
in position to run away with the game following a four-run first inning. A
bases loaded hits batsman plated the game’s first run, before Andre Lambros’ blooper to center plated another. When an infield out and Tommy Morris’ bases-loaded walk scored two more runs, the Twins were faced with a deficit
that even their powerful offense couldn’t overcome.
"We definitely got
off to a rough start and after we cut it to 4-3, we just never were able to get
back to even,” said South Atlanta manager Greg Woodward. "We should have scored
more, but give their pitcher credit. He really battled us all game.When we got [to Clearwater] we thought we had the pitching to win the title, but we just didn’t
get it done.”
reached the tournament championship game following a 4-1 round-robin effort,
before blasting the Berks County Bombers, 12-2 and Bux-Mont Cubs, 16-4.