Jersey Shore MSBL, Midweek 35+ Division
Pirates 3, Margate Hurricanes 2
‘Pirates Upend Repeat Champion Margate for First Title’
Submitted by Gregg Balin, Jersey Shore MSBL League president
Seven teams faced off in a two loss elimination bracketed series with the finals played as a best of three series. In the finals the Pirates faced Margate, the 2014 and 2015 champions.
The semi-final faceoff between Margate and the Pigs was one for the record books with a pitcher’s duel between Chris Caprio and Steve Rivera. One pitch defined the entire game with James Reina’s line drive home run to right center field. Caprio continued to baffle hitter’s with his off-speed pitching tossing a 3-hitter. The Pigs threatened to tie the game in the seventh with two runners on base but a hard line drive to center ended the game at 2-0. Rivera scattered five hits in the loss.
In game one of the finals the Pirates, managed by Johnny Melendez, defeated the Margate Hurricane’s 6 -0 on the strength of Derrick Prada’s 2-hit complete game shutout. Henry De Los Santo’s 2-RBI single in the fourth started the scoring for the Pirates. The Pirates added four more runs in the sixth with RBI singles from Jim Rodgers and Ralph Dominguez.
The championship game didn’t disappoint the packed stands at the home field of the Pirates in Ocean City, NJ. The Pirates plated a quick run in the first with a Steve Durant base hit and a stolen base. Durant was plated by Brad Bahnak’s single. The Margate Cane’s (2-time repeat champs) came out swinging and scored a run on doubles by Rob Furca and Chris Caprio. The pitching duel for five innings began with fire baller Derrick Prado (Pirates) versus a cagey veteran junk baller Chris Caprio (Margate) who shut down their hitting game. Margate scraped a run together to go up 2-1 and it seemed that the game could stay there when in the sixth Steve Bahnak slammed a 3-2 count home run deep over the left field fence to tie the game. In the seventh Felix Guillermo singled and stole second base. With the game on the line veteran player Carmello Rodriguez (3 for 3, including a double) worked a deep count and slashed a single to the gap for the go ahead run.
Derrick Prado (5 win’s and 0 losses in the playoffs) shut down Margate in the bottom of the seventh for the Pirates first Jersey Shore MSBL Mid-Week Championship.