Bux-Mont MSBL, 30+ Liberty Bell Division
Lansdale Cannoneers 6, North Wales Royals 3
‘After just three years in existence, Lansdale wins it all’
After suffering a tough loss in the 2017 championship game, the Lansdale Cannoneers came hungry and ready to prove that they were the best team in the Bux-Mont MSBL 30+ Liberty Bell Division.
“I can’t say enough about the talent and the sportsmanship that these players have shown week in and week out,” said Bryan Clayton, General Manager and first baseman for the Cannoneers. Clayton brought the team into existence in 2016 where they finished with just one win. Since then the team has brought on new players that have made the Lansdale squad one of the best local adult baseball teams in the Delaware valley.
“I can’t thank our sponsor, the Cannoneers Sportsman’s Club, enough for their generosity.” The Cannoneers club, which is located at the corner of Cannon Ave and Fifth Street in Lansdale, PA has been a strong supporter of local sports clubs for decades.
In addition to the team being crowned champions, the traveling trophy was presented to the players, which is their property until they start to defend their championship next spring. “The win was all the prize we needed” said Clayton, “but we also will receive a check to use how the team sees fit.” Clayton plans to offer the cash prize back to the Cannoneers Club as a thank you for their support.
This season was an up and down affair plagued by rainy days and soaked ball fields. In a season that typically lasts from the beginning of April to the middle of August, the Cannoneers saw five weekends of rain-outs, effectively extending the season until September 30th. Even with all the rain, Cannoneer rookie but long time local baseball standout Eric Nelson still says, “…[this was the] most rewarding baseball season I ever had.” Nelson provided dominant pitching before being shutdown with a sore elbow. None-the-less his timely hitting and critical middle infield support proved to be a valuable part of the team’s 2018 success.
No matter the level of baseball, experts all agree that pitching is the most critical aspect of the game. Another new addition to the 2018 squad, BJ Winters, proved this time tested axiom to be true. Winters joined the club after pitching last year for the North Wales Royals, the very team that the Cannoneers sought to defeat. After going a strong eight innings and allowing only three earned runs and striking out four batters, Winters handed the ball to Jason Mills for the six out save. Mills was able to handle the Royals 3 through 8 hitters allowing one hit and two K’s before the game ended with catcher Stefan Muller throwing out the would-be base stealer at second.
As the off season gets underway the Cannoneers skipper already has plans to defend the title. “We need to get a little younger and add a couple guys for depth,” said Clayton. “It looks like there will be three age divisions next year.” Clayton recognizes this as both a challenge and an opportunity. League president Nick Chichiliti, who’s Warrington team held five league titles before they disbanded, has hinted that next year there will be an over 25, over 40, and over 55 division.
Many Cannoneers players will also be offering clinics and personalized coaching for youth athletes in the area this off season. The Cannoneers 30+ team is one of five baseball teams that are sponsored by the Cannoneers Sportsmen’s Club. “It’s hard to believe that this season is over,” said Clayton, “but we will take a few weeks to celebrate and smell the roses before we get back to work.”