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2018 Montgomery County Yankees ‘Three-peat’ in South Jersey 52+ Division

South Jersey MSBL, 52+ Division

Montgomery County Yankees 24, Senators 11

Kneeling L-R: Bob Rutter, Tony D’Aulerio, Bob Creedon, Mark Greenspan, Mark Goodman, Jeff Budin, Frank O’Brien. Standing L-R: Phil Moses, Tom Gallagher, Joe Lynn, Tom Koelzer, Jamie Heldring, Craig Stein, Hal Bluestein, John Clark, Bob Morrell, Ray Lloyd, Steve Farina, Dan Maggiani. Missing: Marc Gold, Jeff Lichter.

‘2018 Montgomery Yankees ‘Three-peat’ in South Jersey MSBL 52+ Division’

Submitted by Mark Greenspan, Yankees manager

The 2018 Montgomery County Yankees won their third consecutive South Jersey MSBL 52+ Championship by defeating the Senators, 24-11. The Yankees (14-3) entered the playoffs as the #1-seed, and earned a spot in the finals by defeating the #4-seed South Jersey A’s, 17-8. The #3-seed Senators defeated the #2-seed Delaware Pirates, 5-2 in the other semifinal.

This season went down as the rainiest in the Yankees’ 27-year history, with seven regular-season games (out of 15 weeks) being postponed and another being rain-shortened to 4 1/2 innings. Amazingly, all but one of the Yankees regular-season games was able to be rescheduled and played. But not all the teams were as fortunate. Among the 14 teams in the 52+ division, there were 50+ games postponed throughout the 15-week season with over 20 of those games unable to be made up.

When the playoffs began the weather was no different. The Yankees-A’s semifinal game had to be pushed back a week due to another rainout and when the game was played one week later, it featured a rain delay at the end of the third inning in order to work on the mound. The game, played in less than ideal conditions, would include 13 walks, four hit batters and six errors.

The Yankees used a 13-run third inning, which for the most part was played during a steady rain, to cruise to a 17-8 win. The Yankees 21-hit attack was paced by Steve Farina (4-4, 2 runs), Bob Rutter (3-3, 2 walks, double, RBI, 2 runs) and Tony D’Aulerio (3-4, walk, double, 2 RBI, 3 runs), while Joe Lynn added three RBI. Yankees’ ace Ray Lloyd (6-1 during regular season) allowed just one unearned run over the first three innings before being removed from the mound after the rain delay with a 14-1 lead. Tom Gallagher worked the final six innings to help send the Yankees to the finals, which would be shortened from a best-of-3 series to just a single game thanks to all the prior postponements.

This set up a Yankees-Senators championship game and a pitching match-up between Ray Lloyd and Gabe Mastrangelo, who six weeks earlier gave Lloyd his only loss, 4-1, in a game that was tied until the Senators’ final at bat. But this time would be different. After the Senators opened the scoring in the top of the first inning, the Yankees responded with four runs in the bottom half, three in the second and six more in the third to open up a 13-2 lead. After the Senators answered with a pair to close the gap to single digits, the Yankees responded with a 9-run sixth inning to open a 22-4 lead and ultimately a 24-11 victory.

The Yankees’ 28-hit attack was led by D’Aulerio (4-5, 4 runs), Rutter (4-5, double, 5 RBI, 2 runs), Tom Koelzer (3-5, home run, double, 3 RBI, 3 runs), Lloyd (3-5, home run, 5 RBI, 2 runs) and Bob Creedon (3-4, RBI, 2 runs). Lloyd pitched six strong innings to earn the victory, striking out seven and allowing just one earned run. Jeff Budin (5-0 during the regular season) picked up the save by pitching the final three innings. Dan Laudisio (5 RBI, 2 runs), Bob Wood (double, 4 runs), Todd Smick (double, RBI) and Chris Johannes (RBI, run) paced the Senators’ 19-hit attack with three hits apiece.

The league championship was the Yankees’ 14th in their 27-year history, having won six Montgomery County MSBL championships (1994-1999), four Bux-Mont MSBL championships (2005, 2006, 2007 & 2010) and one Tri-State MSBL championship (2012), prior to joining the South Jersey MSBL in 2016.