DCMSBL, 50+ Division
Potomac River Bandits 7, Nationals 6 (14 innings)
‘Four Straight Titles in 14 Innings’
Submitted by Tim Sullivan, Potomac River Bandits
In what is believed to be the longest championship game in DCMSBL history, the Potomac River Bandits defeated the Nationals 7-6 in a wild, 14 inning, four hour and 55 minute championship game to garner their fourth straight title. Each team had opportunities to win the game in regulation and overtime, but clutch hitting and amazing defense by both teams kept this game going.
The Nationals jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when lead-off hitter Ron Barckhoff scored on Terry Lonjin’s single in the first. The Bandits tied the game in the third on consecutive singles by Patrick Ferry, Dave Albertini and Rick Weissenstein. Pete Cressy’s one out single in the third scored pitcher Mike McGlaughlin to take a 2-1 lead. However, McGlaughlin was injured on the play and had to be replaced in the lineup.
Pete Groves took the hill for the Bandits and worked three scoreless innings to preserve the lead. Groves worked out of two bases loaded jams to keep the Bandits on top. His counterpart, the ageless Ray Moon, kept the Bandits in check for the first six innings until the Bandits put three on the board in the sixth and seventh inning to take the 5-1 lead. Tommy Cook and Ferry had key doubles in the seventh to finally chase Moon from the hill.
Dave Thune took the mound for the Bandits in the seventh and held the Nationals scoreless until the ninth. In the ninth, the Bandits defense collapsed allowing four unearned runs to help the Nationals tie the game and send it to extra innings. In the 12th inning the Nationals scored on another unearned run in the top of the inning on a base hit by Bill Dornbusch. Ferry then knocked in Cressy with two outs in the bottom of the 12th to tie the game again for the Bandits.
Tim Sullivan led off the bottom of the 14th for the Bandits with a single to right field. After a fielder’s choice, Cressy, the Bandits Catcher, drilled a ball off the fence in right scoring Thune from first base with the Championship run. Coach Frank Cappello had nothing but praise for his entire team. “To battle 14 innings in this heat was remarkable. The guys showed resiliency and both Cressy and Ferry came up clutch when we needed them.”
The Nationals were paced by Lonjin and Barckhoff, who combined for seven hits and some stellar pitching and defense.
The Bandits championship was special for four of their players. Tom Cook, Pete Groves, Jake O’Neil and Dave Thune all won the 30+/40+/50+ championships this season in DCMSBL, again believed to be a first for the league which has existed since 1989.