Rome Bombers 5, Syracuse Chiefs 4 (11 innings)
‘Wild Pitch in 11th Scores Hudson for Championship’
By Raymond Houle, Bombers manager
The Rome Bombers, in their first season in the Syracuse MSBL defeated the Syracuse Chiefs in a best of three championship series 2-1 to take the Kesserling Cup and the title of champion of the Syracuse MSBL.
In game one, Chiefs left hander Kyano Cummings went the distance, holding the Bombers to just four hits as he struck out 13 on his way to a 3-0 victory. Chiefs manager Devin Reschke drove in the first run which would turn out to be enough for the victory. Dan Maloney and Ryan Bidwell drove in the two additional runs for the Chiefs off of Bombers pitcher Steve Szatko, who went 8 2/3 innings while giving up seven hits and striking out seven.
In game two, the Bombers were able to get on top of Chiefs pitcher Ryan Fennell early, as Drew Farley drove in a run in the first and Bombers pitcher Ryan Dungey helped himself with a 3-run homer in the third inning leading to a 5-2 Bombers victory to even the series at one gamne apiece. Dungey went the distance on the mound scattering eight hits and striking out eight. The Bombers added an insurance run with a Matt Woodman RBI single in the fourth. The Chiefs made it very interesting in the ninth, getting to within the final 3-run deficit but left the bases loaded to end the game.
Game three took place the following week to decide the championship. This game was one for the ages and possibly the best in league history for a deciding game of the Kesserling Cup series. The Bombers were able to get on Chiefs ace Bobby Reynaud in the first for a run that scored via an errant throw. The 1-0 score held until the Chiefs scored in the top of the sixth on a Bombers error of their own. They would answer right back in the bottom half as Ryan Dungey tripled and scored on yet another error. 2-1 Bombers after six full innings. Then in the eighth inning the Chiefs were finally able to get to Bombers pitcher Seve Kowalski. After two men reached, Dan Maloney and Aaron Endres hit sacrifice flies go get the Chiefs the lead at 3-2. After a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth and top of the ninth, Connor Passalacqua was able to reach on a fielder’s choice and Drew Farley lined a double over the left fielder’s head to tie the game at 3-3 and to extra innings we went!!!
In the 10th, the Chiefs took advantage of a leadoff walk by Justin Mathers from new Bombers pitcher Steve Szatko and was able to get him home taking the lead 4-3. In the bottom half, Jeff Labarre singled to lead off the inning, stole second base, advanced on a Mark Minicozzi, Jr. flyout, and then scored on a Raymond Houle sacrifice fly to tie up the game at four each. In the 11th, the Chiefs were once again able to load the bases, but Bombers manager Raymond Houle brought in Ryan Dungey to get them out of the jam. He was successful as the Chiefs were unable to score. In the bottom half, the Chiefs brought in Ryan Fennell to try to keep the Bombers at bay. After a strike out to start the inning, Tim Hudson singled. He then stole second base as Seve Kowalski moved him over to third with a grounder to second base. Then in the most bizarre way to walk off, Fennell uncorked a wild pitch that actually bounced out of play and the Bombers scored the winning run for a 5-4 final score.
It was a very exciting series between two very good teams. Hats off to the Chiefs, who defeated the 2-time defending champ and undefeated Brewers in the semi-finals to get to the finals. They finished their season with an overall 12-4 record. The Bombers finished their season at 13-5.