Southern Maine Men’s Baseball League, 25+ Division
Astros 5, Reds 2
‘Astros Secure Back to Back Titles’
Submitted by Steve Cascio, Astros manager
The 2020 25+ Astros of the Southern Maine Men’s Baseball League (SMMBL), coming off their 2019 SMMBL Championship, was an equal mix of seasoned veterans and youth. Similar to our 2019 Championship, pitching and defense were the cornerstones of this squad. After a tough opening day loss, the Astros rebounded and played excellent baseball all season finishing with a 14-4 record. Ed Simmons, the all-time RBI leader for SMMBL, played his final season in the 25+ league and in his 28th season went out a back to back champion!
The 2020 SMMBL playoffs were baseball at its very best – great pitching, stingy defense and timely hitting! In the semi-final best of three series, the Astros defeated the Orioles two games to one with all three games decided by one run! The Championship Series, a repeat of the 2019 finals, proved to be an intense battle where defense, pitching and situational hitting propelled the Astros to beat the Reds in the championship series two games to one.
Game one saw the Astros beat the Reds 1-0 led by the pitching of Jared Lemieux and Luke Myers. The Reds evened the series winning game two by a score of 1-0 with a bottom of the 12th walk-off. It was an incredible pitching duel! Joe Sullivan and Luke Myers each logged six innings of near perfect pitching in the defeat. The stage for a “winner takes all” was set and it didn’t disappoint!
The Reds jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning and held the Astros in check until the fifth inning. A Josh Mackey triple plated Tommy Larason to tie the game at one before the Astros added two insurance runs to take a 3-1 lead through the fifth. Two additional runs by the Astros in the seventh inning put the game out of reach, ending in a 5-2 Astros victory.
Every member of the team contributed to our ‘back to back’ championship this year. Incredible pitching by Joe Sullivan, Jared Lemieux and Luke Myers all season ensured that we were in every game. Pitching was the Astros MVP of 2020! Rookie of The Year Tommy Larason took over the catching duties early in the year after an injury to Josh Mackey and came into his own, providing speed and offense to go along with excellent defense behind the plate. Josh slid into the shortstop position like he never left it from his college days years before. Our ‘Most Improved Player’ of the year goes to Jason Ackley. His hitting and defense in left field were solid all season long. Joe Douglas played stellar defense in center field all season and the ageless John Carreiro played great defense at third and proved to be one of the more consistent hitters all season.
A big shout out to our commissioner Jim Doran for all the hard work this challenging season and to the umpires for their efforts. Mostly, a special thanks to all the SMMBL players for competing during a very challenging 2020 season. We hope to return to some normalcy in 2021 and defend our title!