Pennsylvania Mid-State Baseball League
Lower Allen Dodgers 5, East Shore Angels 3
‘Lower Allen Dodgers Prove Championship Worthy Once Again, Capture 2nd Straight Pennsylvania Midstate Baseball League Title’
Submitted by Kody Ness, East Shore Angels manager
LANCASTER (PA) – In a year in which many did not think baseball would even be a possibility, the Lower Allen Dodgers replicated their effort in 2019 and walked away as champions of the 28/over PA Midstate Baseball League. The Dodgers accomplished this feat with timely hitting, effective pitching, and an ability to come through in the clutch in their championship matchup with the 2018 league champion, East Shore Angels.
With COVID-19 pushing the start of the season back over three months, the PAMBL ramped into high gear in July and did not look back. Teams each played 16-games in less than two months before playing in a one day, single-elimination playoff tournament. The Dodgers hard-charged through the regular season, suffering only a trio of one-run losses, and finished with an impressive 13-3 record to claim the #1 seed entering the playoffs. The Angels started off by losing their first four contests. However, they rebounded nicely, winning 10 of their last 12 and finished with a record of 10-6 to claim the #3 seed, one game behind their friendly rival, the East Hanover Expos.
The tournament was held at Clipper Magazine Stadium, home to the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB). On a rainy, late September day, the Dodgers beat the Enola Yankees 3-0 to advance to the final. The Angels advanced by scoring two runs in the top of the final inning to beat the Expos, 2-0, in a pitchers’ duel in the second semifinal matchup. The stage was set for a one game, winner-take-all, matchup between the Dodgers and Angels. The final game set a familiar scene, as the Dodgers beat the Angels in a heated and highly competitive three game series in the 2019 semifinal round.
Each team got on the board early in the championship game, as the Angels scored a run after loading the bases on consecutive singles by Ray Adames, Bob Koslap Jr. and Sam Watkins and then pushing one across on a Dodgers error. The home team was ultimately able to get out of the jam with an inning ending double-play. Lower Allen then did not waste any time scoring in the home half of the first inning, with singles by Bob Revercomb and Jason Albright, each advancing a base on the throw after Albright’s hit. Lee Moore then stepped up to the plate and hit a hard ground ball, allowing both runs to score and the Dodgers to secure a 2-1 lead after one.
The Angels were able to tie the game at two in the top of the fourth on a line drive single by Tommy Levering. However, the tie and any hope of an Angels lead were quickly dashed in the bottom of the fourth. The Dodgers took a 3-run lead on RBI singles by Tyler Hollenbach, Chris Trimble and Revercomb, ultimately chasing starter Angels Nick Pisani from the game after 3 2/3 innings pitched.
Scoring was relatively quiet the rest of the way, with the Angels only scoring once more on a Sean Jaquith double in the top of the sixth, to close the gap to 5-3. Although Angels reliever, Chuck Spohnhouse (2 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R), pitched superb in relief, the team could not get any closer. This day would belong to the Lower Allen Dodgers and starting pitcher, Brian Jacobs, who pitched a complete game and struck out six batters over seven fantastic innings. The Angels bowed out quietly in the final frame, with Jacobs putting them down in order, capped off by a strikeout to end the game and give the Dodgers their second straight league championship.
East Shore, coached by brothers Kody and Kory Ness, finished just a couple of runs short of a second championship in three seasons and will look to build momentum heading into 2021. The Dodgers, meanwhile, have started the process of building a dynasty and have shown that, at least for now, the championship trophy stays in Lower Allen.