Chautauqua MSBL

Pro Bats Yankees 8, Gowanda Phoenix Lodge #262 Cubs 3

Submitted by Charlie LaDuca, Pro Bats Yankees

The Pro Bats Yankees, managed by Steve Pantano, won both the league and playoff championships this year in the Chautauqua MSBL.  This is the League I founded along with Bart Carruth and Lou Nalbone back in 1992.  In spite of the COVID virus we managed to field seven teams and play a ten-game regular season and single elimination playoffs.

We have named the playoff championship in honor of long time MSBL player and co-founder of the league Gabriel “Bart” Carruth. His son and brother threw out the first pitch during a brief ceremony and presented the trophy after the game.

This was our second overall title in three years. Over a span of five years the Yanks have compiled an impressive 60-20 record in CMSBL action.

The (8-5) Cubs were riding the momentum of last week’s miraculous walk-off semi-final win over the Phillies into the championship game.  For the first three innings, the Cubs went toe to toe with the (11-1) Yankees, matching single runs.  However, in the fourth inning, the Bombers pushed across four runs on four hits, then added single runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to help capture the title. 

The Yank’s Joe Pantano (3 hits, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 runs) led the offensive attack.  In limited 4-game action this season, Pantano batted .800 and scored eight runs.  The most consistent hitters for the Yankees all season showed up again, as Joe Polichetti (2 hits, RBI, runs) and Brent Carmello (2 hits, 2 runs) both batted over .600 for the year.  Matt Eaker drilled a key 2-run single and Robert Calph Jr. doubled in a run.  Joe Coughlin helped close out the scoring, with an RBI single in the eighth.  On the mound for the Yankees, it was the long-time combination of Justyn Vara (win-2 earned runs)) and Eaker (save) the team rode to victory.  Vara struck out 53 batters in 34 innings pitched this season.  

The Cubs Mike Ferguson collected a 2-RBI single in the eighth inning, while John Greene and Jamie Walschlager (run) had the only other hits.  Manager Justin Fish pitched admirably in the loss, except for the rough fourth inning.  He was relieved by former Cy Young winner Walschlager, who closed out the game.