2020 Smyrna Cardinals Hold Off Braves for Saturday League Championship in West Metro Atlanta

West Metro Atlanta MSBL, Saturday League 55+ Division

Smyrna Cardinals 3, Great Atlanta Braves 2

‘Leonard Complete Game Seals Championship’

Submitted by Rob Huck, league president

The Greater Atlanta Braves took an early 2 – 0 lead over the Cardinals, scoring one run each in the top of the first two innings.  The Cardinals got back one run in the bottom of the fourth inning, and tied the game in the bottom of the sixth inning.  The game remained tied until the bottom of the eighth inning, when the Cardinals were able to push one run across the plate for the lead.  In the top of the ninth inning, the Greater Atlanta Braves were able to get runners on second and third with two outs, but on a pop up to the catcher for the third out, the Cardinals were able to hold on for the win and championship.

The Greater Atlanta Braves, managed by Rick Stephens, saw outstanding pitching from Buddy Horton and Joe Macciarella, strong hitting led by Dale Malik and J.D. Godbout and excellent outfield defense play by Dale Patterson and J.D. Godbout.

The 55+ Cardinals, managed by Don Etheridge, sent Daniel Leonard to the mound where he pitched all nine innings with a total of 94 pitches for the win.  The infield of Jeff Chumley, Tony Alonzo and Frank Corbett, with Steve Bailey and Eric Lovvorn sharing first base, played almost flawlessly with three double plays – two of which were ending inning; in the outfield Tom Leonard, Chris Watson, Rett Rowland and Lenny Weiss all made critical plays saving runs, and the Cardinal’s catcher, Jim Kelly, caught the entire game getting three outs at home plate and catching the final out of the game.