Atlanta MABL, 18+ American Division
Cobb Angels 5, Stripers 3 (Game two of championship series sweep)
‘Wagner Clutch Hit Secures Series Sweep’
Submitted by Alan Cirilli, Angels manager
After defeating the #4 and #1 seeds in the Quarter and Semi-Finals, the #5 seed Cobb Angels came into the championship round versus the #2 seed Stripers in a best of three series.
In Game #1, the Angels started off with a bang in the top of the first inning with a loud leadoff double by Ricky Dixon that just missed clearing the centerfield fence. The Halos took a quick 1-0 lead, which they added to later in the top of the fourth thanks to a Sac Fly by long-time Angel Sean Hartman, to bring the lead to 3-0. Starter Corey Thompson held the Stripers at bay until they broke through in the bottom of the fourth to cut their deficit to 3-2. The Halos added to their lead in the top of the sixth, again by Sean Hartman who singled sharply just inside the third base bag to drive in Kevin Price, which would end up being the game-winning hit.
The Stripers managed to battle back in the bottom of the sixth to add another run. The Stripers refused to quit and had the bases loaded in the bottom seventh with two outs, but Josh Kutzli battled through, despite walks and a defensive miscue, to produce a soft grounder to close out the clutch save in Game one. Final Score: Cobb Angels 4, Stripers 3
Game #2 started as a pitchers’ duel until the Stripers broke out with two runs in the top of the third inning and scrapped by another in the top of the fourth. A typical bulldog pitching performance by veteran starter, Brian Klotz, kept the Angels within reach as the bats were held at bay by Stripers pitching, holding the Halos offense to one run through five innings. The Angels showed patience in the bottom of the sixth inning as the Stripers bullpen walked the bases loaded for the notorious clutch bat of Nate Wagner.
In typical fashion with the game on the line, Wagner singled up the middle to drive in two runs tying the game at three and eventually scoring the go-ahead run. Rookie pitcher, Bobby Scott, came out of the bullpen and secured the save after the Stripers were caught in a pickle as shortstop John Kennedy ran down the tag for the final out securing a 5-3 Cobb Angels victory and Championship series sweep.
The Championship is the second 18+ league title in Cobb Angels history and their first since 2016.