Hudson Valley MSBL, 45+ Division
Hopewell Tigers 18, Sharks 1
‘Tigers Capture Back to Back Championships’
Submitted by Phil Geary, Tigers manager
The 2022 Hopewell Tigers 45+ started winter workouts back on January 31st in defense of their 2021 championship season.
The Tigers had a very successful season as part of the Hudson Valley MSBL. They finished the season 15-2, while their only two losses were by one run to the Carmel Sharks. The Hopewell Tigers allowed the fewest amount of runs scored against them in the league because of solid defense and great pitching. The defense only allowed 70 runs, as the next closest team yielded 106.
The Playoffs started on 9/17 versus the Hudson River Falcons, a game won by the Tigers, 12-6.
Next up were the semi-finals versus the New York Outlaws on 9/24. The Outlaws pushed the Tigers to the brink but the Tigers managed to hold on and came away with a hard fought “walk off” win in the bottom of the ninth to secure a 5-4 victory.
The Championship game was scheduled to be played on 10/1 but with rain in the forecast both Manager’s agreed to push the game back to 10/08.
On the morning of the championship game, the temperatures were brisk in the high 40’s but the Tigers bats were warmed up and ready to pounce.
This was a rematch of last year’s co-CY Young Award winners, Stockfield for the Sharks and Geary for the Tigers.
The Tigers were the away team and wasted no time getting a lead that would never be challenged. In the first inning, the Tigers exploded for five runs with three hits, two walks, and a sac fly.
The Tigers added two more runs in the second, two more runs in the third, three more runs in the fourth, and a whomping six runs in the fifth inning, highlighted by a 3-run home run by All-Star catcher Jim Luciano.
There were so many highlights, but to name a few: Leadoff hitter John Sullivan had three hits and four stolen bases and played solid defense in centerfield, recording three putouts.
Sean Lyons, our defensive leader at shortstop, went 4 for 4, including 3-rbi and a pair of stolen bases.
Pranat Kumar had a big day at the plate going 3 for 3 and added three rbi.
Veterans Rob Martin and Shawn Cohen each contributed a pair of timely hits.
Defensively, the Tigers turned a pair of double plays with six different Tigers involved.
The game was shortened to just five innings because of the mercy rule in effect.
Final score; Tigers 18, Sharks 1.
This was a complete team victory, as the Tigers notched back-to back championships and captured their third title in the last four years.
Congratulations to the Sharks for a good season finishing 18-3.