Bux-Mont MSBL, 45+ Atlantic Division
Sanatoga Dodgers 3, Reading Bombers 2 (Game 2 in best-of-three championship series)
How can you not be romantic about baseball?
One year after making the last out in the 2021 championship game, Sanatoga Dodgers catcher Kevin Pruskowski redeemed himself in the most dramatic of ways by delivering the game-winning walk-off hit with the bases loaded to secure the 2022 Dodgers’ first championship in the Bux-Mont MSBL’s 45+ Atlantic Division.
With the game tied 2-2 in the second game of the championship doubleheader against the Reading Bombers, Pruskowsi came to bat in the bottom of the seventh inning thinking just one thing: “I don’t want to catch another inning.”
Instead, after battling off some foul balls and taking a couple of close pitches, he lined a 2-2 fastball into left field, scoring Terry “TO” Oakes from third for the 3-2 win and the Dodgers’ first championship in just their second season.
The championship capped off an incredible 13-game win streak and a 17-3 season record (including playoffs) for the Dodgers, led by manager Brady Youngman.
Sanatoga had won Game one earlier in the day 8-1 behind starting pitcher Ivan Sciupac’s 97-pitch complete game 7-hitter. Sciupac (8-0) went the distance for his fourth complete game of the season, lowering his ERA to 2.21 and winning team MVP.
In Game one of the championship game against the 14-6 Bombers, the Dodgers knocked out 11 hits, including two apiece by 2021 team MVP Darryl Daniel (3 RBIs) and Noel Sordo, whose day included a run-scoring triple. Tom Goldschmidt, Earl Myers, Kevin Strain, Oakes, bash brothers Bob and Dave Cone, and Youngman had one hit apiece to pace the Dodgers.
Game two was a low-scoring affair that saw the Dodgers facing a 2-1 deficit in the fifth inning before Dann Eaton came through in the clutch as he had all season and smacked a game-tying single in the bottom half of the inning.
After the Dodgers induced a double play to end a 7th-inning threat, Oakes started a 2-out rally with a single to right. Bob Cone got on base on an infield error, then Strain worked a walk to load the bases and set up Pruskowski’s heroics.
Youngman notched his own complete game from the mound, giving up only six hits and 0 earned runs in Game two, tossing 96 pitches for his fifth win of the season.
The Sanatoga Dodgers formed in 2021 under the leadership of Youngman and Goldschmidt, who set out to create a competitive team that had fun together. They were joined by several of their former Pottstown Pirate teammates like Michael Aijala (2.70 ERA, 4-0), Steve Bixler (.543 batting average), Evan Evans (.333), and Earl Myers (.560), and found fresh blood like Keith Black (.529), Jason Pendergast (.654), and Eric Walksy (.586) to round out the 2022 championship roster.