Hudson Valley MSBL, 35+ Lower Division
Hudson Valley Thunder 11, Dutchess Reds 4
‘Thunder Secure First Hudson Valley Title’
Submitted by Hudson Valley Thunder Manager, Vinnie Valentino
The Hudson Valley Thunder entered their third year of existence with one goal – to win a championship! They had fallen short in their previous two seasons but were primed to make a run this season. Everyone on the team promoted the collective team goal of a championship, setting aside any personal goals and ego.
The Thunder’s playoff run was far from easy, as they played quality opponents in the quarterfinals, the HV Yankees and then the Dutchess Reds in the semi-finals. In the quarterfinal game the Thunder jumped ahead 4-0 only to fall behind 6-5 in the fifth inning. Finding their collective backs to the wall, Thunder rallied with two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to win in walk-off fashion 7-6. Lonnie Montanya’s single in the bottom of the seventh with two outs plated the winning run.
In the semifinal matchup, the Thunder found themselves trailing by 4-1 and 5-2 margins only to once again climb all the way back! When things were looking bleak, Anthony Rollman drew the Thunder even with a 3-run bomb to tie the game at 5, and then an inning later, Rollman would find himself in a position to be the hero. With the bases loaded, Rollman hit a double to the wall, scoring two runs. The Thunder would hold on winning 8-6, as Steven Levine shut the door on the Reds over the final four innings on the mound picking up the win.
The Thunder now found themselves in their first ever Championship game. They would face the Dutchess Reds again, who had managed to get through the loser’s bracket to earn themselves a place in the Finals. However, the Thunder proved to be too much for the Reds, jumping out to a 10-0 lead, and winning 11-4. Tim Dolan led the way at the plate, going 2-3 with three RBI and team MVP Steven Levine went all the way for the win!