Capital District MABL, 18+ Division
Bombers 8, Ducks 2 (Game three in best-of-five series sweep)
‘Bombers Win Third Championship’
Submitted by Rick DiJohn, Bombers’ manager
The Championship started on a rainy Thursday night at Shuttleworth in Amsterdam, in a game where the Bombers would start the efficient Jon Mueller, while the Ducks started ace pitcher Spencer Brown. The rain may have affected Mueller as the Ducks jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead.
After the first inning, Mueller settled in and ended up only allowing one additional run through six innings. On the other side, Spencer was dealing. The hot Bombers lineup was cooled off as he had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning. In the bottom of the sixth, down 4-0, the Bombers finally showed some life after a lead-off single by Aaron Delano and a hit and run by Zach Agan, another Bomber was hit by a pitch so bases were loaded for Greg Jette. In true clutch Jette fashion, he came through with a huge bases-clearing 3-RBI double just out of the reach of Ducks center fielder Antony Mantova, which would make the score 4-3.
The very next batter, Will Gorman then hit a triple to make it 4-4 and ended up scoring himself to make it 5-4 Bombers. In the top of the seventh, the Ducks scrapped together two runs with some key hits by Bob Murphy and Brandon Baumann. The Ducks were now up 6-5.
In the bottom of the seventh, Rick DiJohn led off with a single just out of the reach of a diving Ducks second baseman Steve Martino. The Bombers would end up scoring to tie it on an error. Now tied 6-6, another clutch playoff player and former playoff MVP Zach Agan was up with a guy on third with one out. Agan hit it hard and once again just out of the reach of the Ducks second baseman, so the Bombers won with a walk-off in a wild finish, final score 7-6.
The winner of the wild first game, which could have gone either way, set the tone for the rest of the series. The Ducks would send another stud pitcher, Dino Ferrarese to the mound to face off against game 1’s walk-off winner’s brother, Eric Agan. Dino and Spencer both allowed three runs all year, and all three weren’t even earned runs. The Bombers would once again have to battle against great pitching, and they were up to the challenge. The Bombers ended up winning 6-3 on yet another rainy day, with a 3-hit day by Aaron Delano and even contribution throughout the lineup. Eric Agan for the Bombers was on, and despite the defense not having their ‘A’ game, Eric carried the Bombers to a win with great pitching.
In Game three, the Bombers were still riding the momentum from the improbable comeback in Game One, and the Ducks would go to long-time team member and great pitcher, Dan Jones. With Patrick McGuire suffering a dislocated pinky in the previous Expos series, the Bombers would turn to long-time player and underused pitcher Nigel Gorman. Nigel always does well when called upon, and game three was no different.
The Bombers jumped on Dan Jones and put up four in the first. Jones would settle down the rest of the game, but the Bombers chipped away with a few key hits late in the game, including two hits each by red-hot Aaron Delano and Greg Jette, and three hits by Dan McGuire. Nigel was effective, throwing a complete game, and the Bombers would win game three 8-2 and take down the championship!
While many Bombers contributed to their playoff run, playoff MVP honors go to Greg Jette, for numerous clutch hits, including the previously mentioned 3-RBI double down 4-0 in the sixth, and game-changing great catches in the outfield, including a huge diving catch in the top of the seventh of the same game one where he had the double. Jette finished 7-18 with six runs and seven RBIs. Honorable mention goes to Aaron Delano, who was 10-21 with five runs and three RBIs, and also great defense in the outfield!
Every Bombers player contributed to wins all year. It was truly a team effort. The Bombers ‘never give up’ attitude paid off to start off the championship, with other numerous comebacks throughout the year including game one of the Expos second round series down 6-5 in the seventh just like game one of the Ducks series, also prevailing with a 7-6 win.
Thanks again to all the teams going all out this year. It was a well-balanced and very competitive year where the top five teams were very close in standings and any of the eight teams could win on any given day. Thanks again to all the managers, players, and everyone who makes the league what it is!