June 2, 2008
ML Playoff Game 1
Gardner Fox 9
As Marc Zumoff, the 76ers announcer would say - Are you kidding me?!
What a start to the play-offs for the major league division of Media Little League. On a perfect late spring night, Danny Enterlin of Campbells and Sean Heidig of Gardner Fox climbed the hill to try and lead their respective teams to victory. On the first pitch of the night, Phillip Kotcamp of GF sent notice that this was going to be a unique night, as he sent a screaming liner over the fence for a 1-0 lead. Campbells fought back in the bottom of the first, scratching out two runs of its own. Enterlin then settled down and pitched well, but had to be removed due to shoulder soreness in the top of the 3rd.
Ben Geiger came into the game for Campbells, and immediately faced a stern test as his defense allowed several grounders to turn into a bases loaded jam. With Ryan Heidig at the plate, Geiger challenger him with a fastball. Heidig waved through. Geiger then elevated a curveball, and Heidig deposited a grand slam over the center field wall, narrowly missing the scoreboard. Gardner Fox added another run, and took a 6-2 lead into the 4th inning.
Things looked bleak for Campbells, as Gardner Fox brought in Bryan Mizell to pitch. Mizell swatted down the Campbell’s batters like gnats, as his teammates added to their lead by scoring three more runs to take a 9-2 lead. Leading the Gardner offensive charge was Phillip Kotcamp, who had four hits on the night, including a “de-cleater” that almost removed pitcher Geiger’s head. With a seemingly safe lead, and his second pitcher at the magical 40 pitch count, manager Scott Kotcamp decided to play for the next game and went to his bullpen, taking Mizell off the hill. Dom Nunag came in to close out the game, but Brian Treston and the Campbells team had different thoughts. Treston backed up his constant positive talk by hitting a triple that signaled new life to Campbells. The soup lovers were able to plate 3 runs in the 5th, to bring the game to 9-5. Danny Grandieri set the Gardner squad down in order in the top of the 6th, and then the game got fun.
In the 6th, Campbells quickly loaded the bases, courtesy of some sloppy Gardner fielding. Campbells plated two runs, and had a man on 2nd and 3rd base with two outs, down 9-7, when Sean Doyle came to the plate. In an epic battle, Doyle fought off pitch after Nunag pitch until he was able to finally cajole a walk out of Nunag. Doyle’s 12 pitch at-bat clearly shook Nunag. Up to the plate strode Jasen McLarney, all 72 pounds of him. After a wild pitch made the score 9-8, McLarney calmly fought off an 0-2 count and stroked a game tying single. Doyle moved to third on the hit, and the crowd was going crazy.
With renewed confidence and crazy momentum, Campbells’ then won the game on lead off hitter and hero Christian “C” Miller’s line drive game winner. Doyle jumped across the plate, and was mobbed by his teammates. You can catch the replay on ESPN Classics all next week.
Final score – Campbells 10 Gardner Fox 9