The Detroit Tigers clinched the American League Central in dramatic fashion Sunday, the final day of their regular season, with a 3-0 win over the visiting Minnesota Twins.
Apparently participants in the Flint City Baseball League's Jack Wright 40-and-over division wanted a little last-minute action of their own--and they got it, as Team Transition and Palacios provided plenty of drama during their title-game sealing wins Monday night at Whaley Park in Flint.
Here's how it all went down.
Palacios 10, Family Physical Therapy 9
FPT led 8-1 after two innings, but mistakes in the forms of walks and fielding errors allowed Palacios to squeak by and advance to Wednesday's championship vs. Team Transition.
The third and fifth innings were FPT's downfall. However, the team was one of the scrappiest in the division and deserves a lot of credit for hanging around when it should have been down and out in a couple of games.
Name game for Palacios: Tom Osterholzer (sorry for butchering your last name all season); Brian Lipe (soft "I", my fault...)
Team Transition 13, Mudville 9
TT's Derek Nowak gets my vote for play of the year. NO question there. In the bottom of the fourth, Nowak, a former Mott Community College standout, hit an in-the-park-homer that gave his team a commanding 9-1 lead.
If the lefty's nearly 360-foot stroke to right center wasn't enough, the play at the plate was--Nowak was nearly gunned down after rounding third, but he slid head-first to ensure that his four-bagger wouldn't go to waste. He followed with a two-out, RBI-single (with the bases full) in the bottom of the fifth (10-6 TT).
Not to be outdone, Greg Rinke followed with a three-run double to cap TT's run production--it was the second-hardest hit ball of the night, and probably of the season. It's 385 feet to left center, and Rinke's ball fell about 20 feet short of the fence.
It was a rocket.
TT name game: So it's Craig Kehoe, not "Kehole." I'm blaming Danny Arnold for that mistake. He's the one who delivered the lineup card each night. He knows the one--the one that had multiple spellings of Rick Vandersteen/Vandensteen/Vandasteen. For the record, I believe it's "Vandersteen," but said as "Vandensteen."
Mudville played its best game of the season. The Nine didn't get their first run until the fourth, but their five-run fifth made it a contest. Mark Huelskamp got the balling rolling with a two-run RBI in the top half.
Oh, and George Kimball, sorry for writing "George Campbell" in one of the prior game posts. Again, my fault! There's no excuse for that one, actually. Mudville's lineups were typewritten.
Thanks to all the guys for a competitive fall season. I had a lot of fun playing music and messing up names at Whaley.
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