By Dan Brosgol
From Wednesday through Friday, the thrill of playoff baseball came to Page Field, as the American and National League Bedford Babe Ruth crowned their 2015 champions.
In the American League, the Orioles and A’s faced off on Wednesday evening with the A’s needing a victory to claim the title, while the Orioles needed to win on Wednesday and force a decisive winner-take-all game on Thursday. The Orioles did not disappoint, jumping out to an early 9-0 lead and running away with a 14-2 victory that ended after four innings. Jimmy McGinn’s home run over the fence in right center field capped his 3-for-4 night at the plate and put the exclamation point on a decisive win for the boys in orange, while Nick Solitro and Dylan DiGangi combined to allow only two hits on the mound for the victors.
Thursday night’s game, played under the lights as the twilight turned into dusk, was played at a rapid clip, as the A’s grabbed a 3-0 lead in the first inning behind a Nick Puglielli triple that scored two runners, and added a fourth run in the bottom of the second inning. The crucial play of the game happened in the top of the third inning with the Orioles at the plate. With runners on 1st and 2nd and one out, Nick Solitro hit a long fly ball that rolled to the center field fence. Jackson Stuzynski grabbed the ball on the warning track and made a perfect relay throw to Matt Kazangian at second base, who then whirled around and made a perfect throw to Puglielli at the plate, who tagged out the advancing runner and kept the run from scoring. That was all the defensive help James Brosgol would need as he delivered a clutch performance on the mound, pitching a complete game shutout, scattering four hits and striking out eight over his six innings of work and leading the A’s a 4-0 victory and the American League title.
On Friday night the Mets found themselves one win away from the National League championship, and with an enormous crowd of parents, baseball fans, and kids eagerly anticipating the end of the school year on Monday, they battled the Cubs for six innings on a picture-perfect evening. The Mets grabbed an early lead and didn’t look back, but the Cubs rallied throughout the game. In the top of the 6th inning, the Cubs were down by two and had the bases loaded, but the Mets held on for the 10-8 victory and received their championship trophies against the backdrop of a beautiful early summer evening sky.
Congratulations to all of Bedford’s baseball and softball players for a fabulous season, and stay tuned to the Citizen for updates on all of the summer baseball and softball action that is already getting underway.