The Minkmen are your 2018 Fan Baseball Champs! After scoring 29 runs in the semi-final game against the Mongos the Minkmen faced off with the reigning champion Schmoozers.
Ace pitchers for both staffs went head to head, Angelo Rodriguez for the Minkmen and AJ Mulvey for the Schmoozers and they were both in top form, treating the attendees at Dutchess Stadium to a good old fashioned pitchers duel over the first six innings. Rodriguez managed to give up just one run on four hits and four walks over his six innings of work while Mulvey kept the Minkmen’s powerful offense at bay, allowing only three hits and two walks through his 8 innings.
The Schmoozers threatened early in game, loading the bases in the bottom of the 2nd for player/manager Paul Farash who struck-out swinging. Mulvey was in his groove from the very beginning for the Schmoozers, retiring the first 11 Minkmen batters. With a run scored in the bottom of the 4th off the bat of Ryan Clarke it was looking like that would be all Schmoozers would need as Mulvey proceeded to hold the Minkmen hitless over the 5th and 6th innings.
Meanwhile the Schmoozers continued to get on base but a costly base-running snaff resulted in a double-play to end the 5th and with a runner on-base in the 6th Rodriguez struck out the last batter he faced of the game to end the inning.
In the top of the 7th the Minkmen batters were now facing Mulvey for their third time in the game and it showed. Adam Moran led off the inning with a bloop single to shallow right-center but the Schmoozers defense failed to have anyone covering second base as both the second baseman and shortstop ran out and Moran wisely took advantage, ending up safe in scoring position. Miguel Ortiz, who before the inning started had the only hit for the Minkmen, drove a single to left and ended up on second base on the Schmoozers attempt to gun down Moran at the plate. The game was now tied with the go-ahead in scoring position. Lapses in the Schmoozers defense (three errors) allowed two more runs to score to give the Minkmen a 3-1 lead.
In the bottom of the 7th and Lenny Neslin now pitching for the Minkmen, the Schmoozers managed to load the bases with just one out. Neslin was able to induce a 4-3 double-play to get out of the jam. In the bottom of the 8th the Schmoozers, again, had the bases loaded but this time with two out and now with Moran on the mound. A groundout to short ended the inning as the Schmoozers for the third time in the game left the bases full.
After 8 stellar innings the Schmoozers made the call for Vinny Tinerino to take the hill in the top of the 9th. Tinerino had a hard time finding the strike zone though, walking the first batter (Moran), then giving up a single to Ortiz (his third hit of the game) and then walking the next three batters, resulting in two insurance runs for the Minkmen.
Moran then shut down the remaining Schmoozers in the bottom of the 9th with two strikeouts and a groundout to second to secure the win to record the last out and crown the Minkmen, for the second time in three years, the champions of the Fan Baseball League.
See the game in it’s entirety here: https://www.periscope.tv/DHAPshow/1nAKEQzkwNbKL