The Duke Realty Yankees captured the ZLL Major Division Championship with an exciting 14-13 extra inning win over the Holland Applied Technology Cubs. The Yankee win followed a loss to the same Cubs team earlier in the evening that forced a championship finale.
In the early game the Yankees jumped off to a three run lead in the top of the first inning on a line drive home run by Carson Canfield, the first of three hits by Canfield. The Cubs got two back in the bottom of the inning on a home run by Cub infielder Ethan Barksdale. The teams battled evenly over the following innings with superb defense trading the spotlight with timely hitting. Jack Drake pitched out of a late game jam and also banged a double and a triple for the Yankees. Barksdale shined with two singles, a home run and several outstanding plays from his short stop position. In the end it was the home side Cubs prevailing 9-8 on a sixth inning run.
The nightcap featured opposing ten year old pitchers Andrew Davis of the Yanks and the Cubs’ Ian Sands. The Yankees once again jumped out to a 3-0 lead only to see the Cubs tie the score in their half of the third inning. The Yanks broke the tie with two runs in the bottom of the third to take a 5-3 lead. The Cubs responded with a fifth inning rally that tallied four runs, highlighted by a long home run by Evan Gilmore. With the score 8-6 the Yankees plated seven runs in their half of the fifth to build a 13-8 lead. The inning featured back to back doubles by Canfield and first baseman Matthew Davis.
Facing a 13-8 deficit in final inning of regulation play the Cubs displayed remarkable resilience and determination as they chipped at the Yankee lead. In what could be their last at bats, the Cubs quickly rallied for three runs and trailed 13-11 when Bennett Clark stepped to the plate. Three pitches later Clark singled to right to tie the contest. The Yankees went quietly in the bottom of the sixth setting the stage for extra innings.
In the top of the seventh Yankee pitcher Jack Kelly set the Cubs down in order. Jack Drake walked to open the Yankee seventh. Jack Kelly followed with a hard hit ball to right center. As the ball found the gap between center and right field Drake motored home with the winning run. Yankees win 14-13! A championship contest that had begun on a sunny Saturday evening had ended under the glow of the Lion’s Park lights just a few ticks short of Sunday morning. Special mention goes to Yankee Grady Ellis who was behind the plate for all thirteen innings of play. Also deserving of mention is Cub Will Hobick who continued playing following a nasty collision and made a wonderful sliding catch in centerfield to head off a Yankee rally. Hobick later left the contest and was treated at the hospital for a broken nose.
Pictured above are:
Front row: Andrew Davis, Jack Drake, Sam Tucker, Jack DiPlotti, Frank DelVecchio, Payne Vogtmann
Back row: Manager John Kelly, Jack Kelly, Matthew Davis, Grady Ellis, Carson Canfield, Coach Matt Tucker, Griffin Brown, Coach Steve Vogtmann, Ethan Copner