Around the Parks

The 2021 season has come to an end with the Divisional Finals ending this past weekend. The Gilmore Division saw the fourth place Caribooze claim the championship over the Royals in two exciting close games. The series opener was a fine pitching dual between M. Kelly and A. Ciccia which unfolded in the 6th inning when the Caribooze scored a couple to take the lead for good and prevail 3-1. Both pitchers went 7 innings and both were very effective with a great mix of breaking pitches and fastballs. In game 2 the Royals jumped to an early 5-0 lead as their bats came to life coupled with a few base on balls which they cashed in. The veteran Caribooze were far from done however as they chipped away and eventually took the lead in the fourth inning. Catcher M. Gallo showcased his great throwing arm as he nailed 3 young Royals trying to steal. M. Sandiford drove in 3 runs for the Caribooze including the go ahead and series winning RBI. A. Randle, who had gone nearly two years without pitching prior to this season came in as a reliever and tossed 5 scoreless innings for the 8-5 win.

The Clemente match up was quite predictable with the Geese and Rhinos having both finished with 10-2 records. Game 1 was an absolutely stellar pitching performance on both sides. N. Doesburg was on the mound for the Rhinos and M. Majeur for the Geese, both going 7 innings. Both pitchers had their best material on that night and kept opposing batters off balance. With both teams playing strong defense the game moved along quickly and remained scoreless until the top of the 7th when the Geese managed a single run which turned out to be the game winner. The Rhinos tied the series a couple of days later thanks to a brilliant pitching performance by R. McGregor who only surrendered two hits on his way to a 3-1 win. The 3rd and decisive game was played on a beautiful evening on September 12th with a rather sizable crowd on hand. The pitching match up was a repeat of game one with N. Doesburg facing M. Majeur. The Geese got on the board early when M. Majeur helped his own cause by launching a ball under the left field scoreboard for a 3 run home run. The Rhinos stayed close and managed to get 8 hits of Majeur, but in the 6th the Geese opened a 7-3 lead which held up for the victory.

The Robinson Division finals closed out the 2021 season at LSB and the only predictable thing was that the winner would be a first time champion. The White Sox and Cubs finished first and second during the season, with both teams made up of veteran and young players. The opening game was a close one that the visitors took thanks to a 2 run inning in the 6th and a save for Jorlis Graces who joined the Cubs in 2021 after an off year in 2020. Veteran B. Tremblay drove in 3 with 2 hits including a double. Game 2 saw a similar score but in favor of the White Sox. J. Mendez pitched another complete game scattering 8 hits and walking none while mixing a lively fastball and a hard breaking slider. J. Casas and A. Akram each drove in 2 runs for the White Sox. The final game of the season on September 13th attracted a good crowd on another lovely evening. The Cubs jumped ahead early and never really looked back as they found their hitting rhythm while helping starter R. Martin with some sharp defense.