Sanford, NC – The
Marlins captured their third consecutive 45+ Championship in a five game playoff. After ended the regular season with a 16-2 record, just one game better than the Sandhills Sandgnats’ 15-3 season score. It came down to the last scheduled game of the season. The Marlins and Sandgnats had split their first two games during the season, but the Marlins ended up beating the Sandgnats 13-3 the very last game of the season to finish as regular season champions.
In the first two games of the playoffs the Marlins scored thirty-one runs while allowing none, beating the Premier Orioles 19-0 and the Carrboro A’s 12-0 to advanced to their third league title in a row under manager David Halley. The Alamance Giants, who finished the season 12-5, advanced by beating the Carolina Reds 15-1 and the Sandhill Sandgnats 10-6 in the round robin under manager Tom Darling.
Game 1 – Alamance Giants 7, Sanford Marlins 6
The Giants and Marlins exchanged leads several times during the game, but the Giants plated a run in the top of the ninth on a RBI single from Jimmy Chrisco to take the lead for good. Giants pitcher Mike Watkins allowed nine hits, and struck out two for a complete game victory. Left fielder Mike Faircloth made the defensive play of the game going deep into foul territory to make a diving catch for the last out of the game with Marlin runners on second and third. Lovette, Husen, Vuelta, and Chrisco had multiple hits for the Giants. Finegan and Montgomery had multiple hits for the Marlins. Halley who pitched the entire game took the loss for the Marlins.
Game 2 – Sanford Marlins 23, Alamance Giants 4
The Marlins quickly jumped on Giants in game two, scoring ten runs in the first two innings and kept the game out of reach for the rest of the game. Twenty four hits, six which were doubles, later the game ended with a rebound victory for the Marlins. Brian Doucette lead the Marlins in the offensive category with a 5 for 5 game, followed by offensive standouts: Haver 3 for 5 with two doubles, Chasse 3 for 5 with two doubles and 4 RBIs, Montgomery 2 for 3, Healey 3 for 5, Wright 2 for 3, and Reese 2 for 3. Eric Chasse and Chip Haver combined for the win. Watkins who started the game for the Giants was tagged for the loss.
Game 3 – Sanford Marlins 10, Alamance Giants 8
In the rubber match the Giants jumped quickly to a three run lead in the first inning and another in the second. The Marlins cut it to two with two runs of their own in the second. The Marlins would take the lead in the fourth on four runs highlighted by three singles, several miscues by the Giants and one of three sacrifice flies for the Marlins during the game. The Marlins would plate a run in the fifth, the sixth, seventh, and an insurance run in the ninth. The Giants would mount a comeback by scoring two in the sixth to come within one, and two in the eighth to come up within one again, but would come up short in the bottom of the ninth with runners left on first and third with the final out. Eric Chasse was the starting pitcher for the Marlins, going five innings. Halley would finish the game for the final victory. Eric Chasse would lead the Marlins in the offensive category going 4 for 5 and scoring two runs, followed by Greene 3 for 4 with two runs and three RBIs, and Moczulski 3 for 4 with two runs and two RBIs. Mike Watkins would lead Giants offense going 3 for 4 with 2 RBIs, followed by Husen 2 for 5, and Austin 2 for 4. Jeffrey Husen gets a tough complete game loss for the Giants.