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Sox walk off with MABL Title in extras

Posted: October 06, 2018 by Dan Field | Add Comment

2018 MABL Champions - Boston Sox

It was a historic night in the MABL division as the #1 seeded Boston Sox (21-2-1) and #2 seeded Cambridge Spinners (18-6) battled it out in the deciding Game 5 of the MABL Championship Series. Starting on the hill was Pat Clapp (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 6 Saves) for the Spinners and Cy Young contender, Hector Gabriel Ramirez (10-2 1.23 ERA) for the Sox. Joe Tufo, manager of the Spinners, would decide to go with Clapp, the Spinners' closer, in a rare spot start. This would turn out to be a favorable decision as Clapp, who threw just a total of 14 innings in the regular season, would give his team 8 strong innings along with 6 K's, while limiting the Sox' offense to just six hits. Ramirez was also impressive for the Sox, going 8 1/3 innings with 12 K's, allowing just three hits. Neither starting pitcher would allow an earned run in their outing.

With the game scoreless through 3 innings, the Spinners would get on the board first, plating two runs in the top of the 4th, taking advantage of some defensive miscues by the Sox. Two innings later, the baseball gods would even things out as the Sox would score two runs of their own in similar fashion, tying the game 2-2 in the bottom of the 6th. With both teams having plenty of opportunities to push the winning run across in the innings to follow, the bullpens for both sides were outstanding, and neither team would be able to muster a run for the next five nail-biting innings. Jon Shepard would come into the game for the Sox on just two days rest and manage to keep the Spinners' bats silent, throwing 5 2/3 innings of shutout relief. He would go on to earn all three wins for the Sox in the championship series and post a 5-0 record in the postseason, giving up just one earned run over 30 innings. For the Spinners, Pat Donohoe would relieve Clapp in the 9th and although he would have some control issues, he too would not allow a Sox run to cross for the next four innings.

The clock would eventually strike midnight and the game would enter the bottom of the 13th inning with the score still tied, as nervous fans watching from the stands and on Facebook Live waited with bated breath to see how this game would end. Rommel Peguero would begin the inning for the Sox with a base hit to left and then advance to second base on a wild pitch. With first base now open, Ryan Foley would be walked intentionally, giving the Sox runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs. Omar Ortiz would then lay down a sacrifice bunt, giving the Sox runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out. The Spinners would then intentionally walk Marcos Reyes to load the bases with one out. Next up to the plate would be Jake Perkins with a chance to be the hero of the game...and he would deliver. On the second pitch of his at bat, Perkins would perfectly place a ground ball down the 1st base line just out of reach of the Spinners' first baseman, allowing Peguero to score and the Boston Sox to walk off with the 3-2 victory and the 2018 MABL championship.

In the end, Game 5 of the 2018 MABL Finals would take over 4 hours and a total of 13 innings to complete, setting a single-game record for most innings played (13) in a MABL Finals game. The previous record was 10 innings set back in Game 2 of the 2016 MABL Finals between the Athletics and the Spinners.

Congratulations to the Boston Sox on winning the 2018 MABL Championship, their first championship since 2013 and to the runner-up Spinners on their fourth straight MABL Finals appearance. This was an exciting championship series that came down to the wire between the top two teams in the league. Props to both teams on a great season!