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Spartans 3-peat as MSBL 28+ Champions

Updated: October 09, 2019 by Dan Field | Leave Comment

2019 MSBL 28+ Champions - South Shore Spartans

The 3-peat is complete for the South Shore Spartans after defeating the Boston Bombers in the deciding Game 5 of the 2019 MSBL 28+ Championship series. The Spartans become the fourth team in Boston MSBL 28+ history to earn their entry into the exclusive 3-peat fraternity, joining the North Shore Reds (1993-1995), Scituate Tides (2009-2011) and Newton Red Sox (2005-2007, 2013-2015) - the only franchise to achieve the feat twice. The Spartans become the first ever BMBL franchise to pull off the 3-peat in their first three seasons, accumulating a combined regular and postseason record of 80-13-1 during that time; the best start for any BMBL franchise in their first three seasons.

In the 2019 regular season, the defending champions would finish with a league-best 19-2 record, earning themselves the #1 seed in the postseason for the second straight year. The first of their two regular season losses would come on July 21st in a 9-0 rout. This would be the Spartans' first regular season loss since August 9, 2017 and the first shutout loss in their 3-year history, putting an end to their streak of 76 consecutive games scoring at least one run or more. The team responsible for both of the losses would be one of their toughest rivals - the Boston Bombers. The Bombers would finish the regular season with a 16-5 record, securing the #2 seed in the postseason for the second straight year. They would look to make it back to the finals for the first time since they won it all in 2016, while the Spartans would look to complete the historic 3-peat.

In the 2019 postseason, both the #1 seeded Spartans and #2 seeded Bombers would sweep past their opponent in the first round. The two squads would combine to score 46 runs in the opening series and quickly find themselves moving on to the semi-finals. In the semis, the pitching staff would be the story for the Bombers as they would allow just one run to the #3 seeded Somerville Senators and their normally potent offense. They would defeat the Senators in two games (5-0, 4-1) and advance to the Finals for the first time in three years. Meanwhile, in a rematch of the 2017 and 2018 Finals, the Spartans would win a tight series over the Boston Cardinals in two games (2-1, 5-3), both of which would require extra frames. This would set up a 2019 Finals' matchup between the #1 seeded South Shore Spartans and #2 seeded Boston Bombers, with the Bombers holding the slightly better head-to-head lifetime record of 6-5-1 versus the Spartans, going into the championship series. The last and only time these two teams had met in the postseason was back in 2017 in a seesaw semi-finals' series that would take all five games, including extra innings in Game 5. That game would last 10 heart-pounding innings with the Spartans ultimately taking the series and eventually the 2017 championship title in their inaugural season.

A similar story would unfold between these two clubs in the 2019 Championship series. After trailing 2-1 at the end of three innings in Game 1, the Spartans' offense would rally to tie the game 2-2 in the bottom of the 6th. In the top half of the 7th, the Spartans' defense would gun down the potential winning run for the Bombers and set the stage for the Spartans to walk off with the win in the final half inning of Game 1. Tim Troup and 2019 Cy Young winner Dan Godfrey would pitch well for their respective squads, each allowing just two earned runs. In Game 2, the Spartans would send out their ace Mike Smith (3-0, 0.64 ERA) who would limit the Bombers to just two earned runs, while Chris Curran (3-4, 2 RBIs), Frankee Alexopoulos (1-4, 2B, 3 RBIs) and Johnny Phelan (2-4, RBI) would provide most of the offense for the Spartans in the 7-5 Game 2 victory. With their backs against the wall, the Bombers' bats would come alive and they would proceed to take Game 3 (6-4) and Game 4 (4-1) from the Spartans to tie up the series. Teddy Dziuba (4-7, 2 2B, 3 RBI), Bobby Barrett (4-7, 2B, 2 RBI) and Dave Lightbody (3-6, 2B, RBI) would lead the offensive charge and Sean Sullivan (6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1.05 ERA) would be solid on the hill for the Bombers in Game 4. Dziuba would hit a milestone in Game 4, collecting his 100th hit of the season across all of his teams.

With the 2019 championship series now tied 2-2, a sense of deja vu would come over these two teams as their fate would once again be determined in a deciding Game 5. As most would predict in a do or die matchup that features a pair of aces on the hill, Game 5 would turn out to be a fine pitcher's duel between Mike Smith of the Spartans and Dan Godfrey of the Bombers. With the score just 2-1 at the end of four innings, that prediction would appear to be validated when suddenly the Spartans' bats would come to life and the offense would quickly strike for three runs in the 5th and one run in the 6th to take a 6-1 lead in Game 5. Those four insurance runs would turn out to be all that Mike Smith (7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 K's) and the Spartans would need to close out the game and complete their historic run of three straight championships. They look to join the Newton Red Sox (2013-2016) and Scituate Tides (2009-2012) as the 3rd Boston MSBL 28+ franchise to pull off the 4-peat when they defend their title next season.

Congratulations to both the 2019 MSBL 28+ champion South Shore Spartans and the runner-up Boston Bombers on their fantastic seasons.

To watch a video replay of Games 4 and 5, check out the BMBL Facebook page and click on 'Videos'.