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Spinners take back MABL Title from Sox

Posted: October 24, 2019 by Dan Field | Add Comment

2019 MABL Champions - Cambridge Spinners

Let's run it back! For the second straight year, the Cambridge Spinners and Boston Sox (formerly Boston White Sox) would square off in the best of five MABL Championship series, the fourth time in seven years these two familiar foes would meet in the Finals. Heading into the 2019 season, the Sox would own a 2-1 advantage in those meetings, after walking off with the 2018 MABL championship in the historic 4-hour, 13-inning Game 5 of the 2018 Finals. The Spinners would be left reeling and forced to face a lengthy off-season full of what-ifs, but it wouldn't be long before their 2019 redemption tour would begin, and when it was over, redemption for the Spinners would be complete, in the form of the franchise's third MABL championship.

At the end of the 2019 regular season, the Spinners (20-4) and Sox (17-7) would own the top two spots in the MABL standings for the second year in a row. For the Spinners, this would be their 10th straight regular season finish as a No. 1 or No. 2 seed.* With both teams earning the bye in the postseason, the Sox and Spinners would get an automatic bid to the semi-finals where they would eagerly await their opponent. In a 2016 Finals rematch, the Spinners would eventually draw the Athletics and in a 2012 Finals rematch, the Sox would do battle with the Grays. Both the Sox and Spinners would make quick work of their opponent and sweep their way through the semi-finals. This would set the stage for a Finals rematch between the defending champions and the 2018 runner-ups. The Sox would look to repeat for the first time in the franchise's history while the Spinners would look to take back the MABL title from the Sox.

In the 2019 MABL Championship Series, the Sox would take Game 1 behind the arm of the 2019 Cy Young runner-up, Jon Shepard (6 IP, 0 ER, 2H, 7 K's), who would toss 6 scoreless innings, before giving way to Mark Blake who would close out the game and help secure the 5-0 win. Ryan Foley (2-4, RBI) and Rommel Peguero (2-4, 3 RBI) would combine to go 4-8 with 4 RBIs for the Sox. In Game 2, the Spinners' offense, led by Alex Benson (3-4, 2B, R, RBI) and Mark Killoren (1-3, HR, 2R, 2 RBI), would break out for 12 runs on 7 hits and Christopher Muse-Fisher (5 IP, 1H, 0.00 ERA) would hold the Sox scoreless through 5 as the Spinners cruised to a 12-5 win, evening the series 1-1. The Spinners' pitching staff would again be the story in the pivotal Game 3. Pat Donohoe (CG, 3H, 6 K's, 0.00 ERA) would toss a complete game shutout for the Spinners in the 5-0 win and Nick Sieber (3-4, R, RBI), the 2019 ROY, would lead the offense with three hits, helping the Spinners to climb within one game of the championship. With their backs now against the wall, the Sox would call upon Game 1 winner, Jon Shepard (CG, 8 IP, 4H, 9 K's, 0.00 ERA), and he would deliver, throwing 8 scoreless innings in Game 4, allowing just 4 hits to go along with 9 K's. Shepard would not allow a single Spinners' run to cross in the championship series. Luc Kocher (7.2 IP, 4H, 7 K's, 0.00 ERA) would be equally impressive for the Spinners as neither of the two starters would allow an earned run in their outing. The sole run of the game would come in the bottom of the 8th on a sac fly off the bat of Brendan Pounds that would score his teammate Josh Valerio from 3rd and send the series to a deciding Game 5.

Heading into a cold and windy Game 5, the momentum had appeared to be on the side of the defending champs, however the Spinners would quickly put an end to that theory. In the very first inning, the Sox' ace Seth Perkins (0.1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, WP) would struggle with his control and proceed to get touched up for five runs on three hits and four walks in an unusual start for the normally reliant ace. He would be pulled from the game after just 1/3 of an inning. Meanwhile for the Spinners, Christopher Muse-Fisher (CG, 4H, 8 K's, 0.00 ERA), the Game 2 starter, would be superb, throwing a complete game, allowing no earned runs on just four hits, to go along with his 8 K's. The Spinners' offense, led by Colin Sullivan (3-4, 3R, 2 RBI) and Ryan Feeney (3-4, 2R, 2B, 4 RBI) would tack on one more insurance run in the 2nd and six more in the 6th, securing the 2019 MABL Championship by a final score of 12-1.

Congratulations to the 2019 MABL Champion Cambridge Spinners and to the runner-up Boston Sox on a fantastic season. With the head-to-head championship series record between these two franchises now tied 2-2, perhaps a rubber match is in store for these two powerhouses in 2020. Stay tuned!

*The Spinners have finished as a No. 1 or No. 2 seed in every season of their 11-year history except for 2009, their inaugural season, where they finished in 4th place.