RANDOLPH, NJ- One of the most exciting things in all of sports is an elimination game. When a team is on the brink of elimination a certain sense of desperation sets in and most teams respond by playing to the best of their potential.
In the Babe Ruth Finals, the Orioles took game one on Sunday. That was the first playoff loss for the Angles, and under the double elimination format, with both teams having one loss, it became a "winnner takes all" for the championship on Tuesday night. The Angels responded with a 4-2 victory and were crowned Babe Ruth Champions.
In the first finals match up, both teams hit the ball extremely well and played great defense behind their struggling pitchers. This time around it was the pitchers who dominated the pace of the game.
Once again it was a well-played defensive game with only three errors committed by both teams combined. Stu Backer pitched the first three innings for the Angels giving up only one run, which came on an RBI double by the Orioles Mike Green.
Andrew Fusco followed up his teammate by pitching three scoreless innings, allowing his Angles team to stay close and muster up a rally. That rally finally came in the 5th inning. Jason Volk, certainly not known for his power, hit a double to deep center field with the bases-loaded scoring two runs, highlighting a 4 run inning that gave the Angels a 4-1 lead.
With one out in the top of the 6th, the Orioles Joey Recchia tried to ignite his team when he hustled out an infield single with one out, but the Orioles were not able to capitalize on it. They picked up another run in the 7th when Mike Green lifted his team with an RBI single to cut the lead to 4-2. It appeared they might add to that when Henry Taibi hit a moon-shot to left field, but it was caught by Bryton Feinberg.
Tyler Volk pitched that last inning for the Angles, giving up the one run and earning the save. On the game the three Angles pitchers combined for 9 strikeouts.
The Orioles pitching was strong, as Mike Green, Nick Rosenbergen, and Brendan Lowery combined for 11 strikeouts. However missed opportunities at the plate were the difference for them, as they left men on base in the first, second, sixth and seventh innings.
Mike Green was the star of the game for the Orioles, pitching three no-hit innings while picking up 6 strikeouts, and collecting both of his teams RBI's.
For the Angles, the playoffs provided redemption for a regular season that was full of struggles. Even though they entered the playoffs as the 7th seed, they had confidence in each other and got hot at the right time.
Angles Manager Jeff Volk praised his kids, stating "Despite having a tough season, my players always had a positive attitude. Despite losing a lot of games, they still had fun. And to me, that is what is most important."