June 21, 2008
On Championship Saturday as the sun baked down on the "Earl Moore Field" hundreds of fans gathered eating free food provided by the Ladies Auxilary waiting in anticipation for the Major League Championship battle.
The match up of the first place Rotary and last year's runner-up Barron's provided the fans with more than anyone expected. It took every last ball, strike and out before the Champion was crowned.
A pitching duel between Rotary's Austin Darrow and Barron's Chris Walmsley lived up to all the pregame hype. Darrow unbeaten on the year faced a Barron's offense led by John Lindeborn and Ben Boyer with only one thing in mind. WIN!
Through the first four innings Walmsley and Darrow matched strike out for strike out while Barron's provided excellent defense behind the play of centerfielder Jack Driscoll.
In the 4th Chris Walsmley was forced to leave the game and was replaced by 10 year old Vince Di Giacomo on the mound. With the tying runner on base Di Giacomo ended any Rotary hopes with a strikeout.
Mid way through the 5th inning with Barron's leading 4-3 Darrow was replaced at pitcher by Mike Cox. Cox retired the Barron's and after a scoreless 5th, Cox took the mound in 6th trailing 4-3. Barron's immediately scored an insurance run to take a 5 - 3 lead into the last inning after a running catch by leftfielder Mario Russo on a John Lindeborn deep flyball prevented any further damage.
In the 6th Di Giacomo was three outs away from securing a Barron's Championship but he was to face Rotary's top three batters, Cox, Darrow and Ryan Ziegler with a 2 run lead.
Cox led off the bottom of the sixth by singling through the middle, bringing Darrow to the plate, on the second pitch delivered by Di Giacomo, Darrow tripled to rightfield closing the gap to 5-4 with no outs.
Ziegler followed Darrow with a grounder to first, but Walmsley fielded the grounder and nailed Darrow at the plate leaving the score a 5 - 4 with one out. Colin Chapman followed Ziegler with a fielder choice ground out that moved Ziegler to second with two outs. Ziegler then promptly stole both third base and home to tie the score at 5-5 with two outs.
With the game tied Rotary's Patrick Rafferty singled and stole second. Mark Siebert came to the plate with the winning run on second in the speedy Rafferty after two strike Siebert singled to rightfield just out of the reach of a diving Tyler Boyko and Rafferty scampered home from second with the 6th and winning run.