By Jerob Moon- Sports Information
YORK- The Piedmont Pride for the first time since joining the SCBL three years ago, won the SCBL Championship with a 4-3 win over the SBA Bones.
“I’m so grateful for these guys and happy they get to take the trophy home,” Coach Joe Hudak said. “It was a great game, so many guys contributed. It was a great game with two great clubs, kudos to the SBA Bones. They are a good team, and we battled them all season and into the playoffs. They are a great team, but fortunately for us we got the win.”
It was a close game throughout, as the two best teams in the league battled to the final at bat. The Bones were the first team to score, first baseman David Graves hit a two run double in the top of the first. Even though the Pride were down, the team like they had done all season came back to tie the game.
The Pride started their comeback in the second inning. With the bases loaded Brian Moore scored Tee Dubose from third on a fielder’s choice groundout. Moore tied the game up in the bottom of the fourth with a sacrifice fly that scored Jake Wright. The Pride tied the game, 2-2, without registering a single hit.
Throughout the game the Pride struggled to get a base hit. The team’s first hit came in the seventh inning against Bones’ starter Clay Helvey. Even though the Pride struggled to reach base via base hits, finishing with two hits all game, they took advantage of three walks and hit by pitches. The Bones also committed seven errors, and that was the deciding factor as the Pride finally broke the tie and took the lead in the eighth inning.
First baseman Josh Baker stepped into the batter’s box in the bottom of the eighth with Joe Campagna at first base and Cody Littlejohn on third base and one out. Baker was going to attempt a suicide squeeze to try and score Littlejohn from third. As Helvy was about to throw the pitch Littlejohn, broke for home and Helvy hesitated and balked, which allowed Littlejohn to score and give the Pride the lead. Three pitches later, Baker reached base and Campagna scored from second, on an error by the Bones’ second basemen.
Heading to the ninth the Pride were up 4-2, needing only three outs to secure the championship. The Bones didn’t give up and had runners on second and third, the runner on third being the tying run with no outs. Reliever Zach Shank struck out catcher Aaron Pilkington for the first out, then got Drew Little to groundout for the second out allowing a run to score.
With the tying run on third and the score 4-3, leadoff man Dupree Hart stepped into the box for the Bones. Hart on a 0-1 count hit a line drive into right field, it seemed that the game was going to be tied. But Pride right fielder David Posas chased the ball down and made a diving catch to record the final out and secure the SCBL Championship for the Pride.
The Pride players poured out of the dugout and headed to right field to celebrate with their right fielder. Fans cheered and no one felt more joy than David Posas. After being out of the lineup for a big chunk of the season, Posas worked his way back into the lineup during the playoffs. He made the most important out for the Pride this season, a diving catch that ended the Bones’ run as kings of the SCBL and gave the Piedmont Pride their first championship as a team.
“I’m real happy for David Posas, he had been hurt all summer. But he worked hard he could have gone home, but he didn’t and worked hard to come back. He hit that two-run homerun yesterday, and made that great catch today, I’m just real happy for him,” Coach Hudak said.
Enrique Perez the starter for the Pride, earned his fifth win of the season, pitching four strong innings. Perez allowed two runs to score, and struck out four. Zach Shank provided another great performance from the bullpen. Shank pitched the final five innings for the Pride, giving up only four hits and one run, while striking out two.
We now ask for your prayers as members of the Pride team will travel with Coach Hudak to the Dominican Republic for a week long mission trip. The players going will be involved in games with local teams, as well as a chance to grow more in their faith with God.
The Piedmont Pride will be back in 2018, ready to defend their SCBL Championship.