By PAUL GOTHAM
MUMFORD, N.Y. — Run differential determined the contestants. Defense decided the outcome.
“Black Bart” made a sliding catch in foul territory to secure the final hand down as the Mid-Atlantic BBC defeated the Cleveland Blues, 4-3 in the finals of the 2015 National Silver Ball Tournament played on the Silver Base Ball Park at Genesee-Country Museum, Sunday afternoon.
Mid-Atlantic took the lead in top half of the inning when the club nine’s hurler, “Sledge” tallied the winning ace. With one hand down, “Sledge” made his first on a hit up the middle. After a stolen base, “Dream Bucket” made his first with a hit to right center allowing “Sledge” to cross the dish.
But this game was a battle of two teams intending to show a little a ginger in the field.
“Black Bart” made four straight put outs and six of seven between the second and fourth innings. The Mid-Atlantic left fielder made three consecutive catches in left field after Cleveland’s first two striker’s in the third made their first.
“Moonlight” added to the Mid-Atlantic defensive display with a spectacular catch in center field for the first hand down on the fifth.
The Blues were not to be outdone in the field. Trailing 2-0 with the sacks loaded, Cleveland’s hurler, “Plow,” delighted the cranks when he snared a stinger at the mound and threw to first for an inning-ending double play.
Mid-Atlantic took an early lead. “Sledge” made his first and stole second and third before tallying the match’s first ace when “Dream Bucket” reached. After “Moonlight” made his first, “Dream Bucket” tallied the second ace when “Doc” made his first.
Both teams were whitewashed until the bottom of the fifth.
With one hand down, “Duke” made his first. The left-handed hitting “Plow” used an inside-out swing to make his first on a hit down the third-base line. “Meal Ticket” reached and “Duke” tallied on a muff. “Plow” tied the game at two, but the inning ended when “Moonlight” made a throw from center field to get “Meal Ticket” at the dish.
“Pins” gave Mid Atlantic a 3-2 lead when he tallied an ace in the seventh.
“Stump” tallied as Cleveland knotted the score at three in the eighth.
Cleveland and Mid Atlantic were two of four teams to finish the round-robin portion of the tournament without a loss. Cleveland tallied 68 aces in their first four matches. Mid Atlantic had 70.
The Mid-Atlantic team was assembled just weeks prior to the tournament when another organization withdrew from the competition. Mid-Atlantic consisted of players from several different clubs along the east coast.
Flower City 16 Woodstock 2
Spring Creek 18 Melrose 10
Live Oak 11 Rochester 6
Mid-Atlantic 15 Hill Toppers 0
Victory 24 Swamp Frogs 8
Melrose 12 Akron 6
Live Oak 9 Hill Toppers 6
Cleveland Blues 11 Flower City 2
Spring Creek 24 Woodstock 16
Victory 8 Akron 5
Mid-Atlantic 17 Rochester 3
Melrose 21 Swamp Frogs 15
Akron 9 Flower City 7
“One Side” made his first as four of the first five Akron strikers reached in a decisive five-ace seventh.
Spring Creek 8 Hill Toppers 6
Spring Creek tallied five aces in the eighth and three in the ninth for the come-from-behind win.
Cleveland Blues 14 Live Oak 5
Victory 16 Melrose 7
Mid-Atlantic 24 Swamp Frogs 4
Woodstock 14 Rochester 6
Woodstock erased a two-run deficit with five aces in the sixth. Rochester took a 5-1 lead in the third. “Meat Cleaver” made his third to start the stanza. “Piano Man” and Angel made first to bring home aces, but Woodstock stopped the rally with a double play.
Spring Creek 7 Swamp Frogs 6
Cleveland 26 Woodstock 3
Victory 21 Hill Toppers 4
Cleveland Blues 17 Rochester 3
Cleveland put crooked numbers on the board in three of the first four innings to take a 15-0 lead. Rochester showed a little ginger in the eighth. “Stubby” made his second to start the inning and scored the club nine’s first ace of the game when “Meat Cleaver” made his first.
Akron 26 Live Oak 8
Mid-Atlantic 14 Flower City 4