Game Stories - Majors 70
A's Win Championship over White Sox (June 10)
On a Saturday evening buzzing with excitement at Nutile Field, the New England OB/GYN Athletics completed their magical run to the Majors division championship with a resounding 14-2 victory over the upstart GreenLight Biosciences White Sox. It was the first championship for the A's franchise since 2011, and the recipe for success was strong pitching, tight defense, and opportunistic hitting up and down the lineup.
A's starting pitcher Josh Lacey was sharp and efficient from the start, allowing only 1 hit in the first two innings, a leadoff single in the second by Beau Brissette. Lacey would go on to pitch five innings, allowing two runs on five hits, while striking out seven and not walking a batter.
Meanwhile, the A's bats got to business right away. Leadoff man and centerfielder AJ Muse reached on an error, shortstop Dante Zermani followed with a single, and catcher Tommy Lampert drove them both in with a triple to right. The A's would go on to put up eight runs in the first inning, aided by hits by first baseman Austin Curtis, utility man Luke Travaglini, and right fielder Tedy Cutting.
The A's added to their lead in the second, pushing across three more runs, with the highlight a laser shot home run over the left centerfield fence by Muse. It was Muse's third home run of the season, and his second of the playoffs.
The White Sox would add single runs in the third, on hits by Alex Zarur and Joseph McCabe, and in the fifth, on a triple to left by Easton Halsey and a single by Tyler Beliveau. But Lacey would not be denied on the mound, striking out the final two batters in the fifth to end his spectacular outing.
The A's finished the scoring in the fifth, with Lacey driving in Antonio Zermani, who had singled, and Curtis, who had reached on an error.
With the fans surrounding the field in anticipation of a celebration, the A's did not disappoint. Muse took the mound in the sixth to close out the game, and the first batter he faced was Joe Testa. Joe hit a liner to left that looked like a sure hit, but Antonio Zermani brought a cheer from the overflow crowd with a diving shoestring catch for the first out. Muse struck out the final two hitters to complete the victory.
In keeping with one of Winchester's time-honored traditions, dozens of players from the other Majors teams ran out on the field and showered the champs with soda and Gatorade.
The A's, coached by Ken Lampert, came into the playoffs with a 7-7-2 record, good for the #5 seed in the eight-team, double-elimination tournament. They defeated the #4 seed Red Sox by a score of 16-1, then knocked off the top-seeded Cardinals in a nail-biter, 10-9. In the semi-finals, they took on the defending champion and #2 seeded Dodgers, and earned a hard-fought 9-4 victory to propel them to the finals with an undefeated record.
The #6 seeded White Sox, coached by Paul Karle, had a tougher road to the finals, having had to play five games. After upsetting the #3 seed Marlins, the Sox lost to the Dodgers, dropping them to the losers’ bracket. But they got on a roll of their own, and proceeded to knock off the Red Sox, and the top two seeds, Cardinals and Dodgers, to reach the title game.
But it was the A's who owned the day this time around, and it was truly a team effort. Nine of the thirteen players hit safely in the final, and played nearly flawless team defense. Second baseman Carson Muse made a spectacular running catch in the second, and veteran third baseman Sam Kritzman, Will Fuller, Connor Pandolph, and Oliver Fanton contributed with excellent at bats and solid defense.
This championship game was a fitting ending to a truly competitive Majors division season.
Links to Majors 70 game stories: (All Leagues)
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