Sebringville stings Tavistock to win SPMFL crown


From the Mitchell Advocate:
© 2007 Mitchell Advocate

Photo and story by Andy Bader
Publisher: Andy Bader
Proprietor and published by Bowes Publishers Limited at 42 Montreal Street, Mitchell, Ontario, Canada N0K 1N0

WINNING RUN EN ROUTE Dale Levy (right) of the Sebringville Sting prepares to slide into home, scoring from first on a hit with two out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning Sunday, giving the Sting a remarkable 5-4 victory over the Tavistock Merchants in the South Perth Men’s Fastball League playoff tournament in Mitchell. Sebringville went on to win the title 5-0. Also pictured is Tavistock catcher Ross Herold and umpire Moe Carde.

Scores winning run with two out in seventh inning to force extra game

The Tavistock Merchants came within one strike of capturing their first-ever South Perth Men’s Fastball League (SPMFL) championship Sunday, but a bases loaded single with two out in the bottom of the seventh by Brian Roote cleared the bases and allowed the Sebringville Sting to stun the Merchants 5-4 and force a sudden-death final game at the 16-team SPMFL playoff tournament in Mitchell.

And in what turned out to be the final, Sebringville blanked a downtrodden Merchants squad 5-0 to capture the championship.
The Merchants have finished as second-place finishers four times, and three times since the league changed from a series format to a tournament.

Trailing 4-2 in the seventh, Don Stebbings hit a pinch-hit double to start the Sting rally, and after a single by Chuck Chessell, Chad Crawford’s infield out moved Chessell to second. Dave Bailey popped out to short, and the Merchants intentionally walked Dave Levy and chose to pitch to Roote. On an 0-2 pitch, Roote hit a one-hopper between first and second on a belt high changeup which cleared the bases, as Levy ran hard from first and plated the winning run on a slide.

The runs surrendered by Tavistock’s Steve Cook on Roote’s hit were the first he had allowed the entire tournament.

In the final, Sting ace Don Scott – who was on the hook for the loss if Sebringville couldn’t come all the way back – tossed a three-hit shutout with nine strikeouts to lead the clinching victory. Offensively, Roote’s RBI-single keyed a two-run third off Cook, but in the fourth, Bailey’s two-out RBI-single broke the game open. Roote’s two-run triple capped the three-run uprising and chased Cook from the game.

Sebringville recorded two big wins to open the tournament, 7-1 over Breslau and 7-0 over Bridgeport before being relegated to the loser’s side of the tournament with a 4-3 loss to Tavistock Saturday night. On Sunday, Sebringville reeled off three wins before sweeping Tavistock, 8-4 over Hickson, 6-0 over Linwood and 11-3 over Elmira Jrs.

Scott was named the tournament’s top pitcher, while Sebringville’s Pete Stewart was judged the MVP. Stewart, a part-time outfielder, made a couple of diving catches defensively, but also was red-hot offensively, going 9-for-13.

Locally, the Mitchell Mets lost a pair of tough one-run decisions to leave them snakebit in the tournament once again. The Mets blanked Waterloo Jrs 7-0 Saturday morning as Jeff Pauli pitched a one-hitter, then built a 6-1 lead over Harriston before hanging on for an 8-6 win. Dennis Pauli’s bases loaded double sparked a four-run third to give the Mets the lead, as Pauli and Kevin Pomfret pitched in the victory. Bob Ward added a two-run home run.

In their third game of the day Saturday, the Mets spotted the Elmira Jrs a 5-0 lead to forge a 6-6 tie in the sixth, but the Elmira team snapped the tie in the seventh to win 7-6. Kevin Gettler and Kory Dietz both had two doubles, while Darryl Eidt and Garnet Kraemer both had triples.

On Sunday, the Mets locked up with a pitcher’s duel with Linwood, as 86ers ace Jamie Simpson and Gettler hooked up. Mitchell scored on an unearned run in the first, only to see Linwood force the tie in the top of the seventh. The clubs would play four extra innings, with Linwood scoring twice in the 11th to build a 5-3 lead and hang on for a 5-4 to eliminate the Mets. The Mitchell Jr. Chiefs and Monkton both went 0-2 in the tournament, the Chiefs losing 10-3 to Elmira Jrs. and 8-7 in eight-innings to Linwood. The Muskrats were dumped 9-2 by Tavistock and 5-3 by the Shakespeare Colts.

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