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Nov, 2023

Championship Trifecta!

Three LBA travel teams made it to Greater Hudson Valley Baseball League (GHVBL) championship this weekend in Danbury; a remarkable accomplishment in and of itself. But it became even better when ALL THREE emerged as champions!

First up were the 14U LBA John Jay Wolves.  Ranked #7 in their division, they had already taken out the #2 and #3 seeds in their impressive playoff run. In the finale, they were matched up against the top-ranked Mid Hudson River Dogs.  In a tense pitchers' duel, the upstart Wolves edged out the "top dogs" of the division -- 2-1.

Next was the 9U Lewisboro Lightning team, which entered the tournament as the #1 seed in their division. The 9U team had been dominant all season, racking up a 12-2 record and an average win differential of nearly +7 runs per game. However, their final opponent of the season proved to be a true test. They squared off against the #2 seeded Bronx Mambas, who kept it close. In the end, however, our boys prevailed, 5-2.

That left the 11U Lewisboro Lightning, who faced off against the undefeated New Paltz Knights. The New Paltz team had built up an 8-0 record by defeating, among others, the team responsible for two of the 11U Lightning’s three losses. And the Knights had beat Lewisboro's nemesis not once ... not twice ... but three times!

Things looked bleak for much of the game, as the Knights built up a 5-0 lead and took it into the 5th inning. Their starting pitcher was highly efficient and precise. Their fielding was impeccable. Finally, in the bottom of the 5th, the Lightning broke up the shutout, scoring 1 run.

The next inning, with two outs and the Lightning down to their last strike, the score remained 5-1. But in that moment, the Lewisboro boys caught fire and came roaring back! Two walks followed by four straight base hits and suddenly the game was tied at 5. The championship was going to extra innings.

 After both teams were held in check in the 7th inning, the 8th inning opened with free runners on 2nd base. The Lightning pitcher retired the Knights in order, preventing the free runner from scoring. When it was Lewisboro’s turn, they wasted no time. The free runner promptly stole third.  A couple of pitches later, the batter grounded a bouncing ball to third. Rather than eating it and holding the runner on third, the third baseman threw to 1st for the out. But that decision gave Lewisboro’s speedy base runner more than enough time to race home for the walk-off victory! The final score was 6-5 in 8 innings.

What a day! Congratulations to all three of our LBA travel teams – players, coaches, and fans!

[ ------------------------ The Road to Victory for Each LBA Team --------------------------- ]

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