Thursday, 24 October 2013 00:00
The 2013 OTHG Championship game was played Friday 10/11/13 at Allen Park. It was Paradox Café managed by Don Carlin vs. Autocraft managed by Denny Oehl. Paradox, coming from the losers bracket, needed to win 2 games.
Autocraft only needed one win as they were undefeated in the tournament. It was a cool crisp night with the wind blowing in so the long ball was really not an option. Paradox took the field and set the tone right away playing 5 infielders and only 3 outfielders hoping to neutralize Autocraft’s strong offense, averaging over 30 runs per game in the tournament.
The Paradox plan worked early as they jumped out to a 9-3 lead with a strong pitching performance by Steve Fanelli and sound defense by the 5 infielders. The stands were filled with anxious spectators waiting for Autocraft to erupt offensively. Sure enough in the 5th inning Autocraft responded with 6 runs to tie the score. The big hit of the inning came off the bat of John Lakotas who hit a triple to right field with the bases loading knocking in 3 runs. Pitcher Don
Simone held Paradox in check for the second half of the game as the teams exchanged runs with the game tied 14-14 going into the 9th inning. Kenny ONeil Aurtocraft shortstop and 2nd basemen Aldo Balducci turned 2 significant double plays late in the game to keep Autocraft in striking distance. That set up the big 9th inning with the score tied and Autocraft’s top of the order coming up. Lead-off hitter Rich Marbit came up with 1 out and singled again up the middle as Paradox could not seem to get him out. Denny Oehl nearly missed a game clearing hit down the 3rd base line, proceeded to hit into a fielders choice which Paradox miss played as all runners were safe. The moment was set
Autocraft’s big hitter, Brian Landy. Everyone watching stood in anticipation that something was about to happen and Landyman as his team call him did not disappoint. He ripped a single to right fielder Don Carlin. Marbit was racing around third base as the throw from Carlin had him beat but the good fortune of Autocraft continued as unfortunately the catcher could not handle the hot throw from his right fielder. Marbit was ruled safe and Autocraft was the winner of the 2013 Over The Hill Gang Tournament. The final score was 15-14. Players reached out and showed great sportsmanship and respect for one another for a hard fought game as Jim Reilly presented Team Autocraft with the Reilly Cup.
Submitted by Denny Oehl