Written by Nick Palma Thursday, 08 August 2013 00:00
Everyone knows that the toughest thing to accomplish in any sport is to reach the championship game or series. But reaching it in back to back years? This year, the Mineola/Williston Park Athletic League (MWAL) was able to witness one of its established franchises’ accomplish that goal.
After defeating the Monarchs in game seven of last summer’s championship, the Tune Squad are looking to hold onto the throne after beating up on the Titans in the semifinals of the Mineola League.
The Titans shocked the world after sweeping the Monarchs in the first round of the playoffs but weren’t able to carry the momentum into the next round as the Tune Squad’s offense came ready to play. In the five games that the two teams played, the Squad outscored the Titans by over 30 runs, giving the Titans very little room for comeback in the games they lost. The Tune Squad ultimately won the series 4-1.
The Tune Squad’s lineup has been recognized as the fiercest in the league this season, racking up 378 hits and having a team batting average of .458. Who would of thought that second year captains, Frank Thomas and Tom Ward, would be able to put together a team like this two years in a row? MWAL has yet to see a team repeat an MWAL Championship, so history could be made this summer if all goes well for the reigning champions.
“For Frank and I, making it to the championship both of our only years as a franchise feels great. We can also be the first franchise to ever repeat. On paper we have never had the strongest teams, but we’re known for never giving up and fighting hard. We’re not a team to lie over or come out flat towards our opponents. The championship should be a great series against a notorious Nightmare team or a hungry, fired up Renegades,” says Tune Squad captain Tom Ward.
As the Tune Squad enjoys a nice little break in between the semis and the championship, they await to see whom they will be facing in the finals this season. Both the Nightmare and Renegades took care of business in the first round of the playoffs, knocking off the Mud Dogs and the Mighty Ducks respectively. But neither team is controlling the series thus far. After going up three games to one, the Nightmare dropped two games on Sunday, July 28 where both teams are now facing an elimination game in this years first game seven of the playoffs.
Renegade captain, TJ Gessner, discussed what the upcoming game meant for him and his group of guys. “Game seven is the biggest game in the Renegade’s three year history,” said Gessner. “I expect my team to stay all in, with the mindset of picking each other up and getting each other’s backs when guys are not playing well. And just be loose and have fun. I don’t want to finish the season with high stress and pressure. I’d rather go out having fun since our team has been tight all year.”
It’s been a back and forth series as no team has shown signs of consistency, but both teams are in control of their destiny so the league will have to wait and see what team wants it more. Whether it’d be the Nightmare, who already have two MWAL championships on their belts, or the Renegades, either team is going to try and prevent the Tune Squad from running away with the league for its second straight season.