2003 WWBA Senior Division National Championship
Championship Game Summary
The Florida Bombers successfully defended their World Wood Bat Association Senior Division Championship with a 9 inning 7-4 victory over the Bill Hood Broncos Sunday afternoon at the East Cobb Baseball Complex in Marietta, Georgia.
The Bombers entered the medal round as only a 7th seed, as opposed to Bill Hoodís 4th seeding, but most observers had quickly considered them to be one of the tournament favorites from the beginning of play on Monday. The Bombers edged state rival Miami Thunderstorm 3-2 in the semi-final game earlier Sunday to gain the final, while Bill Hood defeated the Indiana Yankees 6-1.
Bill Hood jumped out to an early 2-0 lead against Bomber starter LHP Brian Tillett in the 1st inning. LHP Brandon Belcher led off the game with a walk and CF Charlie Kingery and LF Grayden Greiner followed with singles, Greinerís plating Belcher. Kingery then stole home on what appeared to be a busted squeeze play, kicking the ball out of Bomber catcher J.D. Arencibiaís glove. LHP Wade Korpi relieved Tillett and calmed the Broncosí bats until the 5th inning.
Florida DH Yonder Alonso got one run back in the second inning for Florida when he led off the inning with a double and scored on a single by 3B Danny Valencia. A 1-out triple by SS Adam Davis in the 5th inning led to a sacrifice fly by CF John Jay and a 2-2 tie. LHP Wade LeBlanc, who had thrown 2 innings in both the previous two Bill Hood games, relieved Belcher and got out of the inning.
Belcher, who moved to centerfield after being taken off the mound, opened the bottom of the 5th with a single. Kingery and Greiner, both attempting to sacrifice, dropped down perfect bunts and reached on singles to load the bases. RHP Pablo Lopez relieved Korpi and allowed a single to 1B Preston Farr and a sacrifice fly to 3B Brian Frichter to make the score 4-2.
Things looked bleak for Florida after LeBlanc retired the side in order in the 6th, helped by a slick double play. But 1B Andy DíAlessio led off the Florida 7th inning with a single to left field, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a clutch double up the right centerfield gap by Arencibia. A sacrifice and a ground out left pinch runner Danny Jordan on third base with 2 outs and Bill Hood 1 out away from the championship. But Jay stroked a solid single to right field off RHP Danny Latham to tie the game. Lopez quietly retired 3 Bill Hood batters in the bottom of the inning to take the game into extra frames.
After an uneventful 8th inning and 2 quick outs in the top of the 9th, the Bombers struck quickly. Davis slapped a line drive to right field and hustled out a double when the Bronco right fielder was slow to get to the ball. After Jay was hit by a pitch, Bomber RF Willy Hernandez singled solidly into right field to score Davis and put Florida up 5-4. Cleanup hitter Warren McFadden followed with a drive off the 360 foot sign in right centerfield to score Jay and Hernandez.
Lopez retired the Broncoís in the 9th, giving him 5 scoreless innings in relief and the win.
Bombers shortstop Adam Davis and Indiana Yankees shortstop Eric Campbell were named co-Most Valuable Players. Davis hit close to .500 over the Bombers 8 games, played outstanding defense and had 2 clutch extra base hits in the championship game. Campbell almost single handedly led the previously unheralded Yankees into the championship game, hitting 4 home runs and driving in 10 runs just during Indianaís 4 medal round games.
RHP Sean Watson was named the tournamentís Most Valuable Pitcher, going 2-0 for the Bombers, including the victory over the Thunderstorm in the semifinal game.