Winning five baseball games in three days is no easy task. Add the variable of playing in temperatures near 100 and the task becomes eventougher.
But Dayton's 13-14 baseball team proved up to that task,winning five straight games to capture the National Amateur BaseballFederation regional championship July 18-20 in Clinton.
Geno Baccaglini pitched the championship game against Delran of New Jersey, winning, 11-5.
Baccaglini and Kurt Weitzel led the pitching staff, with each pitching two complete games.
In the championship game, Delran jumped to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but Dayton rallied for five runs in the bottom of the first on MikeDeming's two-run double, Kevin O'Connor's two-run single and Steve Schoenfelder's one-run single.
The Raiders leave today for the NABFWorld Series in Northville, Mich. They play their first game at 9 a.m. tomorrow against Warren, Mich.
Dayton (37-17 overall, 23-14 league) earned a berth in the regional tournament by finishing tied for fourth place in the Baltimore Metro League and beating out Manchesterin a one-game playoff.
Only the top four Metro League teams earned post-season tournament invitations.
The top Metro team, the Yankee Rebels, went to the Dizzy Dean tourney, while the second-place team, the Harford Sox, went to the American Amateur Baseball Congress tourney.
Third-place finisher Sykesville joined Dayton in the NABF tourney.
Dayton had it all at the NABF tourney -- pitching, hittingand defense.
The Raiders outscored their opponents, 47-16, for five games, and the pitching staff threw four complete games.
In theopener, Deming hit a three-run double in the fifth inning as Kurt Weitzel threw a complete-game 7-1 victory over Clinton. Deming was a consistent offensive contributor throughout the tourney.
Baccaglini also pitched the first of his two complete games Thursday, as Dayton improved its tournament record to 2-0 with a 15-4 drubbing of Delran.
The game was halted after six innings because of a 10-run slaughter rule.
Dayton's first six batters hit safely, and the Raiders scored eight times in the first inning. A two-run single by O'Connor and two-run double by Deming were the key hits.
"Our third baseman, Brian Benicewicz, made seven or eight great plays in the field (against Delran) and was awarded the game ball," Raiders Manager Glenn Babcock said.
His son, Jason Babcock, hit a two-run single in the sixth inning of the rout.
On Friday, Dayton won its third game by beating the Kadets of Brooklyn, 7-5. Eric Baquol pitched 6 2/3 innings and got the win.
The Kadets scored once in the top of the third to lead, 1-0. But Dayton tied it, 1-1, in the bottom of the third on an RBI single by Babcock.
The Kadets went up, 2-1, in the fourth, but the Raiders game back with six runs in the bottom of the inning, which featured a double by Deming, an RBI single by O'Connor, a triple byJoe Cristy, a single by Schoenfelder and a two-run single by Babcock.
Weitzel came back on Saturday in the fourth game and threw a complete-game four-hitter against the Kadets, winning, 7-1.
He fannedeight and walked just two.
Dayton jumped to a 3-0 lead on three singles and a walk in the first inning. Deming, Benicewicz and Mark Jensen each knocked in a run. Dayton made it 5-0 on a two-run single bySchoenfelder in the third inning.
In the Raiders' fourth, Deming had an RBI single and Benicewicz an RBI double.
Dayton is a first-year team formed to provide a farm team for the two older Dayton teams.