Crouse Construction outhit Cecil Johnies by 16 in the Northern Division championship series of the Maryland Semi-Pro Baseball League lastweekend, but that didn't keep Johnies from taking its third straightdivision title.
In the deciding game of the best-of-three series last Sunday, Johnies edged Crouse, 7-6. This week, Johnies will defend its league championship against Southern Division champ Overlea.
In the series final, Crouse outhit Johnies, 10-7, but two errors gave the Cecil County club three unearned runs. The locals left the bases loaded in four of seven innings.
Trailing 7-6 in the seventh,Crouse had the bases loaded with two outs. With a 1-2 count on Rick Lester, teammate Tom Mistysyn tried to score from third on a passed ball. Johnies catcher Bobby Mumma quickly recovered the ball and tossed to reliever Bruce Hanna, covering home, for the tag to end the game.
Dan Oldendick led Crouse at the plate going 3-for-5 with a dou
ble and four RBI. Tom Schmidt collected three hits, including a double and two RBI.
By the time the teams finished their series Sunday night, they had played two games and an inning of baseball in one day. The division series began Saturday night at Crouse Construction'shome field at Thomas Run Park.
Crouse held a 9-6 lead going into the seventh, but Johnies drew two walks and John Kampes hit one over the fence to tie.
The game had to be called with the score 9-9 because of darkness. The game resumed Sunday morning at 10 a.m. at Thomas Run Park. Johnies needed only one inning to get four hits and four runs for a 13-9 win.
"We needed to take that game," said Crouse Construction manager Johnny Hughes. "It was a pivotal game on our field, but we weren't able to do it.
"Unfortunately for us, we out hit them but our relief pitching couldn't hold them. That's been a problem for us all year. We ended up walking too many and they cashed in onthe walks."
In game one, Crouse outhit Johnies, 17-11. Oldendick was 4-for-4 with a double and a solo homer. Dave Hughes also had fourhits, a double and four RBI. Mike Hughes was 4-for-5 with an RBI.
Ron Wilson also smacked a solo homer while Mistysyn hit a two-run shot.
For the second game of the series, the teams packed up and traveled to Johnies' field. This time, Crouse got a strong effort from starter Jay Witasick in a 10-6 victory.
Oldendick had another strong game with a double, a triple and two RBI. Lester had a homer, a double and three RBI. Mike Hughes went 2-for-3 with two RBI. Chuck Harmon was 3-for-4.
Crouse ended the year with a .388 team batting average, with 10 hits and nine runs a game.