Find a League In Your Area
Silver Spring Dodgers 0
‘Sweeger Blast Propels Rifles...Griff Seals Deal on the Bump in 'if' Game'
Submitted by Craig Burlingame, Rifles manager
Championship Day was an uphill battle for the 2017 DCMSBL 22+
Rifles. With several Rifles relocating
out of state during the season for career moves, including workhorse pitcher Spencer Brookbank, outfielder Ryan Price and infielder Luis Andrade, the Rifles
had to depend on eleven year Rifle veteran pitchers Jason Treon and Sean
'Griff' Griffin to battle the 2016 Defending Champion Silver Spring Dodgers.
This doubleheader was the finals of the three game mini-series
championship games. A few days earlier,
the Dodgers beat the Rifles in game one 9-5 to take a one game lead in the
mini-series. The Rifles had to win game
two (the first game of a Sunday Doubleheader) in order to play in the game
three "If” game.
The powerful Dodgers grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Pitching was excellent for both teams along
with super defensive plays by the Rifles third baseman Ryan Miller, shortstop Rob Bouman and first baseman Brad Bauder. In the bottom of the fourth inning the Rifles scored a run when second
baseman Scott ‘Duss’ Van Dusseldorf hit a single, was forced at second on a
fielder’s choice by left fielder Mike Verbickis, but was followed by a single
by shortstop Rob Bouman that put runners on first and second base. Third baseman Miller hit a single that
scored Verbickis to make it a 1-2 ballgame.
In the bottom of the sixth inning
Rifles right fielder Matt Murphy hit a single up the middle with two outs.
Then, Rifle center fielder, stolen base leader and leadoff hitter Aaron Sweeger hit a two-run home run to put the Rifles up 3-2. In the top of the seventh,
Rifles pitcher Jason Treon shut the Dodgers down with a combination of sidearm
fastballs and breaking balls to clinch the victory and force the "If” championship
The Championship "If” game proved to be another pitcher’s
duel. Rifles pitcher Sean Griffin, who had just pitched three days earlier against the Dodgers in game
one, had complete command with a great combination of fastballs, off-speed
breaking balls, and total command of using the entire strike zone by hitting
his spots consistently.
In the top of the sixth inning, the Rifles broke the
deadlock when Scott 'Duss' Van Dusseldorf walked and Mike Verbickis hit a
single moving Duss to second base. Clean-up hitter Rob Bouman was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. Ryan Miller hit into a 6-4-3 double play, but
Duss scored making it a 1-0 ball game.
Pitcher Griffin held the Dodgers scoreless in the
bottom of the sixth. In the top of the
seventh, Rifles Designated Hitter, JT Page led off with a single and advanced
to second base on a 6-3 fielder’s choice by Brad Bauder. Jason Treon then hit a single to score JT
Page with the Rifles second run.
As it turned out, that was all the Rifles needed because
Griff continued to own the strike zone with his mixture of pitches and went 3
up and 3 down in the bottom of the seventh inning to clinch the victory and
championship for the Rifles over the powerful Silver Spring Dodgers.
Fine hitting and defense by Rifles outfielders Nick Price,
Matt Malacane and catcher Sean Plouffe contributed to the Rifles championship
weekend. Infielder Mark Deans was unable
to make the Championship games, but was a major contributor to the Rifles
success during the regular season and playoffs.
This is the Rifles third Championship in the DCMSBL since
our entry into the league in 2007.