Central North Carolina MSBL 50+ Division
Holly Springs Senators 18, A's 17
'Pitching by Committee Secures Title in Slugfest'
Submitted by Rob Isbell, Holly
Springs Senators manager
The second season for
the Central North Carolina Men’s Senior Baseball League (CNCMSBL) 50+
division was an even bigger success than the inaugural season. 2016 saw the CNCMSBL50+ division expand to five teams.
Although there was a
league expansion and lots of trading, the results were the same; the Senators of
Holly Springs defended their championship run from last year making them
Though the Senators were
never out of first place, the Athletics, managed by Pat Ferrick, were tied or
within two games of first place throughout the season and, as expected, the two
faced off in the championship game. The championship was originally
scheduled for a best of three series but Hurricane Matthew hit the Carolinas
and finding fields became a challenge. Mike Wilson, the CNCMSBL president, was forced to make it a winner take all affair.
Leading up to the
championship game was an exciting elimination game with the Senators defeating
the expansion team Red Sox. Just like last year, Jim Bauckham (now 71 years
young) pitched an excellent five innings frustrating the typically well hitting
Sox. Bauckham gave up only four hits and two unearned runs while the Senators
provided plenty of offense. This solid pitching performance by Bauckham allowed
the Senators to spread out the pitching for the remainder of the game and set
them up for the championship game the following day.
In the Championship game Mark Simpson started on the bump for the Senators, as he did so many times
throughout the summer and kept the A’s off balance for three innings. With two
quick outs in the fourth suddenly the Athletics bats came to life and Simpson
had to be relieved by William Garner. Garner, junk ball pitcher, was able to
silence the hot hitting Athletics for a couple of innings until they eventually
figured him out as well. It took power pitcher Dave Halley to finally come in
and end the Athletics dream of a championship but not without a little
excitement. The tying and winning runs were on base before Halley was able to
slam the door and get the win.
The Athletics, anchored
by power hitting Cliff Morgan, kept pouring on the offensive threat throughout
the contest, but the Senators' plethora of pitching proved too much to
The Senators ended the
season 16-4 and were led offensively throughout the season by catcher Jeff
Moore with a .660 batting average and utility man Doug Hammond at .560.