On Thursday night, Wayne Bank and Elegante hooked up in a Senior Division championship game that will be talked about around the proverbial campfire for years to come. The Dodgers plated the only run of this HLBA classic in the fifth inning, then held on for a thrilling 1-0 victory.

Wayne Bank and Elegante played an almost flawless game Thursday at Fred Reisch Memorial Field, mesmerizing an overflow crowd on the biggest night of the 2009 HLBA season.

The Dodgers and Giants required just 55 minutes for this year’s Senior Division championship game...a contest whose outcome boiled down to superb pitching, outstanding defense and timely hitting.

In the end, Elegante surrendered just one run, but that was enough for Wayne Bank. The Dodgers held on for a breathtaking 1-0 win. With that victory came this year’s HLBA title.

“I?think both teams played very well,” Wayne Bank skipper Scott Kinzinger told TWI Sports. “My kids really put it together the last couple of games. I’m very proud of them.”

Elegante Coach Chris Pietraszewski echoed those same sentiments when asked about his young ballclub.

“These kids got better with every practice and every game,”?he said. “They really started to play as a team and it showed. I?think this was just a great season for us.”

The Dodgers finished up the ‘09 campaign with a 13-4 overall record. The Giants ended the year at 11-7.

Getting There
Wayne Bank clinched a spot in the championship game via a 10-4 win over Rusty Palmer’s.

Gavin Canfield wielded a big bat in this Senior Division semifinal. The Dodgers’ slugger hit a pair of homeruns and piled up six RBIs.

Forrest Sheard also left the yard, blasting a 3-run homer.

Pat Hart, Stacey Hart and Canfield combined for the Dodgers’ pitching decision.

Pat drew the starting nod and worked two innings, striking out all six batters he faced. Stacey relieved in the third, then handed the ball off to Gavin, who finished things off.

Brandon Amato made yet another outstanding catch for the Dodgers in this victory. Wayne Bank’s star centerfielder raced into short right to make a diving grab with the bases loaded.

Elegante battled its way into the title tilt with a 6-4 win over Dirlam Brothers.

Brian Gibbons was the hero in this one. He hammered his first homer of the season, a 3-run shot that catapulted the Giants into the final.

Championship Game
Wayne Bank pitching was nothing short of spectacular in Thursday’s finale.

Pat Hart went to the hill as Wayne Bank’s starter and just dominated Elegante’s line-up. The flame-throwing righty allowed just one hit and fanned 12 of the 13 batters he faced.

Reed McLaughlin delivered the Giants’ lone base knock, a first inning single.

Canfield came on in relief and was every bit as impressive. Six Giant batters stood in against Gavin and all six struck out.

Kelly & Casazza combined to dazzle on the mound for Elegante. Adam worked the first four frames and Nick pitched a scoreless fifth.

Wayne Bank scored the only run in this nailbiter of a championship game in the bottom of the fourth.

Kelly retired the first two batters without incident, then surrendered an opposite field double to Canfield. This brought Stacey Hart to the plate with two down.

Hart delivered in the clutch, ripping an RBI single off the glove of Elegante’s second base-man, plating Canfield and giving the Dodgers a 1-0 win.

Score by Innings...
Giants    (11-7)  0  0  0  0  0  0 - 0
Dodgers (13-4)  0  0  0  0  1  x - 1