Meagher Insurance rallied to defeat Dime Bank in HLBA championship game
The 2018 Honesdale Little Baseball Association Junior Division season came to an electrifying end this week at the Scott Kinzinger Complex.
With several hundred fans looking on, Meagher Insurance and Dime Bank went toe-to-toe in a championship game that will be remembered as one of the most competitive in recent memory.
The Athletics and Cubs battled back and forth all evening long, keeping fans on the edge of their seats right up to the final out.
When the dust cleared, the A's had rallied from an early deficit to claim a wild 10-8 win … and with it the Junior Division title.
Kadyn Kinney, Gavin Briggs, Ethan Corso and Levi Martin paced a high-powered attack that saw the A's pile up 10 runs in the first four frames.
Trevor Dressler was Top Gun for a scrappy Cubs squad, banging out four hits in five at-bats.
“What a great game!” exclaimed longtime HLBA President Charlie Rollison after the last out was recorded. “That's the way a championship game should always be played.”
Meagher Insurance skipper Matt Corso agreed whole-heartedly, telling his jubilant players afterward:
“That was absolutely the best game you played all year!”
With this scintillating win, the A's close out a wildly successful season. The team finished first in the regular season standings, earned the number one seed in this year's tournament and cruised to the crown.
Next up for the HLBA, weather permitting, is the Senior Division final and consolation game.
Stay tuned to TWI Sports for full coverage in an upcoming edition.
By virtue of its first place finish in the regular season, Meagher Insurance earned an opening round bye at the 2018 tourney.
On Sunday afternoon, the A's met the Marlins in a semifinal encounter. Dave's Super Duper rocketed out to an early lead in this one, but Meagher Insurance came roaring right back.
Coach Corso's lads tallied two runs in the third and tacked on four more in the bottom of the fourth to seal the deal on a 6-2 decision.
Meanwhile, Dime Bank finished the year in second place and also earned a first round playoff bye. The Cubbies punched their ticket to the finals with an impressive 12-1 win over Rusty Palmer's.
Joel Flynn and Nathan Schuman led the way in this one, each reaching base five times and eventually scoring four runs.
And so, the stage was set for an HLBA showdown that few will ever forget.
Dime Bank came out with both guns blazing on Tuesday evening.
The Cubs scored four runs in the top of the first, much to the delight of Manager Ryan Dressler and his coaching staff.
Joel Flynn ignited this initial uprising with a lead-off single to right. He was joined on the basepaths by Dressler, who beat out an infield single.
Caden Hinkley and Justin Scanlon followed with RBI base knocks. Two more runs scored via Athletics' errors and the score was quickly 4-0.
Meagher Insurance was unfazed, though. The A's unleashed their own batting barrage in the bottom half of the inning.
Kinney led off with a sharp single to left and was joined aboard by Briggs and Martin. Ethan Corso and Gavin White both drove in a pair, Corso with a single and White with a triple.
With the score knotted at 4-4, the teams each tallied twice in the second.
Dressler provided the big blow for the Cubs, roping an RBI double to the wall in left. Briggs answered with a booming, two-run triple for the Athletics.
Dime Bank seized what proved to be its final lead of the game in the top of the fourth when Dressler delivered yet another clutch RBI basehit.
Meagher Insurance took control of things once and for all in the bottom half of the frame.
Martin and Corso played the hero's roles. Levi lashed an RBI single to center, while Ethan hammered a two-run double to right.
With the score now 10-7, Dime Bank staged one more rally in the top of the sixth. Dressler smoked an RBI double to left, but that would be the final run of the night as the A's held on for a 10-8 win.
Over & Out
Pitching for Meagher Insurance in Tuesday's championship game were: Martin, Briggs and Corso.
Dime Bank countered with: Flynn and Dressler.
Defensively, the Athletics received a pair of Gold Glove plays from Corso and River Fotusky.
Ethan robbed Joel Flynn of certain extra bases by leaping high in the air at first base to snag a blistering line drive.
River, who was catching at the time, recorded the second out of the sixth and final frame. Fotusky made a acrobatic catch of a foul pop with the possible tying runs on base.