It took seven years for RG+A and Head Coach Tom Lynch to ascend the mountain, but the third time was a charm as Roger Green & Associates (RG+A) downed two-time defending champs Fran’s Pub to capture their first league crown. The pair had matched up in the championship during the previous two seasons, with Fran’s dominating The Green Machine.
This year seemed to be heading in the same direction, as Fran’s jumped on top 3-0 after two innings, but the bottom of the third brought up the bottom of RG+A’s line-up, which did anything but bottom out. The meat of the line-up, Jeff Parros, Larry Thiel and Dana Cole, set the table for the big Timmy “The Hammer” Deckman. He hammered a shot to right center field that chugged home Thiel and Cole…and I mean chugged. Dan Kramli; NHF owner, league commissioner, head umpire, pitcher and all-around-good-guy, finished the inning with a solo bomb off of the hard-luck pitcher Rick Slack.
The top of the fourth was highlighted by a slick double play by RG+A shortstop Rick Fitzgerald, which lead to five hustle runs in the bottom of the fourth. Veteran league standouts Tim Phelan, Kevin Horak and Brian Kramli showed their speed, well at least Tim did, Brian showed smarts and Kevin showed his age, taking extra bases and leaving Fran’s coach Mike “Horn” Schermerhorn scratching his head in disbelief.
Up 10-3, RG+A was just looking to hold on as they knew the big bats of Fran’s would come around soon. Able to limit Fran’s to another three runs through the top of the fifth, things were getting a little hairy, but RG+A tacked on another five-spot with Hollee Parros, Dan Weidner and Ali Spiro scoring three crucial insurance runs. Fran’s battled back in the sixth inning as RG+A pitcher Kramli served up a three-run meatball to Jeremy “Loaf” Miller, but was able to stave off the attack and limit the powerful club to 12 runs versus RG+A’s 16. Former two-time league MVP, now three-time league champ, New Hope Mayor Larry Keller had carried the team to the Championship game, but was unable to play as he tore his hamstring on a game-ending unassisted triple play in the semi-finals. He was sorely missed but was the truest of leaders on RG+A’s march to the crown.
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