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Old 11-15-2016, 01:35 PM   #41
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Collegiate Baseball Times 5/1/1872

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Old 11-15-2016, 02:58 PM   #42
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June 1, 1872

As the month of May came to a close, so did the race for the playoffs, which was now down to five teams. James looked over the attendance numbers and continued to be pleased with the crowd turnout for the young association. He also looked at the standings as of the end of May.

In the New England Region, it looked as though Yale would be repeating as champion. The Bulldogs have a seven game lead on Harvard with only seven games left to play. Harvard, however, is quite the surprise, as they are still in the running for the wild card position.

Princeton clinched the Northeast Region on May 24th, after defeating Syracuse 7-5. The Tigers have won six games in a row and are currently 43-10. The Tigers have lost starting center fielder, junior Brian de la Cruz, to a sprained elbow. He's still out for two more weeks, so he might be able to return if Princeton makes the Collegiate Championship Series. Senior left fielder Bill Stricker was rotated over to center, but he ended up being lost for the season a week later when he bruised his knee. Sophomore Elliot Holmes, a one star player from Merrimack, New Hampshire, took over in center and has been making the most of his opportunity. James wasn't sure what was in the water at Princeton, but this Holmes kid was hitting .340!!

Elliot Holmes

Jon Richmond won Pitcher of the Month honors for the second consecutive month. Richmond was 17-4 in the month of May, with a 2.14 earned run average. For the season, Richmond is 37-7, 2.17. Meanwhile, another Northeast Region player was named Batter of the Month. Senior first baseman David Johnston of Columbia University earned the honor for May. Johnston hit .354, with one home run, 27 runs batted in and 25 runs scored. For the season, Johnston is hitting .289, with one home run, 34 runs batted in and 41 runs scored in 47 games played.

David Johnston

In the Atlantic Region, Villanova has a three game lead over Lafayette College. Lafayette has a four game lead over Harvard for the wild card, but they play five of their last seven games against Villanova. With the games at Lafayette, can Villanova hang on? And if so, does Harvard take advantage of Lafayette losing and catapult themselves into the playoffs?
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Old 11-18-2016, 03:29 PM   #43
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End of Regular Season 1872

The end of the 1872 regular season came to a close with less fanfare than the previous year. Villanova clinched a playoff spot on June 3rd and Yale won their region on June 5th. Lafayette College grabbed the final spot on June 6th, with only the title of Atlantic Region champion still to be determined. With the final five games against each other, Villanova and Lafayette had all the drama built up. But the Wildcats put an end to the speculation in the third game, clinching the regional championship.

James looked over the match ups for the playoffs. Lafayette had the difficult task of taking on Princeton, while Yale prepared to battle it out with Villanova.

"How ironic," James thought. "Last year everyone assumed Yale and Villanova would be facing each other in the championship and now, here they are the following season getting ready to challenge each other in the playoffs."

James looked over the reports which came into his office. Villanova's first baseman, David Olsen, had won the association batting title. Impressive enough task on it's own, but he finished the season with a batting average of .407!!!
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Old 11-18-2016, 03:42 PM   #44
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1872 Playoff Series, Game 1

Lafayette traveled to Princeton, New Jersey as serious underdogs, while the Tigers were trying not to be the favorites who were upset. The two teams were fairly even to start Game 1, as Princeton held a narrow 4-3 lead after three innings. But the Tigers broke it open in the 4th inning and then cruised to an easy 12-4 victory.

As for Yale, they were a lesser underdog to Villanova. But both teams knew how much of a challenge victory would be, as two of the best pitchers in the association would be on the mound. Game 1 was a pitcher's duel, as Yale's Kyle Brown and Villanova's Ryan Kovar kept hitters at bay. After seven innings, the score was tied 1-1. The Bulldogs found a way to get to Kovar in the 8th inning, scoring four runs to break the game open. Yale would hold on to win the game, 7-3.
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Old 11-18-2016, 03:52 PM   #45
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1872 Playoff Series, Game 2

As Princeton rode the train to Easton, Pennsylvania, they were certain the series was all but over. The Tigers had trounced Lafayette in the first game and they expected the same result in Game 2. But the Leopards had other plans, as they jumped all over the overconfident Princeton squad. The Tigers committed 11 errors, while Lafayette scored ten runs in the first five innings. The game ended in a Lafayette rout, winning 10-2 and forcing a third and final game in Princeton.

With another game between Villanova and Yale, another pitcher's duel was expected, and rightfully so. Both Ryan Kovar and Kyle Brown kept goose eggs on the board for the first three innings. But the Bulldogs found a way to get to Kovar in the 4th inning, scoring four runs to break the tie. The zeros continued to be posted on the scoreboard until the Wildcats managed to score two runs in the 8th inning. But Yale and Brown kept Villanova at bay, winning the game 4-2 and taking the series two games to none. Brown was named the series MVP.
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Old 11-18-2016, 04:02 PM   #46
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1872 Playoff Series, Game 3

Well, this is it. Game 3, where the winner moves on and the loser goes home. Both Lafayette and Princeton had posted blowout wins against the other in the first two games. Which teams would appear for the third and final game of the Collegiate Baseball Association Playoff Series??

Lafayette scored a run in the first inning to take the early lead. Both teams scored a run in the 2nd and 4th innings, but the Leopards held a one run advantage, 3-2. But the Tigers got a run across the plate in the 5th, tying the game 3-3. Princeton kept finding a way to score runs, plating two more in the 6th and another in the 7th. Although they were outhit by Lafayette, 13-9, Princeton kept the Leopards from turning those hits into runs, hanging on to win the game 6-3 and advance to their second consecutive Collegiate Baseball Association Championship Series!! Catcher Adam Harris took home Series MVP honors.
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Old 11-28-2016, 12:43 PM   #47
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1872 Collegiate Championship Series, Game 1

James and his family traveled by train to Princeton, New Jersey, for the first game of the 1872 Collegiate Championship Series. He met first with Yale President, Jesse Berry, and Athletic Director Adam Patrick, congratulating them on their successful season.

"We should have been here last year," Berry remarked, "but I'm glad to see we got a second chance. Now all we have to do is win this series and take home the trophy."

James also spoke with Princeton President John Cartwright and Athletic Director Ryan Lamar about their success and second consecutive appearance in the Collegiate Championship Series.

"I'm telling you, James," Cartwright proclaimed, "we're going to win this series. You might as well engrave the trophy now and hand it over."

When the game started, it was expected to be a pitcher's duel, with Kyle Brown pitching for Yale and Jon Richmond on the mound for Princeton. But the scoring started early for Yale, as they got to Richmond for a run in the 1st inning and three more in the 2nd inning to jump out to a 4-0 lead. The Tigers were held in check, managing only one run and five hits against Brown. Yale coasted to a 6-1 win on the road and put the defending champs on the ropes for the trip back to New Haven.
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Old 11-28-2016, 12:57 PM   #48
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1872 Collegiate Championship Series, Game 2

Upon his arrival in New Haven, James saw a jubilant crowd of people who were certain their Yale Bulldogs were set to win Game 2 and become the national champions. Princeton had been humbled in the first game and James was curious to see how they would respond.

Jon Richmond and Kyle Brown were again on the mound for Princeton and Yale. However, it was Princeton who struck first, getting to Brown in the 1st inning and scoring two runs for an early 2-0 lead. But Yale clawed back, scoring a run in the 2nd inning to cut into the lead. The Bulldogs scored another run in the 3rd inning to tie the game, then plated another run in the 4th inning to take their first lead of the game, 3-2.

The Tigers came back in the 5th inning, scoring a run to tie the game once more, then took the lead back with a run in the 6th inning. After six innings, Princeton led 4-3. The lead would swing back to Yale in the bottom of the 7th, as they scored twice to take the lead, 5-4. But Princeton just wouldn't give up, scoring again in the top of the 8th and tying the game, 5-5.

With the game tied going into the 9th, Princeton third baseman Jon Hale took it upon himself to lift his team. Hale had the hot bat all game, going 4 for 4. With one out in the 9th, Hale made it 5 for 5, hitting a two run double. The Tigers would score a third run and hold Yale in the bottom half of the 9th, winning the game by a score of 8-5 and tying the series, 1-1. The crowd, dismayed by their team's last inning loss, quietly left the stadium as the teams packed their gear and prepared for a return trip to Princeton.
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Old 11-28-2016, 01:47 PM   #49
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1872 Collegiate Championship Series, Game 3

Princeton was back to a winner-take-all game, as they had in last year's championship series and this year's playoff series. How would both teams perform in Game 3, with hopes, dreams and a title on the line? James brought the Championship Trophy to the ballpark for the post game presentation, honestly not knowing which team would end up with it by the end of the night.

Kyle Brown and Jon Richmond, two of the best pitchers in the association, were back on the mound for the final showdown of the season. Neither team was able to score in the 1st inning, but Princeton was able to scrape together a run in the bottom of the 2nd inning to break the scoreless tie. But in the top of the 4th, Yale would tie it up 1-1 with a run of their own. Shortstop Chuck Beam would break that tie in the 5th inning, in favor of his Tigers, by delivering an RBI single. Princeton would plate another run in the 6th to stretch their lead to 3-1.

Yale responded in the 7th inning, scoring one run to cut the lead to 3-2. The score would remain the same as the teams entered the 9th inning. First baseman Justin Barger connected off of Richmond for a double, putting the tying run in scoring position. But Richmond was able to get the final two batters to fly out, preserving the win and giving Princeton their second consecutive title!!!





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Old 11-28-2016, 03:04 PM   #50
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1872 Offseason

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Old 11-28-2016, 03:14 PM   #51
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1872 Award Winners

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Old 11-28-2016, 04:11 PM   #52
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1872 Offseason

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Old 12-19-2016, 03:33 PM   #53
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1873

During the off season, James spoke with the university and college presidents about tweaking the schedule. The tweak was to start the schedule earlier in March, so the season would be over by the end of May and the playoffs would be in early June. Other than the chance for bad weather and rescheduling of games, the presidents had no real concerns and the idea was put into place. Therefore, the 1873 season would start on March 4th.

The sportswriters were testing their knowledge once again and predicting the outcome for the upcoming season. Yale and Princeton were still the favorites for their regions, but Lafayette was considered the best team in the Atlantic Region, with many considering Villanova in a rebuilding year. The projected wild card team looked to be Cornell.



As the first month progressed, injuries took their toll on a number of teams. Just days into the new season, Fordham lost center fielder Sean Cowden, a junior, for the season with a broken bone in his elbow. Halfway through the month, three more players went down with significant injuries. On March 15, Rutgers lost shortstop Branden Major, a junior, for six weeks with a torn abdominal muscle. The next few days, Lafayette lost two players. Junior center fielder Tim Jensen was lost for four weeks with tendinitis in his shoulder. Senior shortstop Ben Gruel was then lost for 6-7 weeks with a strained rotator cuff. Losing Jensen was especially hard, as he was hitting .463 after nine games. Two more players went down at the end of the month. Yale lost senior center fielder Randy Lofton for three weeks with a sprained ankle. Senior shortstop Marco "Chopper" Rojas, of Brown, also went down with the same injury and is lost for three weeks as well. Rojas was hitting .388 after 20 games.

On the bright side, the Batter and Pitcher of the Month were announced at the end of the month. Some surprises in the standings after a month of play. Brown is tied with Yale for the lead in the New England Region, while Lafayette has built a 3 1/2 game lead in the Atlantic Region. To no ones surprise, Princeton leads the Northeast Region by 5 1/2 games.
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Old 01-09-2017, 11:53 AM   #54
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April 1873

By the end of the month of April, Yale had distanced themselves from Brown in the New England Region. At 28-14, they had built a six game lead. In the Northeast Region, Princeton continued to assert their dominance and increased their lead over Cornell from five and a half games to eight. Likewise, in the Atlantic Region, Lafayette is running away, taking a three and a half game lead and increasing it to an 11 1/2 game cushion.



A number of injuries have hit the best teams, though, so not sure how their leads will hold up in May. On April 18th, Yale's junior pitcher, Kyle "Rebel" Brown, fractured his foot and will miss three weeks. Brown was Pitcher of the Year for both 1871 and 1872. On April 26th, Lafayette lost junior center fielder Tim Jensen for five weeks to a strained groin muscle. Jensen had only been back eight games from his previous injury. In 17 games, Jensen is hitting .430. Finally, on April 30th, Cornell junior left fielder, Steve Friedman, injured his shoulder and will miss four weeks with shoulder soreness.

On the bright side, Princeton Junior pitcher Jon Richmond picked up his 100th win on April 23rd in a 7-3 victory over Dartmouth. The Batter of the Month was Columbia junior center fielder Josh Rice, who hit .396 in April. The Pitcher of the Month was Lafayette junior pitcher Tom "Acrobat" Drummond. Drummond posted a record of 13-4 in April, with a 2.01 earned run average.
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Old 01-20-2017, 03:24 PM   #55
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May 1873

As the third season of the association was drawing to a close, James was feeling pretty good about what he had accomplished so far. Collegiate baseball was expanding in popularity and the universities and colleges in the association were seeing money roll in from the crowds. But on May 6th, James encountered a new issue. It seems as though two players had gotten into a fight during a game, causing the benches to clear and resulting in both players getting ejected from the contest by the umpire. James was told the hitter had taken offense to the pitcher throwing inside, nearly striking the hitter. Apparently, it was the last straw for the hitter, who then took his frustrations out on the pitcher.

James felt like he had no choice and had to use this incident to show the association members that this kind of behavior would not be tolerated. As a result, James suspended Mike Hartman of Fordham, a junior center fielder and Nick Pendleton, a sophomore relief pitcher for Lehigh. Both students were suspended for two games, but James advised both schools that further violations would lead to increased punishments.


Mike Hartman

On May 10th, Lafayette (35-14) became the first team to clinch their region, winning the Atlantic Region after 49 games. Princeton (38-13) followed suit on May 13th, clinching the Northeast Region by defeating Lafayette, 15-10. The Tigers, however, got bad news just three days later, losing second baseman Keith Gordon (Jr.) for the season to a strained oblique. By May 25th, Yale (34-25) had faltered and Brown (33-26) was one game back. The Bulldogs had lost the last two games to Brown and had one more to play on the final day of the season. Brown was also tied with Syracuse for the wild card spot, so tensions were high on the last day of the regular season.

Yale, however, was able to turn the tide, winning their game against Brown, 10-7, and clinching the New England Region with their victory. Fortunately for Brown, Syracuse had also lost on the final day, 19-18 to Cornell, leaving the two teams tied at 33-27. James, for the second time in three years, ordered a 61st game be played. Brown traveled to Syracuse for the do-or-die contest. The Bears wasted no time, scoring three runs in the 1st inning and leading 6-2 after four innings. Brown opened the flood gates in the 5th, scoring eight times en route to a 15-4 thrashing of the Orange. Brown first baseman Nick Swan ends up taking home the batting title with a .390 batting average.

So, the 1873 playoffs are set. Brown travels to face defending champ Princeton, while Yale hits the road to play Lafayette.
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Old 01-20-2017, 03:40 PM   #56
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1873 Playoff Series, Game 1

Brown entered the series, as one might guess, a serious underdog to Princeton. The Tigers were the two time defending champion and the Bears were 0-2 against them this season. As expected, Princeton got out to an early lead, with a 3-0 advantage after three innings. But Brown scored a run in the 4th to cut into the lead, then tied it in the 5th inning. With the bases loaded, first baseman Nick Swan delivered an RBI single to give Brown the lead. The Bears would hold onto the lead and stun Princeton, winning the game 4-3!!!

Yale also entered into their series as an underdog to Lafayette. The Bulldogs were also in a late season slump and were 0-2 vs. the Leopards. Yale struck first, scoring runs in the first two innings for an early 2-0 lead. But Lafayette scored four in the 3rd and another run in the 4th to take the lead, 5-2, after four innings. The Bulldogs scored two runs in the 6th inning, closing the gap to 5-4, but the Leopards scored three more times in the game, winning it by a final of 8-4.
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Old 01-20-2017, 03:57 PM   #57
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1873 Playoff Series, Game 2

Princeton was looking to reassert their dominance over Brown and they came out swinging and scoring early. After four innings, the Tigers held a 4-2 advantage over the Bears. But Brown was able to put together a solid inning in the 7th, scoring three runs, compliments of three hits and two Princeton errors. Brown carried their 5-4 lead into the 9th, but then it was Yale's turn. The Bulldogs managed to tie the game, thanks to two errors on the Bears. Blake DeMarco stayed in the game for Brown, pitching a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the 10th. Relief pitcher Eddy Lopez didn't fare as well, as his defense committed three errors in the inning, allowing Brown to score the winning run!!

Brown has done the unthinkable and ended the reign of the defending champion Princeton Tigers!!! Pitcher Blake DeMarco was named the Series MVP. On a side note, Brown lost starting catcher Carlos Aguilar to a concussion after a collision in the base path. Aguilar, who hit .356 this season, was ruled out for the championship series and will be replaced by Jim O'Rourke.

Lafayette was looking to end their series on the road against Yale. The Leopards scored three runs in the 3rd inning and still led the game 3-0 after five innings. But Yale plated three runs of their own in the bottom of the 6th to tie it up. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, they committed five errors in the 7th inning, allowing Lafayette to take the lead for good. Lafayette would score three in the 7th and five in the 8th to win it 11-5. While Lafayette scored 11 runs, Yale committed 11 errors in the game.

Lafayette takes the series in a sweep and returns home as the favorite over Brown for the Collegiate Championship Series. Pitcher Tom Drummond was named the Series MVP.
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Old 01-27-2017, 03:08 PM   #58
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1873 Collegiate Championship Series, Game 1

Although he had no personal interest in which teams were in the championship series, James was happy to see two new teams in the finals. He believed parity would give the association the best chance for stability as it grew. The last thing he wanted, he told himself, was to have all of the good players in the nation wanting to only play for one particular school over the others. Besides, baseball should not be the reason a student chose to go to college.

James traveled to Easton, Pennsylvania with his oldest son, Ephraim, who had recently turned 18. Ephraim was undecided as to where he was going to college, but knew he wanted to play baseball for one of the fourteen teams in the association.

James and Ephraim were two of 1597 people to squeeze into the 1600 capacity Lafayette Grounds. Brown was the surprise, coming in as the wild card after 61 games. The Bears had shocked Princeton and was now looking to take down Lafayette. Brown had the association's batting champion, first baseman Nick Swan. Lafayette, on the other hand, had senior catcher, Chuck "Little Rat" Manier. Manier led the association in hits (109), home runs (4) and runs batted in (66). As a team, the Leopards led the association with 528 runs scored. Brown finished a close second with 525.

The mound had two near equal pitchers. Lafayette's starter, Tom "Acrobat" Drummond, led the association in earned run average (2.23) and opponents batting average (.260). Brown's pitcher, Blake DeMarco, didn't lead the association in any categories, but was right behind Drummond with an earned run average of 2.29 and an opponent's batting average of .262.

The weather was a wonderful 55 degrees, with partly cloudy skies and the wind blowing in gently from right field. Lafayette got on the board quickly, scoring a run in the 1st and 2nd innings to take the early lead. Brown scored twice in the 4th inning on a pair of base hits to tie the game, 2-2. The Leopards retook the lead in the bottom half of the frame, however, when junior center fielder Carlos Pintor smacked a grounder past the second baseman. Senior third baseman, Steve Battista, headed home from second and beat the throw to give Lafayette a 3-2 advantage.

The Bears would struggle for the next four innings, getting just one hit off of Drummond. Lafayette padded their lead with a run in the 7th and three more in the 8th. Leading 7-2, the Leopards conceded two runs to Brown in the top of the 9th, but ended up winning the game by a score of 7-4.

With the win, Lafayette takes Game 1, as the teams pack up and prepare to travel to Providence for Game 2.
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Old 01-27-2017, 03:45 PM   #59
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1873 Collegiate Championship Series, Game 2

James and Ephraim arrived in Providence, championship trophy in hand, in case Lafayette won Game 2. The weather, however, didn't look as though it was going to cooperate. The temperature was in the low 50's and there was a light rain beginning to fall.

Prior to the game, James had introduced Ephraim to Brown University President Kevin Allan. Allan was ecstatic at his team's performance and acknowledged that the goals he had set forth to Athletic Director Jason Wasik were being met so far.

"After two seasons of losing, we're winners now. Even if they don't win the championship, I'm proud of what they've accomplished." Allan continued, "Although I'm glad they're winning now. I'm 65 years old, James. I'm not sure how much longer I'll be at the helm. I'm thinking I might retire soon."

Fortunately for Brown, both Wasik (46) and Manager John Giordano (45) were young enough to be around for a number of years, assuming their success continued.

1689 people turned out for the game, regardless of the rain. Fortunately, it wasn't raining very hard, so the game went on as scheduled. Both teams were scoreless after two innings, but Brown changed that in the bottom of the 3rd, when they scored two runs. The Bears took advantage of some good base hits and some errors on Lafayette's part to take the 2-0 lead. Brown added three more runs the next inning, thanks to three Leopard fielding errors. With a 5-0 lead after four innings, the home crowd was hyped. Lafayette would finally get on the board in the 6th, as Tom Drummond helped his own cause, leading the inning off with a double. The Leopards would manage to score twice, cutting the lead to 5-2.

But Brown would regain their five run advantage, scoring a run in both the 7th and 8th innings to lead 7-2. Lafayette would record two outs after three batters in the top of the 9th. Down to their last out with a man on first, the Leopards started their rally. Third baseman Steve Battista would single to left. Junior right fielder Ken Crawley came in as a pinch hitter for Drummond. Crawley would double down the right field line, clearing the bases and cutting the lead to 7-4. Crawley would advance to third on a passed ball and score on Carlos Pintor's base hit to make it 7-5. Pintor would go to second base on a fielding error in left field. Junior right fielder Jason Lindemulder would hit the first pitch he saw into right field, scoring Pintor from second and making the score 7-6.

Needless to say, Manager John Giordano came to the mound to speak with his star pitcher. With Chuck Manier, Lafayette's best hitter, coming up, tensions were high and the crowd was sitting in stunned silence. Blake DeMarco stayed on the mound. Manier liked the first pitch he saw and swung for the fence. But the ball popped up and stayed in the infield, falling into the shortstop's glove for the final out. Brown survives the rally and the series moves back to Easton for the final game.
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Old 01-27-2017, 10:16 PM   #60
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1873 Collegiate Championship Series, Game 3

James and Ephraim returned to Easton, Pennsylvania for the third and deciding game of the Collegiate Championship Series. When they arrived, James met with Lafayette President Mat Hooven and introduced him to Ephraim. Knowing that the lad was looking to play collegiate ball, Hooven wasted no time introducing Ephraim to Manager Tim Garcia and having Garcia show him around the ballpark.

The weather was nice for the game. 59 degrees with clear skies, but the wind...it was blowing pretty good out to right field. If the ball got high enough, James figured they might see a home run in this game. Brown went down in order to start things off. Carlos Pintor led off for the Leopards and got on base due to an error on Bears' shortstop, Marco Rojas. Pintor stole second and made it to third on a wild pitch. Then he scored on a ground out and gave Lafayette an early 1-0 lead. Brown would come back, however, in the top of the 2nd inning. The Bears would hit three straight singles to start the inning and would end up plating two runs to take a 2-1 lead. Brown would scratch together another run in the 3rd inning to increase their lead to 3-1. An RBI triple by Lafayette left fielder Paul "Tempo" Davies in the bottom half of the inning would cut the lead to 3-2.

While the Bears went three up, three down in the 4th, the Leopards' bats kept swinging. Lafayette got three hits in the inning and scored three runs, taking the lead 5-3. Neither team scored in the 5th or 6th inning, but Brown found their groove in the top of the 7th inning. The Bears managed five hits, scoring four runs in the frame to regain the lead, 7-5. The score remained the same as the game entered the 9th inning. Both starters were done by this point, so relief pitchers would be settling this score for the championship. Brown went down in order in the top of the 9th.

As the bottom of the 9th started, Lafayette first baseman Alfonso Martinez led things off. The junior from Freeport, Maine had hit a solid .295 in the regular season, but was 0 for 4 in this game. Martinez would work the count full and on the seventh pitch he saw from relief pitcher Jason Bernal, he hit a line drive through the hole between first and second. The crowd was getting into a frenzy as senior shortstop Ben Gruel came to the plate. Gruel had a hot bat today and was 3 for 4 at the plate. After a first pitch ball, Gruel connected with the ball and drove it deep to the gap in right center. Martinez scored and Gruel ended up on third with a triple!! The lead was cut to 7-6, with Lafayette having the tying run 90 feet away!

Second baseman, junior Toby Underkofler, stepped into the batter's box and hit the first pitch he saw. It probably wasn't the best decision, as it flew into shallow center and was caught for the first out of the inning. Senior third baseman Steve Battista took a 2-1 pitch and grounded out to second, keeping Gruel stranded at third and recording the second out. Senior Phil Puett was brought in to pitch hit for the pitcher. Puett had an okay season, batting .246 in 34 games. After a called first strike and swinging and missing on the second pitch, Puett found himself quickly in an 0-2 count. As the third pitch was thrown, Puett swung his bat....

Here was the headline the following day.



Puett had hit the ball, but it was a lazy fly ball to right field. The ball was caught and Brown found themselves the unlikely champions of collegiate baseball. The crowd was in shock, dismayed by what they had seen. James smiled and reminded his son that almost anything can happen in baseball. "Don't underestimate anyone," he said, "because the favorite doesn't always win."

With another season in the books, James returned to his office the following day to begin his off season checklist to prepare for the 1874 season. As for Ephraim, he had a big decision to make. Which college or university was he going to play for?
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