August 10, 2011
Dark Horse claim title
Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Bill Morse of Dark Horse fires a pitch against Brix in the fastpitch championship game Tuesday. Morse was the winning pitcher in the game as Dark Horse won, 5-3.
Dark Horse is the 2011 Cortland Men’s Fastpitch League champion after beating Brix 5-3 Tuesday evening in the third and deciding game of the playoff finals.
The two teams finished tied for first during the regular season at 14-2, Dark Horse the top seed by virtue of outscoring Brix by one run in their head-to-head meetings this season. The two teams split the first two games of the series Monday night, dark Horse winning the opener 3-1 and Brix the second game 7-6.
Bill Morse, closing in on his 56th birthday, threw a six-hitter with nine strikeouts for Dark Horse, which scored the first three runs of Tuesday’s game and never looked back. Bill Weddle singled in the bottom of the second and scored on a triple to left-center by Morse. The winners added two more runs in the bottom of the third as Gabe Newton tripled and came home on a single to right-center by Jeff Carr, who in turn came home on a single by Dennis Hopkins.
Brix scored its first run in the top of the fifth as Abe Johnson doubled to left and A.J. Meldrim singled to left to score him and make it 3-1. Dark Horse made it 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth as Adam Koehler walked before Carr singled and then got caught in a rundown on a delayed steal, allowing Koehler to score.
Brix closed to within one run in the sixth, Josh Wood cracking a two-run inside-the park-homer after Brandon Galutz had walked. Koehler walked with the bases loaded to score Weddle with an insurance run for Dark Horse in the bottom of the sixth, and Morse set Brix down in order in the seventh to end the game.
Carr went 3-for-3 with an RBI for Dark Horse while Morse (triple, RBI) and Paul Sweger both went 2-for-3, Weddle scored twice and Newton tripled and was also cited for his defensive play at shortstop. Morse came back from a six-year hiatus this season, going 5-1 on the mound in the playoffs and 12-2 overall, averaging six strikeouts per game. He chalked up 30 strikeouts during the playoffs and only walked one batter.
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