The words written in the preview for this game somehow seemed to carryover onto the ballfield. It first talked about how it was the 19th all-time meeting between these two teams. Midland Park wearing Orange shirts was mentioned. Ironically, Midland Park got new shirts this season. A player said at the field “it had been 8 years”. The Green&White have had their ALRC shirts for about the same number of years, since they originally had SRC shirts when Scott Botbyl started the team back in 2005. Botbyl has said a couple times now, “we will get new shirts next year”. The preview mentioned that Midland Park is targeting their 3rd straight championship game appearance and 6th consecutive Final Four, while ALRC is still seeking their first championship game appearance. It was even written that the two teams met twice last year, both in the regular season and again in the post-season. Midland Park won both games easily, outscoring ALRC in the two contests by a score of 25-6. Almost exactly how this game ended up playing out ….
In the top of the first inning, Midland Park scored one run. In the bottom of the first inning, ALRC got that run right back. Nick Schroeder hit a lead-off triple and then scored on an RBI sac fly by Dave DeWaalMalefyt. Scott D’Alessandro hit a double before the inning ended. It was 1-1 after one inning.
Midland Park’s bottom of the order produced 5 runs in the top of the 2nd inning to give them a 6-1 lead. ALRC again scored just one run in the bottom of the 2nd inning, a solo HR by Brett Fritzsch. Dan Bosgra hit a single, but was unable to score thanks to a great jumping catch made by the Midland Park ShortFielder, robbing Scott Botbyl of what seemed to be a HR to left-center field. Midland Park led 6-2 after two innings.
Midland Park’s bottom of the order again produced another big inning, this time with 6 runs in the top of the 3rd inning, increasing their lead to 12-2. ALRC was unable to score in the bottom of the 3rd inning, getting just two singles from Nick Schroeder and Yrvy Gonzalez.
In the top of the 4th inning, Midland Park added 3 more runs to increase their lead to 15-2. ALRC only managed one run in an inning yet again. Brian Churco hit a lead-off double, and he eventually scored on an RBI groundout. It was 15-3 Midland Park after four innings.
Midland Park’s top of the order put the game away in the top of the 5th inning, generating 5 more runs on offense, giving them a commanding 20-3 lead. Midland Park’s defense continued to shine in the bottom of the 5th inning, this time it was a highlight-reel diving catch by their rightfielder, again likely taking a HR away from Botbyl. Only Nick Schroeder recorded a hit that inning (double) as ALRC was held scoreless.
Both teams scored a pair of runs in the 6th inning. Midland Park’s two runs again came courtesy of the bottom of their lineup. As for ALRC, it was Yrvy Gonzalez and Scott D’Alessandro starting things off with back-to-back singles. Brian Churco’s RBI single scored Gonzalez. Joe Bosgra’s RBI single scored D’Alessandro. It was 22-5 Midland Park after six innings. Ironically, that was the same exact score back in 2007 during the regular season between these two teams, one full decade ago.
Three more runs in the top of the 7th inning for Midland Park, increased their lead to 25-5. ALRC was held scoreless in the bottom of the 7th inning, as only Dave DeWaalMalefyt got a hit (single).
Nick Schroeder was the best player for ALRC, going 3 for 4 (single, double, triple, Run). Brian Churco was 2 for 3 (single, double, Run, RBI).
Coach Scott Botbyl feels that “when Faith Hill was winning 10 championships, they won because they got basically just as much production from the bottom of the lineup, as they did from the top of their lineup, and Midland Park has been doing a lot of that lately as well, all the guys seem interchangeable, no matter what their batting order is, they produce offense, and that’s why they win so often, while my team is capable of playing just as good, we are often inconsistent, and that’s what we saw again today”.
Midland Park improves to 7-1 on the season, while ALRC drops to 4-3.
ALRC is now 5-8 all-time versus Midland Park during the regular season. The two teams have met SIX TIMES in the playoffs, with Midland Park leading the series in those games 4-2. That makes the Green&White 7-12 all-time against the Defending Champions.