The Grizzlies took the Twin County league championship with a dramatic walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth against Norchester, capping a 3-0 playoff run from the 1 seed position.
Eric Keebler got the pitching start for the Grizzlies, going 3 no-hit innings and yielding 1 run while striking out 3 and walking 3. He left the game with the score tied at 1. Ethan Ferraro entered the game in the top of the 4th and held Norchester scoreless with only 2 hits for the next 5 innings. Ferraro threw only 54 pitches over those 5 innings. The game already well past the regulation 7 inning duration, things got interesting in the 9th inning.
Norchester led off the top of the ninth with a walk and a sacrifice bunt, putting the go-ahead run at second with one out. After a pop out, the next batter hit the ball down the first baseline for what looked like an easy inning-ending out. Instead, the ball careened off of the first base bag into right field for a hit, scoring the runner from second. Norchester now led 2-1. Ferraro got out of the inning with a strikeout and the game proceeded to the bottom of the ninth.
Cleanup hitter Nathaniel Wilson led things off with a walk. After a sacrifice bunt by David Wagner, Zach Rothermel hit a line drive to center to move Wilson to third with one out. The next batter, Cullen Nesbitt, hit a clutch ground ball single up the middle to score Wilson to tie the game, while moving Rothermel to 2nd. After a pop out, the man who started the game on the hill for the Grizzlies came to the plate, Eric Keebler. With 2 out in a tie ball game, Eric took the first pitch as a called strike. On the next pitch, a ball, Rothermel stole third to put the winning run 90 feet away. And then the magic happened. On the 1-1 pitch, Keebler pulled a sharp grounder through the hole between first and second, scoring Rothermel and winning the game. Keebler ended the day 3-4 at the plate with 2 RBI, including the game-winner (he is kneeling in the front of the victory photo). Ethan Ferraro earned the pitching win for the Grizzlies, in total scattering 3 hits and 1 run over 6 innings while striking out 3 and walking 2.
The Grizzlies will represent the Twin County league in the Berwick regional, which starts on Saturday, July 20.