HAWLEY — The Pocono Mountain Senior Men's Baseball League wrapped up its season with a Sunday afternoon showdown between the Red Storm and the Pounders in a heated battle for the league championship.
On the mound for the Storm was Tom Park. Coming off a big win the previous week, Park was ready for more and the Red Storm was anxious to take on the Pounders.
Pitching for the Pounders was their ace John Morgan. Well rested from a week off, Morgan was set to get throwing heat and leading his team with big hits as well.
Both teams went scoreless through the first two innings as good fielding and strikeouts by Park and Morgan kept few runners from reaching the bags.
The Pounders would be first to score when Bob Butler crossed the plate in the bottom of the third off a double smacked deep by Jim Mann.
The Red Storm had no response in the top of the fourth.
Dan Gifford was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the inning. He then advanced to second on a single from Mike Hiller, thus setting up Morgan who drove them both in with a two-run double off the right field fence.
Down 3-0, the Red Storm looked to rally in the fifth after John Gavin took one for the team off an errant pitch by Morgan and then advanced to second on a one-out single by Carl Braunagle. Both would be left on base as Morgan would go on to strike out the next two batters to retire the side.
In the bottom of the inning, Larry DeLisi would score on a single from Bob Butler giving the Pounders a 4-0 lead.
Down the Stretch
Neither team would muster any runs in the sixth and seventh innings.
The Red Storm put some runners on the bags in the eighth, but all were left stranded when Pounders' catcher Tom Hourcade caught a pop-up foul, ending the Storm's chances for the time. The Pounders would do no better in the bottom of the inning, leaving the bases loaded after a pop-up and a grounder sent them back to the field for the ninth inning.
It was time for the Pounders to seal the deal.
In the final inning, Morgan would strike out the first batter. Shortstop Mike Hiller would throw out the next hitter, and the game would end when First Baseman Stan Madej would tag out the batter, thus giving the Pounders their fifth straight league championship.
"We're all here for a good time," says Pounders outfielder Herb Epps, "We like winning, but everyone who plays in the league is out here to have fun. We'll all be back again next year!"