A's Blank Rangers 3-0 to Win League Championship
Written by: Howard Cosell
Sunday, June 22, 2008
In the end, it all came down to pitching and defense.
The A's, the league's top hitting team all year but also a team which played suspect defense for much of the season, showed they could flash the leather when necessary today, winning the league championship in grand fashion under sunny skies at Plaisted, 3-0 over the Rangers.
Both teams played rock-solid defense, and the game featured two of the league's most dominant pitchers. This was an outstanding, cleanly played Little League game between the League's two top teams, and the fans were treated to some excellent baseball by both sides.
Cam pitched the game of his career, shutting out the tournament's #1-seeded Rangers in a complete-game masterpiece. He struck out three batters, and scattered three hits and three walks over six innings.
The defense behind him was stellar, as the A's turned two double plays and made numerous other web gems. Cole played an excellent shortstop, including a 6-3 double play to end the 4th inning. Robert made a nice catch in RF off a hard-hit ball in the 1st. Sterling was a force behind the plate. And the A's ended the game on a bang-bang double play, as Matt snared a flare to CF and flipped it to second in time to double off the runner.
The A's opened the scoring in the 2nd inning, as Matt hit a bloop single to right, advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches, and scored on Luke's sacrifice fly to right field. They added another run in the 3rd, as AK's single was followed by a perfect bunt single by Robert, his second bunt hit in 2 games. After Sterling reached on a fielder's choice, Cole ripped a long drive off the left field wall, scoring Robert.
The A's added an insurance run in the 5th, as Sterling reached on a bunt single and then scored later in the inning on a wild pitch. In all, the A's banged out 8 hits, as 8 different players had one hit apiece.
The A's wrapped up their storybook season 15-3, ending the year on a 9-game winning streak, including 4 straight wins in the playoffs.
The A's now say goodbye to their four 12-year olds:
- Zach, who helped the team win a championship in his only season, and improved his hitting all season long
- David, a three-year veteran who batted .310 and hit a home run, hit the ball HARD all season long, pitched effectively, and played a very solid left field and third base in the playoffs
- Matt, a four-year veteran who hit two home runs, batted .589 and drove in 34 runs as the team's cleanup hitter, and played an outstanding center field in the playoffs
- Cam, a four year-veteran was the team's pitching ace, played a rock-solid shortstop, batted .588, hit a home run and drove in 21 runs this season
The A's will miss these four very much next season, and wish them well in their futures!