Monday, August 06, 2007

Mr. Clutch | Mountaineers Win Northern Division | UPDATE

Some guys are just clutch hitters. Put them in a tough spot and they deliver. Curt Smith is one of them and he proved it again tonight by hitting a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Holyoke Giants which won the Northern Division Title for the third straight season for the Mountaineers.

Holyoke will be glad to see Smith get drafted into the major leagues next year since he also hit a walk-off home run against them on June 20. However, Smith didn't just smack around Holyoke this season. He led the Mountaineers in RBIs, slugging percentage (.517), home runs, runs scored and triples. To lead a top notch team in so many offensive categories is impressive.

Smith and the Mountaineers will now play the winner of the Torrington - Newport series for the NECBL championship. Newport leads their series one game to none. Both Torrington and Newport had slightly better records than VT this year so either one would have home field advantage over the Mountaineers. Therefore, depending on whether the Torrington - Newport series goes two or three games, the championship (best of three) series will start on either Wednesday or Thursday with the Mountaineers playing their final home game of the season on either Thursday or Friday.

jds was at the game tonight and will post some photos from the game later. The photo above is from Curt Smith's June 20 game-winning home run; not tonight.

UPDATE by jds
It was a fantastic game and a great way to indoctrinate my 3 year old into the world of baseball. This is only my second Mountaineers game in three seasons and I'm kicking myself for not going to more. I'm so impressed with the family atmosphere and the small town charm; being at a ball game, hotdog in hand, is a slice of America that seems to have all but disappeared. I even got to embarrass myself. My son and I were selected for a contest before the 4th inning which included standing in front of the stands and finding the common theme between three songs. I'm pretty good at that game when it is on the radio, but I had no idea standing on the field and stairing into the stands. Honestly, I'm sitting here now not remembering what songs played. I motioned to the stands hoping to get some help and heard nothing more then a mass of sound - totally incomprehensible. I found one familiar face, read his lips, and said into the microphone summer? There was a round of applause, my son slaps me and the commentator a high five, and we walked off the field to get mini baseball bat reward. My boy smiled the rest of the night.

Back to the game. The starting pitcher, Arshwin Asjes, was amazing. So much confidence, cool under pressure, and boy could he bring the heat. There most be something in the water down in Curaçao. Thick fog rolled in as the sun went down and made the event even more like Field of Dreams. We left after the seventh inning stretch - had to stick around for Take Me Out To The Ball Game. Sadly we missed the walk on home run, but we left extremely content.

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