Raritan Valley National Adult Baseball Association: My Site News: Phillies Defeat Cardinals to Win 1st Ever A.C. Tournament Crown

Wednesday, May 30
Phillies Defeat Cardinals to Win 1st Ever A.C. Tournament Crown
After dropping the opening game of the NABA Atlantic City Memorial Day Tournament 9 to 5 to the NY Seminoles. The Phillies outscored the opposition 49 to 10 in the next 4 games, hitting 10 HR's en route to their 1st ever championship in the tournament. Sloppy play and lack of timely hitting did the Phil's in during the first game as they gave up 6 unearned runs and stranded 9 runners. SP David Chavez pitched well enough to win giving up just 3 ER in 8 innings.

Game 2 was a lot different though as the Phillies belted 3 of the 9 homeruns they would hit on that day. In the 10 to 5 win over the Bronx Royals the Phillies bats came alive belting 3 homeruns, 2 of them off the bat of C Jason Smith who went 2 for 4 with 2 homeruns and 5 rbi's. Nineteen year old phenom 3B Yoken Castro hit a 2-run blast to get things going in the 2nd inning. SP Matt Smith was great throwing a complete game, striking out 14, while allowing just 3 ER on 6 hits and 3 walks.

Game 3 saw even more offense as the Phil's belted 6 home runs in this game on their way to a 19 to 1 victory over the Westchester Cubs. 2B Juan Pacheco led the attack with 2 solo shots in the 1st 2 innings of the game. RF Matt Smith, DH John Lloyd, C Emmanuel (SOSA) Martinez and LF Lantigua all homered. Martinez hit an inside the park home run. Lantigua hit a walk-off grand slam in the 6th. Walk off because the Phillies needed just one more run to go up 15 runs after the 5th inning to end the game early. So as Lantigua came up with the bases juiced the pitcher decided that he wanted to put his team out of its misery lobbing a pitch to Lantigua that he crushed over the left field fence to end the game. SP Alex Montas pitched all 6 innings, giving up just 1 run on a lead off triple followed by a sac-fly, but that was all the offense they would get as Montas would get the next 18 outs in order, 8 of them via the strike out. This victory would give the Phillies a 2 - 1 record after the 3 mandatory pool games, but it would not guarantee them a playoff spot, because there were 4 other teams with a 2-1 record. The #1 seed was already taken by long time rival the Irvington Cardinals who finished 3-0. This meant that the Phillies would have to wait a few hours before they found out that they in fact allowed the fewest runs of all of the teams that had a chance, thus finishing as the #2 seed facing a very good Tri-State Titans team in the semi-finals.

The Phillies continued on the same pace as they would beat up on the Titans 10-1. SP John Lloyd threw a complete game giving up just 1 run, allowed 4 hits and struck out 8. When the Phil's needed him most Lloyd was excellent. On offense the Phillies stayed hot collecting 14 hits, two off the bat of 2B Juan Pacheco who belted his 3rd homerun in 2 games. 1B Adrian (El Animal) Aleman went 4 for 5 for the game and RF Felix Lantigua added a 2 run-triple. The win erased the memory of the 2005 loss in the championship game of the Liberty Bell tournament at the hands of the Titans. The Phillies would then have to wait to hear if they would face the NY/NJ White Sox or long time rival Irvington Cardinals.

After finding out that they would face the Irvington Cardinals who defeated the NY/NJ White Sox 12-4 the Phillies would head to Bernie Robbins stadium, home of the Atlantic City Surf for the championship game. The Cardinals came into the game on fire winning all 4 games that they played in the tournament. In this game it would be more of the same as the Phillies continued their hot hitting as they collected 16 hits off 3 different Cardinal pitchers on their way to a 10-3 win. SP Tony Saitta pitched 9 innings allowing just 2 earned runs on 5 hits. Saitta earned MVP honors and SS Amable Martinez who had 9 assists won the gold glove award for the game.