Oslo Pretenders are 2014 Norwegian Champions!
Rommen Field, Sat. 13 Sept 2014
Clear and warm baseball weather
The Oslo Pretenders beat the Kr.sand Suns 2-0 in the best-of-three NM Finals on Saturday to clinch their 19th NM title. The Pretenders won 6-5 in game one and 17-14 in a dramatic second game that saw Terje (aka Mullah) get tossed in the 4th inning.
The Oslo Pretenders took two close games from the Kristiansand Suns to earn the title of Norgesmestere of 2014. The first game was a quick affair in which the Pretenders only managed to score in one inning, albeit six runs. SP Glenn pitched four solid innings for the win. Hard-throwing Andy of the Suns kept the P-bats subdued in all but the 3rd inning, when Terje led off with a walk, Glenn and Leif singled, and Matt blasted a 2-run double to the deep left corner. After Kelly’s RBI groundout to score Leif, Anders dropped a classic Anders single into left-center to score Matt. With two outs and the score at 4-0, Martinius reached on an error and Darren singled in Anders, then Terje knocked in Martinius with a hit for the 6-0 lead.
The Suns came roaring back with four runs in the 4th, however, as pitcher Glenn began losing his command. CF Darren took the mound for the 5th and 6th innings, giving up one run; the Pretenders’ once-comfortable lead had dwindled to 6-5 and P-batters got no more hits in the last three innings. Leif toed the rubber in the top of the 7th to try to close out the contest and get the all-important first-game victory. The Pretenders won on a terrific game-ending double play, with SS Glenn scooping a grounder, stepping on 2nd and firing to 1B Kelly in the nick of time. Final score: 6-5.
MVP frontrunner Matt played solid defense at third base, with a direct hand in 7 of 21 outs made, and also nailed two doubles. Pretender hitters finished with 8 hits in 27 at-bats (.296 avg.) and 6 walks.
Game Two would prove to be a wild matchup with a tense, chaotic finish. The Suns took an early lead with 3 runs in the bottom of the first off SP Leif. But the Pretenders responded with 4 runs of their own in the 2nd and another three in the 3rd. The Suns had started their ace Andy after he had pitched all 6 defensive innings in Game One. He lasted into the 4th inning, until a hamstring pull, giving up 7 runs on 4 hits and 3 BB while striking out three.
When Kristiansand’s Stig took the mound in relief, Pretender batters continued the onslaught and held a commanding 14-4 lead going into the bottom of the 5th. But the Suns persevered and scored 3 and 4 runs in the 5th and 6th off tired pitchers Leif and Glenn. Going into the top of the 7th, the P-lead stood at just 15-11, with momentum in the Suns’ favor. With two outs and Anders and Darren on base in scoring position, Martinius battled through a long at-bat and grounded a clutch single up the middle to score two critical runs.
Martinius had entered the game to replace Terje, who was ejected in the 4th for an altercation with Charles over an overzealous slap of Leif’s glove. Kelly donned the gear and caught for an inning, until reliever Jalier’s fastball to the elbow sidelined him for the day. Darren then took over duties behind the plate for 3 innings, until being called on to close out the game from the mound. The final out for the NM championship was actually on a line-drive base hit to center field which Jean Carlos fielded and threw to third base. The ball skipped past 3B Matt, allowing the Suns’ 14th run to score, but Matt chased the ball to the fence and fired home to catcher Anders, forcing the lead runner back to third and trapping the over-eager batter between 2nd and 3rd. Anders threw to pitcher Darren, covering third, who then fired a strike to 2B Leif, who applied the quick tag to end the game and secure the cup title for the Pretenders, their 19th. Final score: 17-14.
Kelly went 3 for 3 with 5 stolen bases(!) and 3 runs scored… Matt went 3 for 4 with a double… Martinius had 3 RBIs in just 3 innings after replacing the ejected Terje… Anders had 3 BB and a single… Darren scored 3 runs and earned the save… Leif, Glenn, Anders and Matt each scored twice… Leif earned the win… Mathias hit a perfect sacrifice fly to deep left field to score Kelly in the 3rd... The Suns will be moving up to the NBL’s 1st Division next season after winning the 2nd Division and relegating the Oslo Alligators.