The Pretenders are 2017 NM Champions!
Dønnestad, Kristiansand, 16-17 Sept 2017
The Oslo Pretenders won the Norwegian Baseball League Championship behind complete-game pitching victories by Matt Connell (semifinal) and Alex Guilford(final).
In the semifinal matchup vs ØHIL Royals on Saturday, Matt pitched a gem to advance the Oslo squad to the NM (Norgesmesterskap) final. Matt allowed just one hit and two walks while sending 6 hapless hitters walking back to the pine.
Meanwhile, Pretender batters feasted on the Royals’ three teenaged pitchers until the mercy rule ended the contest after 5 innings. Leif and Terje led off the bottom of the 1st with consecutive singles, then scored on Alex’s triple. The Alabama newcomer led the onslaught by slugging another 3 singles and crossing the plate 5 times. Lithuanian rookie sensation Dom Jacevicius knocked in 4 RBIs on 2 doubles. Matt hit a single and 2-RBI double, Darren stroked a bases-loaded single, while Jeff and Ryan each had a hit and an RBI.
In all, the Pretenders logged 13 hits and 10 walks. Final score: 16-1.
After a relatively quiet Saturday evening of pizza, beers and cards at the Hamresand cabin, the Oslo 10 were recharged for the final showdown with host team Kristiansand Suns. In gorgeous baseball weather, P-batters took short-range BP in the cage to prepare for any heat thrown at them. The Sunday game would decide the NM Champion. The Pretenders had already rolled to a 13-3 regular season en route to winning the Norwegian series, but were primed to do battle to claim the double title as well...
Guilford’s Guile and Power Tame Suns, 13-4, for NM Championship
Alex earned the 7-inning complete game victory, yielding just 5 hits and 2 walks while striking out 16, including the final 5 Suns batters. Pretender hitters wore down Luis Martinez, who took the loss for Kristiansand, lasting 2.1 innings and giving up 9 runs on 5 hits and 8 free passes. Kristiansand scored its four runs in the 5th inning via Andy Johnson’s grand slam on a hanging changeup, one of Alex’s few mistakes. Andy went 3/4, outhitting his entire team.
Marty party: Martinius Hars led the P-hitters with a bases-loaded single and the game’s only double – a long drive to left center – and also drew a walk. Dom hit 2 singles and scored twice. Glenn hit an RBI single and drew 3 walks, scoring twice. Ryan scored 3 runs off two free passes and a single. Leif and Terje each drew 3 walks.
The Pretenders blew open the game by scoring 8 runs in the 3rd inning. Singles by Dom, Matt and Martinius, along with 4 walks, knocked out the starting pitcher. P1 added to its lead by also scoring in 3 of the last 4 innings.
All 10 Pretender batters drove in at least one RBI in this final game of the season (two each by Glenn, Matt and Martinius).
The Pretenders ended the season with an impressive 17-3 record, and they won their 17th League title, 20th NM gold and 15th Double.