The Duluth Sea Gulls won their first ever USA Championship with an 82-62 record than rallied from 0-2 to finally overtake back to back GLBL Champs, the Chicago Architects in a tight 7 game series for the rights to represent the USA League Having scored 563 runs they had offense enough to get the job done, but would the pitching hold up?
From the Canadian League the Mounties steam rolled the Owen Sound Waveriders, winners of the most games in the GLBL in 2020, by surprising outscoring them 27-12 in the four game sweep. Only Chicago of the USA League has notched more W’s than Hamilton but still the Mounties had not one a championship in the brief 6 year history of the league.
When Duluth won the first 3 games of the series it looked pretty much over as scores of 2-1, 4-1, and 3-1 didn’t make much of a case for a Hamilton miracle and many thought Tate Cosby’s 1-0 shutout in game 4 was only a stall for what surely would be a Duluth championship.
Eyebrows were raised when Hamilton won Game 5 by a 5-2 score. And, when Dave Teague hit his 2nd homer of the post-season in a 4-1 win at Duluth many wondered if the GLBL was not primed for yet another 0-3 deficit on way to a championship.
In Game 7 Norm Blooms 2 run single helped the Mounties cling to a 2-1 league. But, when Mr. Teague launched a solo shot in the top of the 9th it really did appear that the Mounties were destined to win their first championship.
Randy Costello was called on to close it out for Hamilton but when the first two batters singled you could feel the hope swell in Sea Gull Ball Park as it now seemed entirely possible that Duluth might come back. Danton flew out bringing on pinch hitter Karl Swerdlove who ripped a pitch into the gap and just like that 2 runs scored and the game was tied, 3-3. Blashill saved the Mounties from a 9th inning walk off but having lost the lead so late in the game could they rally, again?
In the bottom of the 11th Jim Danton doubled with 1 out putting runners on second and third with one out. After the intentional walk Jerry Gauthier a .207 hitter during the year, but a .308 one in the post-season grounded a ball past 3rd base and into left field giving the Sea Gulls the 4-3 win.
The Duluth Sea Gulls are the 2020 Champs!