Quite the Championship Series

The Duluth Sea Gulls won their first ever USA Championship with an 82-62 record than rallied from 0-2 to finally overtake the back-to-back Great Lakes League Champs, the Chicago Architects, in a tight seven-game series for the rights to represent the USA in the Championship Series. Having scored 563 runs they had offense enough to get the job done, but would the pitching hold up?

In Canada, the Mounties steamrolled the Owen Sound Waveriders, winners of the most games in the GLBL this season, by surprisingly outscoring them 27-12 in a four-game sweep. Only Chicago of the USA League have notched more wins than Hamilton but still the Mounties have not won a Championship in the brief six-year history of the league.

When Duluth won the first three 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.

Dave Teague

Eyebrows were raised when Hamilton won Game 5 by a 5-2 score, and when Dave Teague hit his second 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.

Carl Swerdlove

In Game 7, Norm Bloom’s two-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. Jim Danton flew out, bringing on pinch-hitter Carl Swerdlove. He ripped a pitch into the gap and, just like that, two runs scored and the game was tied, 3-3. Eric Blashill saved the Mounties from a ninth inning walk-off, but having lost the lead so late in the game could Hamilton rally again?

Jérémy Gauthier

In the bottom of the 11th, Danton doubled with one out putting runners on second and third. After an intentional walk, Jérémy Gauthier, a .207 hitter during the year but a .308 one in the post-season, grounded a ball past third base and into left field giving the Sea Gulls the 4-3 win!

The Duluth Sea Gulls are the 2020 Champions!

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