By Greg Gulas
For the first time in the 70-year history of the NABF Senior Division, two teams from Youngstown decided its World Series champion.
When the dust finally settled and the last out was made, the Ohio Glaciers had secured their first World Series title.
Dion Felger threw a complete-game six-hitter, allowing just one run as the Glaciers defeated Creekside Fitness, 8-1.
Zack Miller had three hits and three RBIs, including two doubles, while Greg Popatak had three hits, two runs scored and Scott Pierce a three-run triple for the Glaciers.
For his efforts Felger was named tournament most valuable player while Jamie Switalski was named the event’s top hitter.
“Location was everything for me today and my catcher, Christian Porterfield, is one of the very best behind the dish,” Felger said. “We were on the same page the entire game and that is what made this win all the more special.
“To win the championship for such a great sponsor is just as special. It just goes to show that the best amateur baseball is still played in Youngstown, Ohio.”
It was the second time in three seasons that a team from Youngstown has won the crown (Astro Falcons won the 2012 World Series), while Creekside had to settle for second place for a second consecutive season.
The Glaciers struck first in the opening frame when Switalski doubled with two away and eventually scored on Popatak’s single.
Switalski batted .478 (11 for 23) in the tournament.
“We lost to Creekside in five games for the league title so this makes up for us falling short back then,” Switalski said. “We played teams from all over, but to play against a team from your league for the World Series championship is pretty special.”
They added five more runs in the fifth inning for a 6-0 advantage, chasing starter Mitchell Wood in the process.
Four hits, including a run-scoring double by Zack Miller and bases clearing triple by Scott Pierce proved to be Wood’s undoing.
Marcus Gunter also had a run-producing triple.
“I wasn’t fielding as well as I wanted to so I had to give it my all at the plate. I saw the ball really well all afternoon and was just able to get around on the pitches,” Miller said.
After Miller’s second RBI double the following inning, the Glaciers stretched their lead to 7-0 with three innings remaining.
Creekside got on the board in the seventh frame when Tyler Walters’ two-out double plated Gino DiVincenzo for its only run.
That cut the Glaciers’ lead to 7-1.
The Glaciers added an insurance run in the eighth inning when Miller struck again, this time lacing a run-scoring single that scored Bub Haddox with the game’s final run.
“We had a good run, but ran out of pitching. That’s no excuse because we got beat by a good team and an excellent pitcher in Dion Felger today,” Creekside manager Terry Landis said. “We had a lot of guts all year, battling back when we had to but today it just wasn’t to be. We had an excellent season.”
Creekside finished 5-2 in the tournament and 51-7 overall while Ohio Glaciers were 6-1 in the tournament, finishing the season with a 38-9 mark.
Felger went 3-1 this season against Creekside Fitness.