Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Cyclones sweep 10-0, 8-7 in World Series

Nelson?s two-out hit the winner

Brian Nelson strokes the game-winning hit in Saturday?s thrilling men?s hardball finale on the Hailey diamond. Express photo by Chris Pilaro

The streaking Coors Light Cyclones didn?t need an extra game to win the ?World Series? championship of the Blaine County Title Sun Valley Men?s Adult Baseball League Satur-day at Founders Field, Hailey.

Brian Nelson?s two-run single in the bottom of the ninth inning gave the Coors Light Cyclones a comeback 8-7 victory over the Waxroom Snap-pers (9-5). It was the 11th win in the final 12 games of the season for the Cyclones (11-3).

The Cyclones, hitting .291 as a team compared to the Snappers? .211, won both nine-inning games Saturday to capture the best two-of-three series. The deciding game between two teams that split their season series 2-2 was set for Sunday, but it wasn?t needed.

It wasn?t needed because the Cy-clones rallied for three runs with two outs in the home ninth?Josh Jacob-son narrowing the deficit to 7-6 with an RBI single and Nelson (5-for-10) plating Kellen Chatterton (4-for-8 on the day) and Jacobson with the game-winning runs.

The winning pitcher was James Cordes (5-0), who started the game-winning rally with a one-out single in the ninth.

It was the Cyclones? sixth straight win, a Founders Field span during which they outscored their opponents 61-31.

Manager John Rathfon, who pitched a 10-0 complete-game shutout over the Snappers and their previ-ously-unbeaten ace Matt Zachary in Saturday?s opening game, attributed the Cyclones success to team chem-istry and strong defense.

One Cyclones hero was the oldest player in the league, Jim Jaquet, 61, who batted .444 on the day. Cyclones center fielder Ryan Stavros started the winning day with a diving catch in the first frame of the 10-0 win?helping strand two runners.

Just beating Zachary (7-0, 2.18 ERA, 91 K in 53 innings prior to Saturday) was a big accomplishment for the Cyclones. Zachary (8 hits, 9 K) didn?t have his best stuff, but he didn?t have much defensive support. Five of the seven runs he yielded were unearned.

Jacobson, a pick-up player for the shorthanded Cyclones, stroked an RBI single and Tim Carter added an RBI single in the four-run Cyclones sixth inning that broke open a 1-0 game. Jaquet (2 hits) then gave the winners a 5-0 lead with a two-out, two-run single.

Starting the rally was Chatterton, who went 4-for-5 on the game and scored three runs.

The big star of the game was Cy-clones righthander and former St. Mary?s college baseball star Rathfon, who allowed two hits in the first frame and only two one-out singles afterward.

For the game, the Cyclones out-hit the Snappers 12-4.

In Saturday?s back-and-forth sec-ond game, Rathfon kept pitching and he also provided the first run on a two-out double in the first. Nelson relieved Rathfon in the second and left the game after five frames with a 5-3 Cyclones lead.

Reliever Cordes got out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth, surren-dering only one run. Both teams went down quietly until the ninth?Snap-pers pitcher Jeff Poggi doing a solid mound job with nine innings of gritty 11-hit pitching.

Then, a leadoff triple by Matt Buxton and Hoss Schmidt?s two-run single in the ninth sparked a three-run Snappers uprising. Leading 7-5, the Snappers needed only three outs to force a deciding game. But they never got them.

With one out, Cordes (2 hits) sin-gled and Chatterton reached as a hit batsman. Rathfon (2 hits) launched a potential game-winning homer that was snagged short of the fence for the second out. Jacobson singled Cordes home for a 7-6 game, then Nelson (3 hits, double) ripped his game winner.

Tim Mott (2 hits, 2 runs), Chris Zarkos (2 hits) and Paul Creighton (2 hits) led the 11-hit Snappers attack. Top hitter on the day was Snappers manager Curtis Bacca (3-for-7, .429).

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