The Cubs have swept the Tigers in the best of three series, earning the title of 2018 Major League Champions.It has been said that the Tigers and Cubs have been rivals for as long as anyone can remember. Only a few players remain in the league today from days when a young and ambitious, Luigi Natale, took over as Coach of the Tigers and, for years, targeted veteran Cubs coach Dan Shea for League Championship. While the leadership of the teams may have changed and new blood sits on the dugout benches, the intensity of these teams desire to earn the title “winner” lives on as two teams faced off against each other in this year’s Major League Championship series. Cubs Coach, Joe Bova, was determined to end his career with the franchise by bringing home the trophy, but the Tigers’ Head Coach, Chris Wells, was all the ready to stand in their way.

The Cubs entered Game 1 ready for revenge after their undefeated record was ruined by the Tigers in the last game of the regular season. Tensions were high as Richard Bova took the mound against Tigers’ lead-off batter Richard Wells. Wells won the first battle and, when Tiger’s power slugger Sal DeAngelis drove him home, it was 1-0 Tigers. The Tigers were limited to that single run as Bova found his groove and quickly retired the next three batters.

The skies began to darken as the Cubs took the plate, forecasting the oncoming storm.  With one out, and the bases loaded, Thomas Blake came to the plate ready to strike. An explosive hit to right field resulted in an inside the park grand slam, putting the Cubs in the driver’s seat. The Tigers did not give up.  Rookie, William “golden glove” Previte, robbed Cullen Lacey of a hit aimed at the fences during the second inning.  Unfortunately, lightning in the distance lit the sky before the park lights could light the field, resulting in the teams being sent home to pick up where they left off in the third the following evening.

Spectators returned on Tuesday evening, traveling by land and sea, to catch what would be the series finale double header. A State Police boat patrolled from the harbor to ensure no issues arose following the heated contest but all remained civilized after the Cubs took game one with an 11-1 victory.

After a quick turnaround by the grounds crew to restore the field’s opening conditions, the Tigers took the field for Game 2 ready to retaliate. Strong defensive plays including Max Haskell’s snatch of James Heath’s line drive limited the Cubs to a single run at their first at bat. The inning ended with the Tigers ahead 4-1 on solid hits from both Simon Brown and Gunnar Larson, who drove home two runs each.

The Cubs line-up entered the second inning with force as Max Howard started the batting rally with a triple and Cub’s pitcher, Nik “fast ball” McHugh exited the inning with an in the park home run. The battle continued for hours as harbor cruises lingered in their turnarounds at the field’s edge hoping to catch a glimpse of future All Stars when they were ‘only’ Major Leaguers. In the end, with former Cubs coach Dan Shea in the stands, the Cubs swept the Tigers in the best of three series earning the title of 2018 Major League Champions.

Some of these players will have the opportunity to become teammates as opposed to adversaries at Saturday night’s All Star game when Coach Bova and Wells face off again with an intermixed team comprising of the best of the best. League trophies will be distributed to all players who participated in NEAA baseball after the game. Please join us prior to first pitch at 5:30 p.m. when the NEAA will honor two long time volunteers James Gannon and Anthony Reppucci. There will be pizza, soft drinks, face painting, balloon making, Italian ice, and of course a great game of baseball.

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