Bulls come back to win BML title
The Limeport Bulls kept getting knocked down. But they always found a way to get back up.
After facing a 1-0 deficit to top seeded Northampton in the Blue Mountain League championship series, the Bulls fought back to even things up. The Giants took Game 3, and Northampton led for much of the next game, which would have clinched a title for the Giants.
Instead, the Bulls fought back when their backs were against the wall to force a winner-take-all Game 5. With their ace on the mound in Cooper Michael, Limeport captured its third league championship in four seasons with a 4-1 victory on Sunday.
“Winning a championship is always sweet,” manager/player Mike Cudwadie said. “Nothing is better than winning a title.
“Losing is never fun. I think [last year] fueled us a little bit this year to be get back to the finals, and then with everything that happened, that really fueled us to win this year.”
A bit of controversy surrounded Game 3 when the umpires decided to call the game in the top of the seventh inning due to darkness. Limeport had scored three runs in that frame to retake the lead, 10-8, with runners on first and third base with just one out.
But when the game was stopped, the score reverted back to the end of the sixth inning when Northampton led 8-7. The Giants were down 6-0 to open the game.
That wasn’t the only time the tides weren’t in Limeport’s favor. In a possible series-clinching Game 4, Northampton opened up a 1-0 lead in the first inning and held that advantage until the sixth behind a gem from Connor Morrow. The Bulls, however, forced Game 5 with a 10-run inning in the sixth last Thursday at Limeport Stadium.
“I feel like we always know we have the chance to put up a crooked number in any inning,” Cudwadie said. We just need to trust in each other.”
The momentum had clearly shifted over to Limeport’s dugout at its home field, and that then translated to Northampton High School on Sunday afternoon after two postponements to Game 5 earlier in the week.
Michael allowed just five hits in the win and won his third game of the series for Limeport, who last won the title in 2016.
“Cooper was amazing once again,” Cudwadie said. “He has been our ace all season and again he showed that.
“I think he proved tonight that he was the pitcher of the year by winning all three games in the championship series.”
Despite everything stacked against Limeport throughout the series, it was Cooper and the Bulls that prevailed when all was said and done. Damin Muth homered in the win and scored two runs for the Bulls.
“All in all, we had our ace on the mound today, and we are confident in our lineup,” Cudwadie said. “We were very confident that we could go in today and win Game 5 and the whole thing.”