Mountaineers sweep series to claim NECBL Championship

The Vermont Mountaineers will get a chance to defend their NECBL Championship. The Mountaineers earned the right to play in the league championship series by sweeping the Holyoke Giants two straight in the Northern Championship Series. In the best of three games series Vermont took the opener 7 - 3 Monday night before wrapping it up with a 3 - 2 win last Monday night in Montpelier.

In the opener last Sunday, Vermont scored six times in the sixth inning to claim a 7 - 3 win. Big hits in the huge inning included Matt Prokopowicz two-run singles, and RBI base hits delivered by Kyle Massie and Chad Durakis. Massie also delivered a game-tying single the inning before. Max Perlman picked up the win for Vermont, going seven innings, allowing just two runs while striking out four.

In the second game, the Mountaineers drew first blood in their first trip to the plate. Curt Smith doubled, advanced to third on a groundout and scored when Mike Sheridan hit a slow roller in the infield. They increased their lead to 2 - 0 in the fourth inning. Chad Durakis walked, Shaun Hagey sacrificed him to second and Matt Wulfers singled him home.

But with their backs to the wall Holyoke came back to tie the game at 2 - 2 by picking up a run in the fifth, and another in the seventh. Jake Christman started off the fifth with a double, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on an error by Mountaineer shortstop Lanny Stanfield. It remained 2 - 1 until the top of the seventh when Justin Little ripped a huge two-out triple, tying the game at 2 - 2.

That set the stage for Smith to play hero, which is what he did by smashing a walk-off homerun, giving Vermont the 3 - 2 win, and earning them a spot in the 2007 NECBL League Championship Series. Their opponents, which had yet to be decided at press time, will either be Torrington or Newport.

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