STORM COMPLETE INCREDIBLE RUN TO 2012 H-LEAGUE WORLD SERIES TITLE!!!
The 2012 Northville H-League Baseball season came to a successful and exciting end on Thursday, June 28th when the Storm defeated the Timber Rattlers for a second straight day.
The season that began with 12 strong teams ended with the Storm on top after an 8 win and 1 loss run through the H-League World Series Tournament. The setup of the “World Series” tournament was double-elimination, with winners and losers brackets. At the end of the weekend, the H-League Timber Rattlers, had defeated, among others, the number 4 and number 1 playoff seeds, to claim the winners bracket. The Rattlers then had to wait until the following Wednesday to play whichever team came out of the losers bracket. Timber Rattlers Head Coach Jeff Kane said, “Our team was white hot during the weekend, our hope was that the two-day layoff waiting for the losers bracket to resolve itself wouldn’t cool us off too much”.
That team turned out to be the H-League Storm—who finished the season very strong by winning 12 of their final 15 regular season and tournament games. Their only tournament loss turned out to be a one-run defeat to the #1 seeded Volcanoes. It was quite an amazing run for the #8 seeded Storm who began the season by winning just 1 of their first 8 games. Head Coach Jeff Helner said “In order to win the championship out of the losers bracket, we needed to defeat our opponent twice. We knew that the long road to the World Series Championship was going to be tough.”
H-League Commissioner Jeff Harp added: “The Hoosiers-like run that the Storm went on during this Tournament shows the importance of patience, perseverance, and using the season to coach baseball fundamentals. The kids showed a ton of character and will never forget this. Ford Field was a field of dreams on Thursday night under the lights!”.
In Wednesday’s first game, both teams came out tentative, with each team getting only one hit, before retiring the side. The Storm jumped on the Rattlers in the 2nd with 3 runs coming off the bats of Ryan Vellucci, Connor Halberg and Aaron Deschamps. Hits from Nathan Herberholz and Matt Morrell tallied two runs in the 3rd and two more were scored by Anthony Dipiazza and Matt Guertin to put the Rattlers in a huge 7-0 hole going into the bottom of the 4th.
The Rattlers started their comeback in the 4th scoring three runs with hits from Will Barrott, Harrison Asher, and Jason Greco. After one more run by the Storm in the 5th, the Rattlers answered with two more runs in the 5th off of hits from Nick Yamine, Wesley Guyot, Brady Kane, and Jonathan Franklin. The tense sixth and final inning began with the Storm adding a single run on a Guertin hit to put the score at 9-5. The Rattlers final comeback came up short when, after scoring a run to bring the score to 9-6, the final out was recorded with the tying run on first base and the bases loaded. This necessitated a second game between the two teams the following night.
The Storm came out swinging in Game 2 scoring the maximum 5 runs in the first inning, with hits by Carson and Collin Breen, Herberholz, Brady Butcher, Anish Hora and Zack Helner. The Using a key hit by Billy Shields, the Rattlers answered with one run of their own. The powerful Storm kept hitting, however, with two runs in the 2nd, and a run in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings. The Rattlers could not keep pace on this night, only tallying an additional 4 runs—helped along by hits from Shields, Greco, Andrew Heirtzler and Casey McCord.
Despite the loss, the Rattlers were upbeat following the game, knowing they finished ahead of 10 other teams to reach the championship. Coach Kane of the Rattlers stated, “it didn’t end exactly like we wanted, but I am so very proud of how my kids developed as ball players this year, and that’s really the point of all this. “ Coach Helner of the Storm added “The greatest part about our team’s journey to the championship was that it was a true team effort. We were able to accomplish both of our team goals that were set at the beginning of the season. The first goal was to become better baseball players. The second goal was to have fun! And, what can be more fun than winning the NBSA H-League World Series Championship?”