The House wins semis vs. Angels in dramatic fashion
WILSON PARK, DDO (AP) - After clinching the pennant in a tight Western Division (conference C), Newcomer and 3rd seed, HOUSE of DAVID (9-8-1) were scheduled to face the number 2 seed ANGELS (11-5-2) in a best 2 out of 3 semi-finals series. With one previous meeting between both teams during regular season - a 5-5 tie in extra innings - it looked as if these two teams were evenly match at the start of the series.
Here's the story...
Starting pitcher, Michael Dere (7-3, 4.40 ERA, 140 SO 86 IP) was in great shape for his first career post season start. During the warm-up, Dere was heard saying: "my arm feels great... no need for angels in outfield today"... and that was no lie. Backed by a 10-run support from his lineup, it proved to be enough for Dere to earn his first career playoff win (7.0 IP, 5 H, 13 SO, 5 BB, CG) along with a 1-0 lead in the series.
This is what team shortstop Yves Benabu had to say about his ace pitcher: "He (Dere) pitched his best game by far this year. Sometimes, I even ask myself if he's really human. The man's a machine. Let's just say I'm happy we don't have to face him"
HOUSE of DAVID: 10
With home field advantage for game 2, The House was looking to sweep the series in 2 games. Two big names were out of the lineup for game 2, pitcher Michael Dere (upper boddy) and rookie catcher Dov Matthews (bar mitzvah LOL), David's disciples started the game with great confidence at the bat and on the field, mainly due to rookie pitcher Sean Lynch's (0-1, 11.20 ERA, 4 SO, 5 IP) heroic display of courage. Taking a 3-2 lead into the 5th inning, "Victory seemed so close at that point", noted Sean. Unfortunately for The House, all came crumbling down defensively in the fifth and sixth inning. A series of errors, coupled with some bad fielding decisions, opened the door to the Angels experienced batters, and the entire lineup entered that door! Scoring 12 runs in those two innings gave the higher seed a commanding 14-3 lead going into the 7th and final inning. The local team was able to put up 3 runs, but that was too little too late. Game over.
"It's tough to see everything fall apart in just 2 innings, but its not over, there's tomorrow" expressed co-manager and center fielder Chris Lynch.
Just like the experts predicted, this 1-1 series will be decided in a third and final game,
HOUSE of DAVID: 6
Entering the decisive game, The House named Michael Dere as its starting pitcher. After walking the first two batters, Dere was pulled out of the the game due to an upper body injury. Catcher Dov was called to the mound to replace Dere. His task? Contain the hitters of the ANGELS. Chris assumed the number 2 position as Dere was sent to patrol center-field. Young pitcher Dov, who has never pitched more than 3 innings this season in one game, showcased a clutch 6 inning outing. With a combined effort throughout this series (10/20, 10 R, 8 RBI) from clutch hitters Chris Lynch and Yves Benabu, Dov took an 8-5 lead into the bottom of the final inning. "I'm so proud of my son" Mama Matthews screamed from the bleachers in reference to her little DOVIE.
With the last inning underway, first 3 batters for the ANGELS load up the bases with 3 consecutive base hits. A pitching change was the right strategy as Michael Dere was called in relief in a save opportunity. After allowing an RBI-walk to the first batter the lead was narrowed down to 8-6 with bases loaded and still no outs. Leftfielder Cousin John confessed: "At that point, I could feel the pressure running through my bones, but Dere's the man, he's got this" At the next batter, Dere and 3rd baseman Bernard combined their efforts to pick off a leading base-runner. One down, two more to go. "That first out was ENORMOUS" a relieved Cousin John said. The next batter for the home team made it 8-7 with a solid RBI-single. The last two batters grounded out and popped out respectively and just like that the game was over. A display of joy and relief consumed each member as they gathered around first baseman Hazan who made the final out.
"We never imagined ourselves making the playoffs as a first year team. As the season progressed, we felt that the pennant was within our reach. Winning our first postseason series in such dramatic fashion is a feeling that's hard to describe. This is what we play for all year long... to be in that position" Team manager Mica had to say after the game.
He then added: "We tip our hats off to the ANGELS, a solid and very disciplined team. They battled till the end, never gave up and forced our team to bring out their best out on the field. Saying that this is one of the classiest team we've faced this year, would be a gross understatement. Can't wait to face them again next year... But first, we have to take care of business against the A's in the finals... it won't be easy, but we are ready. For The House"
HOUSE of DAVID: 8
House of David wins series 2-1
Next Stop: The Finals. The A's will host The House in a best 2 out of 3 dual to crown the 2016 champion.