Winthrop wins MSBL pennant

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AUBURN – The Winthrop Red Sox outlasted the Auburn White Sox, 7-6, Wednesday night to win its first championship in 14 years of competition in the Men’s Senior Baseball League.

Winthrop jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Eric Palleschi, Matt Richardson and Bob Cochran all singled to load the bases. With none out, Josh Nichols roped a line shot single to left field, scoring Palleschi, followed by a bases-loaded walk to David Ricker Sr. that pushed home Richardson. Torey Carr then knocked in Cochran with a sacrifice fly.

As was its custom in the best-of-three set, Auburn answered right back. The White Sox delivered two runs in the top of the third.

Starting pitcher, Jim Morris walked Mike Hlister and Steve LaBossiere, setting up an RBI single by Tom Bourdon to score Hlister. Dan Coleman walked before breaking up a potential double play ball at second base, allowing LaBossiere to score and cut the lead to a single run.

Winthrop made it 4-2 in the bottom of the third on a Brett Witherell RBI single.

Auburn responded in the top of the fifth. A leadoff hit by Bourdon, a walk to Coleman and an error loaded the bases for Sean Cheetham, who lined a broken-bat single to right field. Bourdon and Coleman scored to tie the game at 4.

Coleman, who has had success against Red Sox hitters in the past, took over for starting pitcher Bourdon in the fifth. This time, Winthrop solved the riddle. Morris and Mike House got it started with singles to right field. Matt McCarthy followed with a long double to left, scoring Morris.

Dave Ricker Jr. then came up with the fourth consecutive hit of the inning, driving in House and McCarthy for a 7-4 lead.

The pesky White Sox answered again in the sixth with two more runs on back-to-back walks to Hlister and LaBossiere and RBI singles by Bourdon and Coleman.

Auburn stranded the potential tying run at second base in the seventh.

Carr, who entered the game in the third inning for Morris, picked up the win for Winthrop. Coleman took the loss.

Big sticks on the night for Winthrop were Ricker Jr. with three singles and Palleschi and Richardson with two hits apiece.

Bourdon collected three singles for Auburn.

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