The Mighty Ducks won the Harold Gellis z”l Bnai Yeshurun Softball League B Division championships this past Sunday for their second consecutive championship. After another successful winning season with a record of 10-4 and finishing third in the division, the Mighty Ducks, led by captain Allen Pfeiffer, swept the Rattlers in two championship games.
The Ducks first breezed through the Legends in the first round of the playoffs by a score of 14-6 with powerful hitting by Dave Gross. The Ducks then faced the Beisballers in the semi-final game and were down 6-3 going into the seventh inning. With the season on the line, the Ducks loaded the bases with two outs, Yitzi Pomper came through with a bases clearing blast that sent the Beisballers back to Passaic. Mordy Cohen followed with a home run of his own and the Ducks held the Beisballers in the bottom of the seventh to win 9-6 and advanced to the championships for the second straight year. The Rattlers outplayed the Gaters in their semifinal game, which set the stage for the two Teaneck rival teams to face off in the best of a three-game series.
The first championship game started off on the same path for the Ducks all season long, scoring early and often. Yoni Pfeiffer led off the game with a single and Brian Jacobs knocked him in with a triple to deep right field. Joe Miller followed with another triple and scored on the next hit. The Ducks scored four runs in the first inning and that’s all they would need. The Rattlers came back with a run in the first and two more runs later on, but strong defense held them. The Rattlers threatened with one on first and one out, with the top of the order up, Brett Peven made a nice running in catch and doubled off the runner at first to squash the Rattlers’ opportunity and momentum. With the score 4-3, the Ducks picked up a couple of insurance runs thanks to sharp hitting by Chaim Herman and Dave Miller. Stellar pitching by Miller and great fielding closed out the Rattlers in game one for a final score of 6-3.
Game two began with the Rattlers scoring one run in the top of the first. Singles by Pfeiffer, Jacobs and Cohen got things started, then Peven knocked in two with a flare into center field. With two outs and Peven on, Avi Blumenfeld hit a monster shot to deep left field and the Ducks were up 4-1 after the first. Outstanding pitching by Dave Miller held the Rattlers to minimal hits and he got some help from his son Joe at shortstop with a huge double play scooping a grounder, taking it himself in his signature move to second base and throwing the hitter out at first to end the Rattlers’ rally. The Rattlers rallied back again in the top of the seventh and had two men on with the tying run at the plate, when a bloop shot to shallow right field was snagged by Jacobs running in for the thrilling catch to make the final out of the game. The Ducks won the second game by a score of 4-1 thanks to grandpa Dave Miller pitching 14 solid innings, with no walks and a few strikeouts, to fellow grandpa Elliott Rothschild catching behind the plate, calling two great games. The Ducks are already looking forward to their three-peat next season.