Compiled by Mike Madera
Special to the Voice
The West Haven Major Division finals took place this past weekend with the second-seeded Marlins defeating the top-seeded A’s 8-5 for the league championship. The Marlins finished undefeated in the postseason tournament.
Nick Hunkele picked up the win in the championship game for the Marlins, tossing 5 2/3 innings, before Jake Romano picked up the final out and the save.
Hunkele was also the star at the plate with three hits, including two home runs, and five runs batted in. Holden Axelrod also hit a long home run and drove in three runs for the Marlins. Damian Gazzaneo also had a clutch hit for the Marlins.
The A’s took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning as Dylan Supan led off with a single and Ben Carfora doubled. Matteo Petruziello followed with a two-run double, Chase Supan and Will Panza singled to plate another run, and Mikey Madera singled to load the bases.
Hunkele then turned the game around. With the bases full with no outs and the A’s looking to storm out to a big lead, Hunkele escaped with no further damage as he struck out the next two batters and got a ground out to end the top of the inning.
The Marlins responded by tying the game in the bottom of the inning. Cam Cruz and Axelrod walked to start the inning, and both scored on Hunkele’s long homer to left.
The A’s took a 4-3 lead in the second on Dylan Supan’s homer to center and had a golden opportunity to extend the lead in the third. Again, Hunkele was the difference. Petruziello led off with a single and Chase Supan reached on an error, but Hunkele retired the next three batters without allowing a run.
The Marlins took the lead for good in the bottom of the inning as Jason Alling reached on a one-out error, Cruz singled, and Axelrod hit a long homer to left for a 6-4 lead. Hunkele followed with his second homer of the game for a 7-4 advantage.
Facing a three-run deficit in the fourth, the A’s once again threatened. With Ray Gilbert and Thomas Porto on second and third with no outs, Hunkele got a strikeout, a pop out and a ground out to end the rally without any damage.
After the A’s went quietly for the first time in the fifth, the Marlins added an insurance run in the bottom of the inning when Cruz led off with a walk, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Hunkele’s double.
Chris Miccio scored in the sixth for the A’s to get his team within three runs, but Romano recorded a strikeout for the final out of the game, sealing the championship for the Marlins.