The Christchurch Christians players streamed onto the field at Ballpark of Yonkers in jubilation, while heads were hung and few words were spoken in the Hamilton Hammers clubhouse at the conclusion of the BOL League Championships.
In a series that had a bit of everything and went the distance, Christchurch won the final Christmas Day game 4-0 taking the series 3-2.
“It’s hard to describe what we’re feeling right now,” said Christchurch left-hander Bob Sandoval, whose strong pitching performance in the series garnered him MVP honors. “You square off against a good team like Hamilton and anything can happen. Both teams deserved to go on, but thankfully it’s us.”
For the series, Sandoval had a 1.29 ERA over 14 innings pitched. He added 17 strikeouts with a 2-0 record.
Hamilton put in a solid effort but were missing their top ace, Jeremy Pitman, who was injured in his last appearance of the regular season on December 8. Pitman was diagnosed with a torn back muscle, and was told he would miss 5-7 months. He had been 7-0 on the year for the Hammers, with a 1.23 ERA, 0.83 WHIP and just 1 HR allowed in 66.0 innings.
The Christchurch Christians will play against the Newcastle Nuclears in the next round. Newcastle won their series against the Melbourne Dockers 3 games to 1. Game 1 of the Oceanic Cup best-of-7 final starts tomorrow in Christchurch.