(Game date: Sep. 28, 2018) —
The Montreal Metros have emerged victorious in the Bull Cup Championship Series, after winning for the 4th time in team history. The club has taken the Cup three times this decade, beginning with 2011, then again in 2014, before winning the 2018 series.
The win came in dramatic style, with a walk-off RBI double in extra-innings to put the cap on game 4 against the St. Petersburg Admirals.
First, Montreal managed to tie the game 6-6, after having started the 9th inning down by 4 runs. With Admirals reliever Jose Ramirez on the bump, Metros veteran second baseman Bill Heimberg started a rally when he homered with 2 outs, a 376-foot no-doubter to left field, cutting the deficit to 3 runs.
Then, catcher Howard “Hojo” Jackson singled to shallow right, followed by another single by third baseman Alex Bueno down the first base line, into right field.
With two outs and two runners on, the Admirals brought in closer Ryu Saito, who had been a stellar shutdown arm through the entire playoffs. Then Alejandro Reyna blasted an 0-1 pitch to the left center gap, a towering shot that landed 434 feet away. The 3-run homer tied the game, though two of those runs were against Ramirez.
Saito ended the inning by getting Sung-hyo Ko to ground out, but the shell-shocked Admirals, who started the 9th with a 6-2 lead, now found themselves going to extras with a tie. The Metros led the series 2-1, and now the Admirals went from a series tying win, to facing imminent elimination.
Metros pitcher Jon Courteau was nearly flawless, allowing just a single from Section Attack. The defense did the rest, forcing Attack out on an Omar Medina groundball that scored as a fielder’s choice. Medina was safe at first with one out, and while Bill Clark was at the plate he made a risky play to steal second, but was gunned down by Howard Jackson, leading to two outs. Courteau whiffed Clark to end the top half, and the Metros went up to bat in the bottom of the 10th.
With one out, Howard Baker singled on a blooper to center field. Then, with Orlando Garza up to bat, Baker turned on the jets when Garza sent a hit over the heads of the Admirals infield, the ball dropping in left field. Baker rounded third and kept going, ignoring the coach’s stop sign. Amazingly, Admirals let fielder Brian Arnold threw to the cutoff, instead of home. Garza ended up with two bases, and Baker scored, winning the championship.
With their 4th win in hand, the Metros have now tied the Ohio Oxen with the 2nd most Bull Cup wins in their history, and also lead the Bull League in Bull Cup championship appearances, with 7.