2008 Senators Clinch 10th CGL Title with Sweep of Orioles
July 19, 2008. Vienna, Va. --
The 2008 Vienna Senators clinhed their 3rd consecutive Clark Griffith League title today with a doubleheadder sweep of the MD Orioles. The Senators have an eight game lead with seven games left on their schedule, the Senators have dominated the CGL with team statistical leads in Hitting, Pitching and Fielding categories respectively. The Senators have won 10 league championships in the past 12 years, and have clinched a berth to the NBC World Series in Wichita, Kansas for the 4th time in 5 years.
With four middle infielders on their roster, the Vienna Senators have a fierce competition for playing time. It has already resulted in a position change for former second baseman Wes Joy. Gunnar Terhune, Alfred Rodriguez, and new addition Seth Henry are all capable of playing both second base and shortstop. So when Henry got off to a slow start, you had to wonder how long manager Chris Burr would stay with him.
Henry's defense was shaky at shortstop, and he wasn't producing at the plate. However, over the past week, Henry has teed off on opposing pitching. He also was switched to second base due to a slight sore arm, and his fielding there has been exceptional. Henry continued his hot streak in leading the Senators to a doubleheader sweep of the Maryland Orioles West.
“I'm just seeing the ball better now,” said Henry. “When I first got here, I hadn't seen live pitching for a while, so I was struggling pretty badly.”
Henry also credited hitting in front of sluggers David Harris and Martin Parra in the batting order for his recent success.
Henry was 2-3 with 2 RBIs in a 5-0 win in Game 1, and 2-3 with 2 RBIs in a 7-3 win in Game 2. Defensively, Henry made an impressive leaping catch to save a run. And to top it all off, Henry continued to be a terror on the base paths, stealing another base. He now has 6 in just 13 games.
“Seth is a talented, versatile ballplayer,” said Burr. “”He can both middle infield spots, as well as the corners. He can swing the bat, he can hit in situations, he can move the ball around the field, and he can steal some bases. Seth's starting to show what he can do, and no better time than right now in the stretch run.”
In Game 1, the Senators pitching dominated the Orioles, and the offense came up with some timely hitting to lead the team to an easy 5-0 victory.
The Senators jumped all over Orioles starter Brett Harman in the first inning. Nick Boullosa started the game with an infield single. He advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored when Henry stroked a double over the head of the left fielder. The Senators recorded two more hits in the inning, and finished with a 4-0 lead after the first inning.
Amazingly, the Senators were held without a hit for the rest of the game, but because of their pitching were able to win easily. They manufactured a run in the second inning to stretch their lead to 5. Kevin Hall was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Hall then stole second, and advanced to third on a wild pitch. He scored on an RBI groundout from Henry.
Senators starter Ian Kadish pitched very well in holding the Orioles offense down. Kadish never had a 1-2-3 inning, but he always managed to come up with a big pitch when he needed it. He allowed four hits and two walks in his five innings of work. Even so, the Orioles were only able to get a runner past second base once.
The Senators bullpen was solid, and held the opposition scoreless for the second game in a row. Mason Griffin, who just joined the squad Thursday, made his second appearance with the Senators and showed significant improvement. He appeared in the game Thursday and was wild as he was shaking off some rust from having not pitched all summer. He looked much more like a 2-time CGL All-League Pitcher Saturday night. He pitched a scoreless sixth inning, striking out two in the inning.
Closer Jimmy Duggan came on to pitch a scoreless seventh inning to secure the victory. He also struck out two batters in the inning.
In Game 2, the Senators came up with another fast start. After starter Richard Cary allowed an early first-inning run, the offense responded with a four-run first inning. Henry started the scoring with a solo home run to center field. The next three batters reached base, before Mario Williams delivered the big blow, with a two-run double into the left field corner.
Cary was strong the rest of the night, only allowing two runs in six innings. Cary bounced back strong from a couple of rough outings in his last two appearances.
The Senators added a run in the third, fourth, and fifth innings to cruise to a 7-3 victory. Chad Johnson pitched the seventh for the Senators, allowing one run.