In a game twice delayed by rain, the El Dorado Broncos prevailed over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots 2-1. It was a monumental match-up between two perennial NBC World Series powerhouses. The game was billed as a contrast between the excellent pitching by the Broncos and the best hitting team in this years tournament, the Glacier Pilots.
The Broncos pitching staff had a combined second best 1.67 ERA and also the second best opposing batting average at .199. Starting the game was Broncos pitcher Jake Sabol, who, coming in to the game had a 0.00 ERA after making an appearance in four games. Meanwhile Glacier Pilots brought the best batters to the plate - forcing a clash of two opposing styles. Of the top players in terms of RBI’s - Anchorage had the top three on the list coming into the game, Gunnar Glad with 17, Ryan Gebhart with 12 and Drew Heid with 9. The Glacier Pilots also brought the best fielding team to the table with a .989 fielding average and only committing 3 errors after playing 8 games. Statistics on paper don’t determine who is going to win - but clearly the 67 RBI and a team batting average of .344 the Glacier Pilots had coming into the game was very impressive.
Anchorage had run-ruled three teams coming into the game and appeared to be fueled by their loss to the Santa Barbara Foresters. El Dorado was the sole undefeated team coming into the game - coming off a win in the NBC Midwest Regional (where they were also undefeated). Yet, El Dorado had been struggling to defeat the last couple of opponents they had faced and were sorely lacking in terms of hitting. The Broncos did have the advantage of having the Friday off, while the Glacier Pilots had to find another win to move on to the championship game and face El Dorado.
Anchorage ended the first inning down by 1 after Broncos leadoff hitter Kyle Tiernan sent a ball hurling out of the ballpark in far right field. It was a controversial call by the third base official, as the ball appeared to be outside of the foul line. The Glacier Pilots coach disagreed with the call and went to have a word with the official but the score remained the same. Five innings passed before the Glacier Pilots answered back with a run, coming off a single by Ryan Gebhart to center field - his 13th RBI of the tournament. Neither team scored and the game moved into extra innings before Broncos catcher David Allbritton lined out to right field and Wes Cunningham scored the winning run in the 11th inning, giving the Broncos the victory and making them the 2009 NBC World Series Champions. Broncos pitcher Jake Sabol only gave up one run to the Glacier Pilots, who had been averaging 13 runs a game and was summarily named the tournament MVP. It was truly a game to remember, the match-up was intriguing on paper. In the end, the Broncos pitchers were able to tame the previously unstoppable Glacier Pilots hitters and went home champions.
Written by: Garret Winsor