Having lost only to one another in the double elimination tournament, the top seed White Sox and the 2 seed Dodgers faced each other Tuesday evening under the Nutile Field lights, in what proved to be a classic Championship game, to culminate the 2022 Spring Winchester season.
The visiting Dodgers struck early with four runs in the first inning highlighted by four consecutive hits from Charlie Ihrig, Rami Flummerfelt, Kaden Flummerfelt and Parker Tammaro. Louis Garciano and Will Kugeler worked bases on balls in hard fought at bats to push across runs.
White Sox ace Nathan Wan found his rhythm in the 2nd inning, blanking the Dodgers. After Dodgers starter Kaden Flummerfelt retired the first inning batters in order, the White Sox bounced back with two runs in their second frame, initiated by singles from stalwart catcher Leo Gannon and Wan, scoring on well-earned bases on balls by Dylans Murtie and Sala. The Dodgers turned to Ihrig to attempt to calm the waters, and he obliged, retiring both hitters whom he faced, to end the inning.
The Dodgers pushed across one in the 3rd inning when Tammaro laced a two out double and scored to make it 5-2. Ihrig escaped a jam in the third inning with White Sox runners on 2nd and 3rd, fanning two and benefitting from Thomas Lentine’s snagging of a pop up in foul ground. Ihrig’s 4th and 5th innings for the Dodgers were workmanlike, as he scattered a few hits and bases on balls but no runs.
Wan also provided much-needed stability for the Pale Hose by slowing the Dodgers offense in the fourth inning, aided by the airtight left side infield defense of 3rd baseman Leo D’Agostino and shortstop Ben Ragosa, both making incredible plays to lift the White Sox. Evan Wilson relieved Wan to blank the Dodgers in the fifth inning.
Heading to the sixth inning, the Dodgers sought some insurance runs and ten year old Colby Spence began that pursuit with a one out single. Following the second out, JP Hood singled and Lentine walked to load the bases. Daniel Jaffe, who had doubled earlier, was hit by a pitch to plate Spence and Darin Shaw singled in Hood. 7-2 Dodgers after 5 and ½ innings.
The White Sox refused to go down without a fight. With one out in the bottom of the sixth inning, D’Agostino hustled to beat out an infield single, followed by tough at bats yielding bases on balls by Murtie and Billy Byrne which sandwiched the second out. Up to the plate stepped veteran leadoff hitter Will Fiorentino, who after fouling off several pitches, carved a two-run double down the left field line. 7-4. Ragosa worked a bases on balls to re-load the bases, putting the tying run on base. The crowd noise is swelling.
Tammaro’s fresh arm is brought in to face the ever-dangerous Adrian Lupien who absorbed an inside fastball to the hip pushing across another run for the Sox. Next, shortstop Rami Flummerfelt caught a line drive to end the threat and to begin the Dodgers celebration with teammates and the young fans who stormed the field. Final score Dodgers 7 White Sox 5.