Ali’s season comes to a close in playoff finals
Ali’s Run, the Jamestown-affi liated team in the Newport Babe Ruth League, saw its season come to a close on June 30, following an 8-6 loss to FOP in the finals. The loss marks the final Babe Ruth game for players Dan Irwin, Jarrod Ford, Graham Jamison, Drew MacIntyre, Matt Rafanelli, Eric Stroud and Alex Burke. Ali’s won the 2011 regular season.
Ali’s got off to a rocky start to the playoffs with an 11-4 loss to FOP on June 19. Facing elimination, Ali’s scratched out a 10-9 win over Horan Building on June 26 in extra innings to stay alive in the tournament. Danny Irwin and Alex Burke led the offense with four hits each.
The following night, facing elimination again, Ali’s jumped out to a quick lead over R&R Construction, scoring eight runs in the first inning en route to an 11-6 win. Logan Bradley and Liam Vetter pitched well in the win and key RBIs came from Matt Rafanelli, Drew MacIntyre and Rob Haberland.
In the championship game on June 30, Ali’s was matched up for the second time in the postseason against undefeated FOP. Ryan Geib had a key hit in the third inning and Liam Vetter hit a home run in the sixth inning that brought Ali’s within one run, 6-5. But FOP countered by scoring two runs in the bottom of the inning.
In the seventh inning, down two runs, Robbie Haberland worked a walk to bring the tying run to the plate. With Pete Millen pinch running, Irwin continued his torrid hitting and smacked an RBI double. With the tying run in scoring position, Jarrod Ford, representing the go-ahead run, fouled out to end the game.
“It was a great season for the boys in green,” said coach Tony Rafanelli. It was the third year in a row that Ali’s advanced to the fi- nals.