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The City of Southfield is home to Michigan's FIRST baseball field for children with any physical or cognitive disability, offering the true Major League experience. Easterseals Miracle League of Michigan is making dreams come true for some very special kids - Michigan's First, and Still the Best, Adaptive Baseball Field - est. 2004

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SOUTHFIELD –  UPSET! UPSET! READ ALL ABOUT IT! The Detroit Tigers have knocked off the season winning Seattle Mariners to claim the first ever Miracle League of Michigan World Series Championship. In stunning fashion, the Tigers were able to pull off the victory with excellent batting and some remarkable defense. The Mariners continued to fight all the way through the game and made it suspenseful throughout the three innings of play.

The Detroit Tigers had the first opportunity to light up the score board in the top of the first inning. With the mercy rule lifted, both teams would have a chance to show off their batting prowess and even more their keen defensive skills. It would take great team effort in order to shut these two teams down and the Tigers would have their hands full against a powerful lineup such as the Mariners.

In the top of the first inning, Hailey Bobock sent a quick message to the Mariners: the Tigers were here to compete. After three straight singles by Nick Cross, Austen Wilcox and Jerry Kaczur, Bobock drove the ball deep over the left field wall to have the first ever world series grand slam HR. This gave a much needed boost to the Tigers, jumping to an early 4-0 lead. The middle of the line-up would also deliver with Whitfield, Lilly and Rueda all hitting singles. Unfortunately, their first out came on Rueda’s hit where Christen Dean of the Mariners tagged second base before Lilly could reach. Even more clutch was the bottom of the lineup. After Andrew Meeker hit a hard ball into the outfield for a single, Ian Smith and Ian Edgar brought two of their teammates in for two additional runs.

With the game now 6-0, the Mariners were in danger of letting the game get out of control. Fortunately, a strike out occurred to give a second out and then Jacob Horton made an incredible routine play on a pop up from Cross to end the inning.

Entering the bottom of the first, the Mariners would lead off with three of their biggest hitters. Christen Dean, one of the speedsters on the team started with a lead-off double. Brett Hall would then hit a ball to the outfield to bring in the first run recording his first RBI single of the afternoon. Jacob Horton with his freakish power sent the ball way out of the park on one of the first pitches he received. This two run shot would bring the Mariners within three runs, down now 6-3. The team became amped up after the two run shot, with momentum slowly shifting.

Heslop and Kopeke would make singles before the Tigers could get the first out of the game. Both Jadgonzinski and Kilander would get RBI’s with their singles to bring them within one. Then, the next batter William Pointkowski hit the ball straight over to third base. Kaczur scooped the ball up and tagged third base for the force, making that the second out of the inning. The Mariners; however, were not willing to change sides and after that second out put on a shellacking. Cienski hit a single, Marsh a 2 RBI single, Boshaw an RBI single, Trombley another single before reaching the top of the order where they would bring in a few more runs. The inning finally ended when the ball was hit toward second base, Wilcox making the tag.

The Mariners ensured this would be a difficult game as they scored twelve runs in that inning to go up 12-6 heading into the top of the second. It appeared that whoever played better defense would most likely take home the prize possession.

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The top of the second would be where the Tigers stomped on the heart of all of the Mariners fans and put a damper on the Mariners chances of winning the game. The Detroit Tigers scored a whopping 23 runs! Everybody on the Tigers came through as they went through their lineup twice in that inning. Multiple home-runs were hit and the Tigers had excellent base running as they tried to prove they were the better team. They scored most of their runs with two outs in the inning. It was insane how the inning continued for so long. The Mariners had two quick outs to begin the inning, but after that several errors kept the inning going. With the Tigers taking such a lead, it would be difficult for the Mariners to mount a comeback, but in a league where anything can happen, none of us would have been surprised.

The shocker of the game and most likely the game changing performance came in the bottom of the second inning when the Mariners were shut down as the Tigers got three quick outs to turn sides. This defensive stop lead by Jerry Kaczur was exactly what they needed to get closer to that victory.

In the top of the third, the Tigers looked to extend their already 29-12 lead to provide an even larger cushion before going into the bottom of the third. Knowing how powerful the Mariners offense was and that they could easily rack up the runs, it put even further emphasis on having one more solid inning. But the Mariners stepped up on defense with their backs against the wall. They were able to get three quick outs to end the inning without any further damage being done.

It would come down to the bottom of the third inning. Could the Mariners make an epic comeback of eighteen runs to win the game? Did the Tigers have enough defense to get the three outs? The tension mounted, the fans squirmed in their seats and you could see the intensity on all of the players faces.

The Mariners started off the inning well. Jacob Trombley hit a three run home run to get his team pumped up. They all rushed to home plate to greet him knowing it would only take a few more of those to get back into this game. Brett Hall would follow with a two run homer to bring the score to 29-17 with no outs in the inning. Then, Horton hit a solo home run and inched closer and closer to that magic number. With those quick runs and three homers all momentum seemed to be with the Mariners. If they could just get a few more good at bats they had a wonderful shot at turning this game around. However, Tigers second baseman Austen Wilcox stepped up defensively against the next three batters. Matt Heslop hit a single to get on base, but right after that Wilcox made a force at second when the next batter hit the ball right toward second base. And with the next batter, Wilcox was able to tag the guy going to second and then get the player on his way to first for a double play and what would be the final out needed to call the Detroit Tigers, Miracle League Champs!

Normally I do an MVP award for the game, but this time I would like to dedicate the MVP to everybody. The coaches have done a wonderful job with these players all year and we thank them for their support and volunteering their time each week. We would like to thank the fans who come out each week to cheer on their son/daughter/grandchild etc… or those who just enjoy watching baseball. Finally, I would like to thank each and every player for making this an incredible season. If it weren’t for you all we wouldn’t have such a fantastic competitive league and this blog would never have been written. I thank you for the memories that will carry forward through this cold winter and can’t wait till next season when the Detroit Tigers defend their world series crown against some of the best teams in baseball.

I would like to give an additional thank you to Steve Peck and Rachel Eckert, who make this league possible. I’d like to thank Vic for his announcing in the non-competitive league and Ryan Peck and Richard who are the snack shack volunteers.

Enjoy the winter everybody (as much as you can) and don’t forget to sign up for Miracle League bowling, which starts this winter!

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    Contact Info: Easterseals Miracle League of Michigan 2399 E. Walton Blvd Auburn Hills, MI 48326 Phone: (248) 506-4604 - Email: Speck@essmichigan.org