Mt. Vernon Thunder Rumble to 2011 E.S.L. Crown

Defeat Blues in 6 Games


Semi-Finals: Mt. Vernon Thunder Defeat Bethlehem Stars 3 games to 2

Game 1: Stars 4  Thunder 3

The Thunder stepped out to a 2-0 lead, but a 2-run homer by Eithier tied things up in the 6th.  Then Thornton was unable to hold a 3-2 Thunder lead in the bottom of the 9th as Asdrubal Cabrerea's double tied it and Chris Denorfia's pinch single won the game.

Game 2: Thunder 3  Stars 2

This time the Thunder pulled out the one-run victory, as they made an early 3-2 lead in the top of the 3rd hold up the rest of the way. The Stars left 10 men on base as Thornton redeemed himself for the save.

Game 3: Thunder 4  Stars 3

Adam Jones' HR in the 7th gave the Stars a 3-2 lead, but Neil Walker's 2-run double off of Joakim Soria was the walk-off winner for the Thunder as they took a 2-1 lead in the series.

Game 4:  Stars 7  Thunder 3

The first blow-out of the series saw Cliff Lee toss six innings of one-hit ball while the Stars pounded out 16 hits against Matt Garza in 5 innings. Omar Infante was the batting start, going 5-5 and scoring 4 runs.

Game 5:  Thunder 6  Stars 0

Mt. Vernon beat King Felix for the second time in the series behind the strong 7+ innings of shut-out hurling by Anibal Sanchez, who won for the second time. Pence hit a two run shot and Bobby Abreu connected for his second home run of the series to lead the Thunder offense to victory in the semis and a date to face the Bay City Blues for the championship.



Finals: Mt. Vernon Thunder Defeat Bay City in Six Games

Like the semis, the 2011 finals featured a slew of one run and extra-inning games, with only the finale being decided by more than two runs.

Game 1: Thunder 5  Blues 3

Cahill went eight strong innings and Thatcher nailed down the save as the Thunder jumped off to a 1-0 lead in the series. The big blow was Jimmy Rollins' 2-run HR off of Cole Hamels. Nelson Cruz went deep for the Blues in a losing cause.

Game 2: Blues 2  Thunder 1

The Blues evened the series behind a strong effort by Matt Latos, with late inning help from victor Joaquin Benoit and Billy Wagner.  Cruz' 8th inning RBI single was the difference maker here.

Game 3: Thunder 5  Blues 4  (10 innings)

It was a pivotal and exciting game, as the Blues jumped off to a 4-0 lead after an inning and a half.  The Thunder rallied early behind a 2-run shot by Drew Stubbs to make it a 4-3 game, where it stayed until the 9th inning. Hunter Pence tied the game with a solo shot against Wagner.  Chase Utley delivered the game winning hit in the bottom of the 10th off of Lyon to give the Thunder a 2-1 series lead.

Game 4:  Thunder 3  Blues 2  (10 innings)

Juan Uribe was the hero in this one, as he smacked a solo walk-off HR in the bottom of the 10th off of David Aardsma. Both teams left a total of 25 men on base in this taut contest. Both bullpens threw nine scoreless innings of relief until the Uribe blast.

Game 5: Blues 2  Thunder 0

Matt Latos continued his fine post-season pitching as he spun a 3-hit complete game shut-out to move the series to a sixth game. Longoria and Tabata accounted for the Blues' runs. Anibal Sanchez also went nine, but took his second loss in this series after winning both of his starts in the semi-finals against the Stars.

Game 6:  Thunder 10  Blues 6

The Thunder won the ESL crown in the only lopsided game of the series, running out to a 10-1 lead off of Blues atarter Pettitte and Chacin's poor reflief effort.  The Blues fought back, scoring five runs in the 8th to make it closer, but that was all they could muster. Aubrey Huff was the hitting star, cracking two homers, while Stubbs added his second of the series.  And let us not forget Matt Holliday, who finally got a hit in the 7th inning and finished the series with 1 for 25 (.040)!

Congratulations to the Mount Vernon Thunder on winning their 3rd E.S.L. championship and their first since 1999.  This ties them with the Haymakers for the most titles by a Southern Division team.  And all three of their crowns have been won since the last time the Haymakers were champs, a hard-to-believe twenty years ago! You could look it up.


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