The Padres R-Ballers capped a perfect (16-0) season Sunday with a gritty 10-8 victory over the third-seeded Cubs in 94-degree heat at Hatch. The Cubs took the early lead, keyed by Robert McCaffrey-Boss's three-run triple in the third. The Padres clawed back as both teams exchanged clutch, rally-killing defensive plays. The difference turned out to be Elliot Greffin's two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth, his third round-tripper of the game. The Padres' Timmy Huettel forced the final out at second in the sixth inning as the Cubs' potentially tying run charged over from first.
The Padres reached the finals with a 22-13 victory over the fast-improving and fourth-seeded Mariners. The Cubs earned their spot in the finals with a hard-earned upset of the second-seeded White Sox, avenging a loss to the Sox earlier in the season.
OP R-Ball playoffs
Devil Rays 30, Reds 13
(Momentum turned to the Devil Rays on Jay Heininger's diving line-drive catch at shortstop, followed by doubling up the Reds' runner at second base).
Yankees 29, Mets 10
A's 20, Indians 19
(A's overcame a five-run deficit entering the bottom of the sixth. Desmond Bird-Murphy made a number of crucial base-running plays, and Colin Hobin stroked the two-out game winning hit).
Cubs 24, Diamondbacks 18
Marlins 26, Mariners 18
(Ben Kroeschell led the Marlin offensive effort with his solid hitting).
Cardinals 29, Blue Jays 10
(Instant Cards' offense was keyed by Oliver Soto's lead-off home run, sparked by a Matthew Herbst-to-Joshua Horton pick-off play, and concluded with Matthew Buchbinder's game-ending unassisted double play; short-handed Blue Jays made a great effort).
White Sox 20, Cardinals 12
(Highlights in this sweltering 90-degree battle featured players dumping water in their caps and splashing the result on their heads).
Cubs 25, Yankees 17
Marlins 22, Devil Rays 20
Padres 16, A's 9
(Padres opened up a tight game with a six-run fourth triggered by four consecutive singles, including one by Bobby Halvorsen, who was a perfect 3-for-3 on the evening).
Padres 22, Marlins 13
(Geo Smith cranked three home runs, and added near-perfect infield defense, as the Padres broke open a tight match-up in the fourth inning.)
Cubs 21, White Sox 19
(Mason Banbury uncorked four home runs, staking the Cubs to a lead the Sox couldn't overcome).
Padres 10, Cubs 8
(Led this day on defense by Joey Cofsky, Liam Zeller and Sam Ginn, the Padres became the first R-Ball team in memory to complete an unbeaten season. The Cubs effort featured clutch fielding from Mason Banbury, Joey Kassel, Thomas Schoedel and Alec McGowan. The game was the lowest scoring of the R-Ball season).
U9 Boys 3, Fire Junior 3
(Strikers Goals: Alec Trickett, Nathaniel Marcus; Assists: Seth Primack)
U11 Boys 5, Rockford Dactyls 5
(Strikers goals: David Leitson 3, Arlo Sheridan 2)
U16 Boys 1, FC United 1
(Strikers Goal: Nate Race)
Third Place, 2005 Summer Classic Tournament (Muscatine, Iowa)
U16 Boys 3, Quad City Strikers 1
U16 Boys 2, Chicago Magic North 1
EMSSC Independents 4, U16 Boys 2
Yahara-Middleton Blue 6, U16 Boys 0