Cubs and Marlins are Martha's Vineyard Little League champs
Photo by Ralph Stewart
The Cubs repeated as Martha's Vineyard Little League majors champions and the Marlins claimed the minor league title a year after losing in the finals, on a hot, humid, dusty day at Veira Park in Oak Bluffs.
The Cubbies went wire to wire to win their second straight crown. They won nine consecutive games to open the season, won the regular season title with a 14-3 record, and won both playoff games.
The Cubs 2-1 victory over the second place Pirates (14-5) in the title game carried a sense of dejá vu. Last year, the top seeded Cubs beat the second place A's, 2-1.
This year, Aidan Aliberti of the Cubs and the Pirates' Jack Sierputoski engaged in a classic pitcher's duel. When all was said and done, Aliberti got the win after throwing a complete game two-hitter and fanning 15 batters. He also hit an RBI triple and scored the winning run in the third inning.
Sierputoski scattered five hits in four innings of work, before giving way to Curtis Fournier in the fifth. Fournier had given the Bucs a 1-0 lead with a lead-off homer in the second inning.
In the minor league final, the Marlins beat the Reds 3-1. Finn Lewis was the winning pitcher for the Fish, who avenged last year's 8-1 loss to the Twins.
The second seeded Marlins (10-5-2) got on the board in the bottom of the first and held on against the surprising Reds, who finished the regular season at 6-9 in fifth place but caught fire in the playoffs.