When asked to put the victory into words after his team defeated Hill United Chiefs 7-4 and 9-4 in the ‘if necessary’ game. Bruckert stated “this is as good as it gets.” He further stated that winning his seventh ASA National Title was special as the ASA Major is a coveted title and a meaningful win for his team.
After being dropped into the loser’s bracket earlier in the tournament by the Chiefs, the Gremlins worked their way through the bracket to meet back up with the Chiefs in the Championship Game. Andrew Kirkpatrick took to the circle for the Gremlins to face fellow Australian and Chiefs’ hurler, Adam Folkard. Kirkpatrick retired the side in the first and the Gremlins scored early and often as they plated four runs in the first. Folkard was not sharp in the first inning as he gave up three hits and three walks as the Gremlins sent nine to the plate.
The Chiefs got one back in the second inning on a double and an error. Kirkpatrick helped his own cause with an RBI single in the second that plated Mathieu Roy who had led off the second with a double. Kirkpatrick took a 5-1 lead into the third but was touched for a solo shot from Brad Ezekal making it a 5-2 lead for the Gremlins midway through the third.
The score remained the same until the sixth when the Chiefs made it a tight game by scoring two runs on a Nick Shailes single and a two-run shot from Steve Mullaley. After retiring the first two Gremlins batters in the sixth, Folkard walked Roy, who promptly stole second and scored on Calsey’s single. Another stolen base, a passed ball and an error gave the Gremlins an insurance run that pushed the score to 7-4. Kirkpatrick gave way to Bryan Newton in the seventh inning and he retired the side after giving up a lead-off single to preserve the win.
The “if necessary” game saw Bryan Newton take to the circle for the Gremlins and he was greeted with a first-pitch home run off the bat of Brad Ezekal. The Chiefs plated two more runs in the first and took a quick 3-0 lead. The Gremlins got one back in the bottom of the first against Adam Folkard on two hits, a walk and a wild pitch. The Chiefs collected two hits in the second but could not push across a run to extend their lead.
The Shamrocks batted around in the second and scored six runs on three walks and three hits including a grand slam by Blair Ezekal. Adam Folkard was replaced in the circle by Mitch Hardy in the third.
Hardy kept the Gremlins off the board until the sixth. The Gremlins added to their 7-3 lead in the sixth by collecting two runs on three hits and pushing the lead to 9-3. Brad Ezekal drilled another solo shot for the Chiefs, his second in the game and third for the day in the top of the seventh. The Chiefs could not get any closer as Jeff Ellsworth and Nick Shailes hit pop outs to end the game giving the Gremlins the title by a score of 9-4.
The Gremlin’s Andrew Kirkpatrick received the Herb Dudley Outstanding Pitcher Award and Gremlin’s center fielder Mathieu Roy was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.