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When asked how he felt about hitting a two-run, walk off home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to win the Sedona Summer Softball League title for his A Day in the West team Thursday, Aug. 6, catcher Eric Mikulewicz smiled brightly.

“It was the greatest feeling I’ve ever had in my life,” Mikulewicz said laughing, obviously poking fun at most athletes and their normal response to a sports reporter’s questions.

“No,” Mikulewicz laughed again. “It was pretty cool. Before I came up I told myself I was going to hit a home run. It’s awesome to play a championship game that was so close.”

With A Day in the West claiming a 14-13 victory and the title, Mikulewicz is easily the MVP of the Sedona Summer Softball League championship game with a 3-4 night including two home runs and five RBIs.

softball-championship-8-12A Day in the West found themselves trailing 13-10 in the bottom of the sixth inning after PJ’s Village Pub put up four runs in their half of the sixth to take the lead.

Center fielder Pedro Ortega Jr. singled to start the rally, while starting pitcher Angel Betancourt followed behind him with another single to put runners on first and second with two outs.

Jeff Bragg stepped to the plate next and earned a walk off PJ’s Village Pub pitcher Ryan Terryn to load the bases, still with two outs.

Shortstop and A Day in the West team captain Pedro Ortega Sr. found himself in a good count and singled to right field to drive in his son and Betancourt to make it 13-12, PJ’s Village Pub.

During the play, Bragg unfortunately ran too far past third base and was tagged out on a force play for the third out, ending the inning with A Day in the West down one.

“It was a good pitch to hit and I swung hard. This was a great game to play. Everyone played well on both sides,” Ortega Sr. said.

Betancourt returned to the mound for A Day in the West and promptly shut down PJ’s Village Pub in the top of the seventh inning, throwing up a zero on the board and giving his team a chance to win it during last ups.

In the bottom of the seventh, mainstay first baseman Will Alldredge earned a walk which brought Mikulewicz to the plate so he could play the hero card.

Ortega Sr. thought PJ’s Village Pub wasn’t going to give Mikulewicz anything to hit after he slammed a home run in the bottom of the third inning as part of a six-run rally for A Day in the West.

“Yeah, I was sure they were just going to pitch around him,” Ortega Sr. said.

On a 3-1 count, Mikulewicz got a fat pitch over the middle of the plate and swung hard, making the ball disappear into the Sedona summer night sky.

A Day in the West players immediately ran out from the dugout and began to jump up and down like little kids while members of PJ’s Village Pub walked off in disgust.

“You have to give credit to PJ’s Village Pub. They played great this year. They got better every week; you could see it in their play,” Ortega Sr. said.

On the night, Ortega Sr. was 3-4 with two RBIs, while Betancourt was 2-4 with two RBIs and Alldredge was 2-4 with two runs scored.

Betancourt is also credited with the victory on the mound going seven innings and allowing 13 runs to score.

A Day in the West got to the championship game by beating The Other Team, 13-3, just an hour before, setting up a great Sedona Summer Softball League game for everyone to see.

A Day in the West won the spring title last season and now this year, they took home the trophy for the summer season, making them one of the more successful softball teams in Sedona during recreation league play.

 

Brian Bergner Jr. can be reached at 282-7795, ext. 131, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 


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