By Nick Curcuru
---- — Early on Sunday morning of the JJ Nicastro Summer Madness One-Pitch Tournament, it looked like the Gotham City Knights way out of the tournament.
The Knights, a veteran Gloucester team, went 2-0 on Saturday’s opening round of play but dropped their first game on Sunday, a 12-0 shellacking at the hands of defending champion Price’s.
That meant the Gotham City nights had a long road to a title.
Not only did they have to run the table the rest of the way, they had to take the long way through the losers bracket and beat the winners bracket finalists twice in the championship to take home the title.
It turns out they did just that, winning five straight games in every way imaginable culminating in a 12-11 extra innings win over the Devils Rejects in a winner take all championship game.
The journey to the title was anything but easy for Gotham as it not only had to win five in a row, it had to do so against the most dangerous teams in the tournament. The road to the championship started with an 18-12 win over 2011 champion Benco in its first game after the loss to Price’s.
Gotham would then go on to shutout U.S. Fuel 12-0, blanking a team full of power hitters from Peabody.
From there, Gotham avenged its Sunday morning loss against Price’s, a team with a combination of players from Peabody and Gloucester, in the losers bracket final with a dominant 10-1 win of their own setting up a final against the Devil’s Rejects.
Gotham needed back-to-back wins against the Devil’s Rejects, another Peabody team, and it started off on the right foot with a 1-0 win in the championship opener. That set up a winner take all final game and this one needed extra time. Through seven innings the game was tied but it was Gotham that pulled ahead in the ninth to take the tournament with a 12-11 win.
Gotham got its bats going when it needed to most putting up 53 runs during its five-game romp to the title.
But in a one-pitch, stellar pitching is a must and Gotham got just that from tournament Most Valuable Player Mike Frontiero, who pitched a pair of shutouts against dangerous opposition.