By Mr. Allen Shaw (Wainwright)September 14, 2012
In their first season together as a team, the Fort Wainwright Mets of the Fairbanks Adult Amateur Baseball League battled their closest rivals, the Fairbanks Cubs, for the city-wide championship at Arco Field, Sept. 2. When it was all said and done, the Mets took the title after a tightly contested ballgame that ended, 3-2.
With the game tied 0-0 through six innings, the Cubs' bats caught fire, blasted four hits and a sacrifice fly that led to two runs. Mets centerfielder, Joey Ricci said, "They were tough. We beat them four times during the regular season and they beat us three times. The Cubs, who are the defending state champs, thought they were going to win city, but they didn't," he said.
Pitching for both teams kept the bats mostly quiet throughout the game and strong defense kept the scoring to a minimum. "Our pitchers did a great job of keeping their bats down," said Terrio Richardo, Mets first baseman.
The score stayed the same for two and a half more innings, when the Mets' wood started connecting with the leather. A hard shot from Chris Lee got him on board and a searing grounder to second base by Rich Pulignani drove Lee home. The hitting continued when Ricci came to the plate. He helped Pulignani advance with a hot shot to the infield and put himself in scoring position. Kevin Kearney then hit a two-run double, giving the Mets a 3-2 lead in the top of the ninth.
Excellent defense closed the game in the final inning, as two out of three batters grounded out. The final batter went down swinging at air and the Mets walked away victorious.
Ricci and Lee both said it was their best game of the season.
When Pulignani was asked how they came up with the Mets moniker, he said, "Someone on the team came to the first meeting back in April wearing a Mets hat, so we just decided then, that would be our team name."
The Fairbanks Adult Amateur Baseball League season began May 4.
For more information on the FAABL visit www.alaskabaseball.org or to learn more about the Fort Wainwright Mets, call Rich Pulignani at 353-7223.