By Cameron Turner
Sun Sports Editor
SIDNEY – A feat that not many can say they have been fortunate enough to be a part of, the Norwich Pony League rolled over Unatego in the finals of the Otsenango PONY League Championship game on July 19.
This 12-1 beat-down of Unatego caps off a season which saw Norwich secure a 12-0 undefeated record, while also hoisting the championship trophy at the end of the season.
“The game was over at the first pitch,” said Norwich Pony League head coach Nick McCullough. “As a team today, what happened on the field, when our pitching does this and our defense does what they did, and then with our offense coming together, we are literally unbeatable. There is not a team in this part of the state that could be us.”
Norwich would jump out to an early 5-0 lead in just the first third of the very first inning. Already up 5-0, Unatego elected to pull their first pitcher, Caden Clow, in favor of Cooper Thayer. Clow allowed only one hit in his third of an inning that he pitched, however, walked four Norwich batters essentially allowing the five runs to be scored.
“Their first pitcher had little to no command. All year, if you’re going to give us walks we're gonna take it. He was missing the strike zone so badly, he threw a ton of wild pitches and we scored several of our runs right there in the first inning,” said coach McCullough. “I don’t know what it was but his coach had to go get him. He had very good velocity, he just struggled with his command. His coach had to go get him, it's the championship, you cant afford to be going down 5-0 in the first.”
After the pitching change, Unatego would see Cooper Thayer pitch for four and two thirds of an inning before Tyler Shaul would come in to close out the final two innings. Thayer would secure six strikeouts with four walks and six hits allowed, while Shaul would tack on two strikeouts with two walks and two hits allowed.