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Old Timers Fall One Win Shy Of Title

The Jamestown and Area Old Timers won as many games in the playoffs as they did during an abbreviated regular season, but fell one win short of a league championship.

The Old Timers finished the regular season 4-4 and went into the National Division playoffs as the No. 3 seed.

Their first-round opponent, second-seed Champion, knocked the Old Timers into the losers’ bracket.

Champion went on to the winners’ bracket final, beating previously undefeated Springfield, and waited there for two weeks.

Jamestown knocked out every other team in the division — Warren (Ohio), United, and Springfield — on its way to a rematch with Champion.

The finals were delayed a week by weather.

On Saturday, Sept. 19, the Old Timers concluded their season by playing Champion twice at JFK High School in Warren.

In the first game, a must-win for Jamestown to have a shot at the title, starting pitcher Ron Thomas picked up the 3-2 win, holding Champion to two hits and two walks over seven innings.

“Ronnie pitched a great game,” Manager Ed Baldensperger said.

Champion scored twice in the fifth as both walks, one hit, and the Old Timers’ only error of the game came in the same inning.

Jamestown’s Wade Nelson had two hits, an RBI, scored a run and reached based every time he came to bat despite injuring a hamstring legging out a first-inning double. Troy Johnson also had two hits. Jon Sitler singled and scored. Thomas helped himself with an RBI single. Baldensperger walked and scored, and Dave Wortman, Rick Prindle and Mark Hovan each had singles.

The Old Timers’ bats went quiet in the championship game, eking out only three singles.

Baldensperger went the distance on the mound, surrendering only four hits and two walks. Those, combined with four Jamestown errors, were enough for Champion to plate four runs.

The Old Timers put together their only good inning in the third. Prindle and Ray Jones sandwiched walks around Hovan being hit by a pitch to load the bases. After a fielder’s choice forced Prindle out at home, Sitler ripped a two-RBI single — the only runs Jamestown would score.

With the other two Old Timers hits were Baldensperger and Brian Ferry.

“It stinks to lose the last game of the year,” Baldensperger said. “If you’re playing in that game it usually means it’s for every thing.”

“Everyone played their hearts out,” he said. “We just didn’t hit well enough to win the second game.”

“We can all learn from this next year,” Baldensperger said.

Next season, the 50-plus Baseball League, and the Old Timers, will welcome players who will be at least 47 years old by the end of 2021. The Old Timers typically play home games at Diethrick Park in Jamestown. Anyone interested in joining may contact any current Old Timer or reach out to bferry@timesobserver.com.

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