Monday, August 14, 2017

All Even

The Intertown Twilight Baseball League championship is now a best-of-three series.

The five-time defending league champion Manchester Essex Mariners and the Rockport Townies started the league championship series on Saturday and Sunday. After the weekend's slate of games, the teams split a pair of games and the series is tied 1-1.
The Mariners drew first blood on Saturday at Memorial Field in Essex with a 3-0 win and the Townies bounced back with a 6-3 win on their home turf, Evans Field, on Sunday afternoon.
The teams will play the pivotal Game 3 on Wednesday back at Memorial Field in Essex.
"Every game is a must win game against the Mariners because of the talent they have," Townies manager Jay Pallazola said after the Game 2 victory. "We made enough plays to get the win (in Game 2) with a good all around performance."
Mariners manager Ryan Marques says his team is going to put Sunday's loss in the rear view mirror and focus on taking the lead in the series on Wednesday. 
"We've been in this situation before being tied or even being down in the series," he said. "But we're confident and we will come ready to go in Game 3. We didn't have our best game today but we aren't in a bad spot because we got the win in the opener."
Rusty Tucker grabbed the Game 1 win for the Townies with a complete game shutout, while Derek Osmond kept the Mariners offense contained as he picked up the win in Game 2 allowing no earned runs in 5 1/3 innings pitched.
"Osmond was cruising through the first five innings and gave us the performance we needed," Pallazola said. "And I actually thought we put some good at bats together against Tucker in the first game. He averages about 15 strikeouts per game and we only struck out seven times on Saturday. We made more contact than we usually do but we didn't hit it very far."
The Mariners got on the board in the fourth inning during Saturday's championship series opener with a pair of runs on a Tucker RBI single plating Max Nesbit, who doubled. Tucker was later knocked in on a Caulin Rogers single to extend the lead to 2-0.
Manchester Essex added one more insurance run in the sixth inning when Mike Cain came around to score on an error after reaching on an error.
The Townies best chance to score in Game 1 came in the very first inning when a fielding error and a walk put two men on with nobody out. But a 4-6-3 double-play and a strikeout got Tucker out of the jam. Rockport only had six more base runners over the final six innings on two hits, two walks and two errors.
The Townies were able to take control in Game 2 with a three-run fourth inning.
Jordan Pallazola made it 1-0 when he singled and moved around the bases on a pair of Mariners errors. Mike Emerson then singled in Nolan Webb and came around to score on a bases loaded walk to give Rockport a 3-0 lead after four.
A Pallazola home run extended the lead to 4-0 in the fifth before the Mariners got on the board in the sixth.
Cain came around on a fielding error after being hit by a pitch for the first Manchester Essex run, and Rory Gentile cut the Townies lead to 4-2 after reaching on a walk and coming around to score on a balk.
"We had a tough inning in the fourth and we weren't getting on top of the baseball, we were popping everything up," Marques said. "We need to get going earlier in Game 3."
The Townies grabbed a couple of important insurance runs in the sixth with a two out rally. Conor Ressel tripled down the left field line and was driven in by an Alex Webb double into the right field Woods. Webb later came in to score on a Keady Segel single to make it 6-3.
Those two runs turned out to be important as the Mariners cut the lead to 6-3 when Noah Aiello came in on a fielding error after leading off the frame with a single. The Mariners would go on to load the bases but Shawn Hull induced a pop up to earn a one-out save and preserve the Townies win.
"Shawn has been closing games for us all season," Pallazola said. "We only asked him to get one out but it was a pressure situation with the tying run on base."

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Tucker Throws Shutout as Man./Essex Mariners Defeats Rockport Townies in Game 1

Rusty Tucker didn't allow a single run as Man./Essex Mariners defeated Rockport Townies 3-0 on Saturday. Tucker allowed just two hits and induced a groundout from Kyle Nelson to end the game.
The pitching was strong on both sides. Rusty Tucker struck out seven, while Mackenzie Quinn sat down one. 


One bright spot for Rockport Townies was a double by Jason Vizena in the second inning.
Tucker earned the win for Man./Essex Mariners. He went seven innings, allowing zero runs, two hits, and striking out seven. Quinn took the loss for Rockport Townies. He tossed six innings, allowing three runs, seven hits, striking out one, and walking one. 


Man./Essex Mariners had seven hits in the game. Caulin Rogers and Mike Cain each collected multiple hits for Man./Essex Mariners. Tucker and Rogers each drove in one run to lead Man./Essex Mariners.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Townies beats Rowley, meet the Mariners in ITL Finals

Townies beats Rowley, meet the Mariners in ITL Finals



ROWLEY — Rockport's runs didn't come pretty on Thursday night.  But they were enough.

The Townies' scratched out a 2-1 win in a pitcher's duel over Rowley at Eiras Park to take the Intertown Twilight Baseball League semifinal series in three games. With the win, the Townies earned themselves a berth in the now all-Cape Ann ITL finals against the Manchester Essex Mariners.
The two Cape Ann squads last met in the ITL finals in 2010.


This is the team's first trip since 2011 and the team will be looking for its first ITL title since 2007..
"It's awesome, it really is," said Townies' Manager Jay Pallazola. "It's a great feeling. Just the first time we've gotten by (Rowley) in the playoffs three out for the four years I've been here. It means a lot."

In a series where one run decided two of the three games, scoring was at a premium and both teams took it any way they could get it, be it unorthodox or ugly.

After loading the bases in the first thanks to hits from Connor Ressel and Alex Webb plus a hit batsman, Keady Segel grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to make it 1-0 Townies.

The spin was also a victory for Rams starter Adam Chatterton, who pitched well on the night and escaped the jam without further damage.

He worked five innings with just the one run on three hits and one walk with one strikeout before yielding to Tim Cashman.

Cashman was also effective and gave up a tough-luck run on a throwing error on a tough play to make it 2-0 in the sixth. The ball again came of Segel's bat.


"That's this field," said Pallazola. "Not a lot of runs get scored. We got a bounce today that was the difference... For us to get that in that situation was key."

The Rams then pushed one across in the bottom of the inning after C.J. Ingraham singled to center and later came around to score after a Cashman single, but that was all the offense they'd get.

"When you're going to play games like this, you've got to get a big hit here or there and we just didn't do that," Rams manager Jeff Wood said. "No problem with the way we played tonight."

The home team only had four hits on the night thanks to a fantastic performance from Townies starter Nolan Webb. He tossed six innings of one-run ball allowing just one walk while striking out three before giving way to Dylan Maki, who shut the door in the seventh.

"I can't say enough about Nolan Webb," said Pallazola. "He was unbelievable. He didn't get into too much trouble, he had a couple of base runners on second and they got to third and he got out of it."
Both Webb's and Ressel had the only hits for the Townies in a defensive struggle that saw both team's shortstops in particular — Reese Fulmer for the Townies and C.J. Ingraham for the Rams — make play after play.

"We still hit the ball well," said Pallazola. "Not as well as we did in the first game, but we did well enough."


The Townies square off with the Mariners, five time defending ITL champs, at Memorial Field in Essex at 4 p.m. on Saturday in a best-of-five series to determine the league champ. For now, though the squad will savor getting there first.

"It was a total team effort, one through nine and we played solid defense," said Pallazola. "We made the plays when we had to. Manchester's the next step."

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Rowley Rams falls in Game 2 of Intertown Twilight League baseball semifinals

Rowley Rams falls in Game 2 of Intertown Twilight League baseball semifinals

One inning. That’s what it came down to, and it wasn’t even the final inning.  The Rowley Rams, heavy with Georgetown residents, committed three errors and gave up five unearned runs (hurting pitcher Tim Moore) and ended up falling in Game 2, 6-3.



With that loss, the Rams have to go back into action on Thursday at Rowley’s Eiras Field to settle the question of whether they or the Rockport Townies will advance to the finals.

It’s not much of a prize, as the team waiting for either Rockport or Rowley is the Manchester-Essex Mariners, winners of five of the last six Intertown Twilight League championships and the last four straight.

“I told the guys after the game that ‘one inning doesn’t make a series, but it definitely cost us the ball game,’” said manager Jeff Wood, himself a Georgetown resident. “We’ll leave that in Rockport, and go back to Rowley and move on.”

Wood said that Moore “pitched a great game,” as the Rams designed a game plan around his delivery.

“He really deserved a lot better than what he got,” said Wood. Georgetown’s Curtis Putnam, one of the heroes of Monday night’s Game 1, had another big hit to center field that helped Rowley get runs on the board.

“It was not a bad game, it was just one bad inning,” Wood added. “We played relatively clean and did what we were trying to do. That’s just baseball, sometimes.”

First pitch on Thursday is at 5:30 p.m. at Eiras Field, behind the Rowley Police Station (55 Haverhill Road/Route 133).

 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Townies Pushed to the Brink

"Townies pushed to the brink with tough loss to Rowley in ITL playoffs"



ROWLEY — The seventh inning illustrated Rockport's frustrations on Monday.
Down a run, the Townies loaded the bases with no outs.

But two infield flies and a flyout later, Rowley had taken game one of the ITL Playoffs, 1-0 in a very well-played baseball game at Eiras Park.


The Townies hit the ball hard all night and had their opportunities, but they just couldn't capitalize.
"Tough loss," said Townies manager Jay Pallazola. "You never like to lose 1-0 but they played well here and their defense was solid tonight. We hit the ball well. (Rams starter Joe White) usually shuts us down. We usually don't get many hits off him. Today we hit the ball, but we hit it right at people."
They started in the first, advancing men to second and third after Nolan Webb reached on a walk and a double by Jordan Pallazola.

But White escaped the jam, as he would multiple times on the evening.

In the fourth, Dylan Maki led off the inning with a single then stole second before he was stranded and in the sixth, he singled again followed by a walk to Jason Vizena with two outs and the pair advanced on a past ball but White danced around it one more time.

White worked six innings, allowing four walks and four hits while striking out three.


"I felt pretty good," said White. "I haven't thrown in 10 days so the arm felt good. It was a good game back-and-forth, a defensive battle. Neither guy really struck out a lot of batters."

He was pulled in the seventh in the middle of the Townies' biggest opportunity.


Michael Emerson led off with a walk before Brian Lentz dropped down a bunt that White couldn't handle. Tim Cashman then came in to pitch for the Rams and Kyle Nelson ripped a single off his glove to load the bases with no outs.

But it wasn't to be as Cashman worked quick and got two infield pop-ups and a fly ball to center to end it.

On the other side, it was pinch hitter Curtis Putnam who drove in what ended up being the game-winner in the fourth, scoring Cashman who led off the inning with a double.
"Great baseball game," said Rams coach Jeff Wood. "This is just great ITL baseball right here. That's what tonight was."

Townies starter MacKenzie Quinn worked out of the jam though and was excellent on the night, going all seven allowing just the one run on eight hits and one walk while striking out four. His defense was also fantastic behind him.

"He's solid," Pallazola said of Quinn. "He's a great pitcher. He battles. He may get a couple guys on but he battles. He never gives up. He won't lose."

The No. 2 seed Rams and the No. 3 seed Townies meet again tomorrow night at 6 p.m. at Evans Field in Rockport.

"We're just going to have to re-focus and come back tomorrow at home," said Pallazola.

Familiar Territory

"Familiar Territory - Phinney, Mariners blank Hamilton, clinch finals berth"

HAMILTON-- It is a position that the Manchester Essex Mariners have gotten used to over the last decade: Playing in the Intertown Twilight Baseball League championship series.

With a 5-0 win over the Hamilton Generals in Game 2 of the best-of-three semifinal series on Monday at Patton Park, the Mariners are heading to the finals for the sixth straight year and the ninth time over the last 10 years.

The five-time defending champs were led by a dominant pitching staff against Hamilton as the Mariners outscored the Generals 9-0 in two games while Game 1 starter Rusty Tucker and Game 2 starter Marc Phinney combined to allow just three hits.

"We have been this far before but it's never easy," Mariners manager Ryan Marques said. "There are a lot of good teams in this league and we have to play our best to get to this point. Tonight it took a great team effort. Phinney was great, the defense was awesome behind him and we got timely hits."
Phinney went the distance allowing two hits in the first two innings. But the south paw faced the minimum 21 batters thanks to a first inning pickoff and a second inning double-play. The double-play was the defensive gem of the afternoon as first baseman Mike Cain snared a well hit grounder with a diving stab just behind the first base bag. He stepped on first and threw to second in plenty of time to get the tag out.

While Phinney only had one strikeout on the night, he worked both sides of the plate and kept solid contact to a minimum. The Mariners defense was also flawless behind him. After allowing a base hit to leadoff the second, Phinney retired 17 straight Generals batters to finish off the game.

"I was really pitching to contact all game," Phinney said. "I was changing speeds, changing the delivery on my fastball and I got great defense behind me. That's what I try to go out and do every game. I wasn't going to get 18 strikeouts like Rusty did (in Game 1) but I just focused on every pitch. It's nice to get the win and get into the finals."

Manchester Essex gave its starter enough runs to win before he even stepped foot on the rubber.
The Mariners were able to string together four straight hits in the top of the first to jump out to an early 2-0 lead. Cain's single plated Alex Ray, who reached on a single, with the first run of the game. Cain then came around to score from second on an Adam Philpott single.

In the fourth inning, the Mariners essentially put the game away with two more runs. After a fielding error and a Paul Crehan single, Noah Aiello came up to pinch hit with runners on second and third. He laced a base hit up the middle to score both runners and extend the Mariner's edge to 4-0.
"That was the turning point of the game," Marques said. "Both pitchers were throwing well but Noah was able to come up the bench and have a good at bat."

Philpott capped the scoring in the fifth inning when he singled in Cain to make it 5-0. With the win, the Mariners now await the winner of the Rowley Rams and Rockport Townies series. The Rams took a 1-0 series lead on Monday night.

The ITL finals begin on Saturday at Memorial Field in Essex (4 p.m.).

Tucker strikes out 18, Mariners take Game 1 from Hamilton

Tucker strikes out 18, Mariners take Game 1 from Hamilton

The Manchester Essex Mariners are now one win away from a sixth straight appearance in the Intertown Twilight Baseball League finals.

Behind an 18 strikeout, one-hit complete game shutout from Rusty Tucker, the top seeded Mariners picked up a 4-0 win over the fourth seeded Hamilton Generals in Game 1 of the best-of-three semifinal series.

With the win, the five time defending ITL champion Mariners can clinch a spot in the finals on Monday in Game 2 at Patton Park (5:30 p.m.).

The Mariners got all the runs they needed in the bottom of the first inning. Caulin Rogers led off the frame with a walk and Mike Cain followed with a two-run homer to make it 2-0. Rory Gentile followed with a double off the fence, he then stole third and was driven in on a Tucker ground ball.
"We basically took care of it right way with the way Rusty was throwing," Mariners manager Ryan Marques said. "We started with a walk and two hard hit balls and then Rusty shut them down. We did what we needed to do."

Three runs was plenty for Tucker, who fanned 18 of 22 batters faced and allowed no runners to reach scoring position as the only Generals base runner hit a single.

The Mariners, who have also won eight of the last nine league titles, added a fourth run in the bottom of the fifth inning when Adam Philpott singled in Gentile, who singled for his second hit of the day. Cain also had a pair of hits for Manchester Essex.

With one win separating the Mariners from a sixth straight finals appearance, Peter Clark or Marc Phinney will take the hill in a potential series clinching game.

"We will probably see (Hamilton's) ace tomorrow so it should be a good one," Marques said.

On To The Postseason

"On to the Postseason" 

Mariners and Townies gearing up for ITL playoffs



The Intertown Twilight Baseball League playoffs begin this weekend, and once again both Cape Ann teams will be fighting for the league championship.

The five time defending ITL champion Manchester Essex Mariners and the Rockport Townies sit on different sides of the bracket and can make it an all Cape Ann championship series with semifinal series wins.

The Mariners once again earned the No. 1 seed in the playoffs and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. They will take on the fourth seeded Hamilton Generals with the best-of-three series beginning on Sunday at Memorial Field in Essex (5:30 p.m.). Game 2 will be played on Monday at Patton Park in Hamilton (5:30 p.m.) with Game 3 taking place back at Memorial Field on Wednesday if necessary (5:30 p.m.).

The Townies are the No. 3 seed in the playoffs and will take on the Rowley Rams in the semifinal round for the third year in a row.

The two teams will open up the semifinal final round on Monday at Eiras Park in Rowley (5:30 p.m.). The series shifts to Evans Field in Rockport for Game 2 on Tuesday (5:30 p.m.), and the teams will play Game 3 at Eiras Park on Thursday if necessary (5:30 p.m.).

The Mariners, who finished up the regular season with a record of 18-5-1, are searching for their sixth straight ITL title and sixth straight appearance in the league championship series.
While the Generals finished up the regular season right at the .500 mark at 12-12, the Mariners will not be taking the No. 4 seed lightly. In fact, Hamilton clinched the league's final playoff berth with a walk-off win over the Mariners on Thursday night.

"Hamilton has some veteran pitching and a scrappy lineup," Manager Ryan Marques said. "They have the ability to steal bases and the top of the lineup can hit the ball well. The key for us is to play clean defense, have productive at bats and continue to get great pitching."

Although the Mariners are as balanced as can be, a dominant pitching staff has led the team into the postseason this summer as their three top starting pitchers all sport an ERA under two.
Rusty Tucker leads the way at the top of the rotation with a 7-0 record and a 0.17 ERA in 42 innings pitched this season. Peter Clark has been a work horse this year sporting a record of 5-2 with a 1.34 ERA in 47 innings while Marc Phinney has been stellar in his first season with the Mariners with a 1.62 ERA in 32 innings pitched.

"Our pitching staff has been rock solid and they can shut teams down," Marques said.
The Mariners can also hit the ball with Caulin Rogers, Alex Ray, Mike Cain, Rory Gentile, Noah Aiello, Ian Buckley and Max Nesbit all hitting above .300 on the season.

On the other side of the bracket, the Rockport Townies are hoping the third time is the charm. The Townies, who went into Friday night's season finale against Topsfield with a record of 13-8-2, were eliminated by the Rams in the semifinal round in 2015 and 2016. Both series were highly competitive and the Townies had chances to turn the tides.

"Rowley is a well coached team that brings the experience of being in the finals the last few seasons," Townies manager Jay Pallazola said. "They knocked us out in the semifinals in the last two years and having home field advantage doesn't hurt. They are a very productive team in terms of getting on base and scoring runs."

The Townies beat the Rams twice in four regular season meetings and they have been playing their best baseball at the right time. A slow start saw the Townies at 5-8-1 late last month. But they have since been on a tear going 8-0-1 over the last nine games. That includes two wins over both the Rams and the Mariners.

Rockport is the hottest team in the league right now and the offense has led the turnaround. While the pitching staff, led by Derek Osmond, Alex Webb, Mackenzie Quinn and Shawn Hull, has been strong all season, the offense has been very productive over the last month.

"Our bats came to life at the perfect time," Pallazola said. "We struggled through the first half of the schedule getting timely hits and putting runs on the board. I like our chances right now because we have a bunch of guys that have each other's backs and it shows on the field."
Pallazola was also quick to credit his team's depth, which could really come into play in the postseason.

"I can put in anyone off the bench and know they're going to contribute," he said. "To make a run at the title we are going to have to play error free in the field, stay aggressive at the plate and continue to score runs. We've been on a great run as of late and our guys are confident."


ITL Semifinal Playoff Schedule

SUNDAY, AUGUST 6
No. 4 Hamilton at No. 1 Manchester Essex (5:30 p.m.)
MONDAY, AUGUST 7
No. 1 Manchester Essex at No. 4 Hamilton (5:30 p.m.)
No. 2 Rockport at No. 3 Rowley (5:30 p.m.)
TUESDAY, AUGUST 7
No. 3 Rowley at No. 2 Rockport (5:30 p.m.)
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8
No. 4 Hamilton at No. 1 Manchester Essex if necessary (5:30 p.m.)
THURSDAY, AUGUST 9
No. 2 Rockport at No. 3 Rowley if necessary (5:30 p.m.)

Mariners Advance to Finals

HAMILTON-- It is a position that the Manchester Essex Mariners have gotten used to over the last decade: Playing in the Intertown Twilight Baseball League championship series.
With a 5-0 win over the Hamilton Generals in Game 2 of the best-of-three semifinal series on Monday at Patton Park, the Mariners are heading to the finals for the sixth straight year and the ninth time over the last 10 years.
The five-time defending champs were led by a dominant pitching staff against Hamilton as the Mariners outscored the Generals 9-0 in two games while Game 1 starter Rusty Tucker and Game 2 starter Marc Phinney combined to allow just three hits.
"We have been this far before but it's never easy," Mariners manager Ryan Marques said. "There are a lot of good teams in this league and we have to play our best to get to this point. Tonight it took a great team effort. Phinney was great, the defense was awesome behind him and we got timely hits."
Phinney went the distance allowing two hits in the first two innings. But the south paw faced the minimum 21 batters thanks to a first inning pickoff and a second inning double-play. The double-play was the defensive gem of the afternoon as first baseman Mike Cain snared a well hit grounder with a diving stab just behind the first base bag. He stepped on first and threw to second in plenty of time to get the tag out.
While Phinney only had one strikeout on the night, he worked both sides of the plate and kept solid contact to a minimum. The Mariners defense was also flawless behind him. After allowing a base hit to leadoff the second, Phinney retired 17 straight Generals batters to finish off the game.
"I was really pitching to contact all game," Phinney said. "I was changing speeds, changing the delivery on my fastball and I got great defense behind me. That's what I try to go out and do every game. I wasn't going to get 18 strikeouts like Rusty did (in Game 1) but I just focused on every pitch. It's nice to get the win and get into the finals."
Manchester Essex gave its starter enough runs to win before he even stepped foot on the rubber.
The Mariners were able to string together four straight hits in the top of the first to jump out to an early 2-0 lead. Cain's single plated Alex Ray, who reached on a single, with the first run of the game. Cain then came around to score from second on an Adam Philpott single.
In the fourth inning, the Mariners essentially put the game away with two more runs. After a fielding error and a Paul Crehan single, Noah Aiello came up to pinch hit with runners on second and third. He laced a base hit up the middle to score both runners and extend the Mariner's edge to 4-0.
"That was the turning point of the game," Marques said. "Both pitchers were throwing well but Noah was able to come up the bench and have a good at bat."
Philpott capped the scoring in the fifth inning when he singled in Cain to make it 5-0.
With the win, the Mariners now await the winner of the Rowley Rams and Rockport Townies series. The Rams took a 1-0 series lead on Monday night.
The ITL finals begin on Saturday at Memorial Field in Essex (4 p.m.). 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Rowley - 1 Rockport - 0

Joe White gets the win going 6+ shutout innings, Tim Cashman worked out of a bases loaded 0 out jam in the 7th for the save. Quinn takes the loss. More details to follow.

Mariners 4 Generals 0


Friday, August 4, 2017

ITL Home Run Derby

Saturday, August 5th
1pm
@ Patton Park

Open for all current and former ITL players to participate.  Hope to see you there.

Topsfield 2 Rockport 1

Topsfield wins 2-1 on a walk off sacrifice fly by Troy Bunker

Rowley - 7 Ipswich - 2

Rowley wins 7-2 Thursday at Eiras. With their 15th win the Rams clinch the #2 seed and will host Rockport Monday night.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Generals Clinch Playoff Berth with Walk-Off Win

  • O'Brien's Walkoff Gives Hamilton Generals Victory Over Man./Essex Mariners
  • Hamilton Generals defeated Man./Essex Mariners 5-4 on Thursday thanks to a walk-off single. The game was tied at four with Hamilton Generals batting in the bottom of the seventh when Harrison O'Brien singled off of Sean Desmond, driving in one run.
  • Man./Essex Mariners scored three runs in the fourth inning, but Hamilton Generals still managed to pull out the victory. The big inning for Man./Essex Mariners came thanks to a single by Mike Cain and a double by Noah Aiello.
  • Man./Essex Mariners scored three runs in the fourth inning.  Man./Essex Mariners's big inning was driven by a single by Cain and a double by Aiello.
  • Hamilton Generals collected six hits.  Harrison O'Brien and Luke Painchaud each collected multiple hits for Hamilton Generals.  Painchaud and O'Brien each managed two hits to lead Hamilton Generals.  Hamilton Generals was sure-handed in the field and didn't commit a single error. Jim Love had the most chances in the field with five.  O'Brien led Hamilton Generals with four stolen bases, as they ran wild on the base paths with seven stolen bases.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Beverly 8 Topsfield 1

Beverly wins 8-1 over Topsfield Wednesday night.

Beverly moves into the final playoff spot with the win with no games remaining.  Hamilton controls their own destiny to overtake the final spot with a win tonight at Patton.  A tie will force a one game playoff on Saturday.  Once again it comes down to the last game of the season for the final playoff spot.