It only took two weekdays for Brent Lafrenz to send his Spartans to the World Series in his inaugural year as captain. The Goonies and Spartans had the two best regular season records - Goonies at 9-3 and Spartans at 8-4, both playing out of the Saukie Division.
Lafrenz has been a master on the road all season finishing 5-1, then sweeping the playoffs with another two road wins. On Tuesday, his road team outscored the Goonies 12-5, though the score was closer than it appeared. The Goonies were up 4-2 going into the final frame, but with two outs, captain Josh Paul misplayed a Duane Bertels ground ball that trickled under his glove. That error would end up yielding three runs that frame, with the Goonies tieing it up in the bottom of the 5th to push the contest to extra innings. The Spartans offense stayed hot, puting the game out of reach with seven runs in the "extra inning" six-inning game.
In the second game of the double header, the Spartans flashed heavy defense, getting the Goonies to ground into three double plays in just six innings, tying a modern day record. The allowed the Goonies to just a .340 average - well below the league mean of .473. The Spartans won game two 5-1.
On Thursday, lack of players coupled with field maintenance issues led to just one seven-inning game. The Spartans again took to the road. Looking to close out the series, they struck hard and fast, pushing the tempo to a 15-3 lead after five innings. The Goonies ticked away, but their comeback fell short as the Spartans swept the defending world series champions by a finale of 15-8. They were assisted by rookie teenager Jake Claussen's five runs and two doubles. Duane Bertels added his first homerun of the year and added six RBI. Mason Overmire's playoff struggles were put to rest with a 5-for-8, two double, one homerun, six RBI performance.
The Spartans will face the winner of the Gems (Mitch Dietrich) v. Mad Dogs (Andrew Collins). The Gems are up 1-0 in that series, but because of a scheduling snafu, the Mad Dogs will own both home games when the two teams meet on Saturday at Ridgewood Field in Rock Island.