The Oregon-based Ohio Monarchs Gold wood-bat federation collegiate level baseball team won the 2008 National Amateur Baseball Federation College Division World Series at Ned Skeldon Stadium August 11.
Comprised in large part of former Suburban Lakes League, Toledo City League and Northern Lakes League stars, the Monarchs overcame the defending champion Long Island (N.Y.) Astros in a dramatic 4-3 championship game victory.
The Tri-State Federation League champion Monarchs got a two-out RBI single from 2007 Oregon Clay graduate Casey Winckowski (Owens Comm. College) in the bottom of the ninth inning to capture the area’s first NABF college wood bat national title.
Former Toledo St. John’s Jesuit star Tim Corbey (2007) earned the win with three scoreless innings in relief of fellow SJJ alum and Oberlin College hurler Ben Kauder (Curtice).
The Monarchs trailed 3-0 after the top of the second, but an RBI single by Brandon McFarland in the bottom of the inning trimmed the Astros’ lead.
Former Genoa star Cory Hornyak (2006), the CWS MVP playing in center, delivered an RBI single in the sixth to bring the Monarchs within 3-2.
In the eighth, 2007 St. John’s grad Jake Cappeletty (Adrian College, Mich.) leveled the score at 3-3 with a solo bomb to right.
Winckowski’s base knock in the ninth finished off the dramatic come-from-behind title-winning ways for the Monarchs.
The Monarchs finished 2-1 in pool “A” play to advance out of it as the runner-up to the Ohio Heat (Cincinnati).
They began their quarterfinal matchup with the Norton (Ky.) Bears at 4:15 on August 9, and six innings of offensive explosion ensued. The Monarchs owned a 12-11 lead with one out on the board in the top of the seventh when inclement weather induced multiple delays. The game was finally suspended at about 10 PM.
Because NABF rules dictate that all tourney games must go the full nine innings, the Monarchs and Bears resumed play the following morning. Norton tied the game 12-12, and the game went all the way into the 14th inning. The Monarchs finally broke away with three runs and moved forward to the semifinals.
The Monarchs advanced to the championship game by defeating the Maryland (Balt.) Orioles 7-2 in the semifinals.
The team batted .333 in the CWS and put together a 3.88 ERA on the mound.
Hornyak batted .458 with seven runs, six stolen bases, two RBI, a double and triple, and played outstanding defense in centerfield all tourney long to earn tourney MVP honors.
He also earned a victory on the hill with six innings of one-run, two-hit baseball in a 9-3 win over the Pittsburg Pandas during pool play.
Winckowski batted .276 with five RBI and a pair of doubles.
Former Clay star and current Michigan State pitcher A.J. Achter (2007) also contributed, with a two-run 10-strikeout performance over seven innings pitched in a start against the Ohio Heat during pool play. Unfortunately, the Heat prevailed 7-5.
Kevin Dunn (Genoa 2007) and Matt Rollins (Lake 2007) also played for the Monarchs Gold this summer.
The Monarchs finished 38-11 overall this summer.