BATTLE CREEK, Mich. -- You can call it "Buffalo Creek" now.
Two teams from Buffalo's New Era Muny AAA baseball league met for the championship of the National Amateur Baseball Federation Major World Series championship Sunday at C.O. Brown Stadium in Battle Creek, Mich.
Battistoni Diesel overcame an early 2-0 deficit, broke the game open with four runs in the top of the ninth then held off a rally by Orville's to win the NABF championship, 8-5. It was the second championship in the last three years for Battistoni. Diesel lost in last year's championship game.
That's why the Battistoni players have started calling it "Diesel Creek." They practically own the town.
It was the first loss in the tournament for Orville's which swept through pool play with a 3-0 record then won in the quarterfinals and semifinals on Saturday. Orville's earned its place in the World Series field by winning the Buffalo Regional two weeks ago.
After its elimination in the Buffalo Regional, Manager Paul Wolf's Diesel traveled to Maryland the next weekend and won the Frederick Regional to earn a place in the tournament. Diesel wasn't the only team to get to the World Series by that route. The Portland (Ind.) Rockets won the Fort Wayne Regional after losing to St. John's Leftys in the final of the Cincinnati Regional.
Orville's had defeated Diesel in four of their five previous meetings this season including an 8-5 win in the Buffalo Regional championship game.
"That's the fifth time we've seen them, finally got the best of them in the right game," Wolf said. "We've only got two wins against them, but we got the most important one in the last game of the season."
Mike Wagner, who stood out pitching and hitting for Diesel was selected Most Valuable Player for the tournament. Twelver players from the two Buffalo teams made the All-World Series team. Wagner, Andrew Russo, Chris Kwitzer, Neal Demartin, B.J. Stack, Kevin Hughes and Zach Jordan were the Diesel players chosen.
Kyle Bell, Ben Serrano, Brendan Toughey, Tyler Utz and Luke Kuczewski made it from Orville's
Jordan, a 6-foot-3 right-hander from Akron who played four seasons at Fredonia State, pitched the complete game for Diesel in the championship game victory. Randy Moley had three hits and scored three times for the champions while Chris Kwitzer also had three hits and B.J. Stack had two hits and drove in two runs. Jim Spano was on base five times and was a factor in every Diesel rally.
Paul Wujik and Toughey had three hits for Orville's.
This was Diesel's seventh trip to the NABF World Series but just the third time the team got past the semifinals. Wolf took over the team in 1998 when it was Murray's Diesel.