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USPBL 9/10 Update: Unicorns win nail-biter, advance to Sunday’s Championship Game


By Adam Rickert

Utica Unicorns 4 AT Eastside Diamond Hoppers 3

UTICA — Timely hitting and contributions from all over the lineup carried the Utica Unicorns to a 4-3 upset victory over the Eastside Diamond Hoppers in the USPBL’s first-ever playoff game on Saturday night.

The favored Hoppers got on the board first on an RBI single in the bottom of the second inning, but the Unicorns loaded the bases in the fourth, threatening to take the lead.

With two strikes and two outs, designated hitter Mike Logsdon poked a single into center field, scoring Brandon Rawe and Austin Crutcher to give the Unicorns the lead.

“I was just trying to put the ball in play,” said Logsdon, who picked up another single in the eighth inning. “I was just trying to barrel the ball up and I knew a single would score two runs. It worked out.”

Catcher Kyle Hamner picked the perfect time to hit his first USPBL home run; a two-run shot that gave the Unicorns a three-run cushion in the sixth.

Starting pitcher Jacob Ezell, who has normally been relegated to a relief role throughout the year, tossed six solid innings for the Unicorns.

Seth Brenner and Andrew Potter each pitched a scoreless inning in relief, but closer Mitch Aker uncharacteristically ran into some trouble in the ninth.

After allowing the Hoppers to trim the deficit to just one, Aker got Corey Caswell to ground out with runners on second and third, sealing the victory for the Unicorns.

Utica will face the Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers on Sunday at 2pm with the first-ever USPBL Championship at stake.

“It’s great, especially for these guys,” said Mike Logsdon. “We want to win a championship, that’s why we’re here, right?”

“That’s the whole point of being here,” he smiled.