The Burlington Barons pose for a team photo back in July after an 8-7 walkoff win at Beaumont Field in Burlington. (Mike Ramczyk/SLN)


By Mike Ramczyk

With no more grand championship pitting both division winners, the Burlington Rotary Barons still got a chance to wrap up their season with a title last weekend at Beaumont Field in Burlington.

And much like they’ve done all season, the Barons delivered when it mattered most.

It took ghosts of Demons past, present and future to get the job done, but in the end Burlington finished its season with the players smiling for photos and hoisting a championship banner.

Veteran hurler Karl Richter went 6-2/3 strong innings, and Burlington High School senior Trey Krause picked up a multiple-inning save to propel the Barons to a 5-1 victory and Land O’Lakes Southwest Division championship series sweep of the Genessee Rebels Sunday.

At the plate, Burlington smashed 11 hits in 33 at-bats, with five players recording multiple hits.

The Barons finished their summer 19-5 and 17-3 in the Land O’Lakes.

Zach Campbell, Nick Dugandzic, Dylan Friend, Brian Sturdevant and Cal Tully each recorded two hits.

Both of Friend’s hits were doubles, and he scorched the baseball in the final five games of the season.

Friend hit a ridiculous .687 since July 25 (five games), with two home runs, five doubles and 11 RBIs in five games.

He also showed his plate discipline with 11 walks, raising his on-base percentage more than 100 points in a span of three weeks.

“He missed most of July coaching youth softball and when he came back at the end of July he really carried us,” manager/player Ryan Hoffman said. “Dylan has always been a great player, county player of the year and so on, but I have not seen many in a streak like that.”

“Every ball he hit was a rocket, and he was patient enough to draw the walks and get on base. His postseason was phenomenal, and we needed those last two games against Waterford to overtake them and win the No. 1 seed for the playoffs.”

The Barons pose with their LOL title banner Aug. 19 at Ginger Beaumont Field in downtown Burlington. (Submitted/SLN)

While Sunday’s pitching performance was strong, Saturday’s game saw Burlington score multiple runs in six consecutive innings, including seven in the seventh.

The 18-7 trouncing of Genesee saw Friend and Mike Pilizzi each go deep and record three hits.

Pilizzi notched five RBIs, and Dugandzic and Friend each added three RBIs.

Kyle Gendron went six solid innings and gave up four runs for the win, and Cal Tully closed the door for the win.