Gophers romp in regular season but Detroit wins Series crown
Behind a star-studded lineup that hit .290 as a team and bashed 325 homers, the Bushwood Gophers stormed to a 103-57 record and won the Northbound Division by a whopping 17 games.
The heavy-hitting of Albert Pujols (.310, 44 HRs, 122 RBI), Chipper Jones (.340, league-leading .443 OBA, 41 HRs), Chase Utley (.323), Hanley Ramirez (44 doubles, 37 homers, 40 SBs) and Curtis Granderson (.300, 110 runs scored, 21 triples) turned Dave Renbarger’s Gophers into one of the league’s most formidable powerhouses of all time.
Superior (87) and Springfield (82) also earned playoff posts in the North.
Ken Kuzdak’s Detroit Demolition Dogs team also was an offensive force, matching Bushwood for team average at .290 en route to a 95-win season and first place in the Southbound Division. Detroit was paced by Ichiro Suzuki and Magglio Ordonez, who finished 1-2 in the league in hits at 230 and 224. Ryan Howard crushed 45 homers, while Fausto Carmona (18 wins), John Smoltz (17 wins) and Takashi Saito (league-leading 35 saves) paced the mound corps.
Prince Fielder led the league in homers (60), runs scored (139) and RBI (137), lifting Wisconsin to a 91-win season and second place in the South. The Applegate Paperclips backed into the third and final playoff spot with a pathetic 73-87 record, edging out Savannah (72-88).
In the World Series, it was the Demo Dogs who won it all, downing the Superior Titans in six games, capturing the finale in 16 innings 3-2 on an Alfonso Soriano walkoff single. Each of the first five games of the Series had been won by the visiting team.
North: Superior defeated Springfield in seven games (three wins for Jake Peavy); Superior defeated Bushwood in six games.
South: Wisconsin defeated Applegate in six games; Detroit defeated Wisconsin in four games.