When the Astros and the Cubs meet in the Eastern Baltimore County Over-40 League championship game on Sunday, Astros manager Jim Cundiff will be one starting pitcher, while Cubs manager Dave Cundiff may also see some time on the mound before game’s end.
The two men are brothers. It’s like when Jim Harbaugh coached against John Harbaugh in the Super Bowl, only with slightly less at stake.
“It’s just for bragging rights over the holidays,” Dave Cundiff said.
The Astros swept the Cubs during the regular season, winning 8-6 on June 30 and 7-3 on July 28.
That was the difference in the top seed for the tournament, as the Astros (10-2) edged the Cubs (10-3) for the regular-season title.
“If we go out with focus and concentrate on the task at hand, with the talent we have at this age, we should be fine,” Jim Cundiff said. “We will go out as a team and compete to the best of our ability and whatever happens we’re just going to leave it on the field one last time.”
In last weekend’s semifinals, the Cubs held off the Cardinals 4-1 at Patapsco High while the Astros pounded the Rays 12-5 at the American Legion Post 38 field.
The Astros are on a nine-game winning streak. Their last loss was to the Dodgers on June 2, 9-3.
The Rays led the Astros 2-1 after two innings and were still within 5-4 after five innings, but a six-run sixth inning by the Astros determined the outcome.
Joe LoBianco and Lamar King each had two hits and three RBIs for the Astros. Dave Smith scored five runs and hit a solo home run; King came in to pitch in the fifth inning and held the Rays to one hit and no runs over four innings.
The Cubs took a 1-0 lead in the first inning over the Cardinals as Chris Mirabile singled with two outs, stole second and scored on a Cardinals’ error.
Tom Luby scored on a sacrifice fly by Josh Maerten in the third inning to extend the Cubs’ lead to 2-0.
Leading 2-1 in the eighth inning, the Cubs padded their lead as Tom McCue and Mike Samuels scored on a single by Luby.
Dale Hunter started for the Cubs and allowed no runs in four innings. Scott Rudolph pitched the next four innings and struck out four while giving up a run, and Dave Cundiff closed out the ninth inning.
The Cubs are in the championship game for the third time in four years, still seeking their first title. They lost to the Royals last season and the Pirates in 2016.
The Astros are in the championship game for the first time. Regardless of which team wins, it will be the fourth different champion in four years for the Over-40 League.
This follows a streak during which the Reds/Dodgers won four in a row, followed by the Pirates winning back-to-back titles. After the Pirates won their second title, they were followed by the Dodgers and Royals.
The championship game is scheduled for 9 a.m. Sunday at the Post 38 field.