Game 1: Murphy's Law 8 - Sidewalk Cafe 9 (14 innings) WP: George Pratt (3-0) LP: John Gregorio (5-1) GW RBI: Bobby Dobay
September 2, 2003 - Bobby Dobay hit a two out single to drive in Brendan Flynn in the bottom of the fourteenth inning to end the longest game in league history. The game started at 7:30 PM and lasted three hours before Sidewalk finally put an end to the grueling up and down game.
The game was tied 4-4 at the end of the fourth inning and at the moment, it looked like it was going to be a slugfest. Instead, it became a pure pitchers duel from that point forward. Both John Gregorio and George Pratt found themselves in no out jams but both escaped unscathed to keep the game tied. Sidewalk even managed to get the first two runners on in their last at bat but Gregorio got the next three hitters to fly out. It was on to extra innings.
The next threat came from Murphy's in the ninth when they had runners on first and second with big bobber Chris Martin at the plate. Pratt got Martin to fly out and then got Mike Smith to ground out. The teams continued to play hard inning after inning but neither could get a run across the plate through eleven innings of play. The game was already past the two hour mark with an end nowhere in sight.
Finally, in the top of the twelfth inning Murphy's rallied. Tommy Russell broke the tie when he singled home Chris Martin from second. Two batters later - Paul Gurley hit a sacrifice fly to score Mike Smith and Murphy's was up by two and still not done. John Martin continued his torrid hitting with a double that plated Russell. Martin would later score the eighth Murphy's run (8-4) and it was looking like they would take game one of the series.
But the battling Sidewalk Cafe showed why they are the three-time champions when they answered with four runs of their own in the bottom of the twelfth. John Oliveira, Charlie Iantosca, and Peter John started the amazing comeback when each reached with base hits. Gregorio then beard down and got two fly ball outs - allowing a harmless run to score in the process. Sidewalk now trailed by three but had the tying run at the plate in Jason O'Connell. Jason beat out an infield hit that scored both Iantosca and John edging Sidewalk to within a run. With the tying run on second, Bobby Dobay delivered the first of his clutch hits and scored O'Connell with Sidewalk's fourth run of the inning. The teams were tied again (8-8) and it was on to the thirteenth inning.
With both teams now mentally and physically exhausted neither could muster any kind of an attack in the inning. Then in the fourteenth, Brendan Flynn hit a two out single and was followed by another Jason O'Connell single. With runners on first and second Mr.Clutch (Dobay) himself delivered the game winning hit setting off a wild Sidewalk celebration and ending the longest game in league history. What a game!!
Game notes: John Martin led all batters with five hits (1 double, 1 triple)......Bobby Dobay led the way in RBI's with three......John Oliveira took a ball off the croakies and is listed as day-to-day......the rest of the series should be just as exciting and well played as game one. Will the managers come back with the same two pitchers for game two? Can Murphy's forget about the tough loss and bounce back? Get up to the park and find out for yourself - game starts at 7PM.
Game 2: Sidewalk Cafe 2 - Murphy's Law 4 WP: John Gregorio (6-1) LP: Mark Senna (3-1) GW RBI: Joe Broderick
September 3, 2003 - Joe Broderick's two-out triple in the bottom of the fourth scored two runs giving Murphy's the lead and eventually the game as they tied the best of seven series at a game a piece.
After the grueling fourteen inning epic battle the two teams waged in game one, both teams were a bit flat in this one and it showed at the plate. Winning pitcher, John Gregorio, scattered seven hits and two early runs while striking out four Sidewalk batters. His counterpart, Mark Senna, allowed six hits and four runs while taking the loss.
Coach Sean Malone led Murphy's attack with two hits while Bobby Dobay and Peter John each collected a pair of hits for Sidewalk. The defense was strong tonight with Rob Rogers (Murphy's) making some great catches in left field while Jason O'Connell (Sidewalk) cleaned up everything hit near him in the infield.
Game notes: game three should be a beauty with both teams looking to take the lead entering the weekend.....game five has been added to the schedule.....no injuries to report.
Game 3: Murphy's Law 4 vs. Sidewalk Cafe 5 WP: George Pratt (4-0) LP: John Gregorio (6-2) GW RBI: Brian Waldman
September 3, 2003 - Robbery. Thievery. Larceny. Make that grand larceny. The Sidewalk Café stole a game they had no business winning tonight when they rallied and scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. The win gives Sidewalk a 2-1 edge in the series with game four set to play on Monday.
This was Murphy's game from the first inning through the sixth inning. They were the better team and the scoreboard reflected that until the end. But before the end there was the beginning and Jimmy Fitzpatrick started the scoring in the second with a lead off double to right field. Two sacrifice flies later he was home giving Murphy's the 1-0 lead. Fitzpatrick doubled again in the fourth and scored on Mike Smith's triple. Smith scored two batters later when John Martin laced a single to right. Jack Rogers then tripled scoring Martin; Murphy's were flying high leading 4-0 after four innings of play.
While the Murphy hitters were finding the gaps, John Gregorio was pitching another dandy in shutting out the Café. But in the fifth, Sidewalk showed a little sign of life when they took advantage of a hit batter and two Murphy errors. They cut the lead in half but Murphy's still had the momentum and control of the game as they neared the conclusion. Sidewalk's own pitcher, George Pratt, had held them in the game but was not getting much support.
After Gregorio set down the top of the order and middle of the order in the fifth and sixth innings, Sidewalk's chances in the seventh were not looking good. Then it happened. Mark Senna belted a 1-2 pitch to lead off the inning with a single to right. John Oliveira followed with another hard line drive base hit to center. The seventh batter in the order, Peter John, then followed with a blooper single to left and just like that Sidewalk had the bases loaded with no outs and down by two runs.
Rookie Charlie Iantosca then stepped into the box and tied the game with a clutch single to center. Both runners moved into scoring position on the throw home. Sidewalk had tied the game at four and had runners on second and third with no outs. Brian Waldman was then called on to pinch hit and on a 0-2 count Waldman connected for the biggest hit of his M Street career lining a single that scored Peter John from third with the game winning run. Another unbelievable finish.
The Murphy players dropped their heads and dejectedly walked off the field - once again snake bitten by the resilient Café.
Game notes:.....Jimmy Fitzpatrick (2 doubles) returned for Murphy's after missing the first two games due to an injury (ribs).....Rob Rogers made another great catch in left field.
Game 4:Sidewalk Cafe 6 - Murphy's Law 0 WP: George Pratt (5-0) LP: John Gregorio (6-3) GW RBI: Bobby Dobay
September 8, 2003 - Sidewalk's 55-year old pitcher, George Pratt, dominated the game tonight as he held Murphy's powerful attack to just three hits while shutting them out through seven innings. The night didn't start the way Pratt would have liked when the games first hitter (Joe Broderick) lined a single to left. However, Broderick would be the last Murphy baserunner until the fifth inning.
While Pratt was firing on all cylinders, Sidewalk's offense was also on top of their game. Bobby Dobay opened the scoring with a deep homerun to right center field in the second. Two batters later Charles Zaniboni doubled home Tommy Connolly giving Sidewalk the early 2-0 lead. Peter John made it 3-0 with a homerun to left an inning later.
Murphy's pitcher, John Gregorio, then held the attack in check through the fourth and fifth giving his team a chance to get back into the game. But Pratt continued to shine and at one point had set down thirteen Murphy batters in a row.
Sidewalk added three more runs late making it 6-0, which was more than enough for Pratt on this night. Murphy's backs are against the wall now as they must win game five to extend their season.
Game 5:Sidewalk Cafe 7 - Murphy's Law 5 WP: George Pratt (6-0) LP: John Gregorio (6-4) GW RBI: Peter John
September 9, 2003 - the Sidewalk Cafe defeated Murphy's Law tonight (7-5) to capture their fourth straight M Street Softball championship.
It didn't come easy for Sidewalk though as Murphy's showed that they wouldn't go out on a quiet note. Joe Broderick and Mike Smith both reached base in the first inning and were driven home by Rob Rogers' two-out RBI single to left field. Murphy's led 2-0 at that point and were feeling pretty good about plating two off pitcher George Pratt, who had shut them out the night before.
But Sidewalk answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning to take a 3-2 lead. Brendan Flynn, Peter John, Bobby Dobay, and Charles Zaniboni all came up with key hits sparking Sidewalk's three-run rally. After a 1-2-3 second for Murphy's, Sidewalk answered with three more runs behind Flynn and John's RBI singles. They would add another run in the third to lead 7-2 and things were looking pretty good for the boys in green.
On the other side of the diamond, Murphy's couldn't muster any kind of a rally against Pratt as they continued to struggle at the plate. Finally, in the sixth inning they made a run at Sidewalk by sandwiching in a hit between a couple of walks and defensive lapse. The score was now 7-5 and Murphy's were feeling good again.
In the seventh, Murphy's put the tying runs on base with two outs but then came up a hit short when shortstop, Jason O'Connell, made a nice stab on a ball hit up the middle to end the series. Sidewalk "the millennium champions" had won its fourth straight title (2000-2003).
After the game, Sidewalk's Bobby Dobay and George Pratt were announced as the league's Most Valuable Player's (MVP). Pratt didn't lose a game this season and Dobay came through with game tying and game winning RBI's all year long. Both a very worthy candidates for the award.
Congratulations to the players and coaches of both the Sidewalk Cafe and Murphy's Law for a great season and a well played final series. Although the Murphy players are not feeling good about the outcome this year, they should take note that it took Sidewalk three straight losses (1997-1999) to the Moran Club in the finals before finally winning the big one. Each loss was more difficult than the previous one but Sidewalk kept at it and didn't give up. They grew in character, experience, and mental toughness. Those traits along with their talent have groomed them into true champions.
Sidewalk wins best of seven series 4-1
STATISTICS (5 GAMES)
PLAYER TEAM AB HITS 2B 3B HR RUN RBI AVG
Bobby Dobay Cafe 17 8 1 2 3 7 .470
Peter John Cafe 16 8 2 1 1 6 4 .500
Brendan Flynn Cafe 19 9 3 1 6 3 .473
Tommy Connolly Cafe 11 4 1 2 1 .363
Mark Senna Cafe 16 5 1 1 .312
Charles Zaniboni Cafe 17 7 3 1 4 .411
John Oliveira Cafe 19 5 4 .263
Jason O'Connell Cafe 18 6 1 3 2 .333
Charlie Iantosca Cafe 17 4 1 2 3 .235
Brian Waldman Cafe 5 1 1 .200
Charlie Diblasi Cafe 11 2 1 .181
Scott Dubofsky Cafe 5 .000
TEAM TOTALS: 170 59 10 4 4 28 23 .347
PITCHER TEAM W-L IP HITS RUN ERN BB STK ERA
George Pratt Cafe 4-0 33 29 14 11 5 20 2.33
Mark Senna Cafe 0-1 8 8 7 2 4 2 1.75
PLAYER TEAM AB HITS 2B 3B HR RUN RBI AVG
Jim Fitzpatrick Law 3 2 2 2 .666
John Martin Law 17 7 1 2 5 3 .428
Sean Malone Law 9 4 1 1 .333
Mike Smith Law 16 5 1 1 4 2 .307
Joe Broderick Law 21 5 1 2 4 3 .294
Eddy Hennessey Law 11 2 .250
Steven Couturier Law 19 5 1 2 .235
Tommy Russell Law 6 1 1 1 .200
Jack Rogers Law 13 2 1 2 1 .181
Chris Martin Law 15 2 1 1 .166
Paul Gurley Law 13 1 1 .090
Rob Rogers Law 17 2 1 .071
Corey Finnegan Law 2 .000
TEAM TOTALS: 162 38 5 6 1 21 15 .234
PITCHER TEAM W-L IP HITS RUN ERN BB STK ERA
John Gregorio Law 1-4 40 59 29 20 5 19 3.50
Stoneham Spartans (6th) VS Sidewalk Cafe (1st)
Game 1:Sidewalk Cafe 10 - Stoneham Spartans 0 WP: Mark Senna (2-0) LP: Tommy Fitzpatrick (3-2) GW RBI: Jason O'Connell
August 25, 2003 - Mark Senna scattered four hits while striking out four over seven innings of shutout ball as Sidewalk hammered the Spartans 10-0 in game one of the series.
Sidewalk scored three in the first inning, a run in the second, four in the third, and two in the fourth before the Spartans could put a stop to the attack. Sidewalk's Charles Zaniboni connected on a pitch and launched it into orbit in the fourth inning. Honestly folks, the ball landed in the infield of the N Street diamond. A tape measure homerun for sure. Zaniboni was trying to show up his cousin, Brian Waldman, who had smacked a long triple earlier in the game.
The Spartans will be looking to rebound and solve Senna in game two while keeping the Zaniboni's and Waldman's off the bases.
Game 2:Sidewalk Cafe 20 vs. Stoneham Spartans 12 WP: Mark Senna (3-0) LP: Brad Doherty (0-1) GW RBI: Bobby Dobay
August 26, 2003 - after being shutout in game one the Stoneham Spartans offense came out swinging tonight and quickly jumped on the listless Sidewalk Cafe by plating five runs in the first two innings. Ken Brunini, Matt Rogers, Peter Brennan, and Billy Adams all collected RBI hits in pacing Stoneham.
Trailing 5-0, Sidewalk's offense got jumped started in the third on a grand slam homerun by Mark Senna. Scott Dubofsky tied the game several batters later with a RBI single to right field. From that point on the Sidewalkers offense was just too much for the the young Spartan team to handle as they scored runs in every inning. Jason O'Connell, Bobby Dobay, John Oliveira all came through with clutch hits for the boys in green.
While the Sidewalk bats were hot so were the Spartans as they pounded Sidewalk's pitchers for seventeen hits that led to twelve runs. However, the Spartans were forced to pitch Brad Doherty who was making his first start of his career when neither of their pitchers showed. Doherty threw strikes and pitched well but didn't have enough stuff to contain Sidewalk's attack. The Spartans hope to have a pitcher back tonight who can give them some scoreless innings and deliver a much needed win.
Speaking of pitchers, Sidewalk's ace pitcher, George Pratt, surprised his teammates when he walked into the ball park just after game time. Pratt, who was away on a business trip, was not due in town until late Thursday evening. Like a truly dedicated player he instead cut his trip short, caught an early flight home from Reno, Nevada and raced to the park straight from the airport. Folks, Pratt is fifty-four (54) years old and still has the competitive fire that a 24 year old would have. A rare breed indeed!
Game 3:Sidewalk Cafe 15 vs. Stoneham Spartans 4 WP: George Pratt (2-0) LP: Chris Aprile (0-1) GW RBI: Jason O'Connell
August 27, 2003 - George Pratt dominated the first five innings striking out eight Spartan batters while scattering six hits and two runs.
While Pratt was working his magic on the mound the Sidewalk hitters were having their way at the plate. Bobby Dobay (4 hits), Jason O'Connell (3 hits), and Mark Senna (3 hits) led the seventeen hit attack for the Sidewalkers.
After the game a couple of Sidewalk players measured the distance that Chuck Zaniboni's homerun traveled in game one. The "shot" landed near the shortstop on the N Street field - 355 feet away! Holy cow!!
Game 4:Sidewalk Cafe 1 vs. Stoneham Spartans 0
After getting stood up by their starting pitcher for a second straight night, the Spartans decided it would be best to start the holiday weekend early and forfeit tonight's game.
Sidewalk Cafe wins best of seven series 4-0
Seapoint Restaurant (4th) VS Murphy's Law (2nd)
Game 1:Murphy's Law 7 - Seapoint Restaurant 4 WP: John Gregorio (3-0) LP: Jim McNiff (3-1) GW RBI: Paul Gurley
August 25, 2003 - Murphy's Law fought off a late comeback attempt by Seapoint Restaurant and held on to the 7-4 victory in game one. Murphy's opened the scoring in the first inning when Jim Fitzpatrick, Chris Martin, and Eddy Hennessey all got hits which led to four runs. Paul Gurley added another run in the fifth when he doubled home coach Sean Malone.
As Murphy's offense was heating up their pitcher, John Gregorio, was having his way on the mound. Gregorio had collected five strikeouts through the first three innings of work. However, Chris Neff finally got to him in the fourth inning when he singled home Derek Basciewicz. Murphy's would get that run back in the fifth on another RBI single by Fitzpatrick.
Trailing 6-1 in the sixth, Timmy Malley and Basciewicz both reached with singles to start the inning. Gregorio fought back getting Jimmy Burgio to fly out and then fanned Steven Muldowney. Seapoint was not done though as Mario Perella and Neff both came through with RBI singles cutting Murphy's lead to 6-3. Murphy's again answered with another run in the sixth on John Gregorio's RBI single putting them back up by four.
With his team in need of a rally coach Brian Ahearn inserted himself into the lineup as a pinch hitter. Ahearn quickly showed that he could hit with the best of them as he lined a long homerun to right center that put Seapoint within striking distance. Joe Basciewicz followed Ahearn's blast with a single and things were looking up for the Seapointers. A couple of outs later Timmy Malley added another hit which put the tying run at the plate in the being of Jimmy Burgio. Gregorio respected Burgio's power and tried to keep the ball away and outside. On a 1-1 count, Burgio got a pitch he liked and drove it to deep left. His teammates all stood and cheered thinking he had tied it with a clutch homer. However, left fielder Rob Rogers tracked the fly down and snagged it at the fence to end the comeback attempt. Seapoint proved tonight that they could compete with the best of them and will be ready for the task in game two.
Game 2:Murphy's Law 19 - Seapoint Restaurant 10 WP: Jack Rogers (1-0) LP: Jay Malley (1-2) GW RBI: Rob Rogers
August 26, 2003 - Jack Rogers filled in for missing ace pitcher John Gregorio and pitched Murphy's Law to a 19-10 victory in game two of the series.
Murphy's took the lead in the second inning with a six run outburst (Steven Couturier homerun, Eddy Hennessey two run double, Jack Rogers RBI triple) and never looked back as they pounded out nineteen hits. Hennessey, who is usually overshadowed by the very talented Murphy team, led all batters with four hits including two doubles, two homeruns, and five RBI. Mr. Hennessey may be on his way to all-star status and league wide recognition if he continues to put up those kinds of numbers.
In a scary play, shortstop Steven "Old School" Couturier was struck in the face when a hot grounder took an unfortunate bounce as he tried to field the ball. Couturier was knocked from his feet but quickly got up and said he was OK. An inning later he proved that all was well when he made a nice back handed play to end the sixth inning. One tough kid!
Although they may be looking back and saying they should have taken game two with Gregorio's absence, the Seapointers will need to stay focused, play sound defense, and break into the win column in game three.
Game 3:Murphy's Law 16 - Seapoint Restaurant 0 WP: John Gregorio (4-0) LP: Jimmy McNiff (3-2) GW RBI: Chris Martin
August 27, 2003 - Murphy's Law scored seven runs in their first at bat taking the wind right out of Seapoint's sail. Before the game coach Brian Ahearn had pulled his troops together to try an instill some confidence and fire his guys up. However, his words must have fallen on deaf ears as the tough beginning had his players pointing fingers and jumping ship.
Joe Broderick and Tommy Russell both delivered key RBI hits in that first inning for Murphy's. Steven Couturier led all batters with three hits including a double, homerun, and four RBI. Paul Gurley also punched in with three hits.
Overshadowed by Seapoint's unraveling was John Gregorio's masterful pitching performance as he scattered five hits while picking up the shutout. With his team down three games to none and facing elimination, coach Ahearn will find out tonight which Seapoint players are willing to stick by his side through the tough times.
Game 4:Murphy's Law 7 - Seapoint Restaurant 4 WP: John Gregorio (5-0) LP: Jay Malley (1-3) GW RBI: Jack Rogers
August 28, 2003 - eleven Seapoint players showed up and battled for seven innings tonight and nearly upset Murphy's Law in game four of the best of seven series.
Seapoint's pitcher, Jay Malley, pitched seven strong innings and kept his team in the game. Trailing 4-0, Seapoint loaded the bases in the sixth inning and tied the game on Mario Perella's bases clearing triple. But Murphy's answered with three runs of their own in the top of the seventh to take a 7-4 lead. Jack Rogers and Corey Finnegan delivered the clutch two out hits for the Law men.
With one last chance to extend their season, Seapoint loaded the bases again in the bottom of the seventh inning. Steven Muldowney was looking to drive a ball and give his team the dramatic come from behind win. Although in a jam, pitcher John Gregorio had been in this position before and kept his composure. Gregorio got Muldowney to foul out to third and Seapoint was down to their last out. Mario Perella stepped into the box and was hoping he could drive a ball just as he had in the sixth. Gregorio quickly got ahead in the count so Perella had to protect the plate and reach for pitches that were close. After fouling a few off Perella reached for one and grounded out to second base to end the game and the series. Murphy's was moving on to face the Sidewalk Cafe in a rematch of last years finals.
Murphy's Law wins best of seven series 4-0
Dorset Club (8th) VS Sidewalk Cafe (1st)
Game 1: 8/12/2003 - Sidewalk Cafe 7 vs. Dorset Club 3
Game 2: 8/12/2003 - Sidewalk Cafe 17 vs. Dorset Club 5
Sidewalk Cafe wins series 2-0
Brighton Sharks (7th) VS Murphy's Law (2nd)
Game 1: 8/11/2003 - Murphy's Law 21 vs. Brighton Sharks 1
Game 2: 8/11/2003 - Murphy's Law 19 vs. Brighton Sharks 3
Murphy's Law wins series 2-0
Stoneham Spartans (6th) VS Il Giardino Cafe (3rd)
Game 1: 8/13/2003 - Il Giardino Cafe 12 vs. Stoneham Spartans 7
Game 2: 8/13/2003 - Il Giardino Cafe 8 vs. Stoneham Spartans 13
Game 3: 8/18/2003 - Il Giardino Cafe 8 vs. Stoneham Spartans 13
Game 4: 8/19/2003 - Il Giardino Cafe 11 vs. Stoneham Spartans 13
Stoneham Spartans wins series 3-1
Seapoint Restaurant (4th) VS Boston Beer Garden (5th)
Game 1: 8/14/2003 - Seapoint Restaurant 11 vs. Boston Beer Garden 9
Game 2: 8/14/2003 - Seapoint Restaurant 16 vs. Boston Beer Garden 5
Game 3: 8/18/2003 - Seapoint Restaurant 1 vs. Boston Beer Garden 7
Game 4: 8/19/2003 - Seapoint Restaurant 9 vs. Boston Beer Garden 10 (8 innings)
Game 5: 8/20/2003 - Seapoint Restaurant 11 vs. Boston Beer Garden 2