May 24 - after two full weeks of games at M Street, we are starting to see a clearer picture of contenders and who might be over their head. Some of the game results (25-2, 22-1) show that there can be a very wide margin of talent between the top and bottom teams. We have already heard some chants about changing the format and creating a division just for the teams that have been on the receiving end of these lop-sided games. It won't happen this season but will be discussed and decided for next season. With so many new teams joining us, we didn't know what their playing abilities were and came up with the current format. Hang in there boys, get some reinforcement, and strive to get a little better each game.
Forfeits - last Friday we got calls from several teams looking to forfeit their game. The excuses were all the same - it's Friday, the weather sucks, the Celtics are on, etc... Men, you signed up for a league that has a schedule to keep. Unfortunately, there are going to be those nights where outside distractions (Celtics) are going to make it difficult to field a team. However, contact the league as soon as possible as we have access to several players who are looking for an opportunity to get into the league. Also, forfeits are costly for everyone as the team that forfeits must pay the $80 game fee for the umpire and scorekeeper. Let's not waste people's time and avoid these at all costs.
Players switching teams - at this point, everyone should have found a roster or a position on a team. Players are not permitted to play for two teams without the league's approval. As mentioned above, we don't want any forfeits but we must keep this under control. Substitutes that are not on a league roster is fine but please check in with the league if you are planning to use a player who is on another roster.
New Stat category for pitchers - we are now tracking how many scoreless innings our pitchers throw. Currently, Jimmy Pinkston (Pirates) is our overall leader with 15 and rookie Cole Tognarelli (Seapoint) is tied with Publico's Alberto Vasquez for second with 8 scoreless innings thrown. Now on to last week's games:
Monday was a very busy night as we had triple-headers playing out on both diamonds. On the M Street side, Fat Baby blew open their game against the Greatest Bar when they scored fifteen runs in the third inning and then cruised, 31-5. Cameron O'Brien (5 hits, HR, 6 RBI) was the offensive star of the game while Keith Savage picked up the easy victory on the mound.
The middle game on M Street saw the Pirates face their old friends who were now donning a different jersey. Former Pirates, Greg Bosse and Tony King have joined the DRT squad and will give them the veteran leadership and skill that is required to compete. In the second inning, the Pirates jumped out to a 5-0 lead on a double by Mark Pinkston but DRT responded with three runs of their own behind a homerun by Coleman Barnes. Bosse, the former outfielder, was on the mound and keeping his old friends in check until the fifth inning. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Pat Wilson chased two runners home on a single to center and then later scored on Bret Belcastro's three-run triple, 10-7. The Pirates then made the move to switch pitchers and bring in Jimmy Pinkston and it was over for DRT. Pinkston retired the next nine batters while striking out six of them.
The nightcap was another decent game played between Fauci's Frozen Ropes and Telegraph Hill. The scoreboard was active in the first inning when Telegraph batted around the order while scoring six runs. Jamie Breed (4 hits) and Matt Doyle had the big hits in the inning. However, the Ropes found their offense in the third when they strung together four straight RBI hits to close the gap, 6-5. Telegraph nudged ahead until Matt Simon hit a three-run homerun in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game, 10-10. The euphoria wouldn't last long as Telegraph answered with four runs in the top of the seventh - two from the bat of pitcher Mike Araujo who homered to left center. Araujo then went out and threw a scoreless inning to secure the victory.
While the action was intense of the M Street diamond, the first couple of games were not very competitive on N Street. In the early contest, La Familia and pitcher Alex Nazzaro were on their game as they blanked Roza Lyons, 13-0. Nairo Mejia (2 hits, 3 RBI) and Freymar Pena (2 hits, HR) were the big hitter for the men in red uniforms. Nazzaro scattered eight hits and was aided by some great infield play. Patrick Cooke led the way for Roza with two hits.
The middle game was a perfect example of what we were discussing at the top - a mismatch of talent and experience. Publico scored early and often against the Spot Clothing but that didn't matter once their opposing pitcher, Brian Dunphy, was struck by a line drive and injured. Dunphy delivered the pitch and had little time to react or protect himself as he was struck by the line drive on the forearm. Thankfully, x-Rays later showed that his arm was not broken and that he suffered a deep bone bruise. He even told his coach that he will be back on the mound on Friday - wow, what a gamer! Publico wins 21-1 behind Andrew Grant's three hits and five RBI.
The evening came to a close when SLS and the Braves delivered a memorable game for those in attendance. SLS held a 10-9 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning when Josh Garcia doubled home Armani Soto to tie it, 10-10. Pitcher Jose Bonilla, who is converting from a slinger to a straight modified guy, then threw a scoreless sixth. In the home half of the inning, Bonilla's son, Jonathan, delivered for his team and his pop when he homered, 11-10. The Braves added another pair of runs on a Jose Rodriguez triple as they would hold on, 13-10. Adam Camili was a triple away from the cycle and was the hitting star for SLS.
In Tuesday's opener, the Ballers held a 10-3 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning when the bottom of the Playwright order erupted for a five run inning making it 10-8. Playwright added another run in the sixth to get within one but then needed pitcher Sean Higgins to keep the Ballers off the scoreboard in the seventh. Higgins complied but then his opposing pitcher, Mike Keleher, responded by getting the first two outs of the seventh inning. Playwright was down a run and down to their last out when Chris Murphy stepped into the batter's box. Murphy reached base, which brought the hard-hitting Pete Franchi up who quickly singled. With the winning runners on base, Justin Lynch delivered a game winning two-run double for Playwright.
An undermanned Lincoln Tavern (1-1) dropped their opener last week and one would think they would come prepared for battle this week. Well, prepared they were as they made an early statement in this run scoring season as they upended the Shannon Tavern (2-1) squad 24-2 in five one-sided innings. Lincoln scored fourteen runs in the bottom of the second and then cruised to victory behind Jerry Sarro's pitching arm. Sean Gorman and Drew Blake led all batters with four hits each.
Simpson Club made quick work of the Dirty Fungos by the tune of a 19-5 drubbing. Stiben Sanchez led all hitters with three hits (double, HR) while Mike Garland picked up his first win on the mound for PSC.
Wednesday's early action saw STATS Sluggers wasted no time in this one as they scored eight runs in the first inning and nine in the second and then put it on cruise control behind pitcher Erik Mercedes, 21-11. Tommy Sullivan (5 RBI) and Conor Ressell (4 RBI) had 4 hits each for STATS while Nick Maini and Dan Leff had 3 hits each for the Silkworms.
The middle tilt saw another early season upset as the Shamrock Pub showed they are a team to be reckoned with when they clipped Lincoln Tavern, 21-19. This was an old fashioned slugfest with neither team establishing control nor the ability to hold a lead until the very end. Shamrock's pitcher, Jack Simonds, threw back-to-back scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh and that was the difference. Alex Luka (4 hits) and Jeff Depiero (4 hits) led the attack for Shamrock (3-0) while Conor Gleason (4 hits) led the way for Lincoln (1-2).
The late game was a classic back and forth affair that was won by the Seapoint Slammers in extra innings. With the score tied, 9-9, Seapoint took the lead when Geoffrey Stillman (4 hits) brought a runner home with and RBI hit followed by a sacrifice fly by Alex Herbst, 11-9. However, PowTown's Nick O'Neil tied the game with a two run double. In the eighth, Seapoint loaded the bases for Bryce Grundy who drove a runner home on a fielder's choice, 12-11. Liam McDonough then followed with another fielder's choice RBI and it was 13-11. The runs kept coming as Seapoint tacked on three more and led 16-11 heading into the bottom of the eighth. McDonough, now with the biggest lead in the game, retired the side in order.
Thursday's early action saw the Stew Jays (3-0) remain undefeated when they outslugged the L Street Tavern (1-1), 21-18. The Jays plated five runs in the bottom of the sixth and then Jimmy Hodgson threw a scoreless seventh to nail down the victory. Ronnie Orie (4 hits, 5 RBI), Joe Smith (4 hits, 7 RBI), Kyle Halloran (4 hits, 4 RUNS), and Zach Zdimal (4 hits, 4 RBI) were the hitting stars for the Jays while Mike Dodokian (4 hits, 4 RBI) and Sean MacPhee (4 hits) paced the way for L Street's attack.
The middle tilt came down to the wire as the Broadway Brew Crew and the Southside Tavern were involved in another tight ball game with this one being decided in the final at bat. Jake Stevens broke a 9-9 tie with a seventh inning double that scored Ryan Farrell and Brendan Skehill to put Broadway ahead 11-9. However, Southside answered in the bottom of the seventh when James Murphy doubled and scored on Jack Hockington's single, 11-10. But that would be the last of the runs as pitcher Zach Stromberg retired the next two batters to secure the win for Broadway.
The late game saw the Shamrock Pub jump all over MarineMax Boston as this one wasn't close from the start. Shamrock scored six runs in the first and fifteen (yes, fifteen) runs in the second as they ran away, 25-2. Zach Turner (4 hits, 6 RBI) and Domenic Nardone (4 hits) were the stars of the offense in this one. MarineMax has been on the receiving end of two blowouts. Hopefully, they stick with it and improve through the course of the season. The first year playing at M Street is often a struggle for teams - most of us have been through it including the author of this article. Hang in there boys!
The week came to a close on Friday with another full slate of games utilizing both the M & N Street diamonds. On M Street, the Pat Simpson Club was firing on all cylinders as they got top-notch performances from every player which amounted to a 22-6 win over Seapoint. Brett Carriker, Matt Savage, and Pat Dolbeare paced the Simpson attack with three hits each while Mike Garland scattered ten hits while yielding just three earned runs. As expected, the Simpson Club is on top of the Moran division and is one of eight teams that remain undefeated here in the early going.
On Friday, the Dirty Fungos improved to 2-1 when they mercy ruled PowTown, 16-4. This one got away from PowTown in the bottom of the second when the Fungos plated ten runs. PowTown chipped away at the lead in the third but the Fungos responded with more offense and this one was quickly over. Jack Atton picked up the win for the Fungos on the mound.
When scheduled, the middle game on M Street was expected to be a well-played tightly contested contest. Instead, we saw another one-sided affair as Fat Baby made quick and easy work out of Telegraph Hill, 22-6. Friday night games are proving to be tough going here in the early part of the season. Fat Baby scored early and very often in this one as every player in the lineup had a hit and most had multiple. Keith Savage picks up the victory for Fat Baby (3-0) who are on top of the standings in the Feeney division.
The middle tilt on N Street saw a great battle between Playwright (2-1) and the Broadway Brew Crew. Broadway was in desperate need of a win but Playwright wasn't going to hand them an easy victory. Playwright nudged ahead in the fourth on a Henry Mills RBI single but Broadway answered with three runs of their own in the home half, 6-4. Playwright's offense then tacked an eight spot on the scoreboard that proved to be the difference in this one, 17-14 Playwright prevails. Mike Blackman led the way with four hits for the winning team while Dave Milano (5 hits) brought his "A" game for the Brew Crew (1-3).
The nightcap on N Street was a lot closer than many would have predicted as The Spot Clothing squad nearly took down the mighty Pirates. However, with the Spot ahead 4-2 in the top of the fifth, the Pirates got RBI hits from Jimmy Pinkston and Robbie Rogers to put the Pirates back on top for good. Esteban Trujillo (4 hits) led the way for the Pirates while Brian Dunphy (3 hits) led the attack for The Spot. Speaking of Dunphy, this is the same player who was hit by a line drive earlier in the week and was thought to have broken his arm. The fact that he was back out here pitching and leading his team in hitting speaks about his character - a true gamer!
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Important reminders from your commissioner:
Parking - guys please leave your cars at home as the available parking spaces around the field is VERY, VERY limited. Most spaces are Resident only so unless you are a South Boston resident then you will most likely get a $40 ticket that the league cannot cover. If possible, car pool, take the MBTA/City Point bus, or bike/walk to the park and save yourself the frustration.
Umpire/Scorekeeper fee - please pay the umpire $32 and pay $8 to the official scorekeeper BEFORE the game begins.
Forfeits - forfeits are not acceptable in the M Street Softball League as they cost the league money and waste everyone's time. With that said, if you know there is a scheduled game that is going to be a problem then let me know ASAP and I will work with you in finding additional players and/or cancelling the game all together.
Inclement weather/rain outs - the league will usually make a decision by 5pm on whether or not the game is on or off. Once the decision is made then the league will reach out to the coaches - we will not leave you without word. The league website (sbsports.com) will also be updated within minutes of a cancellation.
Bats - just a reminder that composite bats are illegal...however, bats that have a composite handle and metal barrel are OK. DeMarini Steel is a very popular bat in our league.
Equipment - the league will provide bases on a nightly basis.
Pitching rules - the Feeney/Moran("B") division is using the strict modified pitching style - no sling, no windmill, and no arc. It's pretty much straight back with the arm, a forward step to the plate, and deliver the ball. A great source on the "Classic Style" with videos can be found here 10manmodified.com/pitching-rules/videos-of-modified-styles/.
Playoff eligibility - although the rosters are open there is minimum number of plate appearances (30), innings pitched (35), or games played (10) that a player must meet to qualify for the playoffs.
Stats, news, etc... - please check the league website for all the latest news, standings, stats, and more.
Schedule - we tried to evenly spread out the amount of start times for each team...it's not an easy or exact science. The regular season will run from May through the end of July. The playoff will start in August and run through September.
Wishing you and your players a great season of softball at M Street.
M Street Softball League