from left to right: Leon Correy, John Gregorio, Peter Hourihan, Tommy Connolly, Pat Pickup, Tommy McGrath, George Pratt, Jim McNiff, Rob Rogers, and Larry Lucas
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
    
    
    
 

FINALS UNDERWAY - MJS BATTLES LINCOLN ("A"),
LA FAMILIA TAKES ON PUBLICO ("B")

By Mark Senna

August 30 - the finals are underway in both divisions at M Street. The games are scheduled to play on Monday, August 30 and Tuesday, August 31st starting at 7pm. The four teams will then break for the Labor Day holiday weekend. The series will resume on Tuesday, September 6 and play each night until we crown our two champions. Below is a game by game recap:

"A" FINALS - Game 1: Tuesday, Aug. 30 @ 8:30  

MJS 10 - Lincoln Tavern 2

In a much anticipated game, the product on the field didn't live up to it's billing. For starters, Lincoln Tavern learned at the last moment that their ace starting pitcher, Rafael Ramos, was not going to show up. The hard throwing right hander claimed that he was still sore from the previous night's work. Former MVP Chris Boyd then got the nod but ran into trouble from the outset. MJS' Scott Hyland and Bret Belcastro earned back-to-back walks to start the game and by innings end, both came around to score, 2-0. The inning ended when Kevin O'Hara was thrown out at second and on the play he and the shortstop got into a heated exchange.

Lefty hurler Nick French (3 time MVP) then strolled out to the mound in what must have been a weird feeling for both clubs. French was on the mound wearing a Lincoln jersey at this time last season and now was facing his former teammates for the first time. Even an old pro like French can be affected by the situation and that seemed to be the case here in the first inning as Lincoln scratched across a run when Conor Gleason (2 hits, 2 runs) walked and scored on Boyd's fielder's choice, 2-1.

Boyd (11 walks) ran into trouble again in the second when seven straight MJS batters reached base. Caesar Peralta, Jonathan Bonilla, and Hyland all drove in runs during the rally, 5-1. French retired the side in the bottom of the second on three weakly batted infield pop ups (F6, F4, & F1).

Those watching online and in the stands could already sense where this one was headed and they would be correct. MJS added another run in the third and Pedro Vasquez gave them another four runs when he hit a grand slam in the fourth inning making it 10-1.

At this point, MJS started to empty their bench to get everyone some playing time. Whoever was out there with French didn't matter as he was toying with the Lincoln batters. At one point, they asked the home plate umpire, Bobby Diggins, to instruct Nick on keeping in contact with the pitching rubber. I don't think they had any issues last season on the lefty's footwork or delivery (which hasn't changed...at all). In any case, three up and three down as the one-sided game was now lacking energy and was slowly moving along.

In the bottom of the fifth, Lincoln finally had something going as Sean Gorman (2 hits) singled to load the bases. However, French wasn't about to give his old team anything to cheer about and struck out Mike Kent to retire the side.

Eventually Lincoln would plate another run - in the sixth, Gleason led off with a double and scored on Jeff Vigurs base hit. French then retired the next six batters he faced and that was it - game one was in the books.

Nick FrenchPedro VasquezConor Gleason

"A" FINALS - Game 2: Wednesday, Aug. 31 @ 7:30 (B rules) 

Lincoln Tavern 3 - MJS 3 (8th inning)

Game two lived up to its billing so far, but we have yet to determine a winner as the game was halted just as extra innings were ready to start. The two teams will resume play on Tuesday, September 6th at 8:30pm. For three innings, if you weren't there at M Street but were watching the "live" feed on Facebook, then you saw MJS dominating and leading 5-0 after three complete.

The scoring started with a walk to Scott Hyland, single by Pedro Vasquez (3 hits) and then Chris Pope doubled them both home, 2-0. Pitcher Jason Calnan then worked his way out of the rest of the inning with a strikeout to retire the side. MJS added another run (Caesar Peralta home run) in the second and then tacked on two more in the third on RBI's by Sam MacDonald and Mike Selig, 5-0.

Up until this point, Pope was having little troubling getting through the Lincoln lineup. However, Pope gave up three straight hits to start the fourth and then Mike Muir made him pay with a two-run single, 5-2. Lincoln was back on the attack in the fifth when they loaded the bases with one out. Chris Boyd stood in the batter's box and delivered a clutch two-run single as he has on numerous occasions, 5-4. Lincoln tasted blood and went for it - a walk to Max Vigliotti followed and Pope and MJS was on the ropes. Muir reached on a fielder's choice that scored Taylor Ferguson from third and we were all tied up, 5-5. Lefty Jake Drew then put Lincoln ahead with an RBI single, 6-5.

Calnan, now in front for the first time, was in charge and really barking from the mound - challenging the MJS hitters which in turn, took the game to another level. The more he chirped the easier his work became on the mound - MJS was spending their energy on responding to Calnan and their hitting approach was suffering. Through the last three and two third innings pitched, Calnan didn't give up any runs and yielded just two hits.

However, there was that last one-third of an inning to deal with before Calnan could claim victory - it didn't come. Leadoff hitter and base running nemesis, Scott Hyland drew a two out walk. Brett Belcastro then belted a single that put Hyland on third. Pedro Vasquez stepped in and hit a laser beam line drive to left center that carromed off the fielder's glove allowing Hyland to tie it up, 6-6. On the play, Belcastro was hustling to third but collided with shortstop, Jeff White, and both players went airborne. White was seriously injured and stayed down. Belcastro got up and made it safely to third. Arguments ensued - MJS claimed "fielder obstruction" and that Belcastro would have scored on the play. The umpire didn't think so and I don't either - first to home on a single to center?

While the players continued their arguments, White was in agony, screaming in pain. EMS Joey Magee then tended to the fallen player and determined in was likely an ACL tear. After about twenty minutes, White was helped off the field and Vigliotti (the DH) was forced to take a position in the field. Calnan got Pope on a ground out and we were moving to extra innings.

At this point, the game was already well over the time limit but a call was made to the league office and the word was to continue the game. More arguments ensued but MJS took the field and Max Vigliotti was about to enter the batter's box. At that point, MJS made it known that they were protesting the game claiming Lincoln made an illegal substitution by having Max play a defensive position. Guess what happened? Yes, more arguments, more delays, and then the umpire called the game off. As I was told, "it just got to be too much. It was both teams. We were already way behind on time and had two other teams asking when they were going to start."

After getting feedback from both umpires and referencing our league rules as well as USA substitution rules, the position is the following: both teams and circumstances (late start & injury) played a part in not finishing the game on time and therefore, it will be continued just like any other game. Substitutions can be made by rostered players who were present and not present when the game was halted - USA Rule 4.1.A.2 and rule supplement 51. Our own league rule (3.00) specifically states that the DH can go into the field if there is an injury.

Obviously, this news isn't welcoming to the MJS players and they are now contemplating on whether or not to continue the series. If they decide to bow out, then it wouldn't be the first time a finals series wasn't played. Back in 1994, the L Street Tavern was awarded the championship when the Liquor Mart decided to protest the ruling against them of using in ineligible player (Pat Madden) in the playoffs. I guess the drama never ends at M Street.


"B" FINALS - Game 1: Tuesday, Aug. 30 @ 6:30  

Publico 17 - La Familia 5

After a rare 1-2-3 inning, the Publico offense got on track in the bottom of the second and began their assault against pitcher Alex Nazzaro. With one on and one out, Chase Pratt tied the game (2-2) with a two-run home run. Paul Iasiello (3 hits) then doubled, Terrance Doonan (3 hits) singled, Bun Stratton singled home Iasiello, and Nick Slevoski (3 hits) singled home Doonan, 4-2.

Pitcher Alberto Vasquez then through a scoreless third inning and Publico was back on the attack in the home half of the inning. Singles by Jamie Faber (3 hits) and Vasquez set the stage for Andrew Grant and he cashed in, smashing a three-run homerun, 7-2. Iasiello doubled and Doonan brought him home for another run as this one was starting to get away, 8-2.

However, the friendly faces in red fought back in the top of the fourth. With two outs, Edward Rosario singled, Juan Baez singled, Nazzaro singled to load the bases for Francisco Martinez (2 hits, 3 RBI) who cleared them with a stand up triple, 8-5. Unfortunately, that would be as close as La Familia would get as Publico was back on the attack in the bottom of the fifth.

Faber led off with a double, Dazzo singled, Vasquez brought them both home with another double, Grant singled, Iasiello hit a sacrifice fly to score Vasquez, Doonan doubled home Grant, and Stratton singled home Doonan - it all added up to another six runs for Publico and a commanding 14-5 lead.

Vasquez threw another shutout inning in the sixth and Publico ended the game by way of the mercy rule in the bottom of the inning. In game two, La Familia will look to quickly put this one in the rear view mirror and Publico will try to continue swinging the hot bats.

Jamie FaberAlberto VasquezTerrance DoonanFrancisco MartinezNick SloveskiPaul Iasiello


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 $30 and pay $5 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/. The Lucas ("A") division is using a mix of both styles which is noted on the schedule.

  • 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.

    Sincerely,

    Mark Senna
    M Street Softball League

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