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
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
    
    
    
 
2006 Playoffs
 
FINALS - BEST OF SEVEN
Sidewalk Cafe vs. Lynx

Game 1: Sidewalk Cafe 6 vs. Lynx 5
WP: Mark Senna (4-0) LP: Dominic Lemarra (2-1) GW RBI: Peter John

August 28, 2006 - Sidewalk jumped out to a quick start when they scored four runs in the top of the first inning but nearly let the game slip through their fingers. After committing seven infield errors Sidewalk nearly handed the game over but it was a mistake by a Lynx base runner that became the key play of the game.

The Lynx had managed only four hits but found themselves trailing by a single run in the seventh inning. Al Martin started the inning when he reached on another Sidewalk miscue. Danny Ackasela followed with a single to left and the tables were set for the 2-3-4 hitters. Mike Hoadley then followed with a walk and suddenly the Lynx appeared to have the game in their hands and were overheard prematurely celebrating their come from behind victory. Then like a New York minute, things quickly changed.

With Marty Jimenez batting, Sidewalk thought they had the first out of the inning when Jimenez took a fastball inside that appeared to be a clear strike. The umpire called it a ball and after a brief explanation of where the pitch missed play resumed. Jimenez then hit the very next pitch to shallow center field where Brendan Flynn came charging in and caught the ball by his shoe tops. Flynn alertly fired the ball to third which caught the Lynx base runner trying to scramble back to the bag. Sometimes things have a funny way of working themselves out.

In any case, a heated argument ensued between the Lynx players and the umpire as they felt their base runner got back in time. What they failed to acknowledge was the fact that their runner should have never left the base in the first place and should have been tagging to score the tying run. Instead, the clutch double play by Flynn had turned this game right around for the second time in the inning. Sidewalk's pitcher, Mark Senna (7 IP, 4 Hits, 4 K's, 1 ER), then got the Lynx cleanup hitter to ground out to end the thrilling game.

Game notes: the game was delayed for 1/2 hour as the lights did not come on until 8:03 pm. The delay and the drizzling rain sent the capacity crowd home thinking that the game wouldn't be played. After the game, the Lynx coach notified the league that his team will not wait 1 minute for the lights when Tuesday's games roll around. He was then informed that walking off the field during the game would result in a forfeit. Hopefully, that will be avoided and the city will do their job and reset the timer for 7pm.


Game 2: Sidewalk Cafe 6 vs. Lynx 7 (8 innings)
WP: Jerry Thomes (4-0) LP: George Pratt (2-1) GW RBI: Al Martin

August 30, 2006 - with the scored tied 5-5 in the bottom of the seventh, Jerry Thomes and the Lynx pulled a reverse of roles against Sidewalk when they escaped a no out bases loaded jam. After Peter John led off the seventh with a triple to right, Thomes intentionally walked the next two batters to load the bases. Thomes got the next batter to ground out to first baseman, Danny Ackesella, who fired home for the force out. Still needing two outs Thomes then went to work against Jake Drew. On a 1-2 count, Drew hit a rocket to third baseman Mike Hoadley who stepped on the bag then fired to first to complete the game saving double play. What a play!

Earlier in the seventh, Hoadley had tied the game when he stroked a double to left field that plated Jason Allen and Kevin O'Hara. The Lynx then threatened to move ahead as they had runners on second and third with one out in the inning. After a coach's conference at the mound, pitcher George Pratt went to work against Marty Jimenez. On a 1-1 count, Jimenez hit a ball to third where fielder Mike Smith held the runner then threw to first for the out. It was then decided to walk Juan Sanchez to face Dominic Lemarra. The strategy worked as Lemarra flied out to left to end the inning.

With the score tied 5-5, the game moved on to extra innings. The Lynx went right back to work when O'Hara (3 hits) banged a single to left and was followed by Jason Allen's single to center. A fielder's choice then scored O'Hara with the go ahead run, 6-5. Before Sidewalk could get out of the inning, Al Martin would single in another run to give the Lynx a 7-5 lead entering the bottom of the eighth.

In the eighth, Sidewalk didn't make it easy for Thomes and the Lynx as they rallied to put runners on first and second with one out. Thomes then got a ground out which brought Peter John (4 hits) to the plate. John quickly smashed a Thomes offering to right that scored the runner from second making it a 7-6 game. With the game again on the line Thomes reached down and got the last out on a pop out to end another thrilling game.

Game notes: the city's Parks & Recreation Department and Street Lightning crew did their part for this one as the field looked great and the lights were on by 6:30. Great job!


Game 3: Sidewalk Cafe 9 vs. Lynx 5
WP: Mark Senna (5-0) LP: Dominic Lemarra (2-2) GW RBI: Peter John

August 30, 2006 - unlike the first two games of this series where there was good pitching throughout the game, game three started off like it was going to be a slugfest. Mike Smith got things going for Sidewalk in the first when he cleared the bases with a triple to center, 2-0. But the Lynx answered with four runs of their own in the home half of the inning on a homerun by Danny Ackesella and doubles by Mike Hoadley, Marty Jimenez, Juan Sanchez, and Jason Allen. The Lynx led 4-2 after one inning and were feeling very good about their chances of winning this one.

After a scoreless second inning, Sidewalk showed resilience and loaded the bases against pitcher, Dominic Lemarra. Mike Smith (4 hits) continued his hot night at the plate as he singled home the third Sidewalk run making it 4-3. Mark Senna then followed with a single that scored two runs and put Sidewalk ahead, 5-4.

Sidewalk's offense then added another run in the fourth inning when Peter John singled home Michael Donovan making it 6-4. Sidewalk's offense was continuing to put the pressure on Lemarra, who ran into more trouble in the sixth when he had to face Smith with runners on first and second. Smith delivered again with an RBI single to right and was followed by Jake Drew's triple (2 RBI) to center that made it 9-4 Sidewalk.

While Sidewalk's offense was heating up and scoring runs the Lynx bats went cold and were being held in check by pitcher, Mark Senna. Before running into trouble in the seventh, Senna had limited the Lynx attack to 5 hits and 0 runs after the first inning. The effort was enough to pick up the 9-5 win and put Sidewalk back in the driver's seat for this final series.

Game notes: in the first inning, Sidewalk's Josh Piekarski was cut on his leg while sliding into second base. The cut required ten stitches to close.


Game 4: Lynx 9 vs. Sidewalk Cafe 10 (8 innings)
WP: Mark Senna (6-0) LP: Jerry Thomes (4-1) GW RBI: Bobby Dobay

September 6th, 2006 - Sidewalk's Bobby Dobay (4 hits, 4 RBI) hit a one out single to right in the bottom of the eighth inning scoring Jake Drew from second base with the game winning run. Drew led off the inning with an eleven pitch at bat that saw him line a single to left. Jeremy Beauchemin then followed and nearly won the game when he ripped a line drive to left that appeared to be heading for extra bases. Just then, the Lynx left fielder Jason Allen made the catch of the series when he sprinted back and caught the ball over his head to rob Beauchemin and Sidewalk. Lefty Peter John (3 hits) followed and hit a blooper to the opposite field that had Allen on his horse again. The ball fell in front of the diving fielder and Sidewalk was back in business with runners on first and second with one out. Dobay then ended the game with a single through the right side of the infield and the celebration began for the boys in blue.

Prior to Dobay's heroics, the Lynx were ahead 4-1 in the fourth inning and were getting a gutsy performance out of their pitcher, Jerry Thomes. The veteran had two strikeouts and had a very low pitch entering the bottom of the inning.

In the fourth, Bobby Dobay and Mike Smith set the tables for Joe Andriano (3 hits, 3 RBI) who tied the game with a monster homerun to deep right. Thomes then wiggled out of the inning before any further damage was done.

The Lynx responded quickly in the fifth when Greg Carter tripled home Jimmy Mulligan then scored on Jason Allen's single making it 6-4. Like an old heavyweight title fight the two teams trade blow after blow as Sidewalk answered the call in the home half of the inning. Peter John doubled home Jeremy Beauchemin then scored on Bobby Dobay's single that tied the game, 6-6. Chuck Zaniboni then broke the tie when he hit a sacrifice fly to right scoring Dobay and putting Sidewalk ahead, 7-6.

Back and fourth it went...Marty Jimenez (4 hits, 3 RBI) and Juan Sanchez opened the sixth with hard singles to left. Sidewalk needing a defensive stand then got one when shortstop Jake Drew made a nice play on a grounder to cut down the lead runner at third. Drew then finished the inning when he completed a 1-6-3 double play!

Feeding off of that play, Sidewalk's offense went back to work with two outs in the sixth. After Peter John singled to right, Bobby Dobay smashed a missile to right that went for a homerun. Sidewalk had their insurance runs and a nice three run cushion.

In the seventh, with two outs and a runner on first the Lynx clawed their way back into the game. Sidewalk's pitcher, Mark Senna loaded the bases by walking Jason Allen and Kevin O'Hara. With the game on the line, in stepped Marty Jimenez who promptly tied it with a clutch triple to deep left center field, 9-9. Unbelievable!

Sidewalk went down quietly in the seventh and onto extra innings we went. In the eighth, Jerry Thomes Jr. stroked a one out double to right putting the go ahead runner in scoring position. But then Senna reached down and struck out the next two Lynx batters to end the threat. Sidewalk finally ended the marathon game (2 hrs 23 min) when Dobay singled in Drew with the game winning run.

Game notes: the Lynx were without pitcher Dominic Lemarra who injured himself in the Nationals over the weekend...Brendan Connolly and friend JJ kept score in center field using the newly constructed M Street scoreboard...Jonathan Silva and Dinna Sinkus handled the videotaping of the games.


Game 5: Sidewalk Cafe 18 vs. Lynx 11
WP: George Pratt (3-1) LP: Jerry Thomes (4-2) GW RBI: Bobby Dobay

September 6th, 2006 - Leading the series 3-1 and sensing a championship was within their reach, Sidewalk's offense wasted little time getting on the scoreboard in this one. After an inning and a half, Sidewalk took advantage of the exhausted and overworked pitcher, Jerry Thomes, and led 13-0. Peter John (3 hits, 4 RBI) struck the big blow in the inning when he hit a long 3-run homerun over the fence in center.

However, Thomes and the Lynx showed character and fought back in the bottom of the second inning by scoring five runs of their own, 13-5. Marty Jimenez came up with the big hit again as he homered to left.

But Sidewalk's offense wasn't going away as they quickly got two of the runs back when Mike Smith (4 hits, 3 RBI) doubled home Bobby Dobay (3 hits, 2 RBI) then scored on Joe Andriano's single, 15-5.

The Lynx answered again with five more runs in the fourth inning by taking advantage of some sloppy defense by Sidewalk making it 15-10. Thomes retired the side in the fifth giving the Lynx some hope in the home half of the inning.

In the fifth, catcher Bobby Dobay challenged his pitcher, George Pratt, to show him what he has left in the tank and Pratt delivered with a much needed 1-2-3 inning.

Sidewalk's offense then delivered the final blow of the series in the sixth when they scored three more runs, 18-10. Brendan Flynn (3 hits, 3 RBI), Jake Drew (4 hits, 2 RBI), and Peter John all connected for extra bases and later scored.

In the sixth, the Jason Allen drove home Al Martin before Pratt and Sidewalk wrapped up the series. The championship is Sidewalk's fifth in seven years. After the game, the Sidewalk players celebrated their win at Murphy's Law where they held court until 2 AM. The team is planning a Sept 17th party for players and their families at Michael Smith's house in Wakefield, MA. Smitty says the pool will be open and heated for anyone brave enough to jump in.

Game notes: the lights went out at the conclusion of the sixth inning which made the win anti climatic for Sidewalk….Mike Smith made an outstanding defensive play at third base when he threw a runner out from his knees...Michael Donovan and Dominic Lemarra sparred with insults that became comical at times...Kevin O'Hara was the first in line to congratulate Sidewalk on winning the series...Al Martin and Danny Ackesella did not participate in the ceremonial handshake at the end of the series...the Lynx left the field without paying the umpire fee of $72.00!


Sidewalk Cafe wins series 4-1
 
Sidewalk Café Topples Lynx in Finals

By Mark Senna

This article is published in the South Boston Tribune
Read: 2006 Playoff Game Recaps
The Sidewalk Café completed their remarkable season last week and became M Street Softball champions again. It was their fifth title in seven years (2000-2003 and 2006) but none of them may be more gratifying than this one as it came when the team was thought to be in a rebuilding phase. With seven new faces on their roster they finished the regular season in third place with a 10-6 record and were not expected to be a major factor in the playoffs. However, the Sidewalk rookies and veterans came together as a team and delivered top notch performances which made them very tough to beat in the playoffs (9-1 record). The following is a recap of games four and five. Additional stories, photos, and videos can be found on our web site: www.sbports.com.

Game 4 – September 6th, 2006: Sidewalk's Bobby Dobay (4 hits, 4 RBI) hit a one out single to right in extra innings that scored Jake Drew from second base with the game winning run. Drew led off the inning with an eleven pitch at bat that saw him line a single to left. Jeremy Beauchemin then followed and nearly won the game when he ripped a line drive to left that appeared to be heading for extra bases. But the Lynx left fielder, Jason Allen, made the catch of the series when he sprinted back and caught the ball over his head to rob Beauchemin and keep the game tied. Next up was lefty Peter John (3 hits) who followed with a blooper hit to the opposite field that had Allen on his horse again. This time the ball fell in front of the diving fielder and Sidewalk was back in business with runners on first and second and one out. Dobay then ended the game with a single through the right side of the infield and the celebration began for the boys in blue. What a game!

Prior to Dobay's heroics, the Lynx were ahead 4-1 in the fourth inning and were getting a gutsy performance out of their pitcher, Jerry Thomes. The veteran had two strikeouts and had a very low pitch count entering the bottom of the inning. At the time, it was looking like Thomes was going to carry the Lynx on his shoulders and tie the series at two games each.

But in the fourth, Bobby Dobay and Mike Smith both reached base that set the table for Joe Andriano (3 hits, 3 RBI). The big lefty from Albany, NY then tied the game with a monster homerun to deep right that brought his team to their feet. Sidewalk looked to take the lead in the inning but Thomes wiggled out of the jam before any further damage was done.

With the game ties 4-4, the Lynx responded quickly in their next at bat when Greg Carter tripled home Jimmy Mulligan then scored on Jason Allen's single. In a blink of an eye the Lynx were right back on top at 6-4. But like an old heavyweight title fight where the combatants’ trade blow for blow, Sidewalk answered the bell in the home half of the inning. Peter John doubled home Jeremy Beauchemin then scored on Bobby Dobay's single that tied the game, 6-6. Chuck Zaniboni then put Sidewalk on top for the first time in the game when he hit a sacrifice fly to right that scored Dobay from third making it 7-6.

The see saw battle continued in the sixth when the Lynx’s Marty Jimenez (4 hits, 3 RBI) and Juan Sanchez opened the inning with hard singles to left. But this time Sidewalk’s defense had an answer when shortstop Jake Drew made a nice play on a grounder to cut down the lead runner at third. Drew then finished the inning when he completed a 1-6-3 double play.

Feeding off of that play, Sidewalk's offense went back to work with two outs in the sixth. After Peter John singled, Bobby Dobay lined a homerun to right field giving Sidewalk two insurance runs, 9-6.

The all important fourth game of the series was already over two hours old and finally, the end looked like it was in sight. With a Lynx base runner on first, Sidewalk had recorded two outs in the inning and could just about taste the win. But then the Lynx clawed their way back into the game when Sidewalk's pitcher, Mark Senna, failed to close it out and loaded the bases by walking Jason Allen and Kevin O'Hara. With the game on the line, Marty Jimenez stepped into the batters box and promptly tied the game with a clutch triple to deep left center field, 9-9. Unbelievable!

Knowing they let one slip away, Sidewalk went down quietly in the seventh sending the game into extra innings. Like a Hollywood movie, this game had it all including the great ending.

In the eighth, Jerry Thomes Jr. stroked a one out double to right putting the go ahead runner in scoring position. But then Senna reached down and struck out the next two Lynx batters to end the threat. Sidewalk finally ended the marathon game (2 hrs 23 min) when Dobay singled in Drew with the game winning run.

Game notes: the Lynx were without pitcher Dominic Lemarra who injured himself in the A.S.A. Nationals over the weekend...Sidewalk was without Mike Stankina (travel for work), Josh Piekarski (injury), and Brian Schofield...Brendan Connolly and friend JJ kept score in center field using the newly constructed M Street scoreboard...Jonathan Silva and Dinna Sinkus handled the videotaping of the games.

Game 5 – September 6th, 2006: leading the series 3-1 and sensing a championship was within their reach, Sidewalk's offense wasted little time getting on the scoreboard in this one. After an inning and a half, Sidewalk took advantage of the exhausted and overworked pitcher, Jerry Thomes, and led 13-0. Peter John (3 hits, 4 RBI) struck a big blow in the second inning when he hit a long 3-run homerun over the fence in center.

However, Thomes and the Lynx showed character and fought back in the bottom of the second inning by scoring five runs of their own, 13-5. Marty Jimenez came up with the big hit again as he homered to left.

But Sidewalk's offense wasn't going away as they quickly got two of the runs back when Mike Smith (4 hits, 3 RBI) doubled home Bobby Dobay (3 hits, 2 RBI) then scored on Joe Andriano's single, 15-5.

The Lynx answered again with five more runs in the fourth inning by taking advantage of some sloppy defense by Sidewalk making it 15-10. Thomes retired the side in the fifth which gave the Lynx some hope in the home half of the inning.

Before the start of the fifth, catcher Bobby Dobay challenged his pitcher George Pratt, to show him what he has left in his arm and Pratt delivered with a much needed 1-2-3 inning.

Sidewalk's offense then delivered the final blow of the series in the sixth when they scored three more runs making it 18-10. Brendan Flynn (3 hits, 3 RBI), Jake Drew (4 hits, 2 RBI), and Peter John all connected for extra base hits and later scored.

In the sixth, the Jason Allen drove home Al Martin before Pratt and Sidewalk got the final out and wrapped up the series. After the game, the Sidewalk players celebrated their win at Murphy's Law where they held court until 2 AM. The players voted on the playoff MVP and nominated Bobby Dobay, Peter John, and Mark Senna as recipients of the prestigious award.

Game notes: the lights went out at the conclusion of the sixth inning which made the win anti climatic for Sidewalk….Mike Smith made an outstanding defensive play at third base when he threw a runner out from his knees...Michael Donovan and Dominic Lemarra sparred with insults that became comical at times...Kevin O'Hara was the first in line to congratulate Sidewalk on winning the series.

2006 Champions - Sidewalk Cafe
2006 Champions - front left to right: Brendan Flynn, Jeremy Beauchemin, Josh Piekarski, Peter John (Co-MVP), and Michael Donovan.
Back left to right: Mark Senna (Co-MVP), Joe Andriano, Michael Smith, Bobby Dobay (Co-MVP), Harry John, Mike Stankina, Charles Zaniboni, and Brian Schofield.

Missing from photo:

George Pratt  Jake Drew
George Pratt and Jake Drew

SEMI FINALS - BEST OF FIVE
Murphy's Law (4th - A) vs. Lynx (1st - A)

Game 1: Murphy's Law 4 vs. Lynx 10
WP: Jerry Thomes (2-0) LP: Eric Malerba (2-2) GW RBI: Jay Allen

August 21, 2006 - Juan Sanchez hit a line drive homerun to center field that put the Lynx ahead to stay in the third inning. The Lynx added some insurance runs in the fourth when Kevin O'Hara (3 hits, 3 RBI) cleared the bases with a double to right. Pitcher, Jerry Thomes scattered eight hits while striking out six to pick up the win. In defeat, Dave Leahy (2 hits) and Nick Herz (3-run HR) paced the Murphy's attack.


Game 2: Lynx 18 vs. Murphy's Law 1
WP: Dominic Lemarra (2-0) LP: Eric Malerba (2-3) GW RBI: Juan Sanchez

August 21, 2006 - folks, although they played seven innings this game was over after the Lynx put up eleven runs in the top of the second. In that big inning, catcher Al Martin provided plenty of offense when he hit a grand slam and smashed a 3-run triple (7 RBI) to quickly put his team on top to stay.

Pitcher, Dominic Lemarra looked very sharp in picking up the win. At one point, Lemarra had struck out four straight Murphy batters.

The two teams continue the series on Wednesday with the Lynx looking to complete the three game sweep.


Game 3: Murphy's Law 7 vs. Lynx 10
WP: Jerry Thomes (3-0) LP: Eric Malerba (2-4) GW RBI:

August 24, 2006 - details to follow.


Lynx wins series 3-0
 
Sidewalk Cafe (3rd - A) vs. Stadium Sports Bar (2nd - A)

Game 1: Sidewalk Cafe 9 vs. Stadium Sports Bar 4
WP: Mark Senna (3-0) LP: John Gregorio (2-1) GW RBI: Peter John

August 22, 2006 - the Sidewalk Cafe got a strong start from their pitcher, Mark Senna, and used timely hits from Jeremy Beauchemin (HR, 3B, 2 RBI) and Peter John (HR, 3B, 3 RBI) to upset the Stadium in game one of their series.

It wasn't easy though as Matt Traft hit a homerun in the bottom of the fourth that changed the momentum and got the Stadium within a run, at 5-4. Senna and Stadium's pitcher John Gregorio then added to the drama by hanging 0's on the scoreboard in the fifth and sixth innings.

With Sidewalk clinging to a one run lead, the speedy Beauchemin legged out a lead off triple in the to start the seventh. Brian Schofield then entered the game as a pinch hitter and quickly doubled home Beauchemin making it 6-4 Sidewalk. Brendan Flynn then followed with a single that plated Schofield with another Sidewalk run. Peter John and Bob Dobay added two more insurance runs when both smashed RBI triples giving Sidewalk some breathing room, 9-4. Senna then went out and retired the side in order in the seventh to pick up the game one victory.


Game 2: Stadium Sports Bar 16 vs. Sidewalk Cafe 19
WP: George Pratt (1-0) LP: Jack Rogers (0-1) GW RBI: Charles Zaniboni

August 22, 2006 - folks, this one was a wild one. The Sidewalk Cafe swung hot bats and built a 17-6 lead through four only to watch the Stadium come roaring back in the later innings.

The Stadium's John Martin got his team back in the game when he led off the fifth inning with a homerun to deep right. Looking for a big inning, the Stadium's offense fed off that blow as they batted around the order while scoring six runs to climb right back into the game, 17-12. The Stadium then brought in John Gregorio in relief and he set the order down quickly which gave his team a huge boost of morale.

The Stadium's offense went right back to work in the sixth as Paul Gurley tripled home Tommy Russell then later scored on an infield ground out. Two more Stadium singles put the tying run at the plate forcing Sidewalk to go to their pen and bring in Mark Senna. Senna walked Steven Couturier on four pitches but then ended the inning when Chris Martin flew out. At this point, Sidewalk was clinging to the 17-14 lead entering the bottom of the sixth inning.

Michael Stankina led the sixth off by getting hit by a pitched ball and Peter John followed with a tape measure 2-run homerun to deep right-center, 19-14. Later, Gregorio escaped further damage when Derek Heald and Steven Couturier turned a nifty 4-6-3 double play.

In the seventh, the Stadium loaded the bases with two outs and was a hit away from getting the tying run to the plate. Matt Traft delivered with a 2-run single that made it 19-16 and gave slugger Rob Rogers an opportunity to complete the comeback. On a 1-0 count, Rogers ripped into a Senna offering that was gobbled up by shortstop Josh Piekarski who alertly tagged second base to end the slugfest, 19-16 Sidewalk.


Game 3: Sidewalk Cafe 16 vs. Stadium Sports Bar 5
WP: George Pratt (2-0) LP: Sammy Acevedo (0-1) GW RBI: Joe Andriano

August 24, 2006 - the Sidewalk Cafe broke the game open in the top of the third when they sent fifteen batters to the plate while scoring eleven runs. In Sidewalk's big inning, Joe Andriano and Peter John each hit 3-run homeruns and Brendan Flynn cleared the bases with a triple. Jeremy Beauchemin continued to have a great series (7 for 11, 3 HR, 7 RBI) as he added another homerun to cap the scoring in the seventh.

Sidewalk's starting pitcher, George Pratt, gave his team his best outing of the year when they needed him most as he scattered five runs while picking up three strikeouts. The Stadium countered with Sammy Acevedo, who was making his first start since injuring his hand several weeks ago. Before the game, Acevedo removed two finger splints just so he could pitch.

In the end, the series never lived up to its hype as Sidewalk's offense proved to be too much for the Stadium to handle. In the three game series the boys in blue outscored their opponent 44-25 (14.6 runs per game). More amazingly is the fact that the Stadium's pitching and defense was the best in the league this year as opponents had scored only 99 runs (6.18 per game) during the entire season. Sidewalk nearly scored half of those runs in just three games.

Sidewalk will now look to take that same offense to the finals and match it against the Lynx's powerful attack. During the regular season the Sidewalk Cafe scored 175 runs while allowing 141. The Lynx was just off the pace as they scored 165 runs but allowed fewer runs, 135. If numbers mean anything then this series could be a high scoring affair. Pitchers Jerry Thomes, Dominic Lemarra, George Pratt, and Mark Senna better get their rest this weekend as they will be needing every bit of energy they have come Monday.

Finally, congratulations to the Stadium Sports Bar for a fine season. I know this wasn't the ending any of you envisioned but remember, you are the only M Street Softball team to win an A.S.A sanctioned tournament. That's an accomplishment and something to be very proud of. I'm looking for you guys to carry that success into your next tournament this Labor Day weekend.


Sidewalk Cafe wins series 3-0
 
QUARTER FINALS - BEST OF THREE
Spartans (5th) vs. Murphy's Law (4th)
Game 1: Spartans 3 vs. Murphy's Law 10
WP: Eric Malerba (1-0) LP: Nick French (0-1) GW RBI: Brendan Burke

August 9, 2006 - Murphy's Law scored five runs in the bottom of the first inning and never looked back tonight as they cruised to victory in game one of the playoffs. Troy Rathman opened the scoring with a two run single and was later followed by Brendan Burke's bases clearing double.

Murphy's added three more runs in the third, one off the bat of Nick Herz who hit a mammoth homerun to left. Pitcher, Eric Malerba was brilliant but lost his shutout bid in the sixth inning when the Spartans Peter Brennan singled in two runs.


Game 2: Murphy's Law 9 vs. Spartans 12
WP: Nick French (1-1) LP: Eric Malerba (1-1) GW RBI: Nick French

August 9, 2006 - with Murphy's leading 9-3 entering the bottom of the sixth inning the Spartans season was quickly coming to an end. The Spartans had been outplayed for the last twelve plus innings and appeared to be left for dead. But like the New England weather, everything changed in an instant.

Matt Rogers, Peter Brennan, and Ray Powers set the tables in the bottom of the sixth when they each reached base with singles. Two runs later Adam Ralston tripled to make it 9-7 and suddenly the outcome of the game was hanging in the balance. Mike Powers kept the rally going when he singled home Ralston and the Spartans now trailed by just one run.

Murphy's pitcher, Eric Malerba, then got a ground out and a fly out but needed one more to get out of the inning. However, Vin Milano had other ideas and kept the inning alive with a single to center. Lefty batter Nick French then struck the game's biggest blow when he turned around a Malerba pitch and launched a 3-run homerun to deep right to give the Spartans their first lead of the game, 11-9. The Spartans added another run then watched French shut the door in the seventh to even the series at 1-1.


Game 3: Spartans 3 vs. Murphy's Law 5
WP: Eric Malerba (2-1) LP: Nick French (1-2) GW RBI: Nick Herz

August 15, 2006 - folks, this was the best game played so far this season. Both teams made several outstanding defensive plays (Chris Aprile, Adam Ralston, Ryan Cox) and both pitchers, Nick French and Eric Malerba, were sharp and in control. The score remained 2-2 through five innings of play and it was looking like the two teams would need several extra innings to determine a winner.

The Spartans threatened to take the lead in the sixth when they put runners on the corners with nobody out. After an infield ground out that couldn't plate the runner home Malerba took a line drive off the pitching arm. Amazingly, he quickly recovered and held the runner at third then fired a strike to first for the second out. A routine fly ball later and Murphy's had escaped a jam and had the momentum going into the bottom of the sixth.

Murphy's didn't waste any time when Mike Quirk put his team ahead when he smashed the first pitch he saw for a homerun to deep right center field. Nick Herz followed Quirk with another laser shot almost to the same place. Within two pitches Murphy's had suddenly opened up the game and led 4-2. Murphy's added another run making it 5-2 but it wasn't easy as the hard throwing lefty French stayed tough getting two strikeouts in the inning to keep the game within reach.

Malerba went to work in the seventh and quickly got the first two batters he faced. However, his counterpart Nick French then kept the Spartans hopes alive when he singled to right. Andrew Shirkoff then followed with a long double to left center that scored French making it 5-3. Suddenly, the Spartans had the tying run at the plate in the likes of rookie Vin Milano. On an 0-1 count Milano kept the inning alive with a single to right. With the game quickly slipping away from Murphy's Malerba got the next batter to hit a pop fly that was fittingly caught by Malerba himself.


Murphy's Law wins series 2-1
 
Il Giardino (1st - B) vs. Sidewalk Cafe (3rd - A)
Game 1: Il Giardino 4 vs. Sidewalk Cafe 8
WP: Mark Senna (1-0) LP: Nick Kleimola (1-2) GW RBI: Joe Andriano

August 14, 2006 - Brendan Flynn and Peter John hit back to back triples in a three run fifth inning that paced Sidewalk to an 8-4 victory in game one.

Il Giardino proved that they could play at the league's top level as they kept the score close and nearly pulled off the upset. Trailing by a run (5-4) in the fourth, Giardino had runners on the corners with the top of the order up but couldn't get the big hit to put them ahead. They threatened to score in each of the last three innings but again, couldn't come up with the key hit. Nick Kleimola pitched a great game and kept the Sidewalk offense in check.


Game 2: Sidewalk Cafe 24 vs. Il Giardino 10
WP: Mark Senna (2-0) LP: Nick Kleimola (1-3) GW RBI: Peter John

August 14, 2006 - lacking a second pitcher, both teams went back to their game one starters in a move that kept the scorekeepers busy.

In the top of the first inning, Sidewalk took advantage of a tired Kleimola by scoring nine runs on six hits that put Il Giardino in a very deep hole. Chuck Zaniboni and Jeremy Beauchemin struck the big blows in the inning.

However, Il Giardino fought back in the bottom of the first inning with four runs of their own. They added two more runs in the second inning on a big hit by Mike Kenny making it a three run game, 9-6. As expected, both teams were having their way with tired pitchers toeing the mound.

Sidewalk then added five runs in the third inning (all coming with two outs) and six more runs in the fourth that pretty much put the game out of reach, 20-6. While Sidewalk's offense was banging out the hits their pitcher, Mark Senna, found a second wind and was scattering hits and getting through innings with minimal damage. In the end, Sidewalk's offense was too much to contain as they breezed to a 24-10 series ending victory.


Sidewalk Cafe wins series 2-0
 
Seapoint Restaurant (2nd - B) vs. Stadium Sports Bar (2nd - A)
Game 1: Seapoint Restaurant 2 vs. Stadium Sports Bar 12
WP: John Gregorio (1-0) LP: Joey Burke (2-2) GW RBI: Rob Rogers

August 15, 2006 - it's seconds before the first pitch and the Stadium's shortstop, Steven Couturier, informs his team that he has to leave. "My son needs me, I have to go." With his priorities in good order, Couturier leaves the game behind and heads for his family.

After making a lineup change the game begins and Seapoint shows that they are here to win when they hit back to back singles off the hard throwing John Gregorio. Matt Lang then singles home Joe Kalil and Seapoint has something to cheer about in the early going. Gregorio then settles in and retires the side before surrendering any more runs.

In the bottom of the first inning, Rob Rogers smacks a 3-run homerun when he connects on a Joey Burke fastball. Tom Patella follows an inning later with a 2-run homerun to deep center that makes it 5-1 Stadium.

The Stadium's offense then dims the Seapoint hopes when they put the game out of reach in the fifth. Rob Rogers (2 HR, 6 RBI) connects for his second homerun of the game and the Stadium adds four more runs giving their ace pitcher (Gregorio) plenty of run support.

Later, the game ends on a play that I have never seen...the Seapoint batter hits a "single" to center but is then thrown out at first when Charlie Conners fires a missle to Daryle Alexander. Amazingly, it wasn't even a close play as they had the runner out by 3 feet. Moving right along....


Game 2: Stadium Sports Bar 13 vs. Seapoint Restaurant 3
WP: John Gregorio (2-0) LP: Jay Malley (0-1) GW RBI: John Martin

August 15, 2006 - facing elimination, Seapoint had their spirits lifted when their injured pitcher Jay Malley made his return to the mound. Malley, who had been sidelined for three weeks with a broken finger, looked rested and ready for the challenge.

With an overflowing crowd on hand Stadium's Tom Patella got the scoring started in the first when he launched a long homerun to deep right center field. The Stadium would add three more runs in the inning and for the moment the wind was taken out of the Seapoint sails.

In the second inning, James Scwartz put Seapoint on the scoreboard when he hit a sacrifice fly that scored Matt Lang. But the Stadium answered with a run of their own when John Martin tripled then scored the fifth run on a throwing error.

The Stadium then flexed their muscles in the fourth inning when Patella doubled home Charlie Conners; and Rob Rogers connected for another one of his "towering" homerun's to left. Suddenly it's 8-1 and the game is quickly getting out of reach for Seapoint. Steven Couturier follows with a hit and thinks he might be able to take second but hesitates as he doesn't hear his base coach. He then calls time and orders his team to "get a base coach, get a base coach!" I was told the folks standing in line at Sully's (1 mile away) could hear that the Stadium needed a first base coach. A few of them followed their ears and showed up at the field to see what all the excitement was about.

Pitcher, Tommy McGrath took over in the fifth inning and got a lift when he struck out a Seapoint batter and got the base runner picked off on a nifty double play. The Stadium added four more runs in the seventh as they cruised to a series ending 13-3 victory.


Stadium Sports Bar wins series 2-0
 
Boston Beer Garden (3rd - B) vs. Lynx (1st - A)
Game 1: Boston Beer Garden 5 vs. Lynx 9
WP: Dominic Lemarra (1-0) LP: Mark Landolfi (2-1) GW RBI: scored on error

August 16, 2006 - despite being heavy underdogs the Beer Garden kept pace with the Lynx and were hoping to pull off the upset. John Batchelder's 3-run homerun to left tied the game in the fourth and gave the Beer Garden a ray of hope.

The Lynx answered the wakeup call in the fifth when Kevin O'Hara tripled home Greg Carter to break the tie. Two Beer Garden errors later and a double by Jimmy Mulligan put the Lynx back in command at, 9-4.

Pitcher, Dominic Lemarra, then kept the Beer Garden's offense in check with two solid innings to close out the game.


Game 2: Lynx 21 vs. Boston Beer Garden 7
WP: Jerry Thomes (1-0) LP: Mark Landolfi (2-2) GW RBI: Jerry Thomes Jr.

August 16, 2006 - facing elimination and still carrying the hopes of the B division teams on their shoulders the Beer Garden's task became more difficult when an early inning injury to a key player left them short staffed. The injury coupled with the fact that they were facing ace pitcher Jerry Thomes, left us all believing that this would be a blowout game.

However, the Beer Garden again proved that they can play at the upper level as they hit Thomes early and even held a 6-4 lead heading into the fourth inning. But a sacrifice fly by Al Martin and a single by Marty Jimenez tied the game at 6-6. Jerry Thomes Jr then struck the big blow of the inning when he doubled to left center that scored two more runs, 8-6 Lynx.

Beer Garden's Matt Keating then arrived to the field and was quickly inserted into the lineup as a pinch hitter. Keating drove the first pitch he saw from Thomes to deep right for a long homerun making it 8-7. The Beer Garden had life but would need to shutdown the Lynx attack the rest of the way.

That didn't happen! The Lynx's offense took the game over in the sixth and seventh innings as they pounded out 10 hits and scored 13 runs. Kevin O'Hara and Jason Allen both homered for the Lynx in the onslaught as they cruised to the series ending victory. The win knocked out the only remaining B division team - the flame is out.


Lynx wins series 2-0
 
MORAN PRELIMINARY ROUND - BEST OF THREE
Gorilla Fingers (6th) vs. Il Giardino (1st)

Game 1: Gorilla Fingers 8 vs. Il Giardino 21
WP: Nick Kleimola (1-0) LP: James Metcalf (0-1) GW RBI: Todd Themistocles

August 7, 2006 - Il Giardino's pitcher, Nick Kleimola, helped himself tonight by connecting for 4 hits and 5 RBI on his way to pitching a complete game victory.

Kleimola got plenty of run support in this one as the first place Il Giardino's offense was firing on all cylinders. In the new era of the restricted ball, Pat Gallagher and Dave Ribeiro proved that the power hitters of the league will still hit their homerun's as each went deep in the early innings. Todd Themistocles also had a great night at the plate as he collected 3 hits and 4 RBI.


Game 2: Il Giardino 13 vs. Gorilla Fingers 14
WP: James Metcalf (1-1) LP: Nick Kleimola (1-1) GW RBI: John Hastings

August 7, 2006 - facing elimination, the Gorilla Fingers got an MVP performance out of shortstop Jose Almanzar, and forced a deciding game three to be played on Friday.
This game went back and fourth with both teams scoring runs in every inning. However, the Fingers held Giardino's offense in check in the sixth in an inning that was highlighted by an outstanding play by Almanzar. After watching his third baseman (Leon Correy) get hit by a line drive off his forearm, Almanzar didn't give up on the play. Instead, he bare handed the ball and fired a strike to the first baseman to record the out.

Almanzar then backed up his defense by swatting a 2-run homerun to left in the bottom of the sixth inning making it a 13-11 game. Il Giardino was trying to hold on to the slim lead but the momentum was quickly shifting. Neil Schnurbach, Jason Centrella, and Dave Gross then followed with two out singles that tied the game. One batter later, John Hastings delivered the game winning RBI with a single up the middle that plated Gross from second.

Il Giardino threatened to tie it in the seventh but couldn't score their base runner from third with one out in the inning. The two teams will play the deciding game three this Friday night at 6:30pm.


Game 3: Gorilla Fingers 9 vs. Il Giardino 14
WP: Dave Ribero (1-0) LP: James Metcalf (1-2) GW RBI: Andy Breda

August 11, 2006 - Il Giardino advances to the quarter finals - story to follow.


Il Giardino Cafe wins series 2-1
 
Full Tilt (5th) vs. Seapoint Restaurant (2nd)

Game 1: Full Tilt 12 vs. Seapoint Restaurant 18
WP: Joey Burke (1-0) LP: John Pathe (0-1) GW RBI: Jason Randlett

August 8, 2006 - the number two seed Seapoint Restaurant began their quest for a championship tonight when they out slugged Full Tilt, 18-12 in game one of the best of three series. Seapoint's offense scored in every inning including a six run sixth inning that put the game away. Joey Burke picked up the win for Seapoint and added to the attack with 3 hits.


Game 2: Seapoint Restaurant 8 vs. Full Tilt 9
WP: John Pathe (1-1) LP: Joey Burke (1-1) GW RBI: Jeremy Lastarza

August 8, 2006 - Jeremy Lastarza roped a single through the left side of the infield that scored the game winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning giving Full Tilt the come from behind victory. Full Tilt trailed 8-6 entering the last inning of play in a game they needed to win to starve off elimination. Prior to Lastarza's key hit, John Gulino tied the game with a two run homerun to right center.

The two teams will play a third and final game on Friday at 8pm. Seapoint's injured pitcher, Jay Malley, was at the game and looked anxious to make a return to the mound.


Game 3: Full Tilt 6 vs. Seapoint Restaurant 11
WP: Joey Burke (2-1) LP: John Pathe (1-2) GW RBI: Jordan Berns

August 11, 2006 - Seapoint Restaurant scored runs in the first five innings of the game including a four run first and never looked back as they advanced to the quarter finals.

Seapoint's pitcher, Joey Burke, pitched his best game of the season as he held Full Tilt's offense in check for the first four innings of the game (0 runs, 4 hits).

Full Tilt got back into the game in the fifth when they plated four runs making it a 9-4 game. But Seapoint answered the call with two more runs in the bottom of the inning giving Burke more breathing room to close out the game and series.


Seapoint Restaurant wins series 2-1
 
Brewers (4th) vs. Boston Beer Garden (3rd)
Game 1: Brewers 9 vs. Boston Beer Garden 14
WP: Mark Landolfi (1-0) LP: Greg D'Antona (0-1) GW RBI: Matt Keating

August 10, 2006 - trailing by a run in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Boston Beer Garden's offense erupted and scored seven runs as they cruised to a 14-9 victory in game one of the series. Matt Keating and Jon Batchelder both smashed homerun's in the inning.

Earlier, the Brewers had built a lead on homeruns by Derrick Smith, Jarret Britt, and Chris King. Things were shaping up for the Brewers until the Beer Garden's defense got stingy in the field. Mark Hindman robbed the leadoff hitter of extra bases in the sixth when he made a spectacular diving catch in right field. A play later had Kenny McGoldrick making a nifty play at second to end the inning.

The Brewers tried to rally in the seventh but McGoldrick came up big again when he caught a line drive then doubled off the Brewer base runner for a double play. The next batter, Derrick Smith, launched his second homerun of the night making it a 14-9 game and giving Smith's fan club something to cheer about. An out later and the game was over leaving the Brewers to wonder what would have happened if McGoldrick didn't turn the double play.


Game 2: Boston Beer Garden 11 vs. Brewers 1
WP: Mark Landolfi (2-0) LP: Tom Yeo (0-1) GW RBI: Matt Keating

August 10, 2006 - the Beer Garden's defense played their strongest game of the season and they got a great pitching performance from Mark Landolfi as they rolled to an 11-1 series ending victory.

Landolfi, 2-0 in the playoffs, limited the Brewers attack to just three hits in seven innings. He nearly had the complete game shutout but lost his bid in the seventh when Sam Hubley singled home the Brewers only run of the game.

However, as effective as Landolfi's was on the mound the game's top performance went to the Beer Garden's quiet star, Matt Keating. Keating hit two moon rockets (HR's) to right field that eventually came crashing down to earth somewhere near the N Street field. The Brewers right fielder was already playing very deep yet Keating still managed to put it over his head. Amazingly, Keating's hits came in the new era of the so called "dead ball." His performance wasn't all done from the batter's box either as he opened eyes making play after play at third base for the Beer Garden. Some players rise to the occasion when the heat is turned up; Matt Keating is one of those guys.


Boston Beer Garden wins series 2-0
 
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