|Finals (best of 7)
|The Sidewalk Cafe (2A) vs Shennanigan's (1A)
Game 1: Tuesday, Sep. 7 @ 8:00 pm
Sidewalk Cafe 7 - Shennanigan's 6
The Sidewalk Cafe won a 7-6 nail biter over Shennanigans in game one of their best of seven finals.
Shennanigans opened the scoring with a four run fourth inning behind RBI hits by John and Michael Hoadley (three hits, two RBI). However, Sidewalk answered back in the top of the fifth inning when Adam Ralston cleared the bases with a triple, 4-3.
It would be another three run triple that would put Sidewalk ahead for good in the sixth when Mike Mercier found the gap, 6-4. Sidewalk's pitcher, Mark Senna, would then throw two scoreless innings preserving the two run lead going into the seventh inning.
Sidewalk would add an important insurance run in the inning when the hot hitting Ralston (4 RBI) connected for his second extra base hit for the game which scored Andrew White (two hits) from first, 7-4
Senna would run into trouble in the seventh as Shennanigans got clutch two out RBI hits by Juan Rivera and Mike Hoadley making it 7-6. However, the rally would fall a run short as the next batter grounded out to end the thrilling playoff game.
Game 2: Wednesday, Sep. 8 @ 8:00 pm
Shennanigan's 13 - Sidewalk Cafe 8
With the score tied 8-8, Shennanigan's scored five runs over the last two innings to pull away from Sidewalk and even their best of seven series at a game a piece tonight. Their seventeen hit attack was led by Joe Cavaleri (3 hits) and John Hoadley (3 hits) who both had a productive night at the plate.
This one would go back and forth for five innings of play before Shennanigan's finally pulled away. The scoring started in the top of the second when Brian Pacheco doubled home two runs which made it 3-0 Shennanigan's. Sidewalk answered in the same inning when Dave Seermon (3 hits, 4 RBI) roped a two-run double to left field, 3-2.
Shennanigan's would then carry a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the fourth only to watch Sidewalk put together a four run rally to take a 6-4 lead. It was Seermon who answered the bell again with a RBI single to right center. Sam MacDonald (5 hits, 2 doubles) would then follow with a bases clearing double making it 5-4. Sidewalk would score another in the inning on Kevin Ohara's double to deep left, 6-4.
However, the lead wouldn't last long as Shennanigan's stormed right back with four runs of their own. With two outs and runners on the corners, John Hoadley ripped a RBI single to center field making it 6-5. Shennanigan's would then catch a break as a Sidewalk error kept the inning alive and led to three more unearned runs, 8-6.
Sidewalk would pick themselves up when Brad Morrill lined a triple to deep center that scored Andrew White from first, 8-7. Morrill would come across the plate to tie the game on another RBI single by Dave Seermon, 8-8.
The game would move to the top of the sixth inning where Shennanigan's would get back to back doubles to start the inning, 9-8. Joe Cavaleri made it 10-8 when he hit a sacrifice fly to left.
Now with another lead, Shennanigan's pitcher Domenic Lemarra threw hard and had a relatively easy inning in the home half of the sixth - just what Shennanigan's needed.
It would be the bottom of the order that would get the job done again for Shennanigan's as Dennis Hajjar led off with a triple and scored on Steve Stalcup's (2 hits) single to right, 11-8. Hajjar and Stalcup would later score in the inning after Juan Rivera came through after a lengthy at bat to make it 13-8. Sidewalk managed to load the bases in the seventh but couldnt' put any runs across the plate which put an end to the game two slugfest.
Game 3: Thursday, Sep. 9 @ 8:00 pm
Shennanigan's 3 - Sidewalk Cafe 1
Pitcher Domenic Lemarra silenced the Sidewalk attack tonight by firing a six hitter while earning the 3-1 game three victory. Lemarra carried a shutout into the seventh inning before Brad Morrill connected for an RBI triple to deep left field. It would be the only mistake Lemarra would make for the game.
Shennanigan's took the lead in the bottom of the third when Al Martin (2 hits) doubled down the left field line to put runners on second and third with nobody out. Juan Rivera then reached on a fielders choice that scored Steve Stalcup from third, 1-0. Two batters later Martin would score on a sacrifice fly to deep center field, 2-0.
Sidewalk put together a small threat in the top of the fourth but Lemarra got out of the jam with two ground ball outs. The game was now clearly shaping up to be a pitcher's duel between Lemarra and Sidewalk's Mark Senna.
Shennanigan's would push another run across the board in the bottom of the fifth inning when Rivera singled home Stalcup from third making it 3-0. With Shennanigan's threatening for more runs, Senna would then pitch out of a no out jam against the heart of the order to minimize the damage.
Sidewalk would finally get to Lemarra in the seventh but would fall a couple of runs short. Instead it will be Shennanigan's who will carry the 2-1 series lead into the weekend.
Game 4: Tuesday, Sep. 14 @ 8:00pm
Shennanigan's 4 - Sidewalk Cafe 3
Shennanigan's raced out to a 4-0 lead then hung on to nip the Sidewalk Cafe behind a solid pitching performance from Mike Hoadley. The victory puts the defending champions within one game of retaining the title.
Shennanigan's opened the scoring in the top of the second when lefty John Smith led off with a double to right center field. Two batters later Greg Trudeau drove Smith home with a hard single to left field, 1-0. Shennanigan's would make it 2-0 in the third inning behind back to back hit by Dennis Hajjar and Mike Hoadley (3 hits).
With Hoadley having very little difficulties dealing with the Sidewalk batters, Shennanigan's added a pair of runs in the fourth which seemed to put the game out of reach. This time the RBI hits came from John Hoadley and Dave Conti, 4-0.
However, the Sidewalk nine fought back in the bottom of the fourth when Marty Jemenez doubled and later scored on Adam Ralston's towering homerun over the left field fence, 4-3. Suddenly, Sidewalk was back in the game but would have to rely heavily on their 61 year pitcher, George Pratt, to keep Shennanigan's from scoring the rest of the way.
The burly right hander did just that as he pitched his best game (7 innings, 10 hits, 1 earned run) of the season when the team needed it most. The game moved into the bottom of the sixth where Brad Morrill led off with a single. Adam Ralston (2 hits, 3 RBI) then delivered another RBI hit for Sidewalk as he laced a hard double to center field, 4-3. Ralston advanced to third on a groundout which put the tying runner only 65 feet away with one out. However, Hoadley reached down and struck the next batter out. He then ended the rally when he got the last batter to ground out.
Pratt would retire the side in order in the seventh and Sidewalk would have one last crack at Hoadley and Shennanigan's. It was Pratt himself who led off the inning and nearly tied it when he launched an 0-2 offering to deeep left field. However, the ball would stay in the park and settle in left fielder Juan Rivera's glove for the first out. Mark Senna (2 hits) then followed with a sharp single to left but was left standing there as Hoadley retired the next two batters to end the game.
Game 5: Wednesday, Sep. 15 @ 8:00pm
Shennanigan's 8 - Sidewalk Cafe 2
Mike Hoadley pitched out of a bases loaded nobody out jam in the top of the first inning and then got plenty of run support as Shennanigan's cruised to an 8-2 championship clinching victory over the Sidewalk Cafe tonight. It was Shennanigan's second championship in two years.
After surviving the opening threat by Sidewalk, Shennanigan's put two runners on and then got the clutch hit that Sidewalk couldn't get as Dan Brown (2 doubles) doubled home Al Martin and Juan Rivera making it 2-0 in the bottom of the first.
Sidewalk would cut the lead in half in the third but that would be as close as they would get to Hoadley. Shennanigan's would score five more runs in the fourth inning which was aided by several Sidewalk errors and pretty much signaled the end of the series. Luis Colon and John Smith (2 hits) had the big RBI hits in the inning.
Unfortunately, this series did not live up to any of the expectations that were set and the conclusion was anticlimactic. Mainly it was because of Sidewalk's inability to field the talented team that they featured all season long. Several key players were "unavailable" when the team needed them the most (Games 3, 4, & 5). They even had to pull a fan from the stands to catch in this last game...now that's embarrassing! There's no question that changes will take place in the off season that will have Sidewalk back competing and contending for another shot at the title next year.
While Sidewalk struggled with man power in this series, Shennanigan's did not. In fact, they had all of their players available in game five including those on injured reserve. On a side note it was great to see pitcher Eric Malerba, who was forced to take the year off, enjoying his team's success. Shennanigan's are to be congratulated for a great season of softball. Once again they have earned the right to call themselves champions.
The 2010 M Street champions are: coach Dave Conti, Dan Brown, Joe Cavaleri, Luis Colon, Mark Dion, Dennis Hajjar, John Hoadley, Mike Hoadley, Dom Lamarra, Al Martin, Brian Pacheco, Juan Rivera, Steve Stalcup, and Greg Trudell. Photo will be posted soon...
Shennanigan's wins best of seven series 4-1
|Semi-Finals (best of 5)
|The Playwright-BBG (4A) vs Shennanigan's (1A)
Game 1: Wednesday, Aug. 18 @ 8:30pm
Playwright-BBG 6 - Shennanigan's 2
The Playwright's pitcher Keith Zeweiy outlasted Domenec Lamarra as the Playwright scored three runs in the seventh to pull away and win 6-2 in the first game of a best of five series.
Trailing 3-2 but pitching a strong game, Lamarra appeared to have injured himself between the sixth and seventh innings. As the burly right hander took to the mound in the seventh it was apparent that he was trying his best to play through a neck or back injury.
With Lamarra ailing, the Playwright quickly went to work as Zeweiy (3 hits) and Michael Broderick both singled. Peter Drummey then followed with a missle to right center that scored both runners, 5-2. Drummey then scored from second on Joe Broderick's single to center, 6-2.
However, Shennanigan's wouldn't go quietly in the seventh as they had runners on the corners with two outs and their lead off hitter at the plate in Al Martin. On a 1-2 count, Martin hit a sinking liner to center where Joey Broderick made a nice diving catch to end the well played game.
Prior to the seventh inning, this was a defensive game with the Playwright's defense making several great plays. Some of them include Billy MacDougal's throw to nail Juan Rivera (2 hits), who had singled and was trying to get himself into scoring position. Joe Broderick's great running catch to take away a game tying homerun from Dan Brown in the bottom of the sixth inning. And Michael Broderick's outstanding running catches at second base.
This series seems to have picked up where last year's left off. It took seven games in the finals to declare a champion and this one looks like it will be going the distance too.
Game 2: Thursday, Aug. 19 & Aug. 30
Shennanigan's 8 - Playwright-BBG 7 (14 innings)
Aug. 19 - Seven innings wasn't enough tonight as Shennanigan's and the Playwright-BBG battled back and fourth in their second game of the semi-finals. With the score tied 6-6, the game moved into extra innings where a series of bizarre and embarrassing events would unfold.
Just before the start of the eigth inning, the umpire working the game informed both coaches that there is an additional $2 per inning charge that needs to be collected before the game continues. The Playwright-BBG paid their fee but Shennanigan's didn't. Instead, they asked the commissioner, who was in the stands watching the game, if this was the case and when told it was they made some rude comments but still didn't pay the umpire the extra fee. As the time passed the umpire became furious over the fact that he still wasn't paid for the game ($20) yet and was now being hassled about the extra fee. Moments later, the now enraged umpire stormed off the field which brought an abrupt end to the tied game.
Aug. 30 - after a week of rainouts in a game that should have ended 11 days ago, the Playright and Shennanigan's would need another seven full innings to finish the history making game tonight.
This was a classic M Street Softball playoff game folks. It had everything you can imagine - outstanding pitching by Keith Zeweiy (2 earned runs over 7 IP) and Domenic Lemarra (1 earned run over 7 IP), great defense (Dave Conti's game saving catch in right field, Mark Hindman's catch), baserunning miscues (Conti trips rounding third, Joe Broderick trips rounding first), clutch hitting (Mario Perrella ties game with single in the eigth), and some great umpiring by Chuck Feltch and Chuck Allen.
With the score tied 6-6, Shennanigan's took the lead in the eigth when Dan Brown (3 hits) doubled home Luis Colon (4 hits) from first base. But the Playwright answered back in the home half of the inning. Billy MacDougal led off with a bloop to right in no-man's land that was sure to be a double. But Conti came charging in and made a tremendous sliding catch for the first out. It was a huge catch considering that Danny McElaney followed with a double to left center and Perella followed with a game tying single. If it wasn't for Conti's catch Perella's hit would have scored two runs and the game would have been over.
Zeweiy and Lemarra would then throw five scoreless innings as both had dominating stuff tonight. Finally, in the top of the fourteenth Al Martin led off with a walk and took second on an infield single by Dennis Hajjar. Martin would then score on a fielder's choice to deep second and Shennanigans was back in front, 8-7.
Lemarra wasn't about to let this one get away again as the burly right hander reached back and fired strike after strike while finishing the game very strong. The Playwright went down in order as Shennanigans finally pulled off the much needed win to even the best of five series.
The two teams were orginally scheduled to play game three tonight but due to the length of this game and the time limit it was decided to use the off day and schedule game four on Wednesday and game five on Thursday.
Game 3: Tuesday, Aug. 31 @ 6:30pm
Playwright-BBG 7 - Shennanigan's 5
Mark Hindman, who is known for his strong arm and stellar play in right field, was buried deep in the batting order (9th) tonight but struck the biggest blow of the game when he hit a 2-run homerun to deep left to give the Playwright a 4-2 lead in the top of the fifth inning. The homerun came just after the Playwright had tied the game on Billy MacDougal's triple, Keith Zeweiy's double, and Mark Landolfi's single.
The score would remain 4-2 until the seventh inning when the Playwright would send ten men to the plate and score four more insurance runs to take a 8-2 lead. Anthony Abdelehad's clutch two out triple that plated two runs was the big hit of the inning. Brian Sheehan and Mario Perella also came through with RBI singles in the inning to blow the game open.
Now with a comfortable lead, Zeweiy and his teammates only needed three outs to take a 2-1 series lead. However, the defending champions wouldn't go down quietly as Al Martin and Luis Colon both reached with two outs. Mike Hoadley then followed with a bloop single that scored Martin, 8-3. With the Playwright defense starting to tighten up, lefty John Smith hit a grounder to second that was mishandled and another run scored, 8-4. Greg Trudeau made sure they would have to sweat it out some more as he followed with an RBI single to right and suddenly Shennanigan's had the tying run at the plate, 8-5. However, Zeweiy reached down and got the last out on a fly ball to end another great game in this memorable series.
The two teams won't have much time to rest as they will be back at in on Wednesday with Shennanigan's needing a win in game four to keep their season alive. On the other side of the diamond, the Playwright-BBG would enjoy knocking out the team that kept them from tasting the champagne in last year's finals.
Game 4: Wednesday, Sept. 1 @ 8:30pm
Shennanigan's 15 - Playwright-BBG 0
With their backs against the wall, Shennanigan's came out swinging tonight and completely destroyed the Playwright to force a deciding game five tomorrow night.
This one was pretty much over before Dennis Hajjar's (3 hits) grand slam in the fifth inning made it 9-0 and put the final nail in the coffin. However, the barrage would continue in the fifth as Shennanigan's scored six more runs to make it 15-0. Prior to Hajjar's homerun, Shennanigan's had scored runs in each of the first four innings to lead 5-0. Mike Hoadley also homered in the big inning, a two-run shot that cleared the fence in left field.
While the offense was clicking so was their defense and pitching as Hoadley had only surrendered three hits and no runs over that four inning span. The Playwright went down quietly in the bottom of the fifth which ended the game by virtue of the 12-run mercy rule.
This was not what anyone expected as the two teams have matched up very well and even needed 14 innings to settle game two in this series. Then again, the score might be lopsided but the series hasn't been and it shouldn't come as a surprise that both semi-final series will need a fifth game to decide who makes it into the finals.
Game 5: Thursday, Sept. 2 @ 8:30pm
Shennanigan's 12 - Playwright-BBG 3
Shennanigan's advanced to the finals tonight with another impressive win over the Playwright-BBG in game five of their series, 12-3. The Playwright just couldn't find an answer to stopping the lethal attack in the early innings and it cost them the game and the series.
After scoring two runs in the top of the first inning courtesy of Mario Perella's double, the Playwright were looking for a clean inning to start the game. However, Shennanigan's Dan Brown (2 hits) quickly put that to an end when he doubled down the left field line scoring Juan Rivera and Brian Pacheco, 2-2. Lefty John Smith followed with an RBI single and later scored on Steve Stalcup's single to center field, 4-2.
The Playwright tried to answer back when they loaded the bases in the top of the second inning but pitcher Domenic Lemarra wiggled out of the jam. That would prove to be the last time a Shennanigan's pitcher would face a batter with the game on the line.
Shennanigan's offense turned up the heat and blew the game open in the bottom of the second when they scored six more runs. Juan Rivera (3 hits), Smith (2 hits), and Al Martin (2 hits) all came up with RBI hits in the game changing inning.
Now trailing 10-2 and with no easy answer to stop the onslaught, the Playwright tried to keep a brave face but the deck was stacked high against them. They twice gathered around their pitcher, Keith Zewiey, but the rally call wouldn't be enough tonight as Shennanigan's had all of the answers.
With a comfortable lead, Shennanigan's handed the ball over to pitcher Mike Hoadley who threw four innings while yielding just one unearned run. The depth in pitching would be one of the keys to the series and Shennanigan's played it to their advantage tonight.
Shennanigan's will now look to defend their crown against the Sidewalk Cafe in the M Street Softball championship. Although the rivalry has been heated at times, it's the first playoff meeting between these two clubs. The series starts on Tuesday, September 7 at 8pm.
Shennanigan's wins series 3-2
|The Playwright II (3A) vs Sidewalk Cafe (2A)
Game 1: Wednesday, Aug. 18 @ 6:30pm
Playwright II 5 - Sidewalk Cafe 4
Trailing by two runs, Josh Newly hit a double to center that scored Darryl Alexander and Charlie Conners giving the Playwright II a 5-4 lead over Sidewalk in the top of the seventh inning. Sidewalk would then put a runner on in the seventh before Joey Venuti set the last two batters down to earn the game one victory.
Prior to Seeley's clutch hit, the Playwright built a 2-1 lead in the third when Alexander singled home Nick Manning from second and later scored on Seeley's first double of the game.
The game would move into the bottom of the fifth inning where Sidewalk would get some key hits from the bottom of their order. Andrew White doubled home Jim Ladio to tie the game, 2-2 and then scored the go ahead run on Dave Seermon's homerun to right field. Sidewalk led 4-2 going into the sixth inning.
With one out and his team down by two, Rob Rogers connected for a homerun to left making it a 4-3 game. The score would remain that way until Josh Newly's two out double put Playwright II ahead to stay.
Both pitchers were very good tonight, Venuti finished the game with seven strikeouts while yielding only six hits while Sidewalk's George Pratt scattered nine hits while picking up three strikeouts.
Game 2: Thursday, Aug. 19 @ 6:30pm
Sidewalk Cafe 7 - Playwright II 2
Needing a win to avoid falling into a deep hole, the Sidewalk Cafe played a sound defensive game before turning on the offense in the seventh to win going away, 7-2.
Sidewalk's Adam Ralston (2 hits, double, 2 RBI) opened the scoring in the first with a clutch double to center field, 2-0. The Playwright answered in the bottom of the third when a Nick Manning single up the middle drove in their first run, 2-1.
However, Jimmy Ladio got that run back for Sidewalk when he homered to left in the fourth, 3-1. The score would remain that way until the bottom of the sixth inning as both teams were getting great pitching (Joey Venuti and Mark Senna) and stellar defense (great plays by Brad Morril and Peter Needham).
In the sixth, Pat Pickup led the inning off with a tall homerun to left making it 3-2. It was looking like the Playwright was going to take one away in the late innings just as they did in game one.
But Senna (3 hits, double) wasn't about to let that happen tonight as he led the seventh off with a double to right center and later scored on Kevin Ohara's (3 hits, double, 2 RBI) bases clearing double, 5-2. A sacrifice fly by Mike Mercier would score Ohara to give Sidewalk a comfortable 6-2 lead. Ralston would follow with a double and score on a fielder's choice to make it 7-2. That would finish the scoring in this one as Sidewalk evens the series at a game a piece.
Game 3: Monday, Aug. 30 @ 8:30pm
Sidewalk Cafe 11 - Playwright II 4
Sidewalk Cafe's offense erupted for nine runs in the second and third innings and they got another strong outing from pitcher George Pratt as they cruised to victory in game three.
With Sidewalk leading 4-3 in the bottom of the third, Brad Morrill (2 hits) connected for a two out three-run homerun to right field, 7-3. The two out rally continued when lefty Tommy Connolly put the game out of reach with a bases clearing double making it 9-3.
Rob Rogers (3 hits) was the hitting star for Playwright while Mark Senna led the Sidewalk with three hits (double, 2 RBI).
The Playwright now has their backs against the wall and will need a strong game from pitcher Joey Venuti in game four tomorrow night.
Game 4: Tuesday, Aug. 31 @ 8:30pm
Playwright 8 - Sidewalk Cafe 7
With the score tied 6-6, the opportunistic Playwright II forced a game five tonight when they scored two runs on just one hit in the bottom of the sixth inning. Joe Seeley's one out double to right center started the rally and became Sidewalk's undoing.
With Seeley on second Sidewalk decided to intentionally walk Rob Rogers to set up a possible double play. However, the move backfired when Pat Pickup reached with a walk to load the bases. John Manning then put the Playwright in front with a sacrifice fly to left field, 7-6. The Playwright would get a key insurance run in the inning on a Sidewalk error, 8-6.
Sidewalk fought back in the top of the seventh inning when Kevin Ohara (2 doubles and a HR) lined a homerun to right field making it 8-7. With two outs, Mike Mercier (3 hits) then followed with a triple and Sidewalk had the tying run just 65 feet away. However, pitcher Joey Venuti got the next batter to pop out ending another M Street Softball playoff classic.
As expected, the series will now move to a deciding game five which is scheduled to play this Thursday. Tickets are going fast as a large crowd is expected to be on hand for this one.
Game 5: Thursday, Sep. 2 @ 6:30pm
Sidewalk Cafe 12 - Playwright II 5
The Sidewalk Cafe erupted for seven runs in the bottom of the first inning then cruised to a series clinching victory behind a strong outing from pitcher George Pratt. Tommy Connolly (double, 2 RBI), Mike Mercier (homerun, double), and Joe Andriano (2 doubles, 3 RBI) all struck big blows in the first inning as Sidewalk batted around the order.
Although they were down, the Playwright II fought back with runs in the second and third inning to cut the lead to 7-3. Now within striking distance, they put two runners on base in the fourth and had the hot hitting Joe Seeley (3 hits, 2 RBI) at the plate. On a 2-2 pitch, Seeley lined a ball that was heading for center field and was certain to score both runners. However, Sidewalk's second baseman, Tim Walsh, dove to his right and made a highlight reel catch. As it turned out, Walsh's catch may have been the play of the game.
Sidewalk would score another run in the bottom of the inning on Kevin Ohara's (3 hits) second double of the game, 8-3. They would make it 9-3 in the fifth when Andriano doubled to left center scoring Mercier from second.
Those runs would prove to be much needed as the Playwright II rallied in the sixth inning. This time Seeley wouldn't be denied as he delivered a single to right that scored Peter Needham (2 hits) and Nick Manning, 9-5.
However, Sidewalk wasn't about to let this one slip away as they answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. Sam MacDonald (2 doubles) and Tim Walsh struck the big blows with RBI hits that capped the scoring at 12-5.
Sidewalk will now take on Shennanigan's in a best of seven series for the M Street Softball championship. Shennanigan's, who are the defending champions, won both games during the regular season (9-6 and 12-5). Sidewalk will be making their first trip to the finals since 2006.
Sidewalk Cafe wins series 3-2
|Quarter-Finals (best of 3)
|The Junction (4B) vs Shennanigan's (1A)
Game 1: Wednesday, Aug. 11 @ 6:30pm
The Junction 9 - Shennanigan's 6
In a season full of upsets, the Junction added their own page to the history books by knocking off the defending champion Shennanigan's in game one of their best of two series. Before a pitch was even thrown the Junction knew this was the game they needed to win as Shennanigan's were without neither of their star pitchers, Mike Hoadley or Dom Lamarra.
Instead, Al Martin was called upon to make only his second start of the season. The Junction wasted little time to take advantage of the situation by loading the bases and plating three runs in the first inning.
After the shaky start, Martin settled in nicely and kept his team in the game by throwing three scoreless innings. But the Junction tacked three more runs on the scoreboard in the top of the sixth when Jesse Carlton hit a tall 3-run homerun to left, 6-0.
Realizing the game was getting away from them, Shennanigan's answered the bell in the home half of the fifth when Luis Colon hit a check swing homerun to right field, 6-3.
The game moved onto the sixth inning where Adam Senter lead off with a double to left. Senter later scored when Jason Scarfo poked a two out single through the infield to give the Junction a 7-3 lead.
Again, the defending champs knew they were running out of time and would need to quickly put something together to cut into the lead. After a lead off walk to Joe Cavaleri, Juan Rivera lined a double to left to put runners on second and third. Brian Pacheco then silenced the Junction fans with a bases clearing single to right center field, 7-5. Pacheco would score later in the inning when Dave Conti reached on a fielder's choice, 7-6.
The Junction loaded the bases with one out in the seventh but then hit into what appeared to be an inning ending double play. However, an errant throw to first by the Shennanigan's shortstop led to two unearned runs which gave the Junction a 9-6 lead. A brief argument ensued that had the Shennanigan's shortstop and coach claiming that the base runner had interfered with the throw. It's possible that this was the case but it would be a very tough call for the umpire to see and make from behind home plate.
With the middle of the order due up in the bottom of the seventh, the Junction's pitcher Jimmy McNiff would have a tough task in finishing this one. First up was Colon who had homered, singled, and walked tonight. On a 1-1 count, the big righty launched a towering drive to deep left field that looked long enough to go out. However, left fielder Todd Weil got underneath it and made the catch for the first out. Next up was slugger Dan Brown who was overdue and was looking for a hit. But McNiff won the battle as he got the powerful righty to fly out to center fielder, Jim Lambert. Joe Cavaleri then hit an infield squibber that looked like a sure out but would be scored as an infield single. With a runner on and two outs, McNiff got Juan Rivera to ground out ending the game.
Game 2: Monday, Aug. 16 @ 7:30pm
Shennanigan's 14 - The Junction 2
The Junction came crashing down to reality tonight as Shennanigan's took advantage of some poor defense and pounded them in five innings, 14-2 to set up a winner take all game three tomorrow night.
This one got away in a hurry as Shennanigan's sent twelve men to the plate while scoring eight runs in the top of the first inning. The onslaught was highlited by John Smith's two run triple and Steve Stalcup's bases clearing triple to deep center field. Stalcup's bomb ended the evening for pitcher Jim McNiff. The wiry veteran has been very good this year but this wasn't one of Jim's best outings: 2/3 innings pitched, 5 hits allowed, 3 walks, and 8 earned runs.
After that inning the ball was handed to Domenic Lamarra who made it academic that Shennanigan's would own this night as he mowed down the side in order while picking up two strikeouts. The burly righty finished the game with four strikeouts in five innings of work while yielding two runs. His only blemish was giving up a homerun to the Junction's power hitting righty, Jesse Carlton.
McNiff and the Junction will look to forget about this game as quick as possible while Shennanigan's will use it as another stepping stone towards their goal, to win another championship.
Game 3: Tuesday, Aug. 17 @ 7:30pm
Shennanigan's 4 - The Junction 2
Domenic Lamarra tossed a three-hitter and outfielder Brian Pacheco drove in three runs as Shennanigan's edged the Junction in game three of their quarter final series.
The Junction's Jim Lambert opened the scoring in the first with a homerun to left, 1-0. Pacheco and Shennanigan's would tie it an inning later with a double to right that scored John Smith (2 singles) from first, 1-1.
Mike Archembault put the Junction ahead in the third with a RBI single to right field, 2-1. That would be the last hit that Lamarra would allow as he got stronger as the game wore on and was aided by several outstanding defensive plays. Shennanigan's Dan Brown made two great plays at third and Steve Stalcup turned two inning ending double plays.
Shennanigan's took the lead for good in the fourth when John Smith stroked his second single of the game to left which scored Dan Brown from second, 2-2. Pacheco then delivered in the clutch again with his second RBI of the game - a sacrifice fly to center, 3-2.
Lamarra ran into a little trouble in the sixth after Shennanigan's committed back-to-back errors with one out. But Stalcup extinguished the rally with another gem of a play.
Pacheco would then give Shennanigan's an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when he smoked a line drive down the third base line that scored John Smith from first, 4-2. That score would stand as Lamarra set the Junction down in order in the seventh.
Although they dropped the first game of the series, Shennanigan's had enough talent to sweep the next two games and will move on to face the team they beat in the finals last year, the Playwright (BBG).
It should be noted that Jim McNiff rebounded from a rough outing and pitched his best game of the year against a very tough hitting lineup. It would be fair to say that this playoff experience will go a long way for the Junction who will be a team to watch out for in the very near future.
In closing, it was great to hear Shennanigan's Juan Rivera, who was replaced in the early innings, loudly cheering his team on to victory. Some would have stewed about being replaced in a tight game but he didn't - that's great sportsmanship right there folks!
Shennanigan's wins series 2-1
|Stingers (5A) vs Sidewalk Cafe (2A)
Game 1: Tuesday, Aug. 10 @ 6:30pm
Sidewalk Cafe 9 - Stingers 7
Sidewalk's Jim Ladio broke a 7-7 sixth inning tie with a long homerun to left just minutes after the Stingers had rallied with a three run sixth to tie the game. This was a classic M Street playoff game with plenty of great plays and high drama.
Before Ladio's blast the Stingers were feeling very good about their chances as they had built a 4-1 lead through four and a half innings of play. Kevin Lynch (4 hits), Jimmy Peters (2 hits, double, 2 RBI), and Chris Unglaub all had key RBI hits. The Stingers were also riding another strong performance from their ace pitcher, Steve Mills.
However, Sidewalk would turn the tables in the bottom of the fifth with a six run uprising. After loading the bases with one out, Sam McDonald ripped the first pitch he saw to right scoring two runs, 4-3. Kevin Ohara (2 hits, RBI), Mike Mercier (2 hits, 2RBI), and Brad Morrill (2 hits, triple, 2 RBI) all followed with clutch RBI hits that put Sidewalk in front, 7-4.
The lead didn't last long though as the Stingers went right back to work in the sixth. Steve Ballas' RBI double to left center cut the lead to 7-5. Sidewalk decided to intentionally walk Jimmy Peters which loaded the bases with two outs for Brendan O'Heir. On the second pitch, O'Heir made the strategy backfire when he singled sharply to center scoring two runs and tying the game, 7-7.
The game moved to the bottom of the sixth where Ladio connected for his two out clutch homerun. Sidewalk would add another run in the inning when Marty Jemenez (3 hits, double, RBI) doubled home Joe Andriano from first, 9-7.
Keeping with the script, the Stingers didn't go quietly in the seventh. Chris Unglaub walked on four straight pitches and then reach second on Kevin Lynch's fourth hit of the game. After a brief discussion on the mound, Sidewalk's pitcher George Pratt got the first out of the inning on a pop fly. John Lawrie then stepped into the lefty batter's box and on a 1-1 offering he ripped a liner that was heading for right field and extra bases. But Sidewalk's first baseman, Dave Seermon, made the play of the game when he dove to snag the liner and then alertly doubled off Lynch who had only moved a step or two away from the bag. Mercy!
Game 2: Thursday, Aug. 12 @ 7:30pm
Sidewalk Cafe 10 - Stingers 3
The Sidewalk Cafe got five scoreless innings from pitcher Mark Senna as they cruised to a 10-3 series ending victory tonight. Trailing 3-0, the Stingers took advantage of Senna's control problems in the second inning and tied the game, 3-3. However, that would be the last runs allowed by Senna and the stingy Sidewalk defense (two double plays).
Sidewalk got production from nearly every batter in their lineup and were led by Marty Jemenez's three hits including a homerun and a double. Jim Ladio (2 hits), Kevin Ohara (2 hits), and Tim Walsh (2 hits, 2 RBI) were the hitting stars for Sidewalk while the Stingers Denny Miller led his squad with a pair of singles.
Sidewalk will now wait for the Shennanigans vs Junction series to conclude early next week to see who they play in the semi-finals.
Sidewalk Cafe wins series 2-0
|Masterbatters (1C) vs The Playwright II (3A)
Game 1: Wednesday, Aug. 11 @ 8:15pm
The Playwright II 16 - Masterbatters 1
The Playwright's Joey Venuti set the pace early when he struck out the first four batters he faced tonight. Venuti finished the game with nine K's as the Playwright dominated this one from wire-to-wire, 16-1.
Playwright got plenty of offense from their starting nine and were led by John Manning (3 hits, 1 HR, 1 double, 5 RBI) and Josh Neely (2 hits, 4 RBI). This one was pretty much decided by the second inning as the Playwright had built a 12-0 lead and the Masterbatters were struggling against Venuti.
Things would get even tougher for the Masterbatters in the third inning when their shortstop, Chris Gingle, took a bad hop off the face and would need to leave the game. The ball had left a sizeable welt over his left eye that we are all hoping isn't as serious as it looked. The two teams will play game two on Thursday at 9pm.
Game 2: Thursday, Aug. 13 @ 9:00pm
The Playwright II 14 - Masterbatters 1
The Playwright unloaded with a homerun barrage in the first inning then watched their ace pitcher, Joey Venuti, strike out batter after batter as they cruised to a series clinching victory tonight over the Masterbatters.
Venuti, set the single season strikeout record in the third inning tonight when he struck out his 118 batter of the season. The record was previously held by Sidewalk's George Pratt who fanned 117 in the 2003 season. With more playoff games to play, there is no telling just how many Venuti will finish with.
The Playwright II will now tune into the Shennanigans vs Junction series to see who they play in the semi-finals.
Unfortunately, the news was not good in regards to the injury to Chris Gingle. We were told that Gingle spent the night in the hospital with a broken nose. The shortstop took a ball off the face in the first game of the series. The league wishes Chris a speedy recovery.
Playwright II wins series 2-0
|The Place (1B) vs The Playwright (BBG) (4A)
Game 1: Tuesday, Aug. 10 @ 8:15pm
The Playwright (BBG) 8 - The Place 2
The Playwright's Billy MacDougal stroked a two-run homerun to right in the sixth that broke open a surprisingly low scoring game between two high powered offenses. Prior to MacDougal's smash the Place had positioned themselves nicely as they were in a tight game and getting great pitching from Sean Sylvester.
With the Playwright trailing 2-1 in the fourth, the Place had two runners on and were looking to increase their lead. But catcher Scott Brady put a halt to the rally when he picked off the runner at first who had wondered off the base after a called strike. Now with two outs, ace pitcher Keith Zeweiy made sure the inning would end without any damage by getting a strike out for the third out.
Game changing defensive plays made in the field are usually rewarded on the scoreboard in runs and that was the case here tonight. In the bottom of the inning, the Playwright (BBG) wasted little time in loading the bases with nobody out. Jim Fitzpatrick quickly tied the game with a single to center but the runner at second was thrown out at the plate to keep it a tied game, 2-2. However, Shane Knowles put his team ahead for good when he reached on a fielder's choice that scored MacDougal from third, 3-2. Zeweiy then helped himself with an RBI single to center that put his club ahead, 4-2.
The score would remain that way until the sixth when MacDougal would connect for his 2-run homerun that pretty much put the game away, 6-2. The Playwright added another pair of runs later in the inning when Zeweiy delivered again with a double to deep center, 8-2.
The Place would go quietly in the seventh as Zeweiy seemed to get stronger as the game wore on. The big righty finished the game with three strikeouts, scattered eight hits, while giving up just two earned runs.
Game 2: Thursday, Aug. 12 @ 6:00pm
The Playwright (BBG) 8 - The Place 4
The Playwright (BBG) advanced to the semi-finals with a series ending victory tonight. Details to follow....
The Playwright (BBG) wins series 2-0
|Preliminary Round Semi-Finals
|Blood, Sweat, & Beers (5B) vs The Junction (4B)
Game: Monday, Aug. 9 @ 6:30pm
The Junction 9 - Blood, Sweat, and Beers 7
Jimmy McNiff threw two scoreless innings to preserve a two-run lead as the Junction held on to slip by the Blood, Sweat, and Beers (BSB) squad 9-7 in a preliminary round semi-final game.
The Junction had built a 7-2 lead behind two towering homeruns by the power hitting Jesse Carlton. However, the stubborn BSB team fought back in the third when their pitcher, Ben Deane, ripped a triple to center that led to three runs and cut the lead to 7-5.
After some great defensive plays by both teams in the scoreless fourth inning, BSB tied the game in the fifth when they loaded the bases with nobody out. The next batter singled to center which plated the runner from third but the relay throw from shortstop Bob Carlson nailed the second base runner who was trying to score from second. A ground out later and it was looking like the BSB would only manage a run out of the inning. But a clutch single to left by Joel Kershner plated the game tying run, 7-7. The Junction's starting pitcher, Jim Innocent would then retire the next batter on a pop fly.
The tie didn't last long as Carlson lined the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the inning to right center for a homerun, 8-7. The Junction picked up an insurance run when Adam Feinstein drew a bases loaded walk, 9-7. BSB would get out of the inning and were anxious to get back up to the plate until they looked out and saw McNiff on the hill throwing warm up tosses.
The Junction has a tough road in front of them as they will now face the defending champion Shennanigans in a best of three series that starts on Wednesday. The two teams faced each other once this year (June 1st) in a game that saw Shennanigans squeak out an 8-6 victory.
The Junction advances to the Quarter-Finals
|Below Average Joe's (2C) vs Tom English's Stingers (5A)
Game: Monday, Aug. 9 @ 8:15pm
Stingers 14 - Below Average Joe's 0
It was all Stingers tonight as they ended the Below Average Joe's magical season with a 14-0 pasting. Joe's had made history when they won their first playoff game last week pulling off the upset against the Shamrock Pub. However, things wouldn't go their way tonight as the Stingers played a stingy defense behind their hard throwing pitcher, Steve Mills.
The Stingers got ample offensive production from Chris Methe, Jimmy Peters, Dave Ballas, and Christian Mills. Methe starting the scoring in the first inning when he connected for a homerun to left field. He nearly hit his second of the game in the next inning when he ripped a double off the fence.
The Stingers will now take on the Sidewalk Cafe, a team they lost both regular season games to this year (8-2 and 9-3). The best of three quarter-final series begins on Tuesday, August 10th.
Stingers advance to the Quarter-Finals
|Blood, Sweat, & Beers (5B) vs Bulldogs (2B)
Game: Tuesday, Aug. 3 @ 7:30pm
Blood, Sweat, & Beers 16 - Bulldogs 10
details to follow...
Blood, Sweat, and Beers advance to second round
|The Junction (4B) vs Cranberry Cafe (3B)
Game: Tuesday, Aug. 3 @ 9:00pm
The Junction 15 - Cranberry Cafe 3
Pitcher Jimmy McNiff struck out six of his former teammates on his way to earning the very impressive win for the upstart Junction squad.
Jesse Carlton and Jim Innocent both homered as the Junction built a 5-0 lead through three and a half innings of play. But Cranberry fought back in the home half of the fourth inning when McNiff ran into control problems. With the bases loaded and two outs, Joey Burke smoked a McNiff offering to right field scoring two runs. Mike Davis then singled to right scoring Burke from second, 5-3.
However, the Junction answered back in the top of the fifth inning with a five run rally, 10-3. The scoring was led by Jesse Carlton's triple and Todd Weil's three run homerun to deep right center.
The Junction added a pair of runs in the sixth on Adam Senter's 2-run homerun to center field, 12-3. Suddenly, what was supposed to be a closely contested game was now in the hands of McNiff and the Junction. The veteran fireballer wouldn't let this one get away as he breezed through the final three innings of play limiting the Cranberry attack to just two hits.
The Junction advance to second round
|AK's Restaurant (3C) vs Tom English's Stingers (5A)
Game: Wednesday, Aug. 4 @ 6:30pm
Tom English's Stingers 17 - AK's Restaurant 3
The Stingers got back to their roots by playing strong defense and getting good pitching by Steve Mills as they trounced Ak's Restaurant, 17-3 in a preliminary round game.
The Stingers had plenty of offense tonight as they got two homeruns from Christian Mills and a big night from Jimmy Peters (triple & 4 RBI's).
Stingers advance to second round
|Below Average Joe's (2C) vs Shamrock Pub Brewers (5A)
Game: Wednesday, Aug. 4 @ 8:15pm
Below Average Joe's 20 - Shamrock Pub Brewers 12
Four years ago the powers that be in the M Street Softball League made a decision to split the league in three divisions of talent. In doing so, this meant that "C" level teams would not face the "A" teams during the regular season because the league felt they just didn't belong on the same field. Well, tonight the Below Average Joe's proved them wrong and played well above average in pulling off one of the biggest upsets in league history by knocking off the Shamrock Pub Brewers, 20-12.
From the very first inning, Joe's let it be known that they were not going to be intimidated and would not be going down easily. They carried a slim 6-4 lead into the top of the third inning when the complexion of the game would change for good. Jeff McSharry hit a long two-run homerun to deep center that made it 8-4. The Coach of the overachievers, Joe John, would later single home another pair of runs making it 11-4. The rally continued when Ben Deane ripped a 2-run double to right and suddenly Joe's were in complete control of a game they were supposed to lose by a large margin.
However, the Brewers showed some life and fought back in the bottom of the third with six runs of their own. Brad Cole, Francis Coffey, Bobby Wogan, and Robin Blatt-Eisengart all came up with key RBI hits that cut the lead to 14-10.
The Brewers would get even closer in the fifth when Blatt-Eisengart came through in the clutch again with a bases clearing triple, 14-12. Suddenly the Brewers were right back in the game.
Realizing the game was starting to slip away, Joe's power hitting Anthony Garofalo connected for his 11th homerun of the season to start the scoring in the top of the sixth inning, 15-12. Joe's would put runners on second and third with two outs and get a gift when a Brewer error plated both runners, 17-12. Another error led to another run making it 18-12 and those in attendance could feel the upset brewin.
The Brewers went down in order in the bottom of the sixth that was highlighted by a great catch in left field and a called strike out thanks to a great pitch sequence by Ben Deane.
Tom Christensen would cap the scoring for Joe's in the seventh when he stroked a two-run homerun to right center making it 20-12, mercy! Could it be?
In the seventh, veteran ball player Bobby Wogan could be herd encouraging his young squad to keep their heads up and keep swinging. "We can do this!" But it wasn't to be tonight as Joe's played brilliantly in all facets of the game and deserved to advance in the playoffs.
After the game, the Joe's squad gathered around their bench and celebrated their victory with friends and fans alike. The beers were flowing and the smiles were wide. On this night, they certainly deserved the accolades of pulling off the upset.
Below Average Joe's advances to second round
|Past Playoff Recaps (1999-2009):