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
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
    
    
    
 

**2011 PLAYOFFS **

Finals (best of 7)
George Pratt Club (2A) vs Shenanigans (1A) Game 1: Monday, Sep. 19 @ 8:30pm
Shenanigans 11 - George Pratt Club 4

Shenanigans took game one of the finals tonight as they out hit, outfielded, and certainly out pitched their counterparts, the George Pratt Club.

Playing their first game since their dramatic series comeback against Makepeace, the Pratt Club might have still been hungover as they didn't execute and played one of their worse games of the season. For players and fans alike, hopefully they can regroup and get back into this or it will be a short series.

The night started on a positive note as the Pratt Club scored twice in the top of the second inning on Joe Pano's single and Dave Seermon's sacrifice fly to right. However, the lead didn't last very long as Shenanigans answered in the bottom of the inning with four runs of their own. After two walks loaded the bases, John Smith stroked a single to right that tied the game, 2-2. Shenanigans added another pair of runs when Dennis Hajjar singled to right but the fielder over ran the ball which resulted in two additional runs, 4-2.

The two teams would trade runs in the middle innings as Shenanigans would take a 6-4 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning. With runners on first and second, John Smith delivered again when he singled home Al Martin from second making it 7-4. Dennis Hajjar made it 9-4 when he plated two more runs on another error by the Pratt defense.

Shenanigans added two more runs in the sixth which pretty much put this game out of reach, 11-4. Pratt managed to load the bases in the seventh but couldn't get the clutch hit when it needed it the most.

Game 2: Tuesday, Sep. 20 @ 8:30pm
Shenanigans 6 - George Pratt Club 4

With two outs and nobody on base in the third inning, Shenanigans scored five times then held on for the 6-4 victory in game two of the finals.

After a walk to Steve Stalcup, Dennis Hajjar dropped a double down the left field line that plated the games first run. Luis Colon then followed with a single that put runners on the corners for Dan Brown. Brown smacked a 1-1 fastback to left that plated Hajjar and the uprising continued. Mike Hoadley then cleared the bases with a long triple to left center making it 4-0. Shenanigans would tack on one more run on a single by John Cavaleri, 5-0.

The game would move to the bottom of the fifth inning when the Pratt Club would finally strike back. Ryan Wilson got the fun started when he connected for a long homerun to deep center making it 5-1. With two outs, Mark Senna and Adam Ralston both singled to keep the inning alive. Next up was Pat Dolbeare, who quickly made it a 5-2 game with a single to right. One of Pratt's most feared hitters, Pat Sullivan, was then hit by a pitch which loaded the bases for Marty Jimenez. After working the count to 2-1, Jimenez ripped a liner to right center that scored Ralston and Dolbeare making it a 5-4 game. The inning would end with Jimenez stranded at second base.

After a scoreless sixth inning, Shenanigans added an insurance run in the seventh when Mike Hoadley drove home Dennis Hajjar from second with a single to center, 6-4. Hoadley would then trade his batting gloves for his pitcher's glove and would retire the side in order in the bottom of the seventh giving Shenanigans a 2-0 series lead.

Game 3: Wednesday, Sep. 21 @ 7:00pm
Shenanigans 3 - George Pratt Club 1

After a 3-1 victory in game three, the Shenanigans softball team moved to within one win of their third consecutive championship. Such an impressive title streak has been repeated by only a handful of teams - the 1982-1984 L Street Tavern with Larry Lucas, 1992-1994 L Street Tavern with Paul Alessi, the 1997-1999 Sam Moran Club with John Gregorio, and the 2000-2003 Sidewalk Cafe squad with Mark Senna and George Pratt.

This game belonged to pitcher Sam Acevedo, who scattered three hits while keeping Pratt batters guessing all game long. At one point, the veteran righty retired nine in a row. What was even more impressive was the fact that the first batter (Pat Dolbeare) he faced tonight tattooed him for a long homerun to deep center. However, Acevedo shut the door after that which gave Shenanigans and their offense plenty of time to get things going.

With the score tied 1-1 in the third, Luis Colon doubled home Steve Stalcup which put Shenanigans ahead to stay. Dan Brown made it 3-1 when he punched a single to left and that would be all of the scoring in this one.

Mark Senna, who was pitching his third night in a row, kept the Pratt Club in the game but it wouldn't be enough tonight. Acevedo and the Shenanigans defense was just too much to handle. Steve Stalcup made several clutch plays at shortstop which ended a couple of Pratt rallies.

With the end of their season staring them in the face, the Pratt Club will be fighting for the playoff lives when the series resumes on Monday.

Game 4: Monday, Sep. 26 7:00pm
Shenanigans 17 - George Pratt Club 4

Shenanigans won their third consecutive championship in grand style tonight when they crushed the Pratt Club in game four to complete the series sweep.

With Shenanigans ahead 2-0 in the fourth, Greg Trudell broke open another pitchers duel when he hit a towering three run homerun to deep left making it 5-0. Normally, a five run deficit wouldn't be much for a team that scored runs at an alarming rate this season but Pratt's offense has been anemic in the finals so the blow was a decisive one at that time.

Trailing by five runs, Pratt couldn't respond and went down in order in the fourth. The game moved to the fifth where Shenanigans would tack on two more runs. This time it was pitcher Mike Hoadley's two run homerun that inflicted the damage making it 7-0.

The Pratt Club finally got on the board in the sixth when Tommy Connolly tripled home Dave Seermon making it 7-1. Pat Sullivan then connected for a double as the Pratt Club were desperately trying to claw their way back into the game. They would score another run on Marty Jimenez's single to make it 7-3 after six complete innings.

The game moved to the seventh inning where the squeaking wheels finally came ripping off the wobbling cart. Shenanigans would send sixteen men to the plate while scoring ten runs behind just five hits. The Pratt Club committed five errors which kept the game going long after it should have been over. Making matters worse for some were the majority of the Shenanigans players who were still taking pitches, scoring from second on singles to the outfield, and basically rubbing it in. Needless to say, the series wouldn't be complete without some exchange of un pleasantries and we certainly saw it in this half inning.

In the end, Shenanigans played their best ball of the season when the games mattered the most. Individually, each member of the team raised their level of play which made them a very tough team to beat. Sam Acevedo and Mike Hoadley were named the CO MVP's for their masterful pitching performances in all four games. Congratulations to the 2011 M Street Softball League Champions - Shenanigans.

Shenanigans - (back row, left to right) Joe Cavaleri, Sammy Acevedo (MVP), John Smith, Jay Portinari (Coach), Mark Dion, Martin O'Malley, Greg Trudell, Dan Brown (MVP)

(front row, left to right) Steve Stalcup, John Hoadley, Dave Conti, Al Martin, Mike Hoadley (MVP).

Not pictured: Juan Rivera, Luis Colon and Dennis Hajjar.


 Shenanigans wins series 4-0
Semi-Finals (best of 5)
Nexus (4A) vs Shenanigans (1A) Game 1: Tuesday, Aug. 30 @ 8:30pm
Shenanigans 5 - Nexus 4

A one-out sacrifice fly by Luis Colon scored Steve Stalcup in the bottom of the seventh, giving Shenanigans a come-from-behind 5–4 victory over Nexus in their series opener.

Mike Hoadley picked up the win, holding Nexus scoreless over the final five innings after allowing one run in the first and three in the second. Joey Venuti, immediately back in the saddle following a doubleheader where he didn't allow an earned run in 15 innings of work to get Nexus into this series, pitched his third complete game in two days. Amazingly, he allowed only three earned runs on six hits in taking the tough loss.

In the first, Nexus’s Steve Couturier tripled with one out and scored following a base-on-balls to Robbie Rogers and a sharp single by Tony King. Hoadley struck out the next two batters to end the threat at 1–0 Nexus. The boys in black extended the lead in the second on two-out hits by Venuti (hard triple to right center) and Charlie Conners (RBI double). Following an infield throwing error which allowed Couturier and Conners to reach second and third respectively, Robbie Rogers’ clutch single scored both for a 4–0 Nexus lead.

Shenanigans made it 4–1 in the bottom of the inning on a single by Dan Brown, a fielder’s choice by Dennis Hajjar, a single by Joe Cavaleri (advancing Hajjar to third), and a sacrifice fly by Al Martin. It stayed that way until Dan Brown’s towering two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth that made it 4–3 entering the seventh. Nexus had two on with two out in the top of the seventh, but failed to plate that ever important insurance run.

In Shenanigan’s half, pinch hitter John Smith lead off with a shot to center field that speedy Charlie Conners couldn't corral. Smith ended up on second. Following a ground out, Steve Stalcup reached on an error that plated the tying run and allowed Stalcup to get all the way to third base. After an intentional base-on-balls was issued to Mike Hoadley (setting up a possible double play), Colon, who had been robbed of an extra base hit by Conners in the fourth, delivered the deciding blow with a sacrifice fly to center.

Game 2: Wednesday, Aug. 31 @ 6:30pm
Shenanigans 5 - Nexus 4

For the second game in a row, Shenanigan's rallied in the late innings to steal another victory from the snake bitten Nexus squad. It was Dan Brown again who led off the top of the sixth off with a solo homerun to left center to tie the game, 4-4. Joe Cavaleri then followed with a double down the left field line and scored on a John Smith's RBI single which turned out to be the game winner.

The loss ruined a valiant effort by M Street veteran pitcher John Gregorio (30+ years at M Street), who might have pitched his best game in three years. Sam Acevedo got the win for Shenanigans as he scattered six hits while yielding three earned runs.

Nexus had their hopes crushed in the seventh when John Hoadley took away a sure triple by Steven Couturier who hit a drive to deep left center.

Game 3: Friday, Sep. 9 @ 6:30pm
Shenanigans 9 - Nexus 3

Mike Hoadley scattered seven hits, and drove in two runs batting, leading Shenanigans to a 9 – 3 series-clinching victory over Nexus.

Shenanigans took a 1 – 0 lead in the bottom of the first, plating an unearned run off of hard-working Joey Venuti. Dan Brown’s two-out triple (first of two opposite-field three-baggers for Brown) scored Hoadley, who had reached on an error. The defending champs upped it to 2 – 0 in the second when John Hoadley tripled and then scored on Al Martin’s sacrifice fly. After shaving the lead to 2 - 1 in the third, another fielding miscue by Nexus (the third in four innings) allowed Steve Stalcup to come to the plate with two on and two out. He did not disappoint his teammates, lacing a double to score both runners. Stalcup took third on the throw, and then scored on a bang-bang infield single from Hoadley. It was a tight call, but 5 – 1 Shenanigans after four.

Nexus rallied in the fifth. A one-out triple by Charlie Conners, a two-out RBI double by Rob Rogers, and a single by Tom King, brought Josh Neeley to the plate as the tying run, but Hoadley snuffed the two-on two-out threat by inducing a grounder to Brown at third, who threw to first to end the inning. 5 – 2, Shenanigans.

The game was put entirely out of reach in the bottom of the sixth, as Shenanigans scored 4 additional runs on 5 hits. In the seventh, Rob Rogers hit his second double, good for his second RBI, but it was too little too late. Shenanigans – 9, Nexus – 3, and Shenanigans moves on to the finals to face the winner of the George Pratt Club – Makepeace series.


 Shenanigans wins series 3-0
Makepeace (3A) vs George Pratt Club (2A) Game 1: Wednesday, Aug. 31 @ 8:30pm
Makepeace 13 - George Pratt 6

Makepeace scored six runs in the fourth then cruised to an impressive 13-6 victory over the George Pratt Club in game one of their series. After jumping out to a 3-0 lead after the first, Makepeace watched the Pratt Club roar back to tie it in the second but that would be as close as the game would get.

In the big fourth, Makepeace batted around the order and got key RBI hits from Joe Claudio, Matt Fornier, and Jose Ortiz. A two-out error led to three additional runs in the inning as the game quickly got away from the Pratt club.

Overshadowing what should have been an enjoyable game to play and watch was the negative antics of a handful of Pratt players. Instead of focusing on the difficult task of beating one of the league's elite teams and pitchers (Jimmy Pinkston), they kept after the umpire (who might not have had his best game) to the point where it became very unsportsmanlike. As a result, one of their most talented players will be serving a two game suspension for his actions. The league and ASA commissioner (Joe Alfonse) acted swiftly in their handling of the situation and would like to remind players that this type of behavior will not be tolerated.

Game 2: Friday, Sep. 9 @ 8:30pm
Makepeace 5 - George Pratt 3

Fireballing Jimmy Pinkston struck out eight and also flashed some serious leather in a 5 – 3 Makepeace victory. Makepeace takes a 2 games to none lead in the best-of-five, which will continue Monday evening at 6:30.

The Pratt Club got out of the box early, and it looked like it might be their night. Pat Sullivan doubled, Pat Dolbeare stroked a triple to score Sullivan, and Kevin O’Hara singled home Dolbeare, for a 2 – 0 lead after a half-inning. However, control problems allowed Makepeace to knot it up in the bottom half. With two on and two out, three consecutive walks forced in two runs before a grounder ended the inning.

Makepeace took a 3 – 2 lead in the second on station-to-station singles by Ian James, Brian Pacheco, and Joe Claudio, and then a sac fly by Pinkston.

The next four innings were filled with some truly great glove work by both teams. The bottom of the third saw pitcher Mark Senna showing the reflexes that had made him a top-flight collegiate goalie, as he snared a hard liner back to the box. Not to be outdone, opposing pitcher Pinkston did the same in the fourth, catching a vicious liner by Tim Walsh and then going one better by doubling a runner off of first to end the inning. Bottom of the fourth saw three fine plays from George Pratt fielders – Brad Morrill showing some range in grabbing a fly in left, then Pat Sullivan snaring a shoetop liner at third, followed by Sullivan making another fine play on a short one-hop grounder. In his defensive half, Pinkston came right back with a leaping grab of a high hopper and completed the play to first. That made five plays in a row, between the two teams, where the batters had to believe they were snakebitten!

In the bottom of the fifth, Makepeace scored twice. Back-to-back doubles by Pinkston and Jim Innocent, followed by an Angel Andrews single, made it a 5 – 2 game. Further damage was limited when Adam Ralston made two sensational plays at shortstop, both times ranging far to his right for sharp grounders and making on-target fall-away throws to second for force outs.

The former Sidewalk Café team rallied for one in the sixth when Sullivan led off with a triple, then scored on Brad Morrill’s hard single to right. However, Makepeace turned a 6 – 4 – 3 double play to extinguish any further scoring, leaving it at a 5 - 3 game. In the bottom of the inning, another great defensive play! Pinkston singled with two outs and a runner on second, but Brad Morrill gunned Ian James at the plate to keep the game within two runs going into Pratt’s final ups. The Pratt boys went quietly, though, ending with a K, a grounder to second, then a soft liner to winning pitcher Pinkston.

The George Pratt Club will only take cold comfort from this, but I (Jim Sullivan) feel this was one of the best-played games, defensively, I have ever seen at M Street, and neither team has anything to be ashamed of following this one. If the third game, on Monday at 6:30, is anything similar, it would be a shame if you missed it.

Game 3: Monday, Sep. 12 @ 6:30pm
George Pratt 12 - Makepeace 11

In a game that saw both teams break out the lumber, The George Pratt Club kept their playoff hopes alive with a 12 – 11 win over Makepeace.

There were a combined 40 baserunners on a night when the pitchers found themselves scuffling. Makepeace’s Jimmy Pinkston followed Friday’s eight-strikeout effort with seven more in this game, but didn’t always have his overpowering stuff. Pratt Club starter Mark Senna was strong through the first four, then gutted it out over a rocky final three to snare the one-run victory.

GPC jumped out to a 3 – 0 lead on a two-run homer by Kevin O’Hara, followed by a solo shot from Pat Dolbeare. Sandwiched in and around the three runs, Pinkston struck out the side. Makepeace came back in their half of the first, scoring two, on a walk, three singles, and a sac fly.

The score remained 3 – 2 until the bottom of the fourth when Ryan Wilson (2 for 3, 3 RBI) stroked a solid home run that took a one-hop bang off the brown wall across the street from left. Joe Pano followed with a double, subsequently scoring, making it 5 - 2.

Makepeace evened things up in the top of the fifth. After Mike Mercier made a really nice play for the first out, tracking a ball in short right from his position at second base, walks to Ian James and Brian Pacheco brought Joe Claudio to the plate. Claudio (3 for 4, 3 RBI) singled. Senna then got Jimmy Pinkston to hit what looked to be an inning-ending double play ball, but it got through the infield, bringing Jim Innocent (3 for 4, double, 3 RBI) up. The I-Man singled, bringing Angel Andrews to the plate. Senna got Andrews to provide another possible double-play ball, but The Pratt Club could only get the lead man, leaving the inning alive and allowing Makepeace to tie things up at 5 – 5. A force out at second finally ended the bleeding.

The Pratt Club came right back, rocking Pinkston for six runs in the bottom of the fifth. A single by Danny Ekasala started things off. Pat Sullivan was robbed on a fine play by shortstop Claudio, going to his right to snare a hard shot and throwing back to second for the force. From there, though, it would be another six batters before Makepeace could record a second out. O’Hara singled, Dolbeare walked, Ryan Wilson singled, Pano was hit by a pitch, and Senna cleared them with a hard shot to center, taking third by hustling around the bases on a throw home that eluded the catcher. Mercier grounded out to first, unassisted, for the second out, with Senna’s run scoring. The final out of the inning was recorded when Dave Seerman was ruled out, while still at the plate, for using an illegal bat, and, by rule, he was also ejected from the contest. The heavy damage had been done long before, though, and George Pratt led by a score of 11 – 5.

Back came Makepeace! Four hits, an error, a hit batsman, and it became a one-run contest. Jim Innocent stood on second, with one out, representing the tying run following his two-run double. Senna stranded him, however, getting the next two batters on a fly to left and a grounder to short.

Pratt scored what proved to be an important insurance run in the bottom of the sixth, as O’Hara (3 for 4, 3 RBI) brought Tim Walsh home with a clutch two-out double. The score stood at 12 – 10 for GPC through six complete.

Not ready to die by any means, Makepeace started their final at-bat by loading the bases with nobody out, on singles by Chris Barrientos, Matt Fornier, and Ian James. The single by James was a rocket back through the middle that Senna somehow got a glove on, deflecting it and keeping it in the infield, saving a sure run at that point. A fine pick and throw by Pano then got a force at home, leaving the bases loaded and still no runs. Joe Claudio hit a deep sac fly to Wilson in left, scoring Fornier. That made the score 12 – 11, with runners on first and third, two out, and the always-dangerous Pinkston coming to the plate. Senna dug down for what he had left and got Pinkston to fly out to right, ending a very exciting contest.

Makepeace’s lead in the series is cut to two games to one, in the best of five, and if the fourth game is anything like the last two, there will be some very entertained fans in the M Street stands on Tuesday.

Game 4: Tuesday, Sep. 13 @ 7:30pm
George Pratt 12 - Makepeace 7

The George Pratt Club scored early and often on the way to tying their series with Makepeace at two games each. The undermanned Makepeace squad, missing star pitcher Jim “Country” Pinkston and big-batting centerfielder Ian James, were valiant in defeat, but the relentless hitting attack of the Pratt boys was just too much for them.

The never aging 61 year old Angel Claudio started in place of Pinkston and was rocked in the first inning. After a leadoff walk by catcher Danny Ekasala, and a sharp single by Pat Sullivan (4 for 4), Marty Jemenez made his first at-bat following his layoff count, driving in both runners with a bloop triple to right field. Brad Morrill copied Jemenez, hitting one to almost the same spot and also grabbing three bases. Kevin O’Hara singled home Morrill and, after Claudio finally got the first out on a fly to right, Pat Dolbeare launched a mammoth shot that clanged a good 60 feet high off the light pole in straightaway left. That made it 6 – 0 and it seemed like it might be the start of a rout. Joe Pano followed with a hard double, and then Tim Walsh hit one right on the screws, too, but his liner was fielded by shortstop Joe Claudio, who doubled Pano off of second to stop the damage.

A fine defensive play by Jemenez highlighted a scoreless bottom of the first. He held the bag while making a tremendous scoop of a throw in the dirt, completing a 5-4-3 double play.

Claudio settled down in the second, holding Pratt scoreless. Then his teammates showed that they weren’t going to lie down in this one, sending ten men to the plate in a six-run, seven-hit bottom of the inning. Angel (3 for 4, 3 RBI) helped himself by driving in the first two, and clutch hits by Ito and Joe Claudio drove in two more. What had started as a laugher was now a tied game after two.

The teams traded goose eggs in the third, highlighted by another defensive gem from Jemenez. He ranged well into right field, back to the plate, to corral a pop down the line with bases loaded and two away.

The Pratt Club sent Angel Claudio to the showers in the top of the fourth with a walk by Walsh, a line single to center by veteran Tommy Connolly, and an RBI double by Pat Sullivan. Jim Innocent relieved for Makepeace, and retired the first man he faced, but Brad Morrill singled home Ekasala (who had reached on a fielder’s choice) and Sullivan, making it 9 – 6, Pratt.

They would not relinquish the lead from that point. Pratt pitcher Mark Senna settled down nicely following the Makepeace uprising in the second inning, allowing only one run thereafter. Meanwhile, GPC tacked on an additional run in the fifth, and another two in the seventh, to make the final tally 12 - 7.

For the fifth and deciding game, it is expected that league strikeout king Pinkston will return for Makepeace and three-time M Street playoff MVP Senna will once again be on the hill for Pratt. Both teams have made exciting defensive plays, and neither side has shown any quit with the sticks, either, so it should be a good one. The viewing stands are expected to be full for this one so get to the field early and claim your seat.

Game 5: Wednesday, Sep. 14 @ 7:30pm
George Pratt 12 - Makepeace 0

Mark Senna threw a five-hit shutout, and The George Pratt Club completed their comeback from down 0 – 2 in the best-of-five semi-finals, beating a shell-shocked Makepeace squad, 12 – 0.

Pratt pounded out 15 hits on their way to scoring 12 runs for the third consecutive game. The 2 through 5 spots in the line-up led the attack: Pat Sullivan (3 for 4, double, 3 runs scored), Marty Jemenez (3 for 4, triple, 2 RBI, 2 runs), Brad Morrill (3 for 3, home run, 3 RBI, 3 runs), and Kevin O’Hara (2 for 3, triple, 3 RBI). Perhaps the most amazing fact concerning the run production in Pratt’s comeback was that it came, in two of the three 12-run games, against a pitcher regarded by many to be the top hurler at M Street this year. Jim “Country” Pinkston set a league record for strikeouts this season, and he picked up quite a few more in this series. He had seven more in this game, including a run of five in a row at one point. When Pratt connected, however, it was with authority.

It wasn’t an auspicious beginning for Senna and the Pratt Club. Makepeace’s Ian James started the game with a long triple. As it turned out, he would be the only Makepeace batter to reach that base all night. Two hard line drives to shortstop Joe Pano and a fly to Pat Dolbeare in center left him stranded, and then the carnage began.

Danny Ekasala singled, as did Sullivan. After a fielder’s choice cut down Ekasala at third, Morrill doubled, scoring two, and O’Hara drove home Morrill, to make it 3 – 0 after one. The second inning saw Pano draw a one-out walk, followed by a triple from Adam Ralston. A fielder’s choice by Ekasala scored Ralston, to make it 5 – 0. More damage was limited when, on a Jemenez single to right, Makepeace’s Matt Fornier made a strong throw to cut down an ambitious Pat Sullivan at third, ending the inning.

In the third, Morrill hit a towering home run to lead off. Following a one-out double by Dolbeare, though, Pinkston found his groove, striking out two to end the inning, and then striking out the side in the fourth, completing a string of five consecutive K’s. It was an impressive stretch, but Senna allowed only two hits to Pinkston’s teammates, and the score was 6 – 0, Pratt, through four complete.

Makepeace mounted their last real challenge of the night in the top of the fifth. The lone base-on-balls given up by Senna was to Jose Ortiz leading off. With one out, catcher Dan Nash singled, putting men at first and second. Senna quelled the mild uprising by inducing a fly to left and a grounder back to himself, which he flipped to Jemenez at first to end the inning. Then GPC virtually put the game away in the bottom of the inning, banging out four straight hits - three of those for extra bases - followed by a sac fly to very deep center. That scored four more, making it 10 –0.

In the top of the sixth, Pinkston made a bid to break the shutout with a double to the 316 marker in center, just missing clearing the fence. As with every other Makepeace runner this night, he ended up stranded. Senna left him where he was with an infield pop-up and a fly out.

The game came to a merciful end in Pratt’s half of the inning on a single by Pano, a two-out run-scorer by Sullivan, and a game-ending single to left by Jemenez. Sullivan crossed the plate to make it 12 – 0 and the teams exchanged handshakes. It should be noted that the Makepeace boys were a class act all the way, even when faced with this disappointment, and the league as a whole is richer for their having joined.

George Pratt moves on to face defending champion Shenanigans in the best-of-seven finals, beginning Monday, September 19th, at 8:00. If the level of play exhibited in these playoffs continues, it promises to be one for the ages.


 George Pratt Club wins series 3-2
Quarter-Finals (best of 3)
Below Average Joe's (1C) vs Shenanigans (1A) Game 1: Tuesday, Aug. 23 @ 8:15pm
Shenanigans 16 - Below Average Joe's 0

In a game played in just 47 minutes, Shenanigans scored eleven runs in the second inning and then watched pitcher Mike Hoadley (9 strikeouts, 2 hits) dominate the remainder of the game as they shutout Joe's in game one, 16-0.

Dan Brown (3 hits, HR, 3 RBI's) and Dennis Hajjar (3 hits) were the offensive stars of the game while Joe's third baseman, Chris Deane, made the play of the game snaring a liner and doubling off the base runner at second.

Joe's hasn't faced anyone like their opponent before as it must feel like they have one hand tied behind their back while trying to fend off the heavyweight champion of the world.

Game 2: Thursday, Aug. 25 @ 6:30pm
Shenanigans 11 - Below Average Joe's 10

With their backs against the wall Below Average Joe's perhaps played their best game of the season when it mattered most but came up a run short to the defending champion Shenanigan's squad in game two tonight.

For a brief moment it looked as if Shenanigan's would have it easy again as they scored four runs in the top of the first. However, Joe's came out swinging and tied the game with four of their own. Not bad for a team that was facing "A" pitching for the first time all year.

Shenanigans added another four runs in the second and could have had a lot more if it wasn't for Todd Frator in left field who robbed a Dan Brown homerun. The game seemed to turn after that play as Joe's had the momentum on their side.

Trailing 11-7 and entering the bottom of the seventh, Joe's rallied for three runs and had the game tying run on second base but it wasn't to be as a ground out to short would put an end to the game and their season.

Dan Brown (2 hits, HR, 4 RBI) and Al Martin (4 hits) led the way for Shenanigans who will now play the winner of the Nexus/Quencher series.


 Shenanigans wins series 2-0
Stingers (1B) vs George Pratt Club (2A) Game 1: Tuesday, Aug. 23 @ 6:30pm
George Pratt Club 15 - Stingers 3

The Pratt Club scored four runs in the first and then tacked on five more in the third inning as they cruised to a 15-3 victory in game one.

Pratt's Kevin Ohara and Tommy Connolly led the way in the offensive category with three hits each while Ryan Wilson made the defensive play of the night. With a runner on, Wilson made a great diving catch in left then fired a strike to first base to double off the runner. Pratt's pitcher, Mark Senna, scattered seven hits and kept batters off balance all game long to earn the win.

Although they didn't play poorly, it wasn't the Stinger's best game of the season and the look of frustration was clearly seen on the each player. Unfortunately, it's the third year in a row where the Stingers matched up with one of the top teams in the league. They will need to turn things around in game two or face another long off season of "what if's."

Game 2: Thursday, Aug. 25 @ 8:15pm
George Pratt Club 15 - Stingers 2

The Pratt Club played another strong game to sweep their quarter final series against the Stingers. Tommy Connolly (4 hits, 4 RBI), Pat Dolbeare (4 hits, HR, 3 RBI), Ryan Wilson (3 hits, HR, 4 RBI), Joe Pano (3 hits) and Mark Senna (3 hits) all enjoyed a productive evening at the plate that proved to be too much offense for the Stingers. Wilson and Dolbeare added the finishing touches on the series when they hit back-to-back homeruns in the seventh.

Pratt's pitcher, Senna, shook off two runs scored against him in the first inning and then shutdown the Stingers offense by allowing only three hits the rest of the way. The Pratt Club will now take on Makepeace in a best of five semi-final series that should prove to be a great one.


 Pratt Club wins series 2-0
The Playwright (6A) vs Makepeace (3A) Game 1: Monday, Aug. 22 @ 8:45pm
Makepeace 3 - Playwright 2

As expected, scoring runs in wouldn't be easy against two of the league's best pitchers in Jimmy Pinkston and Keith Zeiwey. The two hurlers didn't disappoint as they stayed out of trouble and were in control of the game from start to finish. In fact, this game took just over an hour to complete.

Playwright's Peter Drummey opened the scoring in the first with a long homerun to right but that would be about all the scoring his squad could muster against Pinkston.

On the other side of the diamond it was Joe Claudio's big hit in the fifth that plated two runs and put Makepeace ahead to stay. Zeiwey was the tough luck loser in this one as all three runs scored against him were unearned.

Game 2: Wednesday, Aug. 24 @ 7:00pm
Makepeace 1 - Playwright 0

Jimmy Pinkston scattered eight hits and struck out five in leading Makepeace to a 1-0 series-clinching victory over a tough Playwright squad. Keith Zeiwey suffered the defeat, giving up only six hits in another hard-luck loss.

Zeiwey was sharp, allowing only two singles over the first four innings. Meanwhile, Pinkston found himself in trouble. He worked out of a one-out bases-loaded jam in the second, inducing a foul pop to first base and then fanning the next batter. Back-to-back singles opened the fourth for Playwright, but Pinkston stranded both runners via consecutive K’s and a hard shot back through the box that deflected off of his glove but was fielded by shortstop Joe Claudio, who ran to second for the inning ending force out that kept the game scoreless.

Angel Andrews, leading off the top of the fifth for Makepeace, drilled a double to left and took third on the throw back to the infield. A medium depth fly to center saw Andrews begin to tag up, but a strong throw from Joe Broderick made him retreat to third. Matt Fornier followed with a grounder to second that left no choice but to go to first for the out, Andrews scoring. It would prove to be the only run of the game.

Makepeace loaded the bases in both the sixth and seventh, but failed to plate a run either time as Zeiwey valiantly stopped them from putting the game out of reach. Playwright battled, putting a man on in each of the final three innings, but none of them was able to advance past first. Sean Morgan led off the bottom of the seventh with a single, giving hope to the Playwright bench, but Pinkston induced a foul pop down the left field line (snared on a nice back-to-the-plate effort by third baseman Andrews) and then got a pop-up to short for the second out. The final out, fittingly enough, was recorded on a pop-up to Pinkston himself, and that was the ballgame.

(It should be noted that the one run in this game was the only earned run given up by Keith Zeiwey over the course of both games in this series. Tough way to take two losses!)


 Makepeace wins series 2-0
Quencher Tavern (5A) vs Nexus (4A) Game 1: Monday, Aug. 22 @ 7:00pm
Quencher Tavern 10 - Nexus 8

The well rested Quencher Tavern team came out swinging tonight as they built an 8-0 lead after just two innings of play in their first game of the quarter finals. Nate Spada, Kyle Carlson, Jesse Carlton, and Mike Briggs struck the big blows with key RBI hits in the uprising. While the offense was humming along their pitcher, Steve Mills was mowing them down as he struck out five of the first six batters he faced.

However, the Nexus eventually got to Mills in the middle frames when Steven Couturier led off with a homerun to right field. An error and a couple of more hits by the Nexus scored two more runs making it 9-4. Nexus kept the pressure on when they plated two more runs in the bottom of the fourth on Rob Rogers double to right center, 9-6.

After a scoreless fifth, Mike Briggs collected his third hit of the night in the sixth when he singled to right and later scored on Jesse Carlton's sacrifice fly, 10-6. Jimmy McNiff was then called on to pitch in relief and did a nice job of pitching out of a jam but Nexus had cut the lead in half, 10-8 through six innings.

Quencher went down in order in the top of the seventh and Steve Mills was brought back to close out the game. After falling behind to Brandon Lynch, Mills got Lynch to hit a hard grounder to shortstop Bob Carlson who made a great play to throw out Lynch from his knees. Mills got the second out on a routine fly ball to left which brought up Pat Pickup, who quickly singled to center bringing Charlie Conners to the plate. On a 1-1 count, Conners ripped a ball to deep right but right fielder Mike Briggs stayed with it and made a great catch to end the game.

Game 2: Monday, Aug. 29 @ 6:30pm
Nexus 13 - Quencher Tavern 0

Joey Venuti struck out twelve batters including eight of the first nine he faced which proved to be too much to handle for the young Quencher squad as Nexus cruised to a 13-0 series tying victory in game two.

With Venuti mowing them down Nexus put the game out of reach in the fourth when they rallied with two outs and plated six runs. Michael Caputo (3 hits), Charlie Conners (2 hits), Tony King (3 hits), Mike Manning, and Josh Neeley all drove in runs with clutch hits in the inning.

Venuti was clearly the story in this one as he dominated the game from the outset. Due to scheduling conflicts, the two teams were forced into playing a doubleheader tonight so after a twenty minute rest they took the field for the series deciding game three.

Game 3: Monday, Aug. 29 @ 8:30pm
Nexus 4 - Quencher Tavern 3 (extra innings)

With the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth inning, Tony King hit a ground ball up the middle that was deep enough to score Michael Caputo from third with the series winning run. The run had just given Nexus a sweep of the doubleheader and a trip to the semi finals to face Shenanigans.

Before King won it, the game was looking like Nexus and pitcher Joey Venuti would have it easily as he struck out the first two batters in the top of the first then watched his teammates score three runs in the home half of the inning. Charlie Conners led off with a double and scored on Steven Couturier's base hit to center. Nexus then loaded the bases for Pat Pickup who delivered a big blow with a single to center that scored two more runs, 3-0. However, Quencher and their pitcher Steve Mills would get stronger as the game went on.

The game moved to the fourth inning with Venuti still pitching well but now on his eleventh straight inning of the night. With two outs the next two batters reached (one by an error) which brought catcher Nate Spada to the plate. Venuti fired a pitch that Spada didn't miss and just like that we had a 3-3 game. Spada's homerun to left came out of nowhere as Venuti wasn't giving up many hits. The blow ignited the Quencher bench and suddenly the momentum had swung their way.

For the next three innings the two teams continued to get great pitching from Venuti and Mills which resulted in scoreless softball. The game then moved to extra's where King and Nexus would end it.


 Nexus wins series 2-1
Preliminary Round
Cornerstone Pub (3C) vs Ole Rebels (1B) Game: Wednesday, Aug. 17 @ 8:15pm
Ole Rebels 19 - Cornerstone Pub 2

After coming off an impressive win to get into the playoffs, the Cornerstone Pub didn't bring their "A" game tonight as they committed several errors which led to big innings for the Ole Rebels offense. After just three innings of play, the Rebels had mounted an 11-0 lead behind pitcher Eric Malerba and were playing stingy defense (made three double plays).

Chris Miller, Jeff White, and Matt Lang provided the punch when they connected for back-to-back-to-back homeruns in the fourth inning for the Rebels but it was Malerba who swung the hot bat as he led the team with three hits.

Ole Rebels advances to the Prelim. semi-finals


Below Average Joe's (1C) vs The Place (3B) Game: Wednesday, Aug. 17 @ 6:30pm
Below Average Joe's 7 - The Place 0

The Place informed the league that they had an unavoidable conflict this week and wouldn't be able to play this Thursday and Friday. The league directors discussed the matter and decided (3-1) it would be best to keep things moving forward and award Below Average Joe's the forfeit win on Wednesday night. The Place had a great season and it should be noted that they are not at fault here - it was just one of those things. It should also be noted that they did manage to field a team in their Dorchester League and have advanced to the semi finals.

Below Average Joe's advances to the Prelim. semi-finals


Telegraph Hill (2C) vs Stingers (2B) Game: Thursday, Aug. 18 @ 6:30pm
Stingers 23 - Telegraph Hill 5

Pitcher Chris Methe scattered six hits over five innings to lead the Stingers to an impressive victory over the Telegraph Hill.

The boys from Telegraph Hill came out of the gate fast, plating one in the top of the first, but Methe proceeded to retire nine straight and the team in yellow never looked back, answering with three in the bottom of the inning, three more in the second, and ten more in a 12-hit third, good for a 16 –1 lead. From there on, it was just a matter of Methe putting the ball over the plate and letting his fielders record some outs while limiting any major damage.

The Stingers move on to face Stats Bar & Grille in the Preliminary semi-finals on Friday.

Stingers advances to the Prelim semi-finals


Stats Bar & Grille (5B) vs Stats/BSB (4B) Game: Thursday, Aug. 18 @ 8:15pm
Stats Bar & Grille 21 - Stats/BSB 14

Home runs by Steven Anastasi and Brad Cole helped propel Stats Bar & Grille to a victory over their brethren on the Stats/BSB squad.

Jay Atton looked strong to start, and his team led 5 – 2 after two innings. Stats hit for 8 runs in the third, however, and took command at 10 - 5. Battling back gamely, Atton tossed two shutout innings while BSB brought it to within one run, 10 – 9, after five complete, but the wheels came off in the final two frames and Stats scored 11 more to salt the game away.

Despite the high score, this game showcased some fine defensive plays. Joel Kershner, shortstop for BSB, went to his right for a great backhanded pick of a hard grounder, then reversed his momentum to make a leaping toss to second for an inning-ending force out that, at the time, kept the game within one run for his teammates. Not to be outdone, Anastasi displayed his speed in making one of the best outfield catches of the year on a line shot to left center, running full tilt and laying out completely to snare a ball that was destined for extra bases. Wow! That play brought serious applause from the fans, and it was well deserved.

The crafty Jack Flanagan picked up the win for the Stats team who moves on to a Friday showdown with the Stingers.

Stats Bar & Grille advances to the Prelim semi-finals


Preliminary Round Semi-Finals
Below Average Joe's (2C) vs Ole Rebels (1B) Game: Friday, Aug. 19 @ 8:15pm
Below Average Joe's 13 - Ole Rebels 11

Eric Malerba (3 hits, and 3 RBI) and the Ole Rebels built a 10-3 lead through five innings of play but a late rally by the "Cardiac Kid" Below Average Joe squad tied the game and sent it into extra innings.

The rally started with a Jeff McSharry lead off homerun in the sixth inning which made it 10-5. Joe's then managed to load the bases for #11 who promptly singled to left to score two more runs making it 10-7. The Rebels defense ended the inning but they realized that their comfortable lead had evaporated and were looking for a big inning of their own. Jeff White got the bench excited when he led off with a line drive homerun to right center making it 11-7. Tim Fitzgerald nearly followed when he ripped a 1-1 offering to left that struck the fence on the fly. However, he would be stranded as the Rebels would have to settle for one run and take a four run lead into the seventh.

In the top of the seventh, the first two batters were retired on fly outs and suddenly Joe's were down to their last out. But they got some hope when McSharry doubled home John Garafolo with the first run of the inning making it 11-8. Pitcher Ben Deane then traded places with McSharry as he lined a double to right center and it was suddenly a two run game. Tom Christensen kept the rally going with a single to left putting runners on the corners for Anthony Garafolo. The speedy outfielder quickly tied the game when he cleared the bases with a triple to left center and just like that the Rebels lead was gone. Joe's has scored seven runs over the last two innings of play.

The game then moved into extra innings with both teams playing their best defense of the season. Second baseman Brian Drew made several outstanding plays for the Rebels while Tom Christensen made an outstanding game saving catch in left for Joe's. This is one of those games that neither team deserved to lose - they both had played great all night long.

After eighth and ninth inning, McSharry led off the tenth with a single to center and scored when the very hot hitting Anthony Garofalo (3 hits, 2 HR, 8 RBI) connected for his second clutch homerun of the night making it 13-11 Joe's. One could see the hit had taken the wind out of the sail for the shocked Rebels as they couldn't respond and went down in order in the home half of the inning. It was a heartbreaking loss for one club and a thrilling hard fought victory for another.

 Below Average Joe's advances to the Quarter-Finals


Stats Bar & Grille (5B) vs Stingers (2B) Game: Friday, Aug. 19 @ 6:30pm
Stingers 10 - Stats Bar & Grille 9

The Stingers and Stats Bar & Grille played a nail biter here on Friday night as neither team could build a lead of more than two runs. It was back and fourth affair through all seven innings - 5-4 Stingers after the first, 6-5 Stats at the end of two, 7-6 Stingers at the end of three, 7-7 , 8-7 Stingers after four, 9-8 Stats through five innings, and in the end 10-9 Stingers.

After a quick moving storm threatened the start of the game the field was actually left in perfect condition for softball and Stats wasted little time in taking advantage as they batted around the order and scored four runs in the top of the first inning. But the Stingers answered with five of their own highlighted by a Steve Ballas grand slam to left.

For a moment this one looked as if it was going to be a high scoring game but pitchers Chris Methe and the Stats 55 year old Jack Flanagan settled in while getting some nice help from their defense. Stats Brad Cole saved a sure double down the left field line in the fourth when he snagged a line drive and completed the double play at third base.

Stats was clinging to a one run lead (9-8) and was in need of an insurance run or two going into the seventh when Bobby Wogan responded with a double to deep center. However, the veteran who brought his experience and positive/winning attitude to the young Stats club would be left stranded at second.

The game moved to the bottom of the seventh and the Stingers were talking it up on the bench. Brendan O'Heir gave them something to really cheer about when he led off with a triple to deep center. Chris Methe was then walked on four pitches and suddenly the Stingers had the game winning runner on base. Steve Ballas then hit a fly to left that would have scored O'Heir but outfielder Steve Anastasi fired a strike to catcher Greg D'Antona and O'Heir wisely scampered back to third. Lefty Jimmy Peters then stepped in and ripped a hard single to right that tied the game and sent Methe to third. Dave Ballas was then intentionally walked to load the bases and set up a force play at home. The pressure was then put on Kevin O'Regan who quickly fell behind (0-2) in the count. With Flanagan & Stats desperately needing a strikeout the next pitch was fired hard but missed away. With a 1-2 count, O'Regan then hammered the next offering to right that scored Methe from third and the celebrating began. The Stingers were led by Adam Ladd (3 hits) while Steve Markesich led the Stats with a double and a homerun.

 Stingers advances to the Quarter-Finals


 
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