|** Finals **
|The Pirates (2nd)
Shenanigans Bar & Grille (1st)
Game 1: Monday, Jul. 30 @ 8:00pm
Shenanigan's 11 - Pirates 3
Nicky French drove in four runs, and Sammy Acevedo scattered seven hits over 5 2/3 innings, leading Shenanigans to an 11 - 3 victory and a 1 - 0 lead over Sonny's Pirates in the best-of-seven championship series.
Acevedo didn't look sharp early as the first four Pirate batters all reached base. Charlie Conners led off with the first of his two doubles, and Mike Caputo followed with a home run to right center. Rob Rogers doubled, then Jim Pinkston was hit by a pitch. But Acevedo settled down, getting a force at second, a called strikeout, and a fly to center, to keep it at 2 - 0 Sonny's. Sammy eventually retired 10 of 11 batters following the hit batsman, the only baserunner allowed in that span being Pinkston again, this time via a base on balls in the third.
Meanwhile, Pirates starter Joey Venuti didn't appear to have his best fastball, but he battled strong via his change and good control. He was the victim of a high fly ball lost in the lights in the second, as Conners couldn't see it coming until too late, having to chase it down to the fence in center. Dan Brown had walked, and when Mike Hoadley lofted the fly that fell in, he raced to third. Unfortunately, so did Hoadley, and it appeared that Venuti would still get an out from the play. However, as Hoadley desperately backtracked to second base, Sonny's elected to try for Brown - unsuccessfully. That left runners on second and third, nobody out, and when Dennis Hajjar walked, it was bases loaded. Joe Cavaleri scored Brown on a sac fly, with the other two runners moving up on the throw. French singled, driving in both, and it was 3 - 2, Shenanigans, after two innings.
Sonny's tied the game in the fourth on consecutive singles by Pat Pickup and Josh Neeley, along with an infield error, and a run-producing walk by Conners. Then the play of the game happened, as the hot-hitting Caputo nailed a liner at Eddie Delcarmen. The second baseman snagged it, then raced to the bag to double up Joe Burke. Had that laser gone through, at least two runs would have scored, possibly three considering the speedy Conners was on first, but instead it ended the inning at 3 - 3. Sharp defense was Shenanigans' calling card this night. Another web gem came later when catcher Hoadley dived to come up with a foul pop in front of Sonny's bench. Watch the catch.
Shenanigans finally got to Venuti in the fifth. Delcarmen singled, then scored on Jose Diaz's triple. Diaz came home on Dan Brown's fly to left, not even drawing a throw. Hoadley singled, Hajjar walked, then French got his third RBI on a single, followed by a Greg Trudell RBI single. 7 - 3, Shenanigans.
The top of the sixth saw the only controversy of the game. Pat Pickup appeared to have a sure double down the left field line, but the umpire's call was "Foul!" Many in the stands said "Fair!" Pickup then grounded out, 6 to 3, but it was another close call that didn't go his way. Since he was followed by two hits, it might have been a different ballgame going into the next half inning. It wasn't the Pirate's night, though, as Shenanigans put it away with four more in their turn at the plate, the final run of the evening scoring on French's two-out double. French had relieved Acevedo in the sixth and he put some icing on his game one cake by recording two K's in the 1 -2 -3 seventh. The series continues with game two, Wednesday, 8:00.
Game 2: Thursday, Aug. 2 @ 8:00pm
Shenanigans 18 - Pirates 0
And I thought I had a sure thing when I bet Sonny's +17 ˝…
In one of the most lopsided beatdowns in M Street championship history, Shenanigans keelhauled Sonny's Pirates, 18 - 0, for a solid two games to none lead in the series.
If this had been a boxing match, the ref would have stopped it via TKO in the second round. In the top of the second inning, Shenanigans sent 18 men to the plate, 13 of them scored, and most of the fans, who were looking for a competitive game to watch, went home. I stayed only because I had to keep the book for this story.
Yes, it was that bad a game. And the Pirates are good ballplayers and realists, so I'm sure they would be the first to agree. They'll either come back fired up on Monday or go home for the season. It's a doubleheader Monday, so Shenanigans has the possibility to wrap it up then.
(Whatever else happens Monday, Commissioner Mark Senna has promised there will be entertainment in one form or another, as well as some pizza and other refreshments, so a fun time will be had. Come on down and enjoy!)
The Pirates had Jim "Big Country" Pinkston on the hill, last year's strikeout king and the proud owner of a 1.57 ERA entering last night. The evening got off to a rocky start when he hit the first batter, Steve Stalcup. Eddie Delcarmen singled to right, the ball was bobbled, and the speedy Stalcup scored. Country struck out his opposite number, Mike Hoadley, then made a really nice play on a high-hopper back to the box by Dan Brown, flipping to Pat Pickup for the second out. Jose Diaz singled in Delcarmen, and then Pinkston got the third out on a pop up. 2 - 0 Shenanigans after the first half inning.
Mike Hoadley was sharp all night for Shenanigans. He recorded a 1 - 2 - 3 first, which included a bit of concern for Sonny's on the third out. Rob Rogers turned his ankle trying to beat out his grounder. He lay in an awkward position on the right field line, not moving, while both teams gathered around and the folks in the stands went silent. He received some applause when he was able to get up after several minutes on the ground. Surprisingly, he walked it off and continued in the game (after the game, I was told his ankle "popped out", but he was able to pop it back in.) Sonny's had to change around their defensive alignment, moving Rogers from LF to 1B, Pickup from 1B to 3B, and Tony King from 3B to LF. Already short three good players (Claudio, James, Couturier), this unavoidable injury-related switch did not strengthen things.
Then the carnage began. Cavaleri singled. Following a called strikeout of Greg Trudell, eight consecutive men reached, and nine runs scored, capped off by a Cavaleri home run. Another called strikeout. Six more runners, four more runs, and the only suspense remaining was whether or not Trudell might get up again with the unwanted rare chance to make three outs in one inning all via called strikeout. However, Dennis Hajjar protected his young teammate and grounded out before that opportunity arose. The score was 15 - 0 before Sonny's even had a chance to bat the cleanup hitter in their lineup.
With all of the curly numbers slapped on the scoreboard by his team, it would be easy to overlook the fine pitching performance of Mike Hoadley. He should get as much credit as his teammates, though. He allowed only three hits and one walk, struck out five, and (since he induced two inning-ending double plays) he faced only one batter over the minimum.
One nice note for Sonny's was the return to action of John Gregorio following a long injury-related layoff. The future hall of fame veteran mopped up for his team, looking sharp while striking out three.
Absolute credit to Sonny's for one thing: they kept cheering for each other long after the game was decided. They did not put on the long faces, or truly give up, at any point. My gut feeling is that they'll come back strong on Monday. For their sake, they'd better. It's an extra-long off-season this year, and having to live eight months with memories of another performance like this one would induce nightmares even Blackbeard might wake up screaming from.
Game 3: Monday, Aug. 6 @ 6:30pm
Shenanigans 10 - Pirates 0
Game one was equal parts fielding miscues by Sonny's and pitching brilliance by Nicky French. The lefthander allowed only three hits and a walk over his seven innings of work, striking out five along the way. Meanwhile, Pirate starter Joey Venuti was not the recipient of any favors from his teammates. He pitched five innings of shutout ball, all well and good, but the problem was he pitched six innings altogether and it was the other inning that did him in. Shenanigans scored ten times in the third, seven of those runs unearned.
It started with an error that allowed John Hoadley to reach. Dave Conti singled, then Steve Stalcup walked. With bases loaded, nobody out, the second error of the inning allowed Eddie Delcarmen to reach while two runs scored. Mike Hoadley then hit a blast onto East First Street for a 5 - 0 lead. It was entirely feasible for Venuti to have been out of the inning with no runs scored, as the second error was a possible double play ball that would have ended things before Hoadley got to swing. At worst, he should have been down 3 - 0 with two men out. But, instead, there were no outs, he was down five, and the roof was about to cave in.
The next batter was Dan Brown. Venuti got him to pop up along the first base line. On this routine play, the normally sure-handed 1B Pat Pickup had the ball rebound out of his glove while Brown reached base. Venuti induced what should have been the fourth out of the inning, getting Jose Diaz to fly to right. He followed that up with a force out at second to put two men down, but all Pirate hopes were dashed against the rocks when the next five batters singled. The scoring ended only when Delcarmen, the last man to single, was out at second trying to grab an extra base while two runs scored. It was a six-out, 10-run inning, and that was that. The Pirates never put a runner past second base over the final five, and they were down three games to none.
Game 4: Monday, Aug. 6 @ 6:30pm
Shenanigans 5 - Pirates 4
Game four was more competitive than any of the previous three had been. With Jimmy Pinkston on the mound, Steve Stalcup singled to start the game but Eddie Delcarmen flied to right and Mike Hoadley grounded into a 6 - 3 double play. Spurred by the good defense, Sonny's provided Pinkston with an early two-run cushion. Charlie Conners (who had a very good series in the losing effort) opened against Sammy Acevedo by working a base on balls. Mike Caputo doubled, Conners to third. Rob Rogers hit a sac fly that broke a 15-inning scoreless streak by the Pirates. Following a walk to Jimmy Pinkston, Joe Claudio drove in Caputo with a single but further damage was prevented by a Stalcup to Cavaleri double play.
The defending champs came back to tie it in the top of the second on an absolutely vicious double by Dan Brown, followed by a Jose Diaz four-bagger. A nice grab in right by Josh Neeley, on a strong liner by Cavaleri, kept it a tie game.
Rob Rogers got his second RBI of the game in the bottom of the third, singling to drive in Mike Caputo, who had singled and taken second on a throw. And in the fourth, consecutive singles by Ian James, Brian Pacheco, and Tony King resulted in another run. It was a 4 - 2 lead through four complete for the men in black and yellow.
Back came Shenanigans in the fifth. Pinkston walked French, and a grounder to Rogers at first base moved French to second. Greg Trudell sent French home with a single, making it 4 - 3, with Trudell taking second on the too-late throw to the plate. John Hoadley followed with a single of his own, scoring Trudell and tieing the game, but he was cut down at third, 8 - 2 - 5.
Mike Hoadley relieved Acevedo to start the bottom of the inning. He struck out the side, albeit with a Rob Rogers single sandwiched in between the K's.
Then came the sixth inning blow that deep-sixed the Pirates. Eddie Delcarmen doubled, and the throw to second scooted out of reach. With nobody backing up where the ball went, Delcarmen hustled around third and scored. That made it 5 - 4. Since Dan Brown got his second double of the game two hitters later, the error might not have cost anything in reality (but it's never a sure thing that what happened would have happened, given a different set of circumstances.) Pinkston stranded Brown via a strikeout and a pop up.
Sonny's threatened to tie it again in the home half of the sixth when Ian James doubled with one out. Pacheco got a solid piece, but right at the third baseman for out number two. Hoadley then stranded James by forcing a pop up to Stalcup to end the threat.
Pinkston allowed a Dave Conti pinch single in the top of the seventh, but nothing else. So, it was on to the bottom of the seventh with Sonny's Pirates needing one run to extend their season. But Mike Hoadley (for this reporter's money, the MVP of the series) saved his best stuff for last and did not allow that run. He recorded two quick outs on grounders, then faced the always-tough Charlie Conners. Conners singled to right center, but the speedy outfielder was cut down at second trying to get into scoring position, and Shenanigans began the celebration.
Any loss in the finals is no fun for the team on the short end, but it appeared doubly sad for Sonny's. They had suffered only two losses during the regular season, but were shellacked in the first three of this series. And the fourth game was definitely there for them to cash in, lacking only one more defensive play or one more clutch hit. No doubt Pat Pickup will have a good squad again next year, but the disappointing end to this season may linger for a little while.
Shenanigan's wins best of seven series 4-0
|The Warehouse (5th)
Shenanigans Bar & Grille (1st)
Game 1: Tuesday, Jul. 17 @ 8:30pm
Shenanigans 4 - The Warehouse 2
Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth, Shenanigans scored four unanswered runs to take game one of their best of five series against The Warehouse.
After Bill Corcoran had just put his team up 2-0 on a homerun in the top of the fourth, Shenanigans Dan Brown responded by launching a homerun of his own that struck the top of the trees in deep left, 2-1. Shenanigans tied the game in the fifth when Greg Trudeau lined the first pitch he saw onto First Street, 2-2. Shenanigans wasn't done scoring as hits by Dennis Hajjar, Al Martin (double), and another RBI hit by Dan Brown made it 4-2.
Aside from the homeruns, both pitchers (Mike Hoadley and Joey Magee) didn't give up many hits and were in control of the game. However, Hoadley threw five innings of scoreless ball for Shenanigans and that was the difference tonight. On another note, the defense was pretty solid tonight for both teams but the play of the game would have to go to Greg Trudeau in left field who saved a couple of runs from scoring in the third inning with a great running catch.
Game 2: Thursday, Jul. 19 @ 8:30pm
The Warehouse 7 - Shenanigans 6
In a game suspended following six complete innings, The Warehouse and Shenanigans were knotted at six apiece. Play will resume on Monday evening prior to the regularly scheduled continuation of the series.
The second inning saw Shenanigans' Juan Rivera hit a triple to right center to begin things. After a one-out walk to Greg Trudell, Dave Conti grounded out with Rivera scoring and Trudell advancing. Steve Stalcup delivered a single to score Trudell, making it 2 - 0, Shenanigans.
Shenanigans' starter Sammy Acevedo had been cruising, allowing no hits through the first three, but The Warehouse bats came alive in the bottom of the fourth. Three men reached before the first out was recorded, then pitcher Joey Magee helped his own cause by stroking a solid two-run single. A walk to Andy Smith and an error produced more damage, and then a single by Tony Helinski loaded the bases and chased Acevedo to the showers in favor of Nicky French. French was up to the task, recording strikeouts of the next two hitters, but Warehouse now held a 4 - 2 lead through four innings.
Shenanigans reclaimed a portion of that in the fifth when Stalcup scored on a sac fly by Eddie Delcarmen, but Warehouse got it right back in the bottom of the inning, leaving it a two-run lead.
The sixth inning saw Shenanigans rip the lead away on a three-run pinch hit homer by Joe Cavaleri. Magee, feeling squeezed, was able to control his emotions and retire the next two batters to end it. And then, in their half of the sixth, Warehouse came right back to tie it. Smith was hit by a French pitch to start things off, then, after a strikeout, Helinski delivered a solid double to center to tie the game, 6-6. He remained stranded on second, though, as French got the next two men to end the inning.
Seeing that time was coming on for the lights to go out, Commissioner Mark Senna called for a suspension of play. It was the correct call, as the field was bathed in darkness one minute later. The exciting conclusion to this game (both teams have the 3 - 4 - 5 hitters due in the seventh) will take place immediately before the regularly-scheduled third game of this series, 6:30 on Monday.
In the continuation of Thursday's suspended game two, The Warehouse scored a 7 - 6 victory to even their playoff series at one apiece. The game resumed in the top of the seventh with Eddy Delcarmen drawing a leadoff walk for Shenanigans. Delcarmen advanced to second on a ground out, then to third on a fly to center. Tony Helinski saved a run, possibly two, by circuitously tracking down a long shot to right by Mike Hoadley for the third out.
In their half, The Warehouse's Mitch Sabo started things off with a single to left. Bret Belcastro was then hit by a Nicky French pitch, putting two on with nobody out. French struck out the next batter, but Bill Corcoran then singled to load the bases, bringing Joey Magee to the plate needing only a long fly to win the game. With the outfield pulled in, Magee delivered on an 0 - 2 count, sending a line drive to right center and starting the celebration on The Warehouse bench.
Game 3: Monday, Jul. 23 @ 6:30pm
Shenanigans 12 - The Warehouse 0
Unfazed by being tagged with the loss in game two, Nicky French came back strong, throwing 5 innings of one-hit ball to lead Shenanigans to a 12 - 0 victory.
Shenanigans scored the only runs they would need in the second inning of this one. Jose Diaz singled and then came around to score on a single to left by Mike Hoadley, aided by the ball skipping through to the fence. French helped his own cause with a triple that scored Hoadley, and French then scored on a sac fly by Steve Stalcup. Two more runs were added in the third on a home run by Dan Brown.
Meanwhile, French wasn't giving up much. A walk and a hit batsman provided the only runners for The Warehouse through three innings. The hit batsman was Joey Magee, the opposing pitcher, and he showed some swelling on the wrist after the game. Thankfully, it was on his glove hand, so it's hoped he'll be OK to go for the next game.
The defending champions brought the total to 7 - 0 in the fourth on a clutch two-out bases-loaded single by Diaz. With the pitching being so strong, the only question remaining was whether French would give up a hit. That answer was provided with two outs in the fourth when Brett Belcastro broke up the no-hitter with a triple. He remained stranded at third, Shenanigans plated five more over the next two innings, and that was all she wrote - two games to one, Shenanigans.
Game 4: Wednesday, Jul. 25 @ 8:00pm
Shenanigans 11 - The Warehouse 3
Dan Brown drove in five runs, four of them on a game-changing third inning grand slam, and Shenanigans advanced to the finals with an 11 - 3 victory.
The night began in The Warehouse's favor. After a scoreless top of the first, Kevin Snow (3 hits) provided his team with a quick start when he laced one down the RF line, touching them all for a 1 - 0 lead. After Mike Hoadley struck out the next two hitters, Joey Magee drew a walk and Bill Corcoran reached on an error, setting the table for Mike McGrath's two-run double, which made it 3 - 0, Warehouse.
In the second inning, a fine defensive play by Corcoran at first base, wherein he snagged a high Dennnis Hajjar line drive, and doubled up Jose Diaz returning to the bag, kept Shenanigans off the scoreboard. In the third inning, however, things changed drastically. With one out, Greg Trudell hit a double and advanced to third on an overthrow. He scored on John Hoadley's sac fly to make it 3 - 1. Steve Stalcup walked, Al Martin singled, and Eddy Delcarmen was hit by a pitch, loading the bases for the always dangerous Dan Brown. On an 0 - 2 count, Magee challenged Brown and Brownie was up for the challenge, putting it over the fence in left center and giving the defending champs a lead they would not relinquish. Three more singles followed, bringing the total to seven batters reaching after two outs, and when the third out had finally been recorded, the score stood at Shenaigans 6, Warehouse 3.
Meanwhile, Hoadley was backed by some strong defense. With two on in the second, he helped himself by inducing consecutive 1 to 3 groundouts. In the third, 1B Joe Cavaleri made a nice pick on McGrath and forced Magee at second. After two singles to start the fourth inning, SS Stalcup ended the threat by first snagging Dan Pencinger's hard liner, and then turning Mitch Sabo's grounder into a tag-out throw-out double play. Hoadley collected five strikeouts over the final three innings (9 total) while his teammates scored three in the fourth, one in the fifth, and another singleton in the 6th, for the final tally of 11 - 3.
Shenanigans moves on to face Sonny's Pirates in the best-of-seven finals, hoping to make it a record-tieing four championships in a row (last accomplished by Sidewalk Café from 2000 - 2003.) In their only meeting this year, The Pirates prevailed, 4 - 3, the sole loss for the Shenanigans squad before The Warehouse bested them one in this series. The Warehouse were game opponents throughout, battling hard all the way, and are to be congratulated on a proud effort this season.
Shenanigans wins best of five series 3-1
|George Pratt Club (3rd)
Sonny's Pirates (2nd)
Game 1: Tuesday, Jul. 17 @ 6:30pm
Sonny's Pirates 14 - Pratt Club 8
After falling behind 4-0, the Pirates scored nine runs in the bottom of the second inning then cruised to a game one victory over the George Pratt Club.
In the big inning, all nine Pirate batters reached base safely without a hard hit ball between them. It was just one of those innings where the ball found the holes. Instead of keeping their composure, the Pratt Club cracked under the pressure of the big inning as tempers flared among the teammates.
Making matters even tougher for the Pratt Club was a pair of homeruns in the third by Josh Neeley (3 hits) and Charlie Conners (3 hits) which pretty much put the game out of reach at 11-6.
Pitching with a somewhat comfortable five run lead, Joey Venuti settled down and threw three scoreless innings for the Pirates as they won game one under blistering heat conditions.
Game 2: Thursday, Jul. 19 @ 6:30pm
Sonny's Pirates 10 - Pratt Club 5 (9 innings)
In an edge-of-your-seat extra-innings thriller, Sonny's Pirates bested The George Pratt Club, 10 - 5, to take a commanding 2 - 0 edge in the best-of-five semi-final series.
The many fans in the stands, and those lining the railings behind home plate, enjoyed a great match-up that saw the lead change hands twice in regulation, go scoreless through the sixth, seventh, and eighth, and then get decided in the ninth on some clutch hitting.
The Pirates opened the scoring in the top of the first on a leadoff double by Charlie Conners, a ground out by Steve Couturier that advanced Conners to third, and a solidly hit sacrifice fly by Robbie Rogers. Pratt answered in the bottom of the second with a single by Jody Bravo, another single by G.J. Vincente (3 hits), and a double by Josh Silva that scored Bravo. Sonny's pitcher, Jim "Country" Pinkston, closed the door on any further scoring by striking out the next two batters. Pinkston would end the night with 10 strikeouts to his credit.
GPC took the lead in the bottom of the third on singles by Pat Sullivan and Pat Dolbeare (4 hits in the losing effort), a walk to Ryan Wilson loading the bases, and then a run-scoring walk by Bravo. Vincente followed with a clutch hit that plated two more. Charlie Conners had made a deadly throw from center field on the second runner, but it was mishandled at the plate. With two runners still aboard, Pinkston once again dug back to end the inning on a strikeout.
Having rallied his troops with that strikeout, Country now led off the fourth with a single. Joe Claudio and Mike Caputo followed suit with singles of their own which loaded the bases. Following a force out at home, Tony King delivered huge, a double that cleared the bases, knotting the game at four apiece. King scored on a subsequent outfield error to give Sonny's a 5 - 4 lead. Pratt hurler Mark Senna then found some juice of his own, striking out Joe Burke for the second out. Charlie Conners singled, but Josh Neeley, the grateful recipient of the outfield error gift, was subsequently thrown out at the plate.
The bottom of the fifth saw the final scoring in regulation when Pat Dolbeare launched a mammoth home run to left to lead off the inning. Hitting the brown wall across 1st Street on the fly, it brought the Pratt bench to its feet. That home run was the end of the scoring for Pratt this evening, although Pinkston had to scramble to make that a reality. Pratt loaded the bases in both the sixth and seventh, but left three men on in each inning. Meanwhile, Senna shut down the Pirates for four straight innings.
The tension mounted into the top of the ninth. After King was retired to start the inning, Silva and Burke reached on singles. Charlie Conners was then intentionally walked, loading the bases and putting a force on all around. This brought Steve Couturier to the plate and Cooch didn't disappoint his teammates. He stroked a solid single that plated two. An additional run scored on a throw, with Couturier ending up on third base. Rogers singled to score Couturier. After a second out was recorded, Joe Claudio was hit by a pitch and an infield error saw Rogers score the final run of the frame, making it a 10 - 5 lead for the Buccaneers.
Pratt had two men on with one out in the bottom of the inning, but any hopes of a comeback were dashed when the speedy Conners raced down a long fly by Wilson. Pinkston induced a 4 to 6 force to close things out.
This was a beauty between two emotionally charged teams. It should be noted that the Pratt boys overcame a 2 - 0 deficit last year against a Pinkston-led team to reach the finals. Can they do it again this year? Monday will bring some answers.
Game 3: Monday, Jul. 23 @ 8:30pm
Pirates 12 - George Pratt Club 0
The Pirates scored three runs in the first, three more in the second, then tacked on six in the third which was more than enough to sweep the hapless Pratt Club in their best of five semi-final series.
Pitcher Joey Venuti scattered three hits and was never tested in this one as the Pirates dominated from the first play to the series ending double play. The Pirates will move on to the best of seven finals and will play the winner of the Shenanigans vs Warehouse series.
Pirates win best of five series 3-0
|The Warehouse (5th)
Quencher Tavern (4th)
Game 1: Tuesday, Jul. 10 @ 6:30pm
The Warehouse 9 - Quencher Tavern 4
Quencher's Ryan Caswell launched a grand slam homerun in the bottom of the first inning but then watched helplessly as the Warehouse scored ten unanswered runs to snatch away the victory. Pitcher Joey Magee, who didn't let the homerun rattle him, was impressive as he shutdown the potent Quencher attack the rest of the way.
This game had the best of everything...homeruns (Caswell and Bill Corcoran), great pitching, clutch hits, and several outstanding defensive plays by both teams. Dan Pencinger made two outstanding catches in left field for the Warehouse while each of the Quencher infielders answered with great plays of their own. Jesse Carlton snagged a sure double at third, while Bob Carslon and Caswell turned a couple of nifty double plays.
This one looked as if Quencher was going to control the game from wire-to-wire but Steve Mills ran into trouble in the fifth when Mitch Sabo connected for a bases clearing triple to deep center that tied the game, 4-4. Bret Belcastro then singled home Sabo which chased Mills from the game, 5-4. Pencinger and the Warehouse were not finished as they rallied again in the sixth to plate four more runs making it a 9-4 game. Quencher didn't have an answer and never really got the offense going after that first inning.
Game 2: Thursday, Jul. 12 @ 8:30pm
The Warehouse 12 - Quencher Tavern 2
In a match up that was expected to go the distance, the Warehouse flexed their muscles and completed the two game sweep tonight as they lit up the scoreboard in the early innings.
With the score tied 2-2, the Warehouse batters went to work in the bottom of the second inning as they sent eleven men to the plate while scoring eight runs, 10-2. Brett Belcastro, Dan Pencinger, and Bill Corcoran all had extra base hits in the inning which chased starting pitcher Steve Mills from the game.
Pitching with a comfortable lead was all Joey Magee needed as he breezed through the Quencher lineup punching out six batters while allowing only four hits. For a moment, it was looking like Quencher was going to have their way with Magee as Mike Briggs and Ryan Caswell each connected for long homeruns in the first and second inning. But Magee wasn't fazed and quickly recovered to pitch five consecutive shutout innings. While Magee was shutting down the attack, Josh Lebron (4+ innings) was doing the same in relief for Quencher.
It should be noted that Magee and the Warehouse had just completed the sweep over the best offensive team in the league this season. Quencher had scored 215 runs during the season...that's 26 more runs than Shenanigans.
The Warehouse wins best of three series 2-0
|Paramount Bucks (6th)
George Pratt Club (3rd)
Game 1: Tuesday, Jul. 10 @ 8:30pm
George Pratt Club 5 - Paramount Bucks 1
Pratt Club's pitcher, Mark Senna, scattered two hits and struck out seven while yielding just one unearned run to the Bucks as Pratt cruised to a 5-1 victory in game one of their best of three series. Senna was opposed by Shayne Lotito, who ran into trouble in the third (4 runs) but then settled in nicely and kept the Pratt attack at bay (only gave up four hits in the game).
The Bucks will need another strong pitching performance from Lotito but more importantly, they will need to find their swing against Senna when the two clubs meet again on Thursday.
Game 2: Thursday, Jul. 12 @ 6:30pm
George Pratt 10 - Paramount Bucks 9
Leon Correy launched a two run homer to deep left and the George Pratt Club started off with a bang but then barely hung on for their series clinching win tonight.
This was a back and forth high scoring affair for the first three innings of the game before Pratt's pitcher, Mark Senna, and Paramount's reliever, Shayne Lotito, settled down to keep the scoring at a minimum.
The Bucks plated five runs in the bottom of the first behind two homeruns by (NAMES PLEASE), 5-2. But the Pratt Club answered the bell in the top of the second with five runs of their own; Pat Dolbeare's three run homerun to center provided the big hit in the inning, 7-5. In the bottom of the inning, Paramount's Jeff White tied the game with a clutch two out double, 7-7. Pratt then scored two in the third which chased starting pitcher Eric Malerba from the game. Shayne Lotito was on in relief and was greeted by a GJ Vincente RBI single. However, that would be all the scoring Lotito would allow as she shut the door the rest of the way.
With Pratt leading 10-7 in the bottom of the fourth, Chris Miller (3 hits) made it a two run game with a single to center field. Miller would be responsible for another run when he connected in the sixth for a solo homerun, 10-9. However, that would be as close as they would get as Senna and the Pratt Club retired the side in order in the seventh. Ryan Wilson (3 hits) and Jody Bravo (3 hits) were the hitting stars for the Pratt Club.
Pratt Club wins best of three series 2-0
The Pirates (2nd)
Game 1: Wednesday, Jul. 11 @ 6:30pm
The Pirates 17 - Bulldogs 4
The Pirates and their offense fired on all cylinders tonight as they scored multiple runs in every inning but the first. Charlie Conners (4 hits, 4 runs scored), Michael Caputo (3 hits, homerun, 6 RBI), and Pat Pickup (2 hits, homerun) provided the punch which gave pitcher, Joey Venuti, more than enough runs to work with.
The Bulldogs, who were missing three key players, will have to regroup and play their best game on Monday to save their season. Jimmy McNiff did a nice job filling in at second base tonight then took a seat outside the park and across First Street (kind of a strange place) to watch the Telegraph Hill/Shenanigans tilt.
Game 2: Monday, Jul. 16 @ 8:30pm
Pirates 3 - Bulldogs 2
The Pirates survived a late inning surge by the Bulldogs to narrowly escape with a 3-2 series ending victory in game two. With Jimmy Pinkston throwing "gas" and collecting the strikeouts (10), it appearded that the Bulldogs were simply overmatched and wouldn't be able to mount much of an attack.
However, in the seventh inning the Bulldogs' Sean Gorman doubled down the left field line to plate two runs and suddenly the game had changed hands. The Pirates then decided to intentionally walk Kyle Lister which left it up to Max Vigliotti. The strong righty stood in the box and on a 1-1 count launched a high arcing fly to center field that looked deep enough to win the game. However, the Pirates employ one of the best centerfielders in the game as Charlie Conners was able to corral the ball and end the game.
Josh Neeley made the heads up play of the game when he scored from second on a fielder's choice to shortstop. Neeley just kept on running and scored what would be the game winning run in the top of the sixth. As usual at this time of the year, pitcher Jimmy McNiff saved his best stuff for last as he threw an excellent game but would come up a run short.
The Pirates win best of three series 2-0
|Telegraph Hill (9th)
Shenanigans Bar & Grill (1st)
Game 1: Wednesday, Jul. 11 @ 8:30pm
Shenanigans Bar & Grill 2 - Telegraph Hill 1
Before we get into the details of the game it should be noted that Shenanigans was the heavy favorite and was supposed to win this game easily, say 15-2. Instead, we saw them squeak out a 2-1 win where the winning run scored on a bases loaded walk. With that said, the storyline in this one goes to Telegraph's pitcher, Jason Atton.
It was "Atton Night" (I counted seven family members cheering him on) and "Big Jay" didn't disappoint his fans as he put the team on his shoulders and nearly pulled off the game one upset. He threw strikes, kept batters off balance, hustled out an infield single, and made several defensive plays (5 assists) on the mound that were rally killers. He deserved a better outcome but Shenanigans and their veteran players were not to be denied as they saved face and won the nail biter, 2-1.
Game 2: Monday, Jul. 16 @ 6:30pm
Shenanigans Bar & Grill 16 - Telegraph Hill 4
Shenanigans got seven good innings from lefty Nick French while scoring runs in nearly every inning as they cruised to a series ending victory in game two. Telegraph needed to play mistake free ball tonight in order to keep it close but that wouldn't be the case as a few miscues in the fourth and fifth led to ten unanswered runs.
With Shenanigans holding a 3-1 lead in the third and Telegraph threatening to tie it, right fielder Dave Conti made the defensive play of the game when he made a diving catch. The play seemed to wake up the defending champs as they played inspired ball the rest of the way.
Steve Stalcup (3 hits) was the hitting star for Shenanigan's as he stroked a three run homerun in the fifth that pretty much put the game out of reach.
Shenanigans wins best of three series 2-0
|Telegraph Hill (9th)
Below Average Joe's (8th)
Game: Monday, Jul. 9 @ 6:30pm
Telegraph Hill 13 - Below Average Joe's 9
Telegraph Hill plated seven runs in the fourth inning to take control of the "do or die" game then got a strong finish from pitcher Jason Atton. Telegraph will now face the defending champion Shenanigans squad in a best of three series.
Atton was backed up by some great glove work by SS Mark Preziosi while Joe's got an outstanding game from left fielder Andy Breda, who ranged far to his right to make a diving catch near the outfield fence. The play rallied Joe's but Telegraph's attack (Bill Davis 4 hits) was just too much to overcome.
Telegraph Hill wins single elimination game
|Stats Bar & Grille Brewers (10th)
Game: Monday, Jul. 9 @ 8:30pm
Bulldogs 13 - Stats Bar & Grille Brewers 9
In the bottom of the third inning, Chris Holmes lined a three-run homerun to left which gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the game and they never looked back. Shortstop Sean Gorman contributed with both his glove and bat as he made several great plays in the field and came up with a bases clearing double in the fifth which gave the Bulldogs a 10-4 lead.
Pitcher Jimmy McNiff had his hands full against the potent lineup the Brewers roll out each game but after a shaky first inning (3 runs), Mcniff settled down to earn the victory.
While the Bulldogs move on to play Sonny's Pirates in a best of three series, the very talented Brewers are sent home for the season. However, they will be back and better than ever next season - you can count on that!
Bulldogs win single elimination game
|Past Playoff Recaps (1999-2011):