Game 1: Monday, Sep. 23rd @ 7:30 PM
Shennanigans 6 - The Warehouse 1
Records were broken tonight but they were not the kind of records that anyone can be proud of. The Warehouse played uninspired softball while committing a record breaking eleven errors! Almost every player contributed to the record - there were throwing errors, dropped balls, and plenty of mishandled grounders. Folks, it was awful!
Meanwhile, we can't take away from the performance of Mike Hoadley who tossed a four-hitter while leading Shennanigans to an easy game one victory. I would like to write about some clutch hits here but there weren't any. The script for the night was a single here, an error there, then another error and a couple of runs would score. Dave Conti, Eddie Delcarmen, John Hoadley, and Luis Colon all collected two hits in the win.
It should be noted that Shennanigans had a full roster of players who wanted to be on the field tonight. They arrived early and began stretching, some played "pepper", while others chased fly balls in the outfield. Needless to say, the defending champions were very active and ready to go by game time. On the other hand, the few (only 7) Warehouse players who were at the field sat on their bench and watched Shennanigans warm up. As an observer of many playoff games, I have to say that this one was lost before Mike Hoadley thew his first pitch.
Game 2: Tuesday, Sep. 24th @ 730
Shennanigans 3 - The Warehouse 1
It was Nick French's turn on the mound tonight which usually means that scoring runs was going to be a tall task for the Warehouse. French lived up to his reputation as he scattered six hits, struck out eleven batters, and cruised to a 3-1 victory in game two of the finals.
Shennanigans opened the scoring in the third when Al Martin hit a triple to deep left center and then scored on Dennis Hajjar's (2 hits) double. Shennanigans added a pair of runs in the fourth when Greg Trudell dropped a double down the right field line that scored Steve Stalcup and John Hoadley (2 hits).
The Warehouse, who came ready to play tonight, finally got something going in the sixth when Ryan Martin led off with a single and then scored on Brendan McGinn's bases loaded sacrifice fly. The Warehouse loaded the bases again in the inning but couldn't get the big hit to tie the game and French would strike out the side in the seventh to end things.
Joey Venuti pitched a strong game just days after receiving a treatment for thyroid cancer. The courageous pitcher threw six innings, yielded nine hits, and allowed just the three runs.
Game 3: Wednesday, Sep. 25th @ 730
Shennanigans 5 - The Warehouse 2
Shennanigans came from two runs behind to complete the sweep and win their league tying fifth championship in a row. Shennanigans joins Ocean Kai/L Street Tavern as the only two teams in the 43 year league history to capture five straight championships.
The Warehouse came to play again tonight and they gave it everything they had but would fall short. With Joey Magee on the mound and looking very sharp, the Warehouse built a 2-0 lead in the fourth when lefty Brendan McGinn smoked a ball to right center and later scored on Dave Blandino's single. In a move that would prove pivotal, Shennanigans' sent Nick French out to relieve Mike Hoadley in the fifth.
Up until this point it was looking like the Warehouse was about to get back into the series but the game turned in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs and a runner on first base (Steve Stalcup), Dave Conti reached on an infield error. Al Martin then delivered another clutch RBI hit that scored Stalcup making it 2-1. Next up was lefty Dennis Hajjar who wasted little time in doubling to deep right center plating Conti and Martin to make it 3-2 Shennanigans. French then reached on another error which drove Hajjar home with the fourth run of the inning. Shennanigans would add an insurance run in the sixth when pinch hitter Brian Erwin singled home John Smith making it 5-2.
At the conclusion of the game, Nick French was named the unanimous MVP. From start to finish this year, French was dominant on the mound. His record breaking 0.88 ERA was a great regular season statistic but the Frenchman improved that number in the playoffs by tossing 24 innings and yielding only two earned runs for a shiny 0.58 ERA! He was 4-0 and struck out 26 batters in the playoffs alone.
It should also be noted that Shennanigans played exceptional defense (their trademark) in this series. The usual gold glovers (Steve Stalcup, Luis Colon, Al Martin, and Dennis Hajjar) made plenty of "web gems" but Greg Trudell, who doesn't get much recognition, made several outstanding running catches in left field that saved runs and ended potential rallies. After the game Greg and his teammates were celebrating with well deserved victory cigars and plenty of cold beverages. Congratulations Shennanigans!
Shennanigans wins series 3-0