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
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
    
    
    
 

Game summaries are written by Mark Senna

Note: the schedule below is tentative and can change due to rain outs/shortened series.

Mark Senna

LUCAS DIVISION (A)

**FINALS**
 
 (3A) MJS
vs
 (1A) Lincoln Tavern
Game 1: Tuesday, Aug. 30 @ 8:30  

MJS 10 - Lincoln Tavern 2

In a much anticipated game, the product on the field didn't live up to it's billing. For starters, Lincoln Tavern learned at the last moment that their ace starting pitcher, Rafael Ramos, was not going to show up. The hard throwing right hander claimed that he was still sore from the previous night's work. Former MVP Chris Boyd then got the nod but ran into trouble from the outset. MJS' Scott Hyland and Bret Belcastro earned back-to-back walks to start the game and by innings end, both came around to score, 2-0. The inning ended when Kevin O'Hara was thrown out at second and on the play he and the shortstop got into a heated exchange.

Lefty hurler Nick French (3 time MVP) then strolled out to the mound in what must have been a weird feeling for both clubs. French was on the mound wearing a Lincoln jersey at this time last season and now was facing his former teammates for the first time. Even an old pro like French can be affected by the situation and that seemed to be the case here in the first inning as Lincoln scratched across a run when Conor Gleason (2 hits, 2 runs) walked and scored on Boyd's fielder's choice, 2-1.

Boyd (11 walks) ran into trouble again in the second when seven straight MJS batters reached base. Caesar Peralta, Jonathan Bonilla, and Hyland all drove in runs during the rally, 5-1. French retired the side in the bottom of the second on three weakly batted infield pop ups (F6, F4, & F1).

Those watching online and in the stands could already sense where this one was headed and they would be correct. MJS added another run in the third and Pedro Vasquez gave them another four runs when he hit a grand slam in the fourth inning making it 10-1.

At this point, MJS started to empty their bench to get everyone some playing time. Whoever was out there with French didn't matter as he was toying with the Lincoln batters. At one point, they asked the home plate umpire, Bobby Diggins, to instruct Nick on keeping in contact with the pitching rubber. I don't think they had any issues last season on the lefty's footwork or delivery (which hasn't changed...at all). In any case, three up and three down as the one-sided game was now lacking energy and was slowly moving along.

In the bottom of the fifth, Lincoln finally had something going as Sean Gorman (2 hits) singled to load the bases. However, French wasn't about to give his old team anything to cheer about and struck out Mike Kent to retire the side.

Eventually Lincoln would plate another run - in the sixth, Gleason led off with a double and scored on Jeff Vigurs base hit. French then retired the next six batters he faced and that was it - game one was in the books.

Nick FrenchPedro VasquezConor Gleason

Game 2: Wednesday, Sep. 7 @ 8:45 (B rules) 

Lincoln Tavern 9 - MJS 10 (9 innings)

After waiting a a full week for this one to be completed, the ending was well worth the wait. In the top of the eighth, pitcher Chris Pope was re-entered into the game for slinger Nick French, who threw his one inning in the seventh. With one out, Pope ran into trouble when he gave up back-to-back singles to Mike Muir and Jake Drew. However, Pope then struck out Jared Kelley and Dave Corcoran to end the threat. In the bottom of the eigth, Kevin O'Hara reached on a error by the first baseman which caused Lincoln to call on flamethrower, Rafael Ramos. After a lengthy warmup, Ramos was ready and he quickly showed why he is the fastest pitcher in the "A" division. Ramos quickly retired the side by striking out Sam MacDonald and Mike Selig. We moved onto the wild ninth inning.

Mike Kent led off with a clean double but was momentarily stranded when Sean Gorman flew out to left. Lefty Sean Gleason then reached on a error on the shortstop and Lincoln had something going. However, clutch hitter, Taylor Ferguson didn't produce in this instance as he popped one up in the infield for the second out. Chris Boyd's position was now up in the order but he wasn't available so Lincoln turned to Daniel Navares. On a team full of great hitters, Navares wasn't known as one of their top guys. However, with one swing of the bat he changed that - Navares took a big swing at a Pope offering and hit a towering drive to deep left. The only issue was whether or not it would stay fair as it was right down the line. It was fair by ten feet and Lincoln was on top, 9-6! Pope then retired the next batter and we headed to the bottom of the ninth.

Jasan Calnan was re-entered for Ramos and got Jose Rodriguez on a routine fly ball to center - one out. Jonathan Bonilla then worked a walk after fouling off several pitches. Manny Soto was next and he hit a scorching grounder to short but the ball took a last second bounce and caromed off the shortstop's leg and into center field - error. MJS now had runners on the corners with one out. It was back to the top of the order where Armani Soto was pinch hitting for Scott Hyland who was unavailable. On the first strike he saw, Soto ripped into a Calnan offering but it was caught by the shortstop for the second out. Brett Belcastro was next up and he was walked on four pitches - bases loaded. Pedro Vasquez (4 hits) now dug into the box and was the one guy that Lincoln didn't want to face in this situation. Calnan tried to sneak and inside fast ball by him but the righty wasn't having any of it. One big swing and the ball was sent soaring onto First Street - Vasquez had hit a dramatic walk-off grand slam to win game two.

Prior to the above heroics, the scoring started with a walk to Scott Hyland, single by Pedro Vasquez (3 hits) and then Chris Pope doubled them both home, 2-0. Pitcher Jason Calnan then worked his way out of the rest of the inning with a strikeout to retire the side. MJS added another run (Caesar Peralta home run) in the second and then tacked on two more in the third on RBI's by Sam MacDonald and Mike Selig, 5-0.

Up until this point, Pope was having little troubling getting through the Lincoln lineup. However, Pope gave up three straight hits to start the fourth and then Mike Muir made him pay with a two-run single, 5-2. Lincoln was back on the attack in the fifth when they loaded the bases with one out. Chris Boyd stood in the batter's box and delivered a clutch two-run single as he has on numerous occasions, 5-4. Lincoln tasted blood and went for it - a walk to Max Vigliotti followed and Pope and MJS was on the ropes. Muir reached on a fielder's choice that scored Taylor Ferguson from third and we were all tied up, 5-5. Lefty Jake Drew then put Lincoln ahead with an RBI single, 6-5.

Calnan, now in front for the first time, was in charge and really barking from the mound - challenging the MJS hitters which in turn, took the game to another level. The more he chirped the easier his work became on the mound - MJS was spending their energy on responding to Calnan and their hitting approach was suffering. Through the last three and two third innings pitched, Calnan didn't give up any runs and yielded just two hits.

However, there was that last one-third of an inning to deal with before Calnan could claim victory - it didn't come. Leadoff hitter and base running nemesis, Scott Hyland drew a two out walk. Brett Belcastro then belted a single that put Hyland on third. Pedro Vasquez stepped in and hit a laser beam line drive to left center that carromed off the fielder's glove allowing Hyland to tie it up, 6-6. On the play, Belcastro was hustling to third but collided with shortstop, Jeff White, and both players went airborne. White was seriously injured and stayed down. Belcastro got up and made it safely to third. Arguments ensued - MJS claimed "fielder obstruction" and that Belcastro would have scored on the play. The umpire didn't think so and I don't either - first to home on a single to center?

While the players continued their arguments, White was in agony, screaming in pain. EMS Joey Magee then tended to the fallen player and determined in was likely an ACL tear. After about twenty minutes, White was helped off the field and Vigliotti (the DH) was forced to take a position in the field. Calnan got Pope on a ground out and we were moving to extra innings.

At this point, the game was already well over the time limit but a call was made to the league office and the word was to continue the game. More arguments ensued but MJS took the field and Max Vigliotti was about to enter the batter's box. At that point, MJS made it known that they were protesting the game claiming Lincoln made an illegal substitution by having Max play a defensive position. Guess what happened? Yes, more arguments, more delays, and then the umpire called the game off. As I was told, "it just got to be too much. It was both teams. We were already way behind on time and had two other teams asking when they were going to start."

After getting feedback from both umpires and referencing our league rules as well as USA substitution rules, the position is the following: both teams and circumstances (late start & injury) played a part in not finishing the game on time and therefore, it will be continued just like any other game. Substitutions can be made by rostered players who were present and not present when the game was halted - USA Rule 4.1.A.2 and rule supplement 51. Our own league rule (3.00) specifically states that the DH can go into the field if there is an injury.

Obviously, this news isn't welcoming to the MJS players and they are now contemplating on whether or not to continue the series. If they decide to bow out, then it wouldn't be the first time a finals series wasn't played. Back in 1994, the L Street Tavern was awarded the championship when the Liquor Mart decided to protest the ruling against them of using in ineligible player (Pat Madden) in the playoffs. I guess the drama never ends at M Street.

Pedro VasquezDaniel Navares


Game 3: Wednesday, Sep. 7 @ 9:00  

MJS 1 - Lincoln Tavern 0

After the drama of game two, the two teams had ten minutes to hit "reset" and take the field for game three. Lincoln, with their backs against the wall had to be feeling pretty good about their chances in this one as they had Rafael Ramos finally available to pitch a full "A" game. Ramos, missed the first game of the series (10-2 loss) and wasn't on the bench for game two when it was started a week ago. However, here he was on the mound and he came out throwing heat in the first inning.

Chris Pope (DH) managed a single in the first but Ramos retired the side on three routine ground balls. With a 2-0 series lead, the question now was whether or not MJS would pitch Nick French or would they turn to righty, Joey Magee. It was decided that Magee would take the ball as the burly righy made his way out to the mound. Lincoln and Conor Gleason quickly made MJS regret the decision as Gleason roped a double to left center to start the first - would you believe that this would be Lincoln's last hit of the series? After the double, Magee struck out Dave Corcoran and then retired Daniel Navares and Taylor Ferguson on fly ball outs. We moved to the second.

Kevin O'Hara dug into the box and anyone who knows O'Hara understands that he plays the game with a lot of compassion and pride. He can be loud but it's all about giving his team a lift - keeping them focused. Well, Lincoln must have decided that he needed to be silenced as Ramos threw a fastball high and inside that caught O'Hara flush on the left elbow. The seems from the ball mark were visible on O'Hara's arm - after a few moments he made his way over to first. There wasn't any apology offered and I was thinking this was the beginning of serious of bad events about to go down here. Ramos then retired the side with two strikeouts and a ground ball out.

Magee retired the side 1-2-3 in the bottom of the second. After giving up a walk to Jonathan Bonilla to start the third, Ramos got a double play and a strikeout to retire MJS in the third. Bottom of the third - 1-2-3 - Magee was through three innings of play and had only given up the leadoff double to Gleason.

Ramos in the top of the fourth - 1-2-3 and the game moved to the bottom of the fourth where it was decided to hand the reigns over to lefty, Nick French who was tasked with facing the top of the Lincoln order. Strikeout, strikeout, and routine grounder to short. We moved onto the fifth.

Groud out, gound out, single by Mike Selig, and a groud out back to the pitcher. In the bottom of the fifth, I guess it was payback time as Taylor Ferguson dug in. The first pitch by French sailed over his head which drew a bedazzled look on his face. The next one was a ball away and then the next one was right at him - there was no getting out of the way of this one as it struck him right in the left hip area. Like a true gangster, French then struck out the side. The beaning of Ferguson drew some comments from fellow pitcher and foe, Jason Calnan. "You finally grew some balls, I'm pproud of you!"

In the top of the sixth, Ramos faced the bottom of the order and struck out two of them and got the third out on an easy ground out. We moved to the bottom of the sixth, which would turn out to be the last action of the series. French faced the bottom of the order and easily went through them picking up his sixth, seventh, and eigth strikeout. Since coming into the game in the fourth, French had struck out eight of the ten batters he faced - and Lincoln is a good hitting team.

At this point, the clock showed that it was 11:12pm and the lights were just a couple of minutes away from shuting off for the night. At that point, it was decided to continue play the next day - Thursday at 6:30pm. Everyone agreed and began to collect their equipment to head home. 11:15 - lights went out..at the park and we would find out twelve hours later, on the series too.

At 12:15pm on Thursday, Lincoln's coach Max Vigliotti sent a text to myself and Mike Selig stating that they would not be able to field a team tonight as five of their players were going away for a wedding. Folks, it's always the wedding - I hear this same excuse often. Anyway, the league reached out to MJS to try and find a workble solution. Extending the series to another date wasn't an option as the permit was set to expire on Friday. We also wanted to avoid crowning a champion via a forfeit at all costs. As a result, MJS said to tell Lincoln they can use any five rostered players in the league to fill in for the missing players - they declined stating it would be unfair. The league then informed Lincoln that if they forfeit out of the playoffs then they would not be welcomed back in 2023. Well, they stuck by their reasoning and forced the league to call game three a forfeit which gave MJS the win and a championship sweep, 3-0.

Personally, I don't think Lincoln thought that the league would make the call to end a series on a forfeit. From previous experiences, they know that the league would much rather find another way to make this work so the game would play out on the field. What I don't think Lincoln understood was the fact that as the playoffs moved along and the teams were eliminated, the league loses the room to move games around or be flexible in its scheduling. When you reach the finals, it's play every night until it ends. No nights off as we were simply out of time.

With the above said, this wasn't ever about five players missing on Thursday - this was about ONE pitcher who would not be available. Ramos works on Thursday's and couldn't get the night off. He tried but was denied so instead of sending a team to the field to play out game three and likely lose, Lincoln used every excuse they could come up with to delay the series. The league called their bluff and the rest is history.

Once MJS received word that they were the 2022 champions, coach Mike Selig informed the league that they would be in uniform and at M Street Park at 6pm to receive the trophy. Players made their way from the Boston, the North Shore, and even Rhode Island. Just after 6pm, nearly everyone on that team was present - there were no excuses. After taking photos and doing some on field celebrating, I'm told the team made its way to the Lincoln Tavern establishment to continue the party.

Nick FrenchRafael RamosJoey Magee

Back row (L-R): Chris Pope, Manny Pitre, Nick French (MVP), Sam MacDonald, Mark Dion, Jose Rodriguez, Mike Selig, and Danny Donovan.
Front row (L-R): Brett Belcastro, Pedro Vasquez (Co-MVP), Joe Magee, Jonathan Bonilla-Deleon, Scott Hyland, and Kevin O'Hara. Missing from photo but still champions are: Michael Kelleher, Manny Soto, Al Leighton, Armani Soto, Grayson Searl, and Charlie Pappas.

Presentation of the "M Street Cup" and the "Larry Lucas trophy" was made by Commissioner Mark Senna, while individual awards were as follows: The Silver Slugger for best batting performance in the playoffs went to Chris Pope. The power hitting pitcher was 9-for-15 (.600), leading his team in runs batted in with 10. The Most Valuable Player was no surprise at all. Nick French captured his fourth MVP award, having gone 1-0 in the playoffs with a 0.00 ERA in 18 innings pitched. Pedro Vasquez was named a CO-MVP for his timely playoff hits and dramatic game two home run. French joins Larry Lucas as the only player to win the award four times (2013, 2014, 2021, & 2022).

MVP's: Nick Frenc and Pedro Vasquez


 

MJS wins series 3-0

 
Semi-Finals
 
 (5A) Fumanji (8-8)
vs
 (1A) Lincoln Tavern (11-4-1)
Game 2: Thursday, Aug. 18 @ 7:30  *B rules

Fumanji 18 - Lincoln Tavern 6

Lincoln's Dave Corcoran (3 doubles) led the game off with a double and later scored but that was about all of the highlights for his team in this one as Fumanji puts it all together and wins convincingly.

With Lincoln ahead 2-0, Fumanji loaded the bases of starter Chris Boyd. Jose Felix then singled before Junior Tejeda (4 hits, 2 doubles) cleared the bases to put Fumanji on top, 4-2. The scoring didn't end there as Angel Pena added to the cause with a three-run home run, 7-2. Lincoln knew they could score runs but needed to put a stop to this onslaught. It wouldn't happen as the Fumanji bats were cooking. Wander Mejia homered and Rey Melo (3 hits) brought home Wilfredo Baez, 9-2 after an inning of play.

Lincoln didn't respond in the second and the Fumanji hitters were back at it in the second. Singles by Junior Felix and Tejeda set the table for Freymar Pena who brought them both home with a single in the gap, 11-2.

Pitcher Luis Gonzalez ran into trouble in the top of the third when Lincoln had runners on the corners with nobody out. Daniel Naveres then singled to left which scored Corcoran from third but Jeff White was gunned down at the plate, 11-3. Taylor Ferguson singled and Boyd brought Navares home with another single, 11-4. Two batters later, Drew Blake hit a sacrifice fly and it was 11-5. Gonzalez then got the next batter on a ground ball and the inning was over.

Fumanji showed they were not going to be denied on this night as they answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the third. With Jason Calnan now pitching in relief of Boyd, Tati Baez (3 hits) and Melo started things off with singles. Galvin Lara and Freymar Pena both hit sacrifice flies to plate a pair of runs and Felix singled home another, 14-5.

Gonzalez retired the side in order in the fourth. Fumanji then loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth with one out. RBI hits by Melo and Lara turned this game into a laugher, 17-5. Gonzalez had little trouble in the fifth as Lincoln scratched across an unearned run, 17-6.

In the bottom of the fifth, Fumanji needed just one run to end the game by the slaughter rule and that's just what they did. Tejeda wasted no time and launched a towering homerun to left that ended the game, 18-6.

Lincoln will need to put this one away while Fumanji has to be feeling really good about the way they are playing. They're getting production from all three phases of the game...on the mound, at the plate, and in the field.

Junior TejedaRey MeloTati BaezDave CorcoranLuis Gonzalez


Game 3: Tuesday, Aug. 23 @ 8:30pm 

Lincoln Tavern 10 - Fumanji 1

Rafael Ramos threw a two-hitter against his former club as Lincoln Tavern evened the series with a convincing win. Ramos finished the game with eleven strikeouts and gave up just one earned run - he was the difference maker in this one folks.

While Ramos was doing his thing on the Lincoln mound, Fumanji was forced to start their "B" pitcher, Luis Gonzalez. The veteran pitcher delivered a victory in game two of the series and was trying to keep it close until their ace, Domingo Ramirez, could get to the field. Will Brennan (3 hits) doubled home Taylor Ferguson (3 hits) in the first with the game's first run, 1-0. That would be all Gonzalez would give up as Ramirez entered the game in the bottom of the second inning and quickly got the last out.

However, the powerful righty ran into trouble in the third when Lincoln loaded the bases with nobody out. Singles by Chris Boyd and Connor Gleason led to four runs scoring and a 5-0 lead after three complete. It should be noted at this point Fumanji pitchers had hit two Lincoln batters.

Lincoln kept their foot on the gas pedal and scored three more runs in the fourth and this was all but over as Fumanji couldn't get a bat on a Ramos fastball - he was dominating! Whether it was retaliation or not, Wilfredo Baez was plunked in the top of the sixth and in a small victory, Baez came around to score Fumanji's only run. With the lopsided score and with the batters getting hit, this one was starting to turn a bit ugly. With two outs in the seventh, Ramos hit his second batter to even things up, I guess.

At the conclusion of the game, the two clubs were supposed to finish the first game of the series, which is tied (3-3) in the bottom of the sixth inning. However, likely frustrated with how things unfolded on this night - some Fumanji players left the field thinking there wasn't enough time (lights) nor desire to continue, arguments ensued, text messages were sent back and forth to the league, and in the end, it's anyone's guess if this series will ever conclude.

Rafael RamosWill BrennanTaylor Ferguson


Game 4: Thursday, Aug. 25 @ 8:30  *B rules

Lincoln 27 - Fumanji 15

The final tally of hits and runs in this one resemble a SLOW pitch softball game - 54 hits, 42 runs! Apparently, both teams couldn't wait for this "B" game as the offenses unloaded on four pitchers with everything they had. In the end, Lincoln's offense prove to be too much too handle for Fumanji as they take a 2-1 series lead.

With the score tied 2-2, Lincoln erupted for six runs in the top of the second inning to chase starting pitcher, Luis Gonzalez. The veteran pitcher was excellent against the Simpson Club two weeks ago but just couldn't get outs in this one. With runners on the corner and one out, Sean Gorman hit a comebacker to the pitcher but he couldn't handle it and a run scored. That one hurt as the order then flipped to the top with Dave Corcoran (4 hits, 4 RBI) now standing in the box. Dave may Fumanji and Luis pay as he lined a double to left center scoring two runners, 5-2. Conor Gleason (4 hits, 2 HR, 4 RBI) followed with a two-run homerun, 7-2. Taylor Ferguson added another, 8-2 and that was it for Luis.

The two clubs then put three runs each on the board in the third and Lincoln was on top, 11-5. In the fourth, now facing Freymar Pena, Mike Muir (4 hits) hit a grand slam that put Lincoln up by ten, 15-5. Pitcher Jason Calnan then retired the side in the fourth and this one was pretty much out of reach.

Lincoln scored a run in the fifth and then four more in the sixth. Max Vigliotti (4 hits) struck the big blow in the inning with a two-run single, 20-7. As the game was now getting away the play became sloppy which led to long innings. As a result, the teams were now up against the 10:45 time limit. Up until this point, Calnan had been cruising giving up very little to Fumanji and sitting on a big lead.

However, they weren't about to fold their hand as they answered with six runs in the bottom of the sixth. Galvin Lara (4 hits, 7 RBI) and Angel Gonzalez (4 hits) gave Fumanji some life and put Lincoln on notice - they weren't quitting, 20-13.

Lincoln quickly took notice and went back to work in the top of the seventh with another long inning. All eleven batters in the lineup stood at the plate and seven of them scored, 27-13 and just as the final out in the inning was recorded, the lights went out.

When they resumed the game (four days later), Calnan gave way to Chris Boyd, who slinged his way through the inning. In the end, Fumanji could only scrape a pair of runs together and fell, 27-15. The win put Lincoln ahead 2-1 in the series and the two teams then got ready to play game five...yes, game five as game one was not yet completed (3-3, bottom sixth).

Dave CorcoranConor GleasonMike MuirGalvin Lara


Game 5: Monday, Aug. 29 @ 8:30pm 

Fumanji 2 - Lincoln Tavern 0

With their backs against the wall and needing a win to extend the series, Fumanji's pitcher Domingo Ramirez put his team on his back and carried them across the finish line with a masterful pitching performance. Ramirez didn't allow a base runner to reach second and was the dominating factor in this one.

Fumanji got on the scoreboard early against Lincoln's hard throwing pitcher, Rafael Ramos. Junior Tejeda singled and reached third on Galvin Lara's double. Ramos (10 strikeouts) then struck out Vladi Camacho looking and it looked like Fumanji was going to let a great scoring opportunity get away from them. However, Rey Melo singled sharply to score Tejeda but Lara was cut down at the plate, 1-0.

That lone run would stand through four innings as both pitchers were having their way on the mound. Finally, in the fifth, Lara reached first when the shortstop couldn't field a hot grounder. A groundball to first then advanced the runner but their were two outs. Angel Gonzalez then hit a ball to first that was misplayed and Lara raced home, 2-0.

Now with a two run lead, Ramirez just kept mowing them down - one after another. In fact, over the last five innings of the game, Ramirez only allowed one base runner - mercy! The series was now tied 2-2 and after a fifteen minute break, the teams would now go back and finish game one. At this point, Fumanji had the momentum on both sides of the field.

Domingo RamirezRey MeloRafael Ramos


Game 1: Wednesday, Aug. 17 @ 9:00  continued on Aug. 29 

Lincoln 4 - Fumanji 3 (9 innings)

It took two weeks to complete, but in the end it was all worth the wait. With a trip to the finals on the line, Fumanji and Lincoln Tavern were even at two wins a piece and tied 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth when this game was finally played out.

Earlier, Lincoln had built a 3-0 lead on a pair of runs in the first and an unearned run in the second. With their shutdown ace, Rafael Ramos, on the mound, a victory was surely within sight. However, the pesky Fumanji team battled back in the top of the third when they loaded the bases with nobody out. Vladi Camacho reached on a fielder's choice which scored Wilfredo Baez, 3-1. Galvin Lara then hit a sacrifice fly to center that scored Domingo Ramirez, 3-2. With a runner on second, Junior Tejeda hit an easy ground ball to second but it was muffed and Rey Melo came all the way around to tie it up, 3-3!

From that point on it became an old M Street Softball pitcher's duel between Ramos and Domingo Ramirez. Ramos was racking up the strikeouts (15) while Ramirez was producing weak swings (allowed 5 hits) by the usually heavy hitting Lincoln squad. Inning after inning this same script continued and after seven innings we were still tied. The eighth wasn't any different - both pitchers dominated the side. Ramos retired the side in the ninth and we had about 15 minutes remaining with light coverage - it was looking like the teams would have to return again to finish.

However, in the bottom of the ninth two miscues brought the series to an abrupt end. First up was lefty Conor Gleason who led things off with a single to left field. Mike Muir was next and he ripped a liner to short that was snagged for the out but the fielder threw wildly to first trying to double off Gleason, who had moved up to second on the play. Another lefty, Drew Blake, stepped into the box and on the first strike he saw lifted a shallow fly to the opposite field that looked like a routine out. However, the outfielder didn't move and it fell in front of him for a hit. Gleason saw this and took off from second and was around third when his third base coach waved him home. For reasons that can't be explained here, the left fielder not only misplayed the fly ball but he also didn't hustle to the ball and get it into the infield. Gleason scores easily and the game was over - just like that! It was a very tough loss for Domingo Ramirez who had Lincoln's number - over the last fifteen innings, he didn't allow a single earned run.

Lincoln will now move on to face MJS and their former pitcher, lefty Nick French, in the best of five finals. This should be a great series.

Rafael RamosDomingo RamirezConor GleasonDrew Blake


 

Lincoln wins series 3-2

 
 (3A) MJS (7-6-3)
vs
 (2A) STATS (10-5-1)
Game 1: Wednesday, Aug. 17 @ 7:30  

MJS 11 - STATS 1

It took four and a half innings of play before we saw the game's first run as both pitchers, Jose Bonilla for STATS and Nick French for MJS, were dealing. Finally, MJS broke through with a run in the top of the fifth when a costly error was committed. MJS would tack on three more runs in the sixth when Brett Belcastro and Pedro Vasquez hit RBI singles, 4-0. It's important to note that Bonilla pitched the night before so he was likely tiring at this point.

STATS tried to answer in the bottom of the sixth when Frankie Reyes singled off Nick French to score Kevin Miller making it a 4-1 game but French ended the threat with a strikeout and fly out to Scott Hyland (2 hits) in center. Joey Magee had started for MJS but pulled himself out after two innings due to tightness in his shoulder. Since the lefty took over he was un-hittable until Miller and Reyes momentarily solved the puzzle.

We headed to the seventh where it would really get away from STATS in the the seventh. Mike Selig led off with a single and was followed by a walk to Jose Rodriguez. Bonilla then got a ground ball to third that should have been a double play but instead was mishandled and everyone was safe. Caesar Peralta followed with a two-run single and Danny Donovan (2 hits) later followed with an RBI single and this one was all but over. Another infield error by the usually strong defending STATS team led to more runs. In the seventh, MJS would send thirteen batters to the plate and score seven runs, 11-1. EJ Martinez was summoned to get the last out in the inning which he did on a ground ball.

One cool thing to note here was the showdown between father and son - dad, Jose pitching for STATS and son, Jonathan, playing second for MJS. Although Jose won the one on one battle (Jonathan was 0-4) it was Jonathan's team that prevailed. We should get to see this interesting match up in game three on Tuesday.

Nick FrenchScott HylandDanny Donovan


Game 2: Thursday, Aug. 18 @ 9:00  *B rules

MJS 13 - STATS 1

After letting game one slip away from them, STATS were looking for a quick start and a better ending here in game two. Tad Gold delivered on the first part as he led the game off with a homerun, 1-0. EJ Martinez followed with a single and things were looking good for STATS. However, that would be the end of their fun as MJS put the hammer down and easily cruised to victory.

This one got away in the bottom of the first when STATS pitcher, Tom Kazanowski, couldn't solve the talented and experienced lineup. Scott Hyland led off with a single, Brett Belcastro earned a walk, Chris Pope (3 hits, 3 RBI) then tied the game with a single, Pedro Vasquez put MJS ahead with a single, and Kevin O'Hara followed with a single to load the bases. Sam MacDonald, who suffered a torn achilles, was making his first appearance all season was up next but flew out to shallow center. Kazanowski needed to keep this one close and get out of this jam but Jose Rodriguez wasn't having it. The big man slammed a Kaz offering high into the sky and over the left field fence for a grand slam and a 6-1 MJS lead.

Chris Pope retired the side in the second and STATS were already looking like a defeated team here in the early going. MJS continued to pour on the offense with RBI singles by Pope and O'Hara in the second, 8-1.

Pope, gave up a single to Gold (2 hits) in the third before retiring the side. With two outs and a runner on first, MJS would erupt again. Scott Hyland single, Belcastro RBI single, Pope, RBI single, and then Pedro Vasquez cleared the bases with a three-run homerun over the fence in deep center, 13-1. STATS couldn't get anything going in the fourth and fifth innings and this one was over - slaughter rule.

STATS have dug themselves a deep, deep hole and will need to play a flawless game three to get back into this series. On the other hand, MJS is looking like a championship driven team where all the pieces are finally coming together at the most perfect of times - the playoffs.

Chris PopeJose RodriguezKevin O'HaraPedro VasquezTad Gold


Game 3: Tuesday, Aug. 23 @ 7:00 

MJS 4 - STATS 1

For the second season in a row, pitcher Nick French plays a vital role in eliminating STATS from the playoffs. Tonight, STATS had multiple scoring opportunities and had the lefty French and MJS "on the ropes" with bases loaded with nobody out in the fifth and sixth innings but could only put one run across the plate. With the failed opportunities to score, it was only a matter of time before the MJS offense took matter's into their own hands. Sam MacDonald did just that in the top of the seventh when he tripled home a pair of runs to put MJS up, 3-1. MacDonald gave MJS their fourth run when French singled him home and that would prove to be more than enough run support.

MJS scored in the top of the first inning when Chris Pope singled home Kevin O'Hara, 1-0. That run would be the only run on the scoreboard all the way until the bottom of the sixth inning. French and STATS' pitcher, Jose Bonilla, were both scattering hits and getting the big outs when needed. STATS tied it up when Phil Scirreta (2 hits, HBP) led off with a double and moved to third on Robb Scott's single. EJ Martinez then walked to load the bases with nobody out. However, French then got a strikeout and a gave up a game tying sacrifice fly but that was it - a pop out ended the inning and we were tied, 1-1.

In the top of the seventh, perhaps STATS was thinking about what they had let slip away as they committed back-to-back errors. Lefty Sam MacDonald (3 hits) then followed with a triple and just like that it was 3-1 and the game was all but over. STATS managed to put a couple of runners on in the seventh but it wasn't a real threat as French had control of the game. MJS move on to the finals.

Nick FrenchSam MacDonaldPhil Scirreta


 

MJS wins series 3-0

 
Quarter-Finals
 Lincoln Tavern (1A) receives a first round bye
 
 (7A) Playwright Shamrocks (2-12-2)
vs
 (2A) STATS (10-5-1)
Game 1: Tuesday, Aug. 9 @ 7:15  

STATS 6 - Playwright 3

With the score tied 3-3 and two outs, STATS' Chris Amate (2 hits, 4 RBI) hit a towering three-run homerun to deep left center in the bottom of the sixth inning which put his club ahead to stay.

Prior to Amate's heroics, this was a tight ball game all the way through as the Playwright had elevated their game and were giving STATS a run for their money. The two clubs were separated by 15 points in the standings...that's 7 1/2 wins folks. STATS finished in second and Playwright finished in the cellar with just a pair of wins. However, none of that mattered now as this was the playoffs.

Playwright jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second on RBI hits by Mark Senna and Tom Moody. That lead would stand all the way into the bottom of the fourth when STATS tied it with RBI hits from Kevin Higgins and an Amate double, 2-2.

Playwright wasn't backing down and responded with another run in the fifth when Moody scored on a RBI hit by Pete Franchi, 3-2. Senna retired STATS in order in the home half of the fifth and we were now entering the late innings.

STATS got another clean inning from their veteran hurler, Jose Bonilla (7 innings, 1 earned run, 4 K's) in the top of the sixth. The boys sporting the white, yellow, and brown uniforms knew this was their chance as they had Tad Gold, Phil Scirreta, and EJ Martinez due up - their best three hitters. Gold and Scirreta quickly set the table with back to back sharp singles. Senna then retired Martinez on a ground ball to second but both runners advanced a base on the play. Jake Smith then singled home the game tying run and STATS had runners on the corners with one out, 3-3. Kevin Higgins then stepped into the batter's box and lofted a fly ball to left but it wasn't deep enough to score the runner from third and we remained tied. Next up was Chris Amate and with two outs, he delivered, 6-3 STATS!

Now finally in the lead, Bonilla needed just three outs to pick up the win but the pesky Playwright squad didn't quit. A leadoff walk to Senna and a single to Tim Naser put the tying runners on base but that would be as far as they would get as Bonilla and the STATS defense held off the Playwright attack to capture game one.

Chris AmateJose BonillaTad Gold


Game 2: Wednesday, Aug. 10 @ 8:45 *B rules

Playwright 12 - STATS 11

Playwright's Tim Naser hit a single in the bottom of the seventh inning to drive home Chris Lang with the game winning run to even the series, 1-1. Folks, this was another M Street Softball playoff classic that featured all kinds of plot twists and turns. If you want to see for yourself, then the video of the game is available on Facebook - M Street Softball League page. Check it out!

We'll pick up the game in the bottom of the fourth inning with STATS ahead, 4-1. Tom Moody led off with a single and was followed by a walk to Naser. The table was now set for the top of the order and they delivered. Pete Franchi singled home Moody and Justin Lynch doubled home Naser and Franchi, 4-4. Matt Aucoin's fly ball to center put Playwright on top, 5-4. STATS went scoreless in the fourth but Playwright tacked another run on the board on Naser's RBI single that plated Teddy Gregory, 6-4.

Jake Smith led the fifth off with a homerun to deep left (into the Edison yard) that got STATS to within a run, 6-5. However, they weren't done scoring as five straight batters reached base which eventually led to four more runs. With the top of the order now due up, Coach Steve Folan decided to call on his "A" pitcher, Mark Senna, to see if he could put an end to the inning. Connor Ressell greeted Senna with an RBI single but then Senna got out of the inning without any further damage but STATS had erupted with a huge inning and now led, 9-6.

STATS pitcher, Tom Kazanowski, shut down the meat of the Playwright attack in the fifth and the lights were starting to dim for Playwright. Senna and Higgins (re-entry) combined to retired the side in the top of the sixth to give Playwright a little hope.

With a runner on first and one out, Moody and Naser singled to load the bases for the top of the order, Franchi. With the STATS "A" pitcher, Jose Bonilla, now warming up on the sidelines Kazanowski got ahead of the count and then threw a high one that Franchi hit high over the mound but fell into the second baseman's glove - two outs. Justin Lynch, who doubled in the third, was now the Playwright's last hope. STATS decided to stay with Kazanowski and the tall lanky righty made them pay with a double in the gap that cleared the bases, 9-9! Kazanowski was still in the game when Chris Mancini put Playwright on top, 10-9. The inning came to an end and Playwright had flipped the script and was now just three outs away from tying the series.

Higgins retired the first batter on a fly ball to center but then yielded a single to Kazanowski. Ressell then flied out to center and STATS were down to their final out but had the Triple Crown (average, home runs, RBI) award winner, Phil Scirreta standing in the batter's box. Scirreta didn't let the moment get past him as he quickly launched a towering two-run homerun over the left field fence to put STATS on top, 11-10! Wow, what a game! Higgins got the next batter out on a fly ball and we headed to the bottom of the seventh.

Although they may have been second guessed at the time, STATS showed patience and had played their hand perfectly as they now brought in Jose Bonilla to close this one out. However, Playwright wasn't going to make it easy as Steve Nagle singled sharply to lead things off. The pitcher, Higgins, stepped into the box and with an 0-2 count, was drilled on the shin/hit batter when "A" pitcher is on the mound. Suddenly the Playwright had something going here with nobody out. Teddy Gregory then stepped into the box and on the first strike he saw, went the opposite way with it and hit line drive down the right field line - the onlookers erupted! Nagle scored to tie the game but Higgins was thrown out at the plate on a great relay throw by STATS, 11-11. Moody (4 hits) then hit his fourth single of the game which loaded the bases for Naser (3 hits) and he sent the crowd into a frenzy and the Playwright players streaming out onto the field in celebration. The underdogs had evened the series and forced a game three. What a game!

Tom MoodyTim NaserJustin LynchPhil ScirretaSean Higgins


Game 3: Tuesday, Aug. 16 @ 8:30

STATS 9 - Playwright 2

With the score tied 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning, STATS sent eleven batters to the plate which resulted in six runs and ultimately a series deciding win.

Prior to that, Chris Mancini (2 hits) had singled home a pair of runs in the top of the fourth to give Playwright a 2-1 lead. Frankie Reyes (3 hits) tied it up in the home half of the inning for STATS on an RBI single, 2-2.

Pitcher Jose Bonilla retired the side in order in the fifth and up until this point, we had a tight well played pitcher's duel. However, that was all about to change. Dan Fratus, who was making a return from injury, led off with a deep fly ball to right center that would have been a homerun accept Fratus couldn't run and was limited to a double. It didn't matter as Tad Gold followed with a double to left center and STATS was back on top, 3-2. Rob Scott kept it going with another solid hit and STATS was now up, 4-2. Playwright's defense then committed a few miscues and before the inning was over, STATS had pulled ahead 8-2.

Bonilla had no trouble the rest of the way as he retired the final eight batters he faced. STATS survived a scare and will now move on to face MJS in the semifinals.

Jose BonillaTad GoldFrankie ReyesChris Mancini

 STATS wins series 2-1

 (6A) Loco Pirates (6-10)
vs
 (3A) MJS (7-6-3)
Game 1: Wednesday, Aug 3 @ 8:45 

MJS 8 - Pirates 5

Leading 5-3 and heading to the bottom of the fifth inning, Edwin Colon (3 hits) and the Pirates were feeling pretty good about their chances as they had chased the starting pitcher and had their ace, Jimmy Pinkston, dealing. However, MJS responded with singles by Scott Hyland, Brett Belcastro (3 hits, 2 doubles), and Pedro Vasquez which loaded the bases for Chris Pope (3 hits, 5 RBI). In one mighty swing, the burly righty flipped the script with a clutch homerun, 7-5. Mike Selig padded the lead with a RBI single later in the inning and MJS was ahead 8-5.

Now the Pirates had to answer the bell by trying to score against lefty hurler, Nick French who had come on in relief in the fourth inning. It's a tall task for any offense as the three-time MVP award winner French has a nasty habit of not giving up runs...like any...at all. That was the case here tonight in game one as French shuts the door over the final four innings and strikes out six batters. His counterpart, Jim Pinkston was just as good (8 strikeouts) but was the tough luck losing pitcher in game one.

Chris PopeNick FrenchBrett BelcastroEdwin Colon


Game 2: Tuesday, Aug. 9 @ 8:45 *B rules

MJS 6 - Pirates 2

Needing a win to keep their championship hopes alive, the Pirates drew three straight walks in the first inning to plate an unearned run but that would be the only lead they would hold in this one as MJS prevails.

With the score tied 1-1, Manny Pitre singled home Caesar Peralta and later, Scott Hyland singled home French making it 3-1, MJS. Pitcher Chris Pope retired the side in order in the second but ran into trouble in the third. Greg Bosse led off with a double and scored on Pat Wilson's single, 3-2. However, that would be the end of the scoring for the Pirates on this night as Pope and later, Joey Magee neutralized the attack.

In the top of the fifth, Mike Selig singled and scored on Peralta's second hit of the game. Peralta would score three batters later when French singled making it 5-2 MJS. The Pirates didn't support their starter, Brian Pacheco, as their hitting attack went down in order in the fifth and sixth innings .

Peralta and MJS then added an insurance run when he went deep, 6-2. Magee came in to close it out in the seventh and gave up a couple of singles but shut the door elevating MJS to the semi-finals.

Caesar PeraltaChris PopeBrian Pacheco

 MJS wins series 2-0

 (5A) Fumanji (8-8)
vs
 (4A) Pat Simpson Club (8-7-1)
Game 1: Monday, Aug. 8 @ 8:45 

Fumanji 13 - Pat Simpson Club 3

Fumanji's Angel Pena (3 hits, 5 RBI) got the scoring started with a two run homerun into the trees in left center in the second inning, only to watch the Simpson Club answer with three homeruns of their own in the bottom half of the second. Ryan Jones, Patrick Triggs (2 hits), and Jamie Boyd all went deep to put PSC ahead 3-2 after two complete. However, that would be the end of the scoring for the boys in blue in this one.

Like all of us, ace hurler Domingo Ramirez has to work for a living and got out at 9pm tonight. He rushed to the field after work but the game had already started and he found himself down a run when he took over from Luis Gonzalez. Ramirez did exactly what Fumanji needed and that was to shut down the Simpson attack over the final five frames of the game. Ramirez only yielded two hits while striking out four batters - he was simply dominating.

Meanwhile, with the arrival of their star pitcher, Fumanji now had a little swagger in their step. After a scoreless third, Galvin Lara (2 HR, 4 RBI) tied things up with a homerun to left center, 3-3. Angel Gonzalez (2 hits) then doubled and scored on Brandon Lee's sacrifice fly, 4-3.

You got the feeling at this point that the Simpson Club and their pitcher, Bryan Erwin, couldn't allow another run as Ramirez was going to be tough to score against. However, Fumanji's offense didn't comply as they went to work in the fifth and pretty much salted this one away. A leadoff walk followed by an error set the tables for the top of the order. A groundball nearly got them a doubleplay but Simpson had to settle for the force out at second. Lara then hit a sacrifice fly that scored Wilfredo Baez, 5-3. A single by Angel Gonzalez then plated two more runs as Fumanji took advantage of some sloppy fielding, 7-3. Another run was scored before the inning finally ended and just as the teams were preparing to start the home half of the inning, the lights went out. After a fifteen minute delay, they were back on but the delay didn't change anything as this was Fumanji's night.

Domingo RamirezAngel PenaGalvin LaraPatrick Triggs


Game 2: Wednesday, Aug. 10 @ 7:15 *B rules

Fumanji 7 - Pat Simpson Club 4

The Simpson Club needed a flawless game and a win to keep their season alive but they didn't get neither in game two tonight. With two outs and two runners on base in the top of the first inning, an infield error scored Vladi Camacho with the game's first run, 1-0.

The Simpson Club answered in the top of the second when Stiben Sanchez and Brad Morrill hit back to back sacrifice fly's to score Mike Lush and Brett Carriker, 2-1 PSC. Pitcher Mike Garland then retired the side in order in the home half of the inning and his counterpart, Luis Gonzalez did the same in the third.

With two outs in the bottom of the third, Fumanji's offense got it going against Garland. Galvin Lara doubled and scored on a Jose Feliz single, 2-2. One of the heroes from game one, Angel Pena then singled to score Feliz and Fumanji was on top, 3-2 after three complete.

PSC answered in the fourth when they got their own two out rally going. Carriker doubled and then scored on a Patrick Triggs single, 3-3. But Garland and PSC couldn't keep the Fumanji offense in check as they went to work in the bottom of the fourth.

In the bottom of the fourth, Brandon Lee and Luis Rivera both scored on Luis Soto's double, 5-3. PSC didn't score in the top of the fifth and we moved to the home half of the fifth.

Fumanji's Vladi Camacho led the inning off with a homerun making it 6-3. Fumanji tacked on another run before Garland retired the side - PSC was running out of time and outs.

In the top of the sixth, a lead off single by Brian Goodman was followed by a one out RBI single to Mike Lush and PSC was back within striking distance, 7-4. However, Gonzalez would limit the damage and retired the next two batters on fly balls.

Fumanji went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the sixth and it was last call for PSC. Unfortunately, for PSC it was their bottom of the order due up and they were a combined one for nine. Gonzalez realized this and went right after each hitter - ground ball to short and a throw to first - one out. Ball, ball, fly ball to center field - two outs. Strike, ball, strike, fly ball to shortstop and the series was over. Fumanji completes the sweep and moves on to the semi finals.

Luis GonzalezVladi CamachoGalvin Lara

 Fumanji wins series 2-0

 
Playoff Recaps (1999-2022):
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