SUNDAY, AUGUST 27TH
EBC (GG) 13 – LHRGP (FL)
The final Sunday of the Marlboro Softball regular season. With many teams still jockeying for their final position in the rankings, the Goldfarb squad finds themselves in a matchup with reigning championship thoroughbreads in LaRocca/Carlin(x2).
Team LHLMNOPQRS would come out hot and hang a 3 spot on the Construction boys in the first after some uncharacteristically sloppy defense. Unfortunately for Frank Spector, this is not the 0-47 Goldfarb team of 2022. The Farbs would come hammering back with a hit parade (consecutive hits from Beck, Joraskie, the MEG, Brock Hor, ZSchmidt, Singman, and Joe O) and plate 7 in the bottom of the frame. (Special shout out to everyone’s favorite foogazi 1 for making 2 of the 3 Farb outs in the same inning).
The Goldfarb boys would continue to add on, plating 2 in the 3rd and 4th, with a few more runs sprinkled in over the final few frames. For this Goldfarb team Harper, Joraskie (a single shy of the cycle), and Brock Hor would lead the way with 3 hits each, followed up with multi hit games from Becker, CSchmidt, ZSchmidt and Singman. The left side of the Goldfarb D continues to be great with Brock Hor turning the clock back to 2008 and playing a great game at 3B. The story for this team all year has been the solid defense led by the “slightly” buzzed Beck on the mound, Bartolo Colon playing SS, and the lightning fast OF. After a disappointing 2022 and the preseason criticism of "running it back", it has been a blast sharing the field with this group all year and I know we are all looking forward to the playoffs. The team chemistry here is off the charts (undoubtedly the #1 seed in lingering).
For LaRocca: Gary Szemchek played an absolutely lights out 3B, Goldrosen is a joy to watch, Ronnie continues to be Ronnie, and everyone on the squad contributed in some way this Sunday (even Dessert Duo partner Jeff Beja who saw his buddy TR struggling and took a dive on a deep shot that led to the slowest home run we’ve ever seen, true friendship there folks).
Wishing all of the Marlboro Softball Universe luck in the playoffs. Get there early on 9/6, it is sure to be a packed house.
Pollock d. Bomenblitt 13-12
The Marlboro Sports Network flexed this division deciding game to be an 8:00pm regular season finale, but b/c of rain a few days earlier, there was a chance for a local blackout with a move to the pristine fields of Manalapan. Fortunately, 6:00pm participants and ump/field crew extraordinaire Dan Difidele got Union Hill to playable status, and all was back as planned. While the reality was this game was only determining 3rd or 4th seed for both teams, there was no fun in focusing on that, so the fans and both teams treated the game similar to a playoff match-up. True to that, for the last 6 games or so, Team Pollock's mantra has been we control our own destiny, but truth be told, winning out wasn't something to be expected. Well as Cowboy Mike used to write when he did these, on to the game. A Frank-less Team Bomenblitt scored in the first and held Engage's potent top of the order scoreless for an early lead. In the bottom of the 2nd, Pollock's middle of the order took care of business to score 3 big runs, and in the 3rd inning, MVP candidate Chase Sandler added a 2-run blast for a 5-1 Pollock lead after 3 innings. A resilient Red Oak squad came back with two of their own in the 4th to narrow the lead to 5-3. Another run in the 5th for Engage and then in the 6th, the Pollock bats led off with three consecutive doubles and extended the lead to what felt like a comfortable 10-3 lead. But as they have done all season, Bomenblitt responded, plating 3 runs in the top of of the 7th and 4 runs in the top of the 8th, and suddenly we were all knotted up at 10-10 heading into the bottom of the 8th.The top of the Engage order stepped up as usual, plating a quick run and setting up an always clutch Nick Lapetina, who laced a 2-out 2-RBI double to give Team Pollock a 13-10 lead heading into the 9th. With the division on the line, Red Oak's Zach Kane, Josh Levine, and Justin Bickoff had consecutive hits and suddenly we had a 13-12 game with a runner on and only one out. But ace Dinapoli closed the door and Team Pollock's 8th consecutive win secured the improbable division title comeback. Kudos to the Bomenblitt bros and Clampffer (who were on base most of the game as is the norm). For Team Pollock, it was another "Nick at Night" as Lapetina and Dinapoli (who also pitched great again) led the way with 3 hits each. Chase Sandler, Brayant Aponte, Matt Pollock, and Facebook soulmates Taco and Paul O'Connor all also had multi-hit games. The real season begins next with a first round match-up against a dangerous Team Polzer. Good luck to all in the playoffs!
Genesis (Meyer) AKA ( Captain of the Year Candy) 10 vs Goddard Home imp (Goddard) 6
Russ be the secret sauce ... snappin bitches off at 3rd today. Not to mention that leadership he brings.
Sos out there bringing his best hype boy CHEF RG. Checking everyone in all game BDE!!
This squad is deep and we just started .. soups on bitches!
Kessler 12, Drashinsky 9
After a long day of watching softball and then telling the whole league the wrong seed scenarios, Ben and the Game Changers were ready to play BFF Seth, Dan, Papa D & JR (who only gets hits when I'm around) to close out the 2023 regular season. Shout out to Santigreat and crew for getting the field ready to play and Frank for supplying the quick dry.
People are probably getting tired of my recaps, so we'll just skip to the eighth inning where down 9-6. the Changers rattled off 8!! straight hits, started by Toran and Papa K at the bottom of the order and then continued by the top 6 to score six and take a three run lead into the ninth and ultimately hold on for a 12-9 victory to finish the regular season tied for the best record of all-time (since the 22 game season was implemented) at 19-3.
Other highlights in this one were Marty robbing Doc of a grunt HR (don't worry he got one later), three hit nights by our offensive leaders of all year Marty and Weis and the first hit since the stone age for Mikey Heitzner. As always, so much fun playing Seth and the Drashinsky crew. Since we've both been captains in 2021, all 6 meetings have been within three runs. Will there be another this year? We'll find out! Thank you Papa D for the postgame sandwiches.
Good luck to everyone in the playoffs and congrats to each of the 12 other men on my team for a hell of a regular season (yes, even my father). 19 wins and all three losses by one run. Can't wait to battle with this group in the upcoming weeks!
Stock 16 Marrone 8
Team Princeton was looking to close out their regular season with a W at the fine fields of Manalapan. Standing in their way was a short handed Marrone squad that would show a lot of fight early on. Marrone held an early 5-1 lead but the Princeton boys would fight back in the bottom half of the frame to knot the score at 5-5. Rookie Tall Nick "Rick" Dzobia plated the 1st run of the inning with a double as he was on his way to a huge day. Mark Yutko who led the way for team Stock offensively drove in a pair of runs with his 1st Triple of the day. Fred Lugos would tack on another run with a sac fly to tie the game up. Team Stock took control of the game in the bottom of the 3rd highlighted by a bomb HR from Steve Catania after he received some motivation from Mr. Lugos. M Stock pitched in with a 2 run single and Zach Campbell continued his productive rookie season with the most beautiful play in the game, a sacrifice fly to give Princeton a 9-5 lead. We never looked back and won the game 16-8 or 16-7 but hey who cares. Mark Yutko finished his rookie campaign with a monster game going 4-5 with 3 runs, 3 RBI, and 2 triples. M Stock had a nice game going 4-5 with 2 steaks. Nick Dzobia had a nice rookie year and finished his regular season going 3-3 with 3 runs and 3 RBI. Kudos to the Marrone squad for fighting hard all day and shoutout to rookie Ian Mindas who is a stud. All in all it was a very solid year for team Princeton finishing with a 13-9 record. Immensely proud of the boys for turning the season around when we we're sitting at 3-7. This team stook together and righted the ship. Now the real fun starts as Team Princeton will face off against a tough Team Conti to start the playoffs, field TBA.
I have a to shout out Ronnie Pacheco who in my mind is the ROY. Ronnie finished the season hitting over .620 and also won 4 games on the mound and also recorded 1 save. Just a professional hitter that can place the ball wherever he wants. Ronnie was a leader of this squad always pumping his teammates tires and building guys up when they were in slump. The guy is a softball lifer, glad he found our league.
The MVP campaigning started probably half way through the year but I didn't broach the subject..... until now. Fred Lugos finished his season going 2-3 with 3 RBI. Fred finished the season at .700 on the dot, just an incredible accomplishment. Fred was challenging for the most hits ever in a season. Lugos was sitting on 63 hits, 1 hit shy of the record. He had 1 more at bat to tie the record. In his last at bat Fred chose to do what he always does which is put the TEAM 1st. Marrone wanted no part of Fred in his last at bat and threw him 3 non competitive balls which sure looked like an unintentional intentional walk. Fred easily could have swung to try and tie the record but instead he took his walk and went to 1st base. Lugos preaches TEAM above all else and proved that he walks the walk when it comes to that matter. Perhaps I'm bias but Fred is the MVP. The .700 season is ultra rare, he plays a premium position, and also won games for this squad on the mound earlier in the season before the move to LCF. What the numbers don't tell you is everything Fred does for this team outside of the lines. I don't think there's another player in this league that does more to help his Captain get the boys ready and prepared to win games. I told Fred after our 1st scrimmage that he's much more then his numbers. 5 months later he proved me right.
On to the playoffs with only 1 GOAL in mind.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 23RD
ENGAGE PEO(POLLOCK) 14 FRADKIN LAW(APPLEBAUM) 2
On paper the results of a game between 13-7 Pollock on a 6-game winning streak and a 3-17 Applebaum on a 12-game losing streak seemed like it would be a forgone conclusion. However, with the division title game hanging in the air next week regardless of the results of this game, there was a potential for this being a trap game. Any questions about that were answered immediately as Team Pollock scored 5 runs in the top of the first highlighted by a pink shorts wearing Brayant Aponte BOMB. With five runs in the first inning, it seemed like this game would be absent of any drama. That must have been when Fradkin (playing 1B while Iorio pitched) said to himself, “You know what? I’m going to stir things up because well, why not?”. After Dinapoli ripped a hit, Ed called timeout to challenge whether the bat used was an illegal bat. Fradkin claimed even though the bat was ASA stamped, it is illegal because of NEW requirements that literally no one in the league knows about, including the umpire. After this challenge was obviously overturned, Team Pollock continued to put up some more runs. We must have been so caught up in the challenge we only marked down TWO runs in the second even though we scored FOUR. Yes, for the rest of the game we all assumed we had two runs fewer than we actually had. After a rough start, Beef settled in nicely, but with the score 8-2 after three innings (really,10-2 with the bookkeeping error), and Applebaum having an off night with the bats, Pollock cruised to an easy victory. The unquestionable stars of the game were Brayant Aponte, who went 3-4 including the first inning bomb as well as two crushed doubles, and Chase Sandler who went 4-5 including a HR and two doubles. Dinapoli and Taco also had a great night with three hits each. Jordan and Larry had multiple hits as well. It was another nice game for our offense as we moved to an incredible 14-0 record when scoring double digit runs. Not bad for a team who was told “There isn’t much depth to the lineup” in the pre-season 8-14 win/loss prediction. For Team Applebaum, shoutouts to Nick Vilani, who robbed Aponte of a fourth extra base hit with a highlight reel catch in left center. Fradkin had his usual great offensive games with what I’m assuming is a legal bat, and Evan Steinberg predictably was on base the whole night. Next up is the much anticipated final game of the Marlboro Softball regular season as Pollock takes on Bomenblitt with the division title up for grabs Sunday night.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 20TH
EBC CONTRUCTION (GOLDY) 7 – TECTEL (TW) 4
“I’m not worried about your team, we’re going to smash you next week.” Greg Deluise 8/13 (have another surfside pal).
On an August Sunday morning that would see both captains sidelined, the Farbs had their bulletin board material ready to go in a game full of story lines. Doug vs Todd, Doug vs Messina, TR vs JZ, Simon vs eyesight, Dunleavy vs a vegetable, Becker vs holding on to his bat... A lot of hype for a massive 7-4 snoozefest.
Inning 2 gave Fan of the Year nominee Momma Dun the most action as the lone viewer of this game. JZ smashed a Tim Wakefield knuckler past the Farb D and team Wallman would jump to a 2-0 lead. In the bottom half the Farbs would come right back to score 2 on hits from Harp, Hor, the less hungover Schmidt, and Singman. The next 7 innings can be summed up with a few hits sprinkled in from each team and TR turning 3-4 double plays as Captain TW begs his team to stop hitting the ball in the middle.
For Team Wallman – Kyle and JZ had multi hit games, Intocci made an incredible diving play at SS, and seemingly everyone on the roster had at least one hit.
For The Farbs – Becker and TR had 3 hits, Hor and Singman added 2 each, and the defense really did their job.
After a massive win that finally put an end to play in game talk, the Farbs would drive over to Manalapan 5 and completely airmail a game vs a 9 man Lombardi squad.
Kessler 16, Rosenstock 7
Muni or UH?? Muni or UH?? The Changers went to bed not knowing where they'd play on Sunday but woke up pleasantly surprised with UH being playable, setting up a much lighter between game travel schedule for GC. Kessler came into the day needing one win to lock up the playoffs, looking to get it done in game one against one of the best offensive teams in the league in Rosenstock.
Kessler came out firing in the first, playing three with Weis and Ben driving in runs. The Changers would score one more in the second and two more in the third to take a 6-0 lead before Stock made it a close game with five in the bottom of the fourth to get on the board. As has been the case all year, Kessler's bottom came through with a six run response to negate any Stock threat. Easton, Toran (3-for-4 on the day), Big Sexy would all get hits as Papa K, Steve and Joey also drove in runs. From here, now up 12-5, Kessler would pretty much coast with that then being extended to a 14-5 lead and a 16-7 game ending score.
Turns out Game Changer clinched the 1 seed in about the fourth inning of our game with Bomenblit and Meyer both losing but nice to celebrate it after a win. The Black (hungover) Panther, Weis, BEASTon, and Toran all had three hits in this one. The highlight of the game though was a Lenny Sarcona....triple!!! And no - we didn't get him a runner! Up next, a walk down the sidewalk to face Polzer at UHL.
Kessler 9, Polzer 7
With the one seed now clinched, Kessler looked to keep the momentum going, knowing we had to win this one for the bourbon shots after to be truly celebratory. The opponent: the only team GC hasn't faced this year and a team that was somewhat of a mystery to the captain, Team Polzer.
Just like the last game, GC started quickly in this one (something that hasn't happened a lot this year). After Fluta set the tone for Polz to score one in the first, Joey, Marty and Weis knocked hits to plate two. Down 3-2 in the third, Kessler scored five highlighted by back to back triples from everyone's favorite 4-5 combo, Weis and Ben (who was told by many it woulda been a HR with good base running) . Two more in the fifth made it 9-3 Kessler. Polzer would scrap back though, making it a two run game heading into the top of the ninth. After a leadoff walk and infield single, the tying run was on first with no outs for Polz. Fly out, pop up, ground out, game over. GC completed the DH sweep and its 14th win in its last 15. For Polz, Fluta is insane on both ends of the field and credit to Lance Rosenthal for a booming double to LCF. Next week, Kessler wraps up a very fun regular season vs. BFF Seth and the Drashinsky clan under the UHR lights.
Shore Smile (Lombardi) 9 – A&H Chiropractic (Drashinsky) 8
With the season winding down and teams jockeying for playoff positions, Shore Smile had a double dip against Drashinsky and Goldfarb, but were playing shorthanded with only 9 players. Entering the game in the 13 field seed, two wins would help Shore Smile jump a couple of spots.
Game 1 started with A&H plating 2 runs in the top of the 1st and could have been more if not for the diving/sliding catch by Santaromita. Shore Smile got 1 run back in the bottom of the 1st on a Broome leadoff double and a rbi singAle by Santaromita. A&H put up 1 more in the 2nd taking a 3-1 lead. Shore Smile plated 1 in the 3rd on a Santa double and Hempstead single and 2 in the 4th on a Santa sac and Levine rbi single with Shore Smile holding a 4-3 lead going into the 5th. A&H bounced back with 1 in the 5th and 1 in the 6th, taking a 5-4 lead. Shore Smile answered with 3 in the bottom of the 6th from a rbi single by Hempstead, rbi triple by Levine and a sac by Jim. Shore Smile added 1 more in the 7th taking a 8-5 lead, but A&H kept fighting and put up 3 in the 8th to tie the game 8-8. Shore smile had a chance to score in the bottom 8th but no runs crossed the plate, which set up for another 9th inning nail bitter. A&H leadoff batter started with a hit. Shore Smile pitching and defense stepped up getting the next 3 batters out. On to the bottom of the 9th. Broome leads off with a triple (his second on the day). The next 2 batters (Santa and Hemp) were intentionally walked to load the bases, for Levine who jumped on the 1st pitch and hit a long sac fly to win the game 9-8. Defense again was great, especially the 3 man OF. Hitting was lead by Broome 5-6, 4 runs scored, Santaromita 3-4, 4 rbi’s, Hempstead 3-4, 2 rbi’s, P.Ferro 2-5 and everyone else in the lineup got at least 1 hit. Jim pitched another great game with 1 strikeout. For A&H, Papa D pitched a good game and the Silverberg trio had a bunch of hits.
On to game 2.
Shore Smile (Lombardi) 8 – EB Construction (Goldfarb) 5
Game 2 started with Joraskie drilling a ball down the 1st baseline that would have easily been a double but P.Lombardi made a great stop and was able to beat him to the bag. EB then plated 1 run in the top of the 1st. Shore Smile answered back with 2 in the bottom of the inning. EB put up 1 in the 2nd and 3 in the 3rd for a 5-2 lead, but that would be the last time they would have the lead. Shore Smile scored 4 runs in the bottom of the 3rd on a Broome single, Santa double and Hempstead triple, followed by a Levine walk, Jim single and rbi singles by Ermel and P.Ferro, for a 6-5 lead. The infield and 3 man OF defense were lights out, in combination with great pitching from Jim, held EB to 0 runs from innings 4-9. Shore Smile put up 1 more in the 5th on consecutive singles from Ermel, P.Ferro and D’Amato (rbi). Shore Smile added 1 more in the 6th on a Levine HR for a 8-5 final. Once again, pitching and defense controlled the game while hitting stepped up to win it. Shore Smile was lead by P.Ferro 3-4, Santaromita 3-5, Broome and Hempstead 2-5 and Ermel 2-4. For EB Construction, Becker pitched a good game with 2 strikeouts and Roegiers was on base all day.
Gastro (Byko) 12 Monmouth Gymnastics (Marrone) 6
It was a lovely summer evening at Union Hill Right as an 11 man Byko squad (no Abramson, Yockel) faced a strong 10 man Marrone team (no EJ, Smalkin, JRandell). This was a huge game in terms of seeding as basically half of the league sits right around .500 with only 1 week left to play.
Marrone started out hot with 2 straight hits top 1 but where quickly cooled off by Mikey Rabinowitz who threw an absolute missile from LF to hose the speedy Tornetta at 3rd base for the first out of the game. A sneaky HUGE play, def don't want to be trailing by 3/4 before you even bat, and the Gastro defense was then able to hold the gymnasts to just 1 run top 1. The Byko boys plated 2 runs bottom 1 thanks to hits from Byko-MVPHiL-BDRick and the commish. Top 3, Phil (THE CLEAR MVP) hits his league leading 12th nuke, Gastro leads 3-1. Marrone then responds top 4 scoring 3 runs to take the lead, and tacked on another run top 5 thanks to a 102mph exit velo solo dinger from rookie Mindas. Gastro down 5-3 bottom 6, Capt. Byko rallies the troops, and they responded plating 9 runs over the next 2 innings! The 9 run rally was started when JoMo got the piano off the team's back with a clutch 2 out RBI hit, which was quickly followed by a 2 RBI knock from MIP Rabinowitz, and a bomb RBI double by Zeli. Karp and the defense (highlighted by Byko robbing ERose of a HR over the fence in LCF!!) held on the rest of the way for the 12-6 victory.
The offense in the victory was led by Phil, what else is new. 4/4 night for the likely MVP. Rabinowitz also had a hell of a ballgame with 3 hits while JoMo, BDRick, and All-Star Robbie had multi-hit games as well. For the gymnasts, Mindas played well on both sides of the ball all game, and Weitsen remained a tough out each at bat. Gastro will take on Lombardi for a seeding spot in the final game of the season next week as both teams sit at 11-10. Stay tuned and get well Miss Abramson.
Pollock d. Polzer 13-8
In the middle of a triple bill morning match-up at Union Hill Left (kudos to the commish and judge for getting the field playable after some dew left over from 5 days ago almost forced a move to Manalapan) a Sandler-less Team Pollock faced off against a Fazzino-less Polzer squad looking to continue their strong in division play. Engage scored one in the top of the first, but TuscanyRose responded right back with two runs in the bottom half of the first. As has been the case over their current streak, Team Pollock also came right back and put up 4 runs for a 5-2 lead. A brief pitcher's duel ensued, as both Nick DiNapoli and Dave Polzer traded four shutout innings. However, the Engage bats broke though in the top of the 6th with 6 big runs, while TuscanyRose scored 3 of their own, for an 11-5 Pollock lead. Engage tacked on a couple of extra insurance runs, highlighted by a Taco-bomb, before holding off a late Polzer rally in the 9th to take the game 13-8. For Team Polzer, Fluta made a few ridiculous plays at SS, including an incredible run saving dive in the 1st and a near triple play later on, while he, Polzer, and Leonardi were also tough to get out all morning. Fluta also homered. For Engage, currently unstoppable Dinapoli and Mitch Pollock, combined with Jordan Krant to lead the offense going 13-14 on the morning. 2023 Monmouth County 50+ champs Rob Rozencwaig and Paul O'Connor added 3 hits each, while fellow old guy champ captain Matt also had a multi-hit game, as did Larry Rubin. Now on a 6-game winning streak, Team Pollock has pulled within a half game of Team Bomenblitt for the west title, setting up a fun Sunday night regular season finale next week, But before that match-up, Engage takes on a struggling, but still dangerous Team Applebaum/Fradkin this Wednesday night.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 13TH
EB CONSTRUCTION (GG) 14 – ACE (MF) 10
Doug. Cohen. Center. Field.
On a sweltering August morning, coach Ferrarese saw the Goldfarb Party of 8 and was ready to finger himself an epic recap after a W. Unfortunately for Cowboy, the farbless farbs had other plans. Mazel of the day goes to Alex for his wedding!
Team cowboy came out guns blazing with big shots from Kleshinsky Jr and Darin Sandler.
The next several innings would see the Farb bats looking more hungover than Guy and Alex combined this Sunday morning, sleep walking thru 5 innings.
Daren Salar continues to mash all day for cowboy pacing the offense. He even made a ridiculous throw to nail Conner “The Great White Moose” Schmidt on a play at the play that would leave the right handed batters box and Manalapan 3 destroyed for years to come.
But in the 7th, the Farb bats came alive. Centerfield extraordinaire Doug drew a huge walk that allowed Joraskie to hit a massive double down the right field line, Tony to follow with a 2 RBI single, then Hamstringless Beckerfarb to follow with a RBI double.
For Cowboy, Darrell Saler was a menace at the plate all day, Kleshinsky Jr mashed, Gallardo hits, Ush hit a ball that had a 119 mph exit velo, and the captain contributed as well.
For the farbs, all 8 guys battled … from inning 6 on, led by Brock Hor and Joey O at the plate. Shout out to Harp, Doug, and Joraskie for playing 3 man OF in the heat, defensive infielder nominee hopeful Tony Facebook at SS, the better Schmidt playing on his belly, and Beckerfarb continuing his CY Young campaign.
Next up a very easy win for Team Wallman.
“I’m not worried about your team we’re gunna smash you next week”
- greggy meatballs
Pollock d. Pingaro 14-7
After watching Bomenblitt take care of business in an early Swim Club game, Team Pollock needed a win to keep pace in hopes of a division title run. And despite Pingaro's recent struggles, the game was expected to be a big challenge, not only b/c Pingaro had an impressive win the last time these teams faced each other way, way back in week one, but also b/c Engage would have to do it without Aponte and Dinapoli. For the first time in maybe 30 years, Matt Pollock found a captain that allowed him to lead off, and it worked out well in the 1st inning, as Engage scored two quick runs. CK Baseball came right back with one of their own in the home half to make it 2-1. An inspired Engage squad answered back in the 2nd, plating 3 more runs, aided by two lead off hits and a misplayed ball by CK's outfield. Both team were held scoreless until the 5th, when Engage plated another two runs, and took a 7-2 lead after the bottom half of the inning. Engage scored 3 more in the 7th to go up 10-2, but a resilient Pingaro squad scored 4 runs in their half of the inning and narrowed the lead to 10-6. The drama didn't last long though, as the league-leading Pollock bats (currently with 5 hitters batting .544 or better) scored 3 more in the 8th inning, en route to the eventual 14-7 final. For CK, Tom Carroll was his usual unstoppable self, topping off his day with a late game bomb over Swim Club's RF fence (not something you see every day). McDermott also had a solid day at the plate. For Engage, Chase Sandler, who really has stepped up as a team leader and league MVP candidate, had 4 more clutch hits and 4 RBIs (and played well at SS), while Nick Lapetina also stayed hot and added 4 hits too. Matt Pollock added 3 hits (and a bases loaded walk), while an improving Larry Rubin also had a 3-hit day. Mitch Pollock, Jordan Krant, Taco, Rob Rozencwaig, and Paul O'Connor also had multi-hit games. A shorthanded (again) Engage squad will look to extend the winning streak to 6 on Wednesday night against an Applebaum/Fradkin squad that shouldn't be counted out on Union Hill.
Shore Smile (Lombardi) 5 – Monmouth Gymnastics (Marrone) 4
A couple of days before the game, Capt. Jim got the call every captain dreads… their #1 pick has to be replaced. How and who can replace AD? Luckily, Santaromita was available (but not for this Sunday’s game).
Facing a tough Gymnastics squad on a 2 game win streak, Shore Smile was missing their 1, 3 and 5 (LCF, 2B, SS), not an easy task. Jim made a lot of defensive changes with 6 guys out of their normal positions. This game turned out to be all about pitching and defense. Shore Smile jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the 1st, with runners on 1st and 2nd, P.Lombardi drilled a double scoring both runners. Shore Smile put up 1 more in the 2nd to take a 3-0 lead going into the 4th. The Gymnasts plated 1 but Shore Smile got it back on a Jim sac fly, score 4-1. The Gymnasts scored 1 more in the bottom of the 6th, with Shore Smile holding a 4-2 lead, until the gymnasts tied it in the bottom of the 8th, 4-4, making for an exciting 9th inning. Shore Smile took the lead back 5-4 on a Levine sac fly in the 9th but the gymnasts had last at bats. Glen started the inning with a 3-1 count but Jim battled back throwing 2 consecutive strikes forcing Glen to fly out, then Weitsen hit a laser double down the 1st baseline. Next batter flied out. With a pinch runner on 2B and 2 outs, the next batter hit a Baltimore chop up the middle over Jim’s glove. With the pinch runner rounding 3rd, Billy charges the ball from LCF and throws a missile to Ralph at the plate (video going viral), who did his best WWE imitation putting on a body to body suplex tag (possibly the best play of the season) for the final out of the game and victory for Shore Smile.
Everyone contributed and came up big for Shore Smile while missing 3 of their main players. Great defensive plays from Schwag in LF, Barbesh in RF, Turtz and Ermel at 2B, Hempstead at SS and D’Amato at 3B and final tag out at home. Jim pitched a great game keeping the gymnast batters off balanced all game and inducing a lot of pop ups and fly outs. Offense was lead by P.Lombardi (3-5, 2rbi) and multi-hit games from Levine, Turtz, B.Ferro and Barbesh. For Monmouth Gymnastics, Marrone pitched a really good game and R.Santiago blasted a solo bomb HR and made a lot of diving run-saving plays at SS.
Shore Smile would also like to congratulate Alex Goldfarb and Dan Drashinsky on their wedding (not to each other…not that there’s anything wrong with that) and the Goldfarb and Drashinsky family.
Kessler 14, Bykofsky 5
On a very humid Sunday in Manalapan, Family Kessler took on Team Bykofsky. The family was without frontrunner Manager of the year Benny Biceps and frontrunner in CY Young, Andy Kessler as they were at Dan Drashinsky’s wedding, (Congratulations to Dan and the Drashinsky family).
Now back to Manalapan 5... Steve Carlton Weis took the hill for team Kessler and started off the game in a wild way. Captain Justin Bykofsky took a called 3rd strike (for the 3rd week in a row) and that set the table for this game really early!! Team Byko jumped out to a 2-0 lead but then team Kessler took it right back with 3 of their own in the bottom. Scoreless 2nd and a replication of the 1st inning made it 6 to 4 team Kessler. After a scoreless 4th, team Kessler would score 1 run or more in each of the next 4 innings to push their lead all the way to 14-5.
Highlights of the game were Steve Weis struck out 6 in this one. Captain Justo twice, yikes.. Joe Mamone challenged his inner Richie Bomenblit, or Fred Lugos, or pick your Unpredictable screaming teammate.
Sags absolutely murdered clinchers but almost murdered everyone on the field when he thought he was walked in the 8th.
For team Kessler offensively, G Money Klein 3 hits, Lenny on base 2 times; Big Sexy had another 2 rbi game and a hit. Steven Blackburn had 3 hits, Joey Pargament 3 hits and Weis and M Blackburn each had 2 hits and walked. Lastly, one of the best games Mr Rob Jacobs has played all year; multiple Rbis multiple hits and an absolute web gem on a ball in deep LF that almost made Steve Weis pass out on the mound he was screaming with so much excitement. The family keeps the train rolling and has a double header against Stock and Polz at UH next weekend.
Stock 22 Drashinsky 7
Team Stock looked to take care of business vs a 9 man Drashinsky squad at Muni and they did just that securing a 22- 7 victory in 7 innings. Fred Lugos led the way going 3-4 with 3 runs and 3 steaks as he marches on to the Batting Title. Sal Sicurella have a day, Sal went 1-2 with 2 runs and 2 RBI. Rookies Zach Campbell and Nick "Rick" Dzobia continued their solid rookie campaigns, Zach went 2-4 with a steak dinner and Tall Rick went 1-2 with 2 runs and 2 RBI. Craig Tepper chipped in with a knock and an RBI but his most impressive feat of the day was the 1030pm Sunday night text he sent to the captain reminding him that he sucked at 3B today. I swear Tepper is morphing into Lugos with each passing day. Cruz was excellent on the bump as he added another W to his ledger. It was nice to get Edwin Valentin back in the OF and back in his leadoff spot. Bryan Thompson was missed during the game but his rum was not as he provided the post game rum shots. Up next for Princeton is a tough Kessler squad at UHR.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 6TH
EB Construction (Goldfarb) 10 Goddard Home Improvement (Goddard) 5
Double Headers awaited both Team Goldfarb and Team Goddard this past Sunday. This would be the back half of Team Goddard's DH and the 1st game of the day for Team Goldfarb. Team Goddard coming off a 1 run loss in game #1 would score 1 in the top of the first but Team Goldfarb came back with 2 and led 2-1 after 1 full inning. Team Goddard would not score in the top of the 2nd and things got interesting in the bottom of the same inning. With runners on 1st and 2nd and no outs Team Goddard would turn a double play and it looked like they may get out of the inning unscathed. A combination of some errors, bad bounces and some hits saw Team Goldfarb send 13 men to the plate with 8 scoring (all with 2 outs). Team Goddard would score 1 in the 3rd with no scoring the rest of the way Team Goldfarb led 10-2 heading into the 9th. Ryan Amato would blast a 3-run HR in the top of the 9th making the final score 10-5 in favor of Team Goldfarb. Team Goldfarb was led by its pitching and overall defense. Tony R led the offense with 3 hits while Zach Schmidt chipped in with 2. The 8 run 2nd inning saw Connor Schmidt and Darron Harper knock in 2 each with their hits. Outside of a tough 2nd inning Team Goddard played solid defense as well. As I have said previously Team Goddard has too many good players to have only 4 wins and will not be an easy out in the playoffs. As far as Team Goldfarb goes they evened their record at 8-8 but that didnt last too long as they dropped a heartbreaker in Game 2 of the DH. Team Goldfarb has a rematch against Team Meyer (easily one of the top 2 teams in the league) on Wednesday night before facing Team Cowboy on Sunday (sans anyone with the last name Goldfarb). I would like to congratulate my son Alex on his upcoming wedding as well as the Drashinsky family on Dan's wedding the same day.
TuscanyRose (DP) 13 d. CK Baseball (PP) 10
With the sun shining, Tuscanyrose took on CK Baseball on a freshly dragged, perfectly lined, pristine Manalapan 2. If this game was anything like last time these 2 met – we knew we would be in for a real treat. CK jumped out to a quick lead, plating 4 runs in the first inning. In the second – the lukewarm fellas would answer back with 4 of their own with the bottom of the lineup producing 5 straight hits and ending the second inning with a 5-4 lead. CK would close out the 5th inning holding an 8-6 lead. The top of the 7th started with a Polz single and a TG single – setting the table for Shawn “have a day” Leonardi who blasted a triple to score 2 and TuscanyRose was off and running holding an 11-8 lead. Tuscanyrose would then score another 2 insurance runs in the top of the 9th again off the bat of Leonardi (4-5, 5 RBI) who blasted a 2 RBI double. Pingaro’s squad was not going to go down easy as they plated 2 runs in the bottom of the frame but it was not enough as Tuscany held on for the 13-10 victory. For the men in green….it was nice to get the band back together as we dealt with weddings, vacations, and injuries over the past few weeks. Offensive stars for this one were Leonardi (4-5), Polz (3-4), and mean (not really) Gene (3-4). Even though the record may not show it this was a solid win for Tuscany as CK’s McDermott seemed to be on all morning long, TC is always a threat to wreck a game at any moment, and Pingaro/JJ always prove to be tough to go against as they are a great 1-2 punch on the coaching front. Tuscanyrose will next take on Bomenblitt & Co on an early tilt at Swim ...if the underdogs can find a way ...the heat may be getting turned up juuuusstttttt a bit on this squad as they are positioning themselves for the playoff push.
Stock 13 Lombardi 5
After having their 7 game win streak snapped team Princeton looked to get back in the W column. Standing in their way was fellow division of death member team Lombardi who earlier in the year blew out team Stock. This game would be different as team Stock never trailed in the game. Fred Lugos would start out the scoring with a SAC fly which would become the theme in this game. Princeton would tack on 2 more runs in the bottom of the 2nd thanks to RBI's from Edwin Valentin and Craig Tepper. The top of the lineup which was deadly all day added 2 more runs in the bottom of the 3rd thanks to a Lugos double plating Mark Yutko who was on base all day and a Catania sac fly. Lombardi would get on the board in the top of the 4th scoring twice and then scoring 3 in the top of the 5th. Team Stock had an answer in the bottom of the 4th and 5th matching the runs scored in the top of the frames. Mike Cruz would go on to shut down team Lombardi the rest of the day. Team Stock would score a combine 6 runs in the bottom of the 5th and 8th innings in nearly identical fashion. Yutko and Lugos started both innings with knocks and then Ronnie Pacheco delivered an RBI single in the 5th, and an RBI double in the 8th. In both innings Steve Catania and E Stock would deliver back to back Sac Fly's. In the end Princeton secured a 13-5 victory. Mark Yutko led the way from the leadoff spot going 4-4 with 4 runs. Fred Lugos continues to rake as he went 3-3 with 3 runs and 2 RBI. ROY contender Ronnie Pacheco continued his massive rookie campaign going 3-4 with 2 runs and 2 steaks. Multi hit games for Edwin Valentin and rookie "Rick" Dzobia. Steve Catania chipped in 3 sac flys and continues to play a solid SS. Mike Cruz was excellent on the bump all day. Shoutout to Hempstead who hit an absolute Nuke to LCF. Up next for team Stock is another division game vs Drashinsky at UHR.
Gastro (Byko) 7 A&H Chiropractic (Drashinsky) 6
Coming off a pitiful offensive performance game 1, the Gastro guys were able to bounce back in a very tough game without rookie Zeli vs a full 13 fresh and waiting Drashinsky team, that had already spanked the Byko boys 14-0 earlier in the season.
As usual Gastro quickly fell behind 4-0 as they refused to get a clutch hit early on. The defense then tightened up and the offense got to work. Top 3 Cy Karp gets on with 2 outs and is driven home by consecutive hits from Byko and MVPhil, 4-1. Next inning hits by All-Star Robbie, JoMo (welcome back), and Yockel got the boys a little closer, 4-2. Top 5 Gastro gets set up from big time bottom of the order hits from Papa Saglietto and Karp which were then followed up by hard hits from Byko-Phil-BDRick and a SAC from Juergens. 5-4 Gastro leads. Drashinsky comes back to tie it with 1 run bottom 5, 5-5 ballgame. A SAC from MIP Rabinowitz and 2 out hits in the 7th from Byko-Phil accounted for the other 2 runs. Drashinsky scored 1 bottom 7 to set up the dramatic finish. 7-6, Raucher on 2nd base, 2 outs bottom 9. Dan Drashinsky steps up and with 2 strikes and no fouls hits a nice ball between the 1st and 2nd basemen. Rookie Abramson picks up the ball in RF and fires a seed home to Sherman, who makes a BEAUTY of a tag on Rauch to get the final out of the game and seal the 7-6 win! Never a dull moment with this crew.
Karp was brilliant on the mound all morning allowing 11 runs in 2 games on the day. Game ball to him. The offensive attack was led by the Byko-MVPhil combo at the top of the order going 7/8 and putting pressure on the back breakers all morning long. Yockel (as always in the wins) chipped in with a monster 3 hit game while Rabinowitz and Karp had multi-hit affairs as well. Defensively Rabinowitz was was a stud in RCF anchoring the outfield D while Joe Mo looked good in LF getting his outfield legs back under him. For Drashinsky it was Joe Lee smashing the ball each time up and good old Persily hitting nothing but missile base hits to LF. Never fails. Gastro moved back over .500 with the win and will look for some revenge again next week as they face the top ranked Kessler bunch that mercied them game 1 of the year.
Pollock d. Conti 10-9
A long day of softball for Team Pollock began with an important morning division game on the swamps and vegetation of Mar El vs Team Conti. As it is with most Engage games lately, this one was a back-and-forth affair from the start. Sentinel got things started with a quick run in the first, but Engage responded with 2 of their one in the bottom half, highlighted by a big 2 RBI hit from Mitch Pollock. Sentinel scored runs the next two innings and took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the 4th, when deja vu had Mitch again hitting a clutch 2 RBI single to put Engage up 4-3. Team Conti was quick to respond right back with 2 runs of their own and held a 5-4 lead going to the bottom of the 7th. In that frame, the 2023 story of Pollock v Conti continued, as the top of the Pollock order kept getting on base, leading to another logical (seriously, it made sense) intentional walk to face yours truly and another hit for a key run, capping off 3 runs to give Engage a 7-5 lead. But of course, because we don't like to play with a lead, and b/c Team Conti are a resilient bunch, they came back and scored 3 big runs of their own in the 8th and another insurance run in the top of the 9th, and took a 9-7 lead into the bottom of the 9th. It was now up to the bottom of the Engage order to flip things back to the top for any hope. And all started well for the good guys, when Rob Rozencwaig led things off with a walk. After an out, it was up to the top to do what they did all game, and they delivered, tying the game up and forcing another intentional walk to this author (the third in two games) to set the stage for a bases loaded walk off hit for the captain. So far (no spoilers) that's 3 consecutive comeback wins for Team Pollock, as they are getting hot at the right time. For Sentinel, Mike Conti hit well as usual, while Bill Allen and Juska did their usual damage. For Engage, besides Dinapoli pitching well, the story of this game were our 2-5 hitters, who combined to go 12-13 with 9 runs and rbi's. Nick Dinapoli led the way with 4 hits, while Chase Sandler and Matt Pollock had 3 each. Mitch was 2-2 with two walks and Aponte also had a multi-hit game.
Pollock d. Goddard 15-14
With a rare morning/evening doubleheader, the comeback kids brought their hot bats and smelly uniforms to Union Hill Left to face-off against a Goddard squad that had a strong 10-man lineup. Now controlling our own destiny for a chance at a West division title, each game has started to feel a little bit more than a regular season game for Engage (although we all recognize at the end of the day that's all these are... but what's the fun of thinking like that?). With a full 13-man squad for only the 2nd time this season, a fully-loaded Engage squad knew they had their hands full, facing a strong lineup that doesn't match their win total. And things started as expected/feared, with Team Goddard putting up 3 quick runs in the top of the first, highlighted by an Amato blast. Team Pollock responded with two runs of their own and another back-and-forth affair was on. Goddard came right back with 4 runs in the top of the 2nd, taking a 7-2 lead, but Team Pollock scored 4 of their own in their half and another 2 runs in the 3rd and now the score was 8-7. If course, Goddard scored a run in the 4th (while the top of their order already had 3 ABs each) and we were all knotted up at 8-8. In the 5th, Goddard scored another run to take an unsafe 9-8 lead. Engage then tried to put the game away for good in the bottom half of the 5th, scoring 4 more runs and 2 more the next inning to take a 14-9 lead, but a feisty Team Goddard scored 4 in the 7th and one more in the top of the 8th, and suddenly we were back tied at 14-14. In the bottom of the 8th, after key hits from Lapetina and Feingold, Larry Rubin plated the go-ahead and winning run as Engage held on in the 9th (aided by a terrific running catch at the fence by Mitch). If winning close games is the sign of a mentally strong team (I say it is!) then 4 one-run wins in a row is a great omen for us. For Team Goddard, lots of offensive stars, led by Amato, Fausuk, and Mike Klechinsky. Unfortunately for them, they also had a couple of key base-running miscues. For Team Pollock, it was "Nick at Night" fun, as Lapetina and new ace Dinapoli each were 4-4 (Dinapoli finished 8-8 on the day). Hot-hitting Mitch Pollock added another 3 hits, while Chase and Captain Matt also had multi-hit efforts. Team Engage will look to avenge a week one loss an eternity ago against a slumping, but always tough Pingaro squad.
BOMENBLIT / APPLE
On a scorching August 8th morning at Union Hill Rec Center Field 1, Red Oak Mortgage squared off against Fradkin Law in a softball clash that would leave a lasting mark. With humidity levels nearing 100%, the stage was set for an intense showdown. Red Oak Mortgage, seeking redemption after a tough morning loss, wasted no time asserting their dominance. They seized an early lead, scoring runs in the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th innings, and never looked back, displaying an unyielding resolve that was matched by their sharp defensive prowess.
In the pivotal 8th inning, Bryan Frank of Red Oak etched his name in the annals of the game with a monumental 2-run homer, cementing the outcome and sending fans into a frenzy. Frank's stellar performance, going 3-4 on the day with two towering home runs, 4 RBIs, and 3 runs scored, solidified his role as a standout player. Billy Losche added to the offensive spectacle, going 2-3 with an RBI and crossing the plate 3 times.
Fradkin Law, despite their strong lineup, found themselves thwarted by the unrelenting Red Oak defense. The game showcased the depth and balance of the Red Oak lineup, with the 8th and 9th hitters, Kane and Levine, combining for a pivotal 3-4 performance with 4 RBIs.
As the final innings unfolded, it became evident that Red Oak's victory was a testament to their skill, strategy, and tenacity. With their sights set on upcoming divisional clashes against Pollock, Conti, and Polzer, the stage is set for a thrilling season finale. The prospect of a potential Bomenblit vs Pollock showdown for first place adds an extra layer of excitement to the division race. This game was not only a display of athleticism but a celebration of the spirit that fuels the sport of softball, leaving an indelible mark on players and spectators alike.
Marrone 7, Kessler 6
Some regular games seem like run of the mill ordinary games. Others, like this one have that extra intensity almost to the point of feeling like a playoff game. Lots of story lines in this one; a tough one run loss the first time around; a long Kessler winning streak of 11 at stake; Marrone/Blackburns history; Kesslers/Randells history; some podcast scrutiny of Team Marrone; a Captain Glen Mark Messier esque statement during the week to the team, "We will win." The set up was there for a classic and the game lived up to it including some competitive banter throughout the game with Team Marrone holding on for a huge 7-6 victory which should move us up in the playoff seedlings battle and solidify non-play in game status. As has become customary things did not start off well for the Gymnasts going down quietly in the top of the 1st. In the bottom half, Team Kessler plated 3 set up by 3 straight hits from the Blackburn brothers and Pargament in between. The damage would have been worse but for the ex-skipper Randell robbing Heitzner with a diving stop of a hard hit ball ticketed for the hole between 1st and 2nd to limit the rally. Team Marrone would get one back in the 2nd on a Captain Glen RBI single to score Ramon Santiago who started the inning with a single. The boys in pink would tie things in the 3rd scoring 2 on a Tornetta RBI single and an Evan Sac Fly after back to back hits from the Randell son/father duo. Team Marrone would take the lead in the 4th scoring 2 courtesy of big RBI hits from Arnold and Weitsen. Team Benny would quickly get the 2 right back in the bottom half to tie the game at 5 with their potent top of the lineup doing the damage again. In the top of the 6th, the men in pink would regain the lead scoring 2 runs set up by a leadoff double from Evan to the fence in LF, single by Noel, and a rare misplay by the Kessler defense to set up a clutch 2 out RBI single up he middle by Captain Glen. Once again Team Kessler would come right back with 1 in the bottom half to cut the lead to 7-6. After a scoreless 7th thanks to Tornetta ranging far and wide to track down 2 bombs to RCF and top of the 8th, Team Kessler was about to threaten with 1 on and 1 out in the bottom of the 8th, when Brad Randell went to plan B now known as the "Belly Assist" strategically using some girth to perfectly block and deflect a ball up the middle right to Ramon covering the bag at 2b to turn a key double play and end the inning. The heart of the Marrone order would go down quickly and quietly in the top of the 9th to leave no margin of error for the defense in the bottom half facing the bottom 4 hitters of the Kessler lineup. In a rare Team Marrone episode of no drama Glen was able to retire the side in order and avoid facing the dangerous top, securing an exciting 7-6 victory over the current top seeded team in the league. Big team effort today led by Glen on the mound pounding the 1st pitch strike in all morning long and the strong defense led by Ramon at SS who has been lights out for weeks now. Not to be overlooked is the imposing OF of Evan, Noel, Brandon and Ian; 4 OF's all of whom catch almost everything and have big arms. In addition, Glen's in-game management rating took a boost, effectively implementing an extra infielder shift against the bottom of the Kessler lineup which appeared to make some hitters uncomfortable. Offensively, Noel and Glen led the way with 2 hits apiece and the rest of the guys with single hit days made them count in big spots. For Team Kessler, Steve Blackburn was on base all morning as usual. Next up we go for 3 in a row since welcomed addition Lou Salerno joined the squad against Team Lombardi with another early date next Sunday.
WEDNESDAY, AUG 2ND
Marrone 17 Goldy 9
In a much needed win a desperate team Marrone turned to daughter Gianna for a lineup change and Boy did things pay off in dividends. Team Marrone responded with a 25 hit attack lead by no other than Evan 4/5 ( I get to the games early) Rosenthal, Evan now in a happy camp Has responded in a big way all year. Other hitting stars Jeff 4/5 ( I can run as fast as Tornetta ) Arnold. 4 more hits for rookie sensation Ian Mendez. This game was patrolled by the leagues best outfield of Evan, Brandon, Noel, and Ian. Sunday we will be looking to take down the high flying tripods of Benny tricep !!
SUNDAY, JULY 30TH
EB Construction (Goldfarb) 13 Princeton (Rosenstock) 4
Looking for a 3rd straight victory to even its record at 7-7 Team Goldfarb took on the super-hot Team Rosenstock trying to extend its own winning streak to 8. After holding Team Goldfarb scoreless in the top of the 1st, Team Rosenstock quickly put 3 on the board to take a 3-0 lead after 1. Team Goldfarb took advantage of a few walks and put up a 5 spot in the second to take a 5-3 lead. Only 1 more run would be scored (Team Goldfarb) in the next 4 innings and the score stood 6-3 Goldfarb after 6 full innings. The top of the 7th saw Team Goldfarb score 3 (2 on a triple by the rookie C. Schmidt). Team Rosenstock trailing 9-3 going into the bottom of the 7th quickly had men on 1st and 2nd with 1 out. A smash over the right fielders easily scored the runner from 2nd but a great relay and throw home caught the runner from 1st in a rundown between 3rd and home which resulted in the 2nd out (NOTE: If Becker had some trust in Guy catching the ball at home it would have been a Goldfarb to Goldfarb to Goldfarb play, probably would have tied some stupid stat). The more important point being Team Rosenstock only scored 1 run in the inning and score after 7 full was 9-4. Team Goldfarb would score 2 runs in both the 8th and 9th and held Team Rosenstock scoreless leaving the final score 13-4 in favor of Team Goldfarb. Team Goldfarb again was led by its defense and the pitching of Eric B (dare I say CY candidate, dont go by the team record). Tony R at SS led the infield with Connor, Alex and Brock Hor playing solid at 3rd, 2nd and 1B respectively. The OF was a bit different this Sunday due to injury (Dan S) and honeymoon (older Schmidt) and saw the super duo of Joe J and D Harp flanked by DC in left (not a misprint) and the #1 Goldfarb in right. Somebody did note that the 4 infielders outweigh the OF by about 250 pounds. Offensively Team Goldfarb did take a little advantage of some walks but was led by Joe J (3 hits, 4 RBI), DC (2 hits, 2 RBI) and Tony R (2 hits, 2 RBI). Team Rosenstock has a lot of pop in their lineup and was led by rookie (rookie in our league only) Ron "Mr Nicest Guy Ever" Pacheco and Edwin Valentin (physically not 100%) with 2 hits each. Shoutout to Capt Rosenstock who played a solid 3B but I must say the overall Team Rosenstock Defense was very solid. Team Goldfarb while only playing 14 games to date has Marrone (Wed Night) followed by a nighttime DH on Sunday (Goddard, Meyer) and then Wednesday again (Meyer again).
Kessler 11, Wallman 7
The best weekend of the year in Marlboro Softball started and ended at Union Hill Left for Game Changers after a very stressful ride up from Maryland for the captain on Sunday morning which had two texts, one from Parg saying he was out because he was filling in as a dancing lobster on The Amanda Show and another from Weis who could not get off of work. So what was going to be only the second time all year GC had 13, turned into 11 without our 3 & 4. Against one of the best teams in the league in a game that pitted the two hottest teams in the league. The 11th straight win for GC wasn't going to be an easy one...
The Changers scored one in the first (rare for this team) off a Ben (batting second today) infield single and Robbie J single and OF mishap that scored the captain from first base. Wallman scored two in the third inning off a big hit from the All-Star Nicky DeLuise to take the lead but as the Changers have done all year, they responded right away. Ben led the inning off with a double before Marty immediately drove him in. Rob hit one that everyone thought was out but hit the fence to set up second and third before a BEASTon groundout, Heitz RBI single, Gary clutch single (where have you heard that before), Lenny RBI double!! and Toran single gave the Changers a 6-2 lead.
Wallman took advantage of Kessler throwing the ball around a little in the fifth and got some timely hitting from the top to retake a 7-6 lead. GC tied it in the top of the seventh after Toran set the table with a single and Ben brought him in. With the game tied in the top of the eighth, things looked bleak as Kessler had two on and no one out. But what makes this team so special is exactly what ensued as the middle to bottom of the order got FIVE STRAIGHT two out hits to give GC a 10-7 lead. Heitz single, El Gary single, Lenny huge go ahead RBI single, Toran RBI single, and Big Tommy RBI single in which he beat a 9 man in RF shift!! Can't express enough how many two out hits this team has gotten during our winning streak.
One more in the ninth inning gave GC its ultimate 11-7 win. Really a team effort as every single person contributed. Even the two guys on the team with no hits made an impact as Brett made a great diving play on a shift at second base and Papa K pitched a great game holding one of the best lineups in the league to only seven runs (although he had to stress me out a little with two ninth inning walks to load the bases). Just like last game, Gary and Doc Toran led the Changers with three hits while Lenny, Steve, Ben, Heitz and Rob all had two knocks. For Wallman, their top of the order is really lethal and Intoci played a great SS as always.
A win in the morning made for a great rest of the day as the All Star game is always a great time. Hats off to the league for a great day. Next up for Kessler, a rematch of the game that started this 11-game winning streak, a bout with Marrone.
Pollock d. Bykofsky 16-15
The comeback kids were at it again. In an important matchup between two teams vying for top 5 seeding, the goal for Engage was to build some positive momentum after a crazy win a week ago, and that plan seemed to be more up in smoke than our sponsor. Team Byko, without the commish (feel better), Zelicskovics, and Sherman, started their plan of turning over a strong 10-man lineup quickly, jumping to a quick 5 run lead after two innings, with the help of two Sags blasts in two innings, getting his HR Derby swings in early. Team Pollock kept their heads up, and team leader Chase Sandler blasted a 2-run HR in the 3rd, and the rest of the order did their part as Engage tied the game up at 5-5 after 3 innings. This seemed to wake Gastro up, as they stormed back for a huge 7 runs in the the 4th inning and another 2 runs in the 5th (with yes, Sags 3rd HR of the game) as they took a commanding 14-5 lead into the 6th inning. It's a this point, yours truly must admit I sort of gave up much hope on the game and decided the team needed to switch things up and at least try to enjoy the game. After recording two bottom of the lineup outs, handing the ball to Dinapoli to pitch, mid inning, to face Byko's top of the order wasn't a hard decision (they were wrecking me). But leaving me at 2B to finish the inning out... well, let's just say I wasn't overthinking things. The plan worked as Nick closed out the inning, but what really made the plan work was what the league-leading Pollock bats did in the 6th, as the top of the order got things going en route to a huge 8-run inning, to suddenly and surprisingly get Engage within one run. Gastro fought back with a run on a big double from Abramson and took a 15-13 lead into the bottom of the 7th. However, a now energized Engage squad cracked used 4 hits and a sac fly to plate 3-runs and took a 16-15 lead. After countless hits from both teams, Dinapoli finished off an impressive relief pitching performance, highlighted by two shocking called looking strikeouts against top hitters (Byko and Juergens). For Team Byko, obviously the Sags was the star of the morning (and night) with 3 HRs, but nearly everyone on Byko had multiple hits, including the aforementioned Byko and Juergens. For Team Pollock, lots of hitting stars again, as Chase Sandler, Nick Dinapoli, Matt Pollock, Nick Lapetina, and Larry Rubin (who also made a couple of diving catches in LF) all had 3-hit games. Taco, Aponte, and Mitch also had multi-hit games. An odd doubleheader is on tap for Engage next Sunday, with a morning game against Conti and a 4:00pm match-up against Goddard awaits.
A&H Chiropractic (Drashinsky) 6 over Sentinel (Conti) 3
A picture-perfect late July morning calls for Double Header softball. The early Manalapan #5 slate featured Conti and Drashinsky teams looking to bounce back after a string of losses.
Conti would strike first blood with one run in the first. Tight defense from both teams would hold each of the squads scoreless till the bottom of the 4th. Tired of not scoring any runs, Santi-GREAT kicked things off with a lead off single, to brought in by a monstrous RBI triple by Doc. Holden would then continue the hit train with a scorchin’ RBI single to bring in his pops. Holden would then eventually score on an error to take the lead 3-1 at the end of 4. The Back Breakers would tack on an extra 2 in the 5th, thanks to lead-off singles by the lean, mean, hitting machine they call Joe Lee and Papa D. Santi-GOAT would come up huge again by knocking both in on a single to make it 5-1 after 5. After holding Conti scoreless again in the 6th, A&H would add one more thanks to a Dan sac fly to make it 6-1 after 6. The Conti bats would not quit as they scored 2 in the 7th, to make it 6-3. Tight defense and great pitching by both teams would lock this score in as A&H picks up their 10th victory of the season.
Santigate, Doc, Holden, and Joe Lee each led the team with 2 hits apiece. However, in case you couldn’t tell, the story of this game was defense and pitching. Santigate completely locked down shortstop making many ridiculous plays to nail runners while Holden and Austin locked down the corner outfield spots against this highly powerful Conti squad. However, the spotlight must go to Papa D. Channeling his inner Henrik Lundquist, he was an absolute fortress on the mound, fielding everything that came into is path. Not to mention, he did not walk a single guy to this writers knowledge. For the Conti squad, Darren pitched very well, while Perrone locked down LCF like a true professional.
Looking to continue their hot hand, the Back Breakers anxiously awaited the arrival of the LaRocca squad to play the second game of the double header.
A&H Chiropractic (Drashinsky) 12 over LHRGP (LaRocca) 4
The Back Breakers were ready to battle in game 2. Fueled by a shade break and some watermelon, on their hands was a dangerous LaRocca squad who had just come off a win against division rival Marrone.
LHRGP got off to a hot start but putting up 1 in the 1st. A&H answered right back with 1 of their own thanks to a JR sac fly. A&H would continue to add to their lead in the second by putting up another run thanks to a RBI single by All-Star Marc Persily. Once the back breakers had this lead, they never looked back. A&H put up a big 3 spot in the 3rd thanks to a lead off double by big Dave Unterweiser followed by a Papa D single. SantiGREAT would knock one in a SAC fly, but then Doc would come up huuuuuuuge with a 2 RBI double. A&H would add another 2 runs in the 4th thanks to a RBI single by Austin. After a scoreless 5th, A&H would tack on another 3 runs in the 6th thanks to RBI singles from Austin, Holden and Marc. A&H would put up another 2 runs in the 8th thanks to a sizziln’ 2 RBI triple by Holden and would then hold it together to seal the deal for the 12-4 victory.
Defense was again the star of this game with a little more offense mixed in. JR made some very nice plays in LCF and yet again, Papa D locked down the middle and kept this mighty hitting LaRocca team at bay. Austin Silverberg came up huge in this game with 3 hits 2 RBI, while Doc (2 RBI), Holden (3 RBI), Alan, Dan, Marc (3 RBI) and the capt all had two hits respectively. For LaRocca, Sheridan and the judge himself were tough outs all morning. Additionally, Cliff Fox and Marc Carlin locked down the corner infield positions with ease. The back breakers look to make it three in a row next week as they take on division rival Byko for the late Swim showdown.
WEDNESDDAY, JULY 26TH
Gastro (Byko) 15 Sentinel (Conti) 14
On a beautiful Wednesday night it was an 11 man Gastro team (no Mamone, Rossy) vs. a red hot, winners of 6 straight, Sentinel with 11 as well (no RAllen-get well soon, and MIA Rob Conti).
Conti's top of the order got off to a hot start in this one lacing the ball as they jumped out to a 3-0 lead. However, Gastro responded bottom 1 with 3 of their own thanks to a bloop by Byko and a 2 run blast HR by Phil which was then followed up by a clutch 2 out RBI missile down the LF line by Abramson, 3-3 after 1. The Gastro offense went fairly quiet after that while Conti's crew got sparked by a solo HR from rookie Cano, which was quickly followed up the next inning by a NUKE to CF by Captain Conti himself. It wasn't looking good for Gastro during this point of the game folks. The top of the Conti order was just hit-hit-hit all night as Perrone could not be stopped at the top. Bottom 7, Gastro trails 11-5, times are tough, but they fight back! Rabinowitz triple, Wayne single, Karp single, Byko Single, Phil IBB (booooo) walks in a run, Juergens missile 2 RBI single, Zeli Rbi knock and when the dust settled Gastro had scored 7 in the frame to take a 12-11 lead, electric baby! Conti's middle to bottom sparked by GKatz and Porzio and then 2 out hit by Perrone scored them 3 huge runs top 8. Gastro blanked bottom 8 but got through the order and the defense then held the Conti 3-4-5 from scoring, huge. Bottom 9 Capt Byko leads off and gets on, NOW THEY CANT WALK PHIL! YESS! Phil then instantly hits a 2 run NUKE to tie the game. MVP! MVP! MVP! So clutch. Juergens then hits an absolute rocket in the gap and Lewey Cano lays out full extension to make maybe the catch of the year given the situation. Kudos to him. BDRick then followed up with a missile that Cano couldn't handle for a triple, Conti walks the bases loaded, and Yockel then delivers the RBI fielders choice for the 15-14 walkoff win! Another amazing comeback by Gastro.
The offense was led by MVPhil with 2 NUKES, 4 RBIS, 2 Walks, 4 runs, unstoppable whether you pitch to him or not! Byko has been lucky/hot and had 4 hits himself, Wednesday night Abramson came out to play with 3 huge hits, Wayne reached 3 times, while All-Star Robbie, BDRick, and CY Karp also chipped in with multi hit games. For Sentinel Perrone had 4 hits, Bill Allen had 3 hits and made Phil get mad at Byko (should count as an extra hit), and Captain Conti was nasty on defense while hitting a 450 ft bomb to CF, clearing cementing his number 1 status for years to come. 2 revenge wins in a row for Phil and Mamone as Gastro now look to take down Pollock Sunday morning. Stay tuned baby...
SUNDAY, JULY 23RD
EB Construction (Goldfarb) 10 A&H Chiropractic (Drashinsky) 0
An important doubleheader awaited Team Goldfarb on a hot summer morning at UHR. While its definitely hard to win both ends of a DH Team Goldfarb (4-7) knew if they could it would put them back in the mix with all the 7 and 8 loss teams. First up would be Team Drashinsky who while only playing with 8, it would be a pretty damn good hitting 8. Team Goldfarb wouldnt take advantage of the 3 man outfield and was only able to put up 4 runs in the first 7 innings. The good thing was that they were able to hold Team Drashinsky to 0. The top of the 8th inning saw Team Goldfarb double their run output to take an 8-0 lead. Not that there was any giving up at all by Team Drashinsky but some wind may have come out their sails. After adding 2 more runs in the 9th the shutout was preserved with the final score being 10-0. We could play against the same 8 guys 100 times and most likely never get another shutout but the morning did belong to the pitching and defense of Team Goldfarb. The pitching and defense for Team Drashinsky was also stellar as the score did stand only 4-0 after 7 innings. Team Goldfarb was led by Tony R, D Harp, Connor S, Zach S, Dan S and Reid G who all had multi hit games. I believe Mark Persily had 2 hits for Team Drashinsky (apologies if I missed anyone else). Hopefully the loss didnt ruin the bachelor party for the Drashinsky boys (I'm sure it didnt). Congrats to Dan D on his upcoming wedding and as it turns out is the same day as Alex G's. The victory gave Team Goldfarb some momentum heading into the backend of the DH against Team Goddard.
EB Construction (Goldfarb) 26 Goddard Home Improvement (Goddard) 12
After winning the 1st game of the Sunday DH Team Goldfarb was hungry for a second win. The big hitting Team Goddard would be their opponent. If you like offense there was plenty of it in this game. After holding Team Goldfarb scoreless in the top of the 1st Team Goddard would score 5 runs in the bottom half to take a 5-0 lead after 1. Team Goldfarb would score 4 in the second and 5 in the third and led 9-5 after 2 1/2 innings, but Team Goddard came back with 4 of their own tying the score at 9 after 3 full innings. Team Goddard would lead 11-9 after 4 innings but Team Goldfarb would score 17 more runs over the last 5 innings while holding Team Goddard to 1 over the same 5 innings leaving the final score at 26-12. Even giving up 12 runs Team Goldfarb again had good pitching (Eric B) and some really good defense led by Tony R (SS), Connor Schmidt (3B) and the star Reid Goldfarb (subbing in RF for the injured Dan S). Reid made 2 highlight reel catches that you can catch on the live broadcast (thanks Martin Blackburn). There were so many offensive stars but Team Goldfarb was led by Eric Becker (6-6, 1 HR), Alex Goldfarb (5-5 1 3B), D Harp (3-4 5 RBIs), Connor S (4-5, 2B/3B, 4 RBIs) with Tony R, Doug C and Reid (awesome game both sides of the ball) chipped in with 3 hits each. Team Goldfarb improved to 6-7 and stands right in the middle of seeds 4-14 though plenty of season left. Team Goddard will not be an easy out no matter where they finish in the standings as they are one scary offensive team. As said many time the past few weeks Reid is by far the best and most loved Goldfarb. Next up the very hot Team Rosenstock .
Stock 10 Pingaro 8
After playing in a high scoring game team Stock faced off against Pings as the two teams would engage in a good ole fashioned pitchers duel through the 1st half of the game. Ronnie Pacheco and Pezz only allowed 1 run combined through the 1st 5 innings. With Valentin out, Mark Yutko stepped up and went from clean up hitter to leadoff hitter and he produced from both spots in the lineup. After leading off the game with a knock he was brought home by his good friend Ronnie "111" Pacheco. That would be all the scoring until the top of the 6th inning as Pingaro plated 1 to tie the game. Team Princeton would have an immediate answer scoring 4 runs in the bottom of the frame. It was that man Ronnie Pacheco again doing damage with a 2 run triple. Mike Rosenstock added an RBI single and rookie Campbell closed the scoring for the inning with a sac fly. Team Pingaro battled right back in the top of the 7th scoring 3 runs making it a 1 run game as we headed for the 7th inning stretch. Princeton would work some 2 out magic in the bottom of the frame, after 2 quick outs Yutko and Lugos delivered back to back knocks as the ever dangerous Pacheco stepped in the box. It felt like an unintentional intentional walk as perhaps Pezz was trying to get Ronnie to swing at a bad pitch but Ronnie is a TEAM guy and took his walk and left it up to Steve Catania. Fresh off his 5-5 performance Catania would deliver again as he smoked a 2 run single to RCF to pad the lead to 3. Team Pingaro battled right back in the top of the 8th plating 4 runs to take their 1st lead of the game, 8-7 team Pings as we headed for the bottom of the 8th. Team Princeton has been playing in close games all year so there was no panic in this squad as Bryan Thompson looked to spark the team and he did just that starting the inning off with a rope to get the party going. M Stock delivered a single setting up Zach Campbell with 2 on and no out and the rookie would deliver smoking a single to tie the game. My man Tepper would then deliver the go ahead RBI as he stayed hot at the plate (oh he also drew another walk) Sal Sicurella then delivered a sacrifice for the TEAM which paid off as Mark Yutko delivered an insurance run with an RBI knock. Mr. Pacheco closed out the game in the top of the 9th to earn himself another win on the bump as team Stock won 10-8. Shout out to Pezz for pitching a solid game and also Tom Carroll who hit a laser HR.
Mark Yutko had a huge doubleheader going 7-9 with 6 runs. Lugos did what Lugos always does which is hit as he had 6 hits in the DH and also scored 5 runs. Ronnie Pacheco helped himself in a big way delivering 6 RBI as well as securing 2 more W's on the mound. Craig Tepper had an excellent DH as he went 5-7 with 4 steak dinners. Campbell has been productive all year with guys on base and Sunday was no different as he knocked in 5 runs. Bryan Thompson had a solid day at the dish going 5-7 with 2 steaks. It was a long hot day but well worth it for Team Princeton as they kept the train rollin. Next up for Team Stock is the early game at UHL vs Goldy.
Stock 25 - Polzer 15
On a sweltering Sunday morning team Princeton looked to keep the train rolling vs an extremely short handed 9 man Polzer squad. Polz was missing stud Fluta and also the Captain himself so simply put it was a game Team Stock had to have. Team Princeton never trailed in this game but credit to team Polzer who fought back throughout the game. In the end though team Stock broke the game open and secured a 25-15 victory. Steve Catania led the way offensively going 5-5 with 4 runs, and 3 RBI. Mark Yutko went 4-5 with 4 runs and 2 steaks as he was on his way to a huge day during our double dip. And how about Craig the "Walking Machine" Tepper. Tepp did draw a walk in this game but did most of his damage with his bat as Craig went 3-4 with two 2B's and 3 RBI. That Lugos/Tepper combo pick next year gets more valuable by the game. Kudos to the whole Polzer squad that battled all game, Tim George and Leonardi hit the ball hard all game and Gonzalez made a hell of a play at 2B. Shout out to my boy Edwin Valentin who had a lil hammy pull, before he got hurt he was doing his thing sparking the lineup as he scored 3 runs and was locking down RCF. Stud Ronnie Pacheco got the win on the mound and pitched much better then the score would indicate. It was not a crisp defensive game (especially for the author) but Team Princeton handled their business and got the dub. Up next for team Stock was team Pingaro as they traveled to Manalapan from East Frances.
Gastro (Byko) 11 LHRGC (LaRocca) 8
Coming off a brutal short handed Wednesday night defeat, the Gastro boys looked to get back on track vs. the b2b reigning champs LaRocca and LHRGC. This game featured a battle of the student vs the master in Phil vs. Frank and it was a matchup that would not disappoint. Gastro, missing Joe Mo, BDRick, and RCohen (rounds 3-5-10 and about 24 inches of cock for those counting at home) faced off against a fully-stocked 13 man LaRocca squad at Swim Club.
After stranding the bases loaded in the top of the 1st, Gastro fell behind quickly, as LaRocca's top of the order went to work enabling them to jump out to an early 6-0 lead through 3 innings of play. In the top of the 6th inning the Byko bats would erupt scoring 5 runs in the frame thanks to a RBI single from Zeli, a YUGE 2RBI knock by Papa Yockel and then two well executed SAC flies by Sherman and Robby Sags. 7-5 top 7, Phil hits a nuke triple to drive in Byko and made the score 7-6 but gets hosed going for the HR at the plate with 0 outs, yikes. The Gastro defense then held on for dear life the rest of the way led by Wayne Sherman. Wait what?! Yes, Wayne "hot corner" Sherman made the 2-3 plays he needed to filling in last minute at 3rd base as LHHGC attacked him over the final 3 innings of play, which allowed Gastro to get in position for the comeback victory. Nice job big fella! Top 9 down 8-6, Byko clutch leadoff single, Phil rocket single (couldn't walk him anymore, what a shame), a clutch!!!!! double by Juergens ties the game, a RBI single from Zeli gives Gastro the lead, and then a few batters later another YUGE extra base hit, this time by most improved candidate Rabinowitz, plating 2 more runs and giving Gastro the 11-8 lead they would hold on to win by. God damn what a win! Trailing 6-0 and coming back in the 6th inning is no small feat folks!!!
The offense for Gastro was led by the top of the order of Byko-MVPhil-Juergens who were all on base 4 times. Rookie Zelicskovics, Veteran Yockel (duh) and MIP Rabinowitz smoked the ball all morning with 3 hits apiece as well. The defense was led by the aforementioned Sherman at third and stud Robbie J at 2nd base. Karp was also dealing all morning and really has been one of the better picks in the league for the value he's providing on the bump for Gastro. RC pitched excellently for LHRGC, Andy Broome made a sick play in the OF to hose someone at first base, and Goldrosen smoked a few hits as well in defeat. Gastro will look to keep the good times rolling vs. the red hot Conti and Co. on Wed night....
Kessler 18, Apple 9
Gonna start this recap by getting right to the point. It's simple: Death, Taxes, Terrible Filming by Frank on a live stream & Big Hits with RISP by El Gary Klein. I wish we had RISP stats because I guarantee Gary is hitting about .800. And yesterday was no different, with two huge hits with runners in scoring position and another bases loaded walk. The man deserves a spot in the all star game this week.
Anyway, with the rest of the game... Doc Toran had his 2023 breakout performance, notching three huge hits, Big Tommy is being revolutionized by tee time, with a BOMB over the head of Joel Podos to score two and another hit, and BEASTon continues to come up clutch, with 3 RBIs.
For the first time in god knows how long, the Changers led early and throughout in this one, scoring 5 runs in the 2nd (all with two outs) and two in third to lead 7-0 and never really looked back. Every time Apple scored, Kessler responded. 12 of 18 runs were scored with two outs for Game Changer for an ultimate 18-9 win. Five guys (Marty, Robbie J, Gary, Toran & Captain Kessler) all had three hits while four others had two. And the one guy that didn't have a hit (he'll remain nameless) walked three times. Complete team effort.
For Apple, Billy made yours truly look stupid multiple times for playing a five man and Villani hit a BOMB over both UH fences that will land Sunday. And oh yea, Ed is a good hitter. Next up for GC, a big one with one of the other best teams in the league, a very good and hot Wallman squad in the late game at UHR.
Pollock d. Ferrarese 19-18 (10 innings)
What a game. In a match-up both teams really needed, with many friends and former teammates squaring off, a slumping Pollock squad faced an optimistic Ferrarese squad, currently with the worst record, but stronger with the addition of Mike Klechinsky Jr. Only a game like this could top the excitement of Barbenheimer. Get your popcorn ready. The Ace bats (but maybe not the Engage gloves) were alive early, as Ace scored 4 quick runs in the first, but Engage responded in the bottom half of the first, with 6 runs of their own, highlighted by fence clearing blasts from Chase and Taco! In the 3rd, Ace cut the lead to one, but Engage scored 4 runs in their half to take what felt like a comfortable 10-5 lead. Ace said otherwise in the 5th, and plated 6 big runs behind MKJ's 2nd triple of the game, a blast from Saler, and several hits. After being down 10-5, Ace would go on to extend their new lead to 15-10, heading into the bottom of the 8th. A desperate Engage squad needed runs, and with 2 outs, Brayant Aponte delivered, with a clutch 3-run HR to cut the deficit to 2. The Ace bats were kept off the board in the top of the 9th, setting the stage for some craziness. Team Pollock's first five batters reached base and tied the game, and Engage could taste victory with bases loaded and no outs. But the Marlboro Softball gods had other plans, and after two infield pop-ups and a last out, we were headed to extra innings. Seizing the opportunity, Ace scored 3 go ahead runs, with the help of another Mark Z blast, this time to dead center, and Ace looked to be on the verge of a big win. Things looked dire for Engage, as we were still down 3 runs with 2 outs when Mitch Pollock stepped to the plate. You see the score, so you know Mitch kept things alive with a clutch 2-RBI hit to narrow the lead to one. With 1B open, Team Ferrarese decided to put captain Matt on 1B as the winning run to face Nick Lapetina. After taking a close 2 strike pitch, Lapetina blasted a low pitch in between LCF and RCF and yours truly was able to score for the game winner. A "Victory Lap" for the clutch Lapetina! Just a great effort from both squads, who had multiple chances throughout the game to give up. Lots of offensive heroes for both squads as well. For Ace, while I'm sure I'm leaving some out, Mark Z, Mike Klechinsky Jr, Ushkowitz, D. Saler, Captain Mike, and Podolla all have multiple clutch hits. For Team Pollock, who unbelievably had all 13 guys for the first time this season, Chase Sandler, Mitch Pollock, and Nick Lapetina all had 4 hits each, while Brayant Aponte had 5 RBIs and interpreter/slugger/great teammate Taco had two more extra base hits and 4 RBIs of his own. Besties Matt and Rob also had multi-hit games. Next up for Engage is a match-up against a Bykofsky squad off a nice win of their own. OK, this summary probably took as long to read as it takes to watch Oppenheimer. Thanks for reading and see you at the movies!
Marrone 9, Pingaro 4
After a week off, the boys in pink make it 2 in a row on another hot morning at East Francis with a 9-4 victory over an always game Team Pingaro. The winning recipe that has developed for this team of solid pitching and lockdown defense was evident today with Glen only walking one (really a 1/2 walk since it was Tom Caroll) and the defense behind him playing a flawless game. Team Pingaro jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the 1st on a 2 out RBI single from Anthony Turano. The inning could have been much worse but for a great play by Ian Mindas at 3rd snaring a hot shot and luring the runner from 3rd into a rundown with 2nd and 3rd and one out to cut down a run at the plate. Team Marrone would get the run back in the bottom half with a hustling Noel Santiago scoring from 1st on a Mindas double to left. Team Pings would get the lead back in the 3rd scoring 1 to go up 2-1. In the bottom of the 4th, the Gymnasts bats awoke to score a big 5. Leadoff hits from Noel and Ian would be followed by a bomb into the trees in LF from Evan Rosenthal for a 2 run dinger. Speaking of Evan, should be noted that despite some early rumored questions about attendance, Evan gets to the field earlier than most every week (including Glen) and you could not ask for a beter teammate to play with. . . Speaking of great teammates to play with, Jeff Arnold followed and went back to back; belly to belly, with a dinger of his own to RF beating a great effort from Manochhio Sr. who almost made a great catch to rob him. Team Pingaro would respond with 1 in the 5th to make it 6-3. In the bottom of the 5th, Team Marrone would tack on 2 more to make it 8-3 with Brandon and Noel getting on to start the inning setting up a Sac Fly from Evan and an RBi single from Arnold. At 8-3 it was time for the Marrone defense to take over which it did despite Noel Santiago getting a work call and having to leave for the second half of the game. Not many teams in this league can lose their LCF and not lose a step in the OF with Tornetta taking over in LCF and Mindas moving from 3B to RCF. Throw in Evan in LF and Arnold in RF and its a formidable OF even without Noel. One more insurance run would be added in the 8th with Arnold scoring off a leadoff single. Team Pingaro would get 1 across in the 9th for the final 9-4 margin of victory. Offensively, Jeff Arnold was back in form leading the way with a huge 4-4, HR day; Noel was 3-3 before his early exit and "Easy" Eddie J and Mike Weitsen chipped in 2 hits of their own. Defensively, Ramon Santiago was lights out at SS making several nice plays, Evan and Brandon tracked down everything in the OF and Eddie had a big play later in the game snaring a line drive in the hole at 3B to thwart a potential Pingaro rally. Next up we go for 3 in a row against Team Larocca at Municipal.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 12TH
Stock 24 Byko 21
Some Marlboro Softball fans dubbed the 1st meeting between Stock and Byko as the Game of the Year but would the 2nd meeting live up to the hype of the 1st game? Spoiler alert, it did. This was a wild game that left this author exhausted by it's conclusion. This slugfest of a game had 6 lead changes as both teams exchanged huge innings. Team Byko had to play with 9 guys after Joe Mo got injured in the 1st at bat of the game as he was making a turn after a roped line drive hit (get better Joe) . Fred Lugos got the scoring going with an RBI double and Ronnie Pacheco tacked on another run to give team Princeton a 2-0 lead. Team Byko immediately responded with 5 runs in the top 2nd to wrestle the lead away from team Stock. Princeton would have a response to Bykos previous response as they went on to score 9 runs in the bottom of the 2nd. Rookie Zach Cambell's 2 run triple was the highlight of the inning. The teams would exchange some minor body blows over the next few innings as team Stock took a 13-6 lead into the 5th inning. 7 run lead midway into the game is when you want your team to pull away and take complete control of the game but a feisty Byko team wasn't having it as they tied the game at 13 plating 7 runs in the top of the 5th inning. Zach Campbell gave the lead right back to team Stock in the bottom half of the frame with a clutch 2 run single, 15-13 Princeton leads. Guess what team Byko did the next inning? Yup they took the lead right back with 4 runs to grab a 2 run lead. Fred Lugos called an on me meeting (with the bottom of the lineup coming up) and the team responded to Fred's fire with 6 runs to keep the theme of lead changes going. I can't stress enough how important it was for Craig Tepper and Sal Sicurella to start the inning off with back to back hits to get the 6 run rally going. I pointed it out in in real time how important their hits were and I wanted to emphasize this in the write up. In my head once those guys got those hits I felt it was automatic that we'd have a big inning. The 6 runs were produced by 3 two run doubles from Lugos, Mark Yutko, and the Captain to give Princeton a 21-17 lead. With pitcher Cruz not having his best cutter on the day team Princeton summoned Rookie sensation Ronnie Pacheco from the bullpen to try and close out the game over the final 3 innings, a tough task in this endless lead changing game. Team Stock would provide Pacheco with some insurance in the bottom 8th thanks to a Yutko steak and a 2 run double from E Stock. 24-19 as we head to the 9th. Of course Byko fought back scoring twice and having the tying run on base but Pacheco was able to expand his ever growing rookie campaign season by adding a save to his resume. Team Stock would win this epic match up 24-21. I told my team games like this are we play the game, it was easily one of the most fun/intense games in years for I'm sure most of the players involved. For whatever reason when these 2 teams play fireworks occurr and something tells me we'll see those guys down the line. I came away very impressed with team Byko. To play with a 3 man OF in a slugfest is very challenging but those boys did and refused to go away all game. Phil Saglietto led the charge for team Byko launching 2 nukes and also being the vocal leader of the team, something a captain loves to see out of their best player. Mark Karp had 983 hits in the game and just got another one. Rookie Abramson is a hell of a player who legit can go line to line. I gotta shout out Mike Rabinowitz who launched a ball to right field and seems to be 1 of the steals of the draft. Hoping for a speedy recovery for Joe Mo who was hitting the ball hard all season. I'll close out with tire pumps. Fred Lugos had himself a day going 5-5, 4 runs, and 3 RBI to get his avg back over .700. Zack Campbell have a day kid!!!!! 2-3 with 5 RBI. Captain E Stock had his best day at the plate going 4-5 with 5 steaks. Mark Yutko went 3-5 with 4 RBI. Steve Catania had a nice 3 hit day with a steak while playing a solid SS. Edwin Valentin continues to spark the lineup batting leadoff, Edwin had 2 hits, 3 runs, and a steak. Ronnie "111" Pacheco had 2 rbis and was intentionally walked twice as teams have begun to fear Mr. Pacheco. I can't say enough about Ronnie who shows me new tricks each week. Multi hit games were had by M Stock and Cruz in this epic slugfest. Beyond proud of my boys going from 3-7 to 8-7. Up next for Princeton is team Pings at UHL.
Marrone 17, Drashinsky 16
90 + degrees, 100% humidity; not exactly the conditions you want for an extra innings marathon but Team Marrone finally pulls out a close one completing a difficult season sweep against a top tier Drashinsky squad with a wild 17-16 extra innings victory in front of a fairly crowded Wednesday night yentas row along UHR. The pre-game speech from rookie Jeff Arnold plageurizing EJ (team inside joke) did not go according to plan early as Team Drashinsky jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the 2nd inning off some hot hitting in the 1st and some rare wildness from Glen in the 2nd. Things then went from bad to worse as Jacob Smalkin would hit a nubber down the 1st base line that Alan Raucher from the mound (more on that later) would go down to field. Smalkin hustling down the line would hurdle Raucher to avoid contact, then stumble and fall forward head 1st into first base injuring his shoulder on the play and require a trip to the ER. We are waiting on the MRI results and wish Jacob a speedy recovery. Although insignificant compared to the injury. Smalkin was ruled out for headfirst sliding into first base after being initially called safe; an incorrect call in this author's opinion and that of many in attendance. Glen would get 1 back for us in the bottom of the 2nd with a hustling leadoff double and come around to score. In the bottom of the 3rd, the Gymnasts would cut the lead to 9-6 highlighted by a 3 run no doubter bomb to LF from Ian Mindas; GAME BACK ON!! The boys in pink would follow it up with a big 7 spot in the bottom of the 4th while batting around; hits from Weitsen, Madonick, Brad Randell, Ramon Santigo and Brandon set up 2 big RBI doubles from Noel Santiago and Ian again. At 13-9 Team Marrone was breathing a little easier but not for long as Seth and company came right back with 3 in the 5th and 2 in the 7th to regain the lead at 14-13. In the bottom of the 8th, Team Marrone would tie things at 14 set up by a leadoff single from "Easy' Eddie Johnson who would be heard from again. . . The frame could have been better as Raucher made a nice play to get a force at the plate on a dribbler with the bases loaded and one out to keep the score there. The Marrone D would hold in the top of the 9th, with the ex-skipper Randell making a nice play at 2nd on a hard hit smash from Austin to end a potential threat. Team Marrone would fail to exercise the hammer in the botom half setting up extra inning free softball for the fans in attendance. In the top of the 10th, Santigate would lead off with a bomb triple to right off the head, yes head of Jeff Arnold who almost made a crazy catch. Rosenthal would follow with an RBI double and then a walk to Holden. With 1st and 3rd and 1 out EJ would make a GREAT diving play from 1B to rob Dan Drashinsky getting the force at 2nd and holding the damage to 2 runs. With Team Marrone seemingly losing games like this almost every week it was time to turn the tide!! A leadoff hit from Madonick who had a much needed breakout night would be folowed by another big hit from Eddie J. Justin Randell would come next with a poised and patient at bat lacing a 3-2 pitch to center for a single to load the bases. Brad Randell would then draw a big walk to force in a run and keep the bases loaded. Ramon Santiago would draw a walk as well to tie the game keeping the bases loaded again. After a force play at the plate, Noel Santiago would blast a ball to left for the dramatic walk-off win. Quite a game for 2 teams that could easily see each other again down the road. First off for the individual performers, hats off to Alan Raucher who despite the ending pitched a HELL of a game having never pitched before under the lights in front of the Marlboro Yenta Crowd. Not an easy task (I know from experience) and Alan held it together very well and gave his team a chance to win. For Team Marrone, all 12 guys in the lineup minus the injured Smalkin had at least one hit in the 17 run attack. Brandon, Noel, Ian and Madonick led the way with 3 hits apiece complimented by Ramon, Eddie, and the Randell combo with 2 hits apiece of their own. Defensively, Noel was lockdown again in LCF, Arnold looking more comfortable as the season goes in the OF with a big catch late in the game in RF, and Ian tracking down several balls in LF. For Drashinsky, Santigate with several ridiculous diving stops of balls headed up the middle to rob Marrone hitters all night long. Next up a pivotal game in the standings against Team Applebaum in the late Swim Club affair to try and gain some distance away from play-in game danger
SUNDAY, JULY 9TH
Red Oak 8 Goddard Construction 1 F
As Red Oak Mortgage left McDonalds drive through for early morning breakfast and coffee, the stage was once again set to push our streak to the brink without our all star LCF Justin Colloracco in this intense East Frances Showdown against a feisty Goddard Construction Association. Red Oak had the groove going early controlling a two nothing advantage after two innings of play. The East Frances ground game ensued for Red Oak as Part Owner, General Manager, Coach, Scout, and Trainer Richie Bombenblit blasted an East Frances strategic ground ball seed that developed into a two run home run sending the Mortgage faithful into a frenzy. Bryan Frank joined in on the party adding two doubles, two runs as well as a single and an RBI, Mugs joined in and with his new approach also garnished a 3 hit line including a run scored. Justin Bickoff continues his hot stretch with two line drive singles providing key lineup movement.
PRINCETON (ER) 12 – APPLE 6
Team Princeton was looking to get back to .500 after a 3-7 start playing with a strong 10 vs a short handed Apple squad that was missing Klecko, Alligretti, and rookie Dickens. Team Stock has been getting off to fast starts recently and Sunday was no different. Edwin Valentin set the tone with a leadoff knock as he continues to excel in the leadoff spot consistently sparking the Princeton lineup. Steve Catania would plate 2 to open the scoring. Team Stock would add on 2 more runs thanks to a Mike Rosenstock 2 run single. That would be the end of the Rosenstock contributions for the day as I sucked in the field and brother M Stock would go on to hit for the OUTS Triple Crown, meaning he hit into a single out, grounded into a double play, and lined into a triple play. Back to the game. I probably should mention that ROY candidate Ronnie Pacheco who's been raking all year can also pitch. He pitched in our pre season game and stepped up on Sunday taking the ball vs Apple with Cruz out (it's all coaching Mark) Ronnie would limit Apple to 6 runs and only allowed runs in 2 innings. Trailing 6-0 Team Apple made some noise in the bottom of the 5th scoring 4 runs to make it a 2 run game. Team Princeton would respond in the 7th getting those runs back highlighted my a 3 run line drive HR by Mark Yutko as Apple was unable to make a diving catch. Team Stock would go on to win 12-6. Only 1 place to start with the tire pumps and that's Ronnie "111" Pacheco who got the W on the mound and also went 4-5 with 2 RBI. Edwin Valentin also had a 4 hit day, he added 2 runs and an RBI steak to stay red hot at the plate. Lugos had a 3 hit day. Multi hit games were had by Catania, Bryan Thompson who has been one of Princeton's most consistent hitters and Craig Tepper who had a nice day going 2-4 with 2 runs. Up next for Princeton is a rematch with Team Byko under the Union Hill lights Wednesday night.
TUSCANYROSE (DP) 18 d. MONMOUTH GYMNASTICS (GM) 3
On a dreary Sunday morning at UHL, Tuscany Rose took on Monmouth Gymnastics. The captains agreed to push the start time back to 11am, just in time for the rain to start. Things got a bit dicey early on as the rain fell, the grip on the bats were non-existent and so was the offense for the first 2 innings. As the field was about to turn, the rain came to end as Ian Gonzalez stepped in the box to lead off the third. He gets it going with a single and Bryce followed up with a walk to set up 2 on no one for the top of the order. RBI singles by Fluta, Polzer, Gene, and a sac fly from B-Faz, put Tuscany up 4-0. Tuscany would get right back on it in the 4th. Javy led off with a base hit, DJ Lou walked, Fluta would hit a 2 out RBI single. Then Leonardi plated 2 on a defensive miscue. Heading to the bottom of the 4th with a 7 run lead, the Rainbow Coalition would start to chip away. With 2 on and no outs, Easton would hit a liner up the middle as the bounces off the wrist, which would allow 2 runs to score as Easton motored into third. Cy Polz would dig deep and limit the damage, only allowing the third run to score on a sac fly. That would be all the runs (2 unearned) that CY Polz would give up on the day. Getting back at it in the 6th (and trying to get back to lukewarm status), Tuscany would plate 4 more runs. Singles by Javy, DJ Lou, and Sweet Cole, would set up consecutive 2 run singles by Leonardi and Polzer. Fast forward to the 7th, and with a 11-3 lead, Tuscany would blow it up with a 7 spot. B-Faz led off with a hit, followed by Joshi. Then walks to Lance and an RBI BB for Javy. DJ and Ian would have consecutive RBI hits. Then a FC rbi for Bryce , an intentional walk to Fluta, sets the table for Leonardi to hit a booming bases clearing double over a drawn in outfield. Just a reminder, these are grown men with composite bats folks. That extended the lead to 18-3 headed to the bottom of the 7th. Needing 1 run to keep the game going, the Gymnasts bats would go quietly and Tuscany would row out of there with the victory. Two out hitting and hitting with runners on base is something Tuscany has been waiting for all year, as every batter reached base. Stars of the game for Tuscany were Polzer (4-5, RBI, R), Javy (3-3, RBI, BB, R), Fluta (3-4, 2 RBI, BB, 3 runs), B-Faz (3-4, RBI, SAC, R), Joshi (3-5, R), Leonardi (2 hits, double, 5 RBI). Also multi hit games by Ian, Gene, and Lou. Next up is the world leading Game Changers at Mar-EL!
Gastro (Byko) 9 EB Construction (Goldfarb) 7
Looking to make it 2 wins a row a 10 man Gastro squad faced off against a Becker and Guy-less Goldy team at the spacious Manalapan Field 5 (aka where DC hit the shot heard around Central NJ). Joraskie was on the bump for EB and despite some early control issues he held the top of the Gastro order to 1 run early on. The defense was tight for Gastro all morning and some clutch RBI hits by BDRick allowed them to get out to a 6-1 lead midway through the game. EB then responded as their middle to bottom of order put hits together highlighted by a DC 2RBI knock. Unreal. That made it 6-4 when the Gastro bats went to work again with Ross Cohen responding to Doug's hit with a big RBI hit of his own, a SAC by Karp, and Phil 2B accounted for the rest of the 9 runs for Gastro. EB rallied late, but the craftsman Karp got Tony to pop up with 2 on to hold on for the 9-7 victory.
The offensive attack for Gastro was led by Schindelheim with 3 missiles and a walk, Capt Byko who reached base 4 times, along with MVPHIL, AllStar Robbie, BDRick, Abramson and Yockel also mashing their way to big days with at least 3 times on base for all of them. Karp was an ACE on the mound limiting the top of the EB order throughout the game and the OF defense remained elite with the rook Zeli having a big day in LF. Gastro will look to make it 3 in a row Wednesday night vs a red hot Rosenstock crew.
Kessler 14, Pingaro 3
This one has been circled on both sides calendars for a while as two of the most intense managers in the league as well as friends TC and Pezz awaited on the other side for a Sunday morning clash on a horribly maintained Freehold field between Kessler & Pingaro.
If you feel like you've read what I'm about to say before in every single one of my recaps it's because you have. We were down early. Pingaro came out firing with two in the first and one in the third to take a 3-1 lead. Luckily, the GC bats didn't take as long as usual to wake up and put up a seven spot in the third inning, started (stop if you've heard this before) by the bottom of the order!. A Toran walk set up a Big Sexy double(!!!) to plate one before Andy would tie the game with a base knock. Walk to Steve, the first of three huge hits by the Black Panther, and RBI knock by Marty gave Kessler a 5-3 lead. Then, the All-Star game to the plate as Steve Johnny Walker Weis rocketed a 3 run HR to the Freehold Mall to extend the lead to 8-3!
From here, the Kessler defense was fantastic as the Changers would shut a potent Pingaro lineup out throughout the last six innings. The defense was highlighted by Papa K up the middle who (after an error in the third inning) made legit 6-7 unreal plays up the middle highlighted by one on Jr. The other highlights were a Marty basket catch that he made seem easy on Papa Manochio and a really nice play running in by the all too speedy Heitzner. Steve Blackburn locked down SS all day as well and Easton made a nice play in RF.
GC scored two in the fifth and four in the eighth to put up 14 for a double digit win. Offensive stars were Joey Pargament who got 3 hits off his Charkol coworker and can control the shit talk at work. Ben was 3-for-3 (although 2 of them didn't leave the infield) and is now 9 for his last 9 after a terrible start to the year. Papa K was on base in all three at bats as was Marty in his at bats. Next up for Team Kessler is its first trip to Mar El this season for a meeting with Polzer.
Shore Smile (Lombardi) 5 – LHRGC (LaRocca) 4
In a low scoring game 1 of a doubleheader, Shore Smile faced LHRGC at Swim. Shore Smile retired the 1st 3 batters in the top of the 1st and took a 1-run lead in the bottom of the inning on singles by Levine, Broome and a double by Di Marco. Shore Smile held the LHRGC bats to 0 runs through the 1st 3 innings while putting up 2 more runs on singles by D’Amato, Levine, Broome and a Di Marco sac fly. Holding a 3-0 lead, LHRGC started to chip away with 1 run in the 4th and 2 in the 5th to tie it up at 3-3. Shore Smile scored 1 more in the 6th on a walk to Di Marco, and singles by Schwag and P. Lombardi while holding LHRGC scoreless in the 6th, 7th and 8th for a 4-3 lead going into the 9th. Things got a little dicey for Shore Smile when LHRGC plated 1 run to tie the game at 4-4 and had bases loaded with 1 out. The Shore Smile defensive shifts paid off getting the next two batters to line out to 2B and pop up to the short fielder. Setting the stage for an exciting bottom of the 9th Shore Smile had their 3-4-5 hitters coming to bat. Di Marco lead off and with a 2-2 count, the next pitch was a blast heard around the world, with an absolute nuke over the Swim Club left field fence, for a walk off win. The whole team greeted him as he stepped on home plate for a little celebration. Shore Smile’s D has been on lock down with Hemp showing off his new glove making some nice plays at 3B and both IN’s and OF’s throwing out 3 runners. Jim pitched another great game with no walks. The offense was led by Turtz (3-3) and Di Marco (2-2, 2 runs 3 RBI’s, 1 BB) and multi-hit games by Levine, Broome and D’Amato. For LHRGC, Ronnie pitched a great game and Sheridan was on base all day. Shore Smile couldn’t celebrate too much as we had to drive over to UH to meet up with Drashinsky for our 2nd game.
Shore Smile (Lombardi) 6 – A&H Chiropractic (Drashinsky) 3
As Shore Smile drove to UH to face A&H, the skies opened up with a deluge of rain resulting in several big puddles on UHR, forcing the game to be moved to Mar El. Visitors in Game 2, Shore Smile started off fast by plating 3 runs in the top of the 1st on hits by Levine, back to back doubles by Di Marco and Schwag, and a single by Hemp. Shore Smile held the dangerous A&H bats to 1-run in the 1st for a 3-1 lead. Shore Smile put up 1 more in the 2nd on a single by Jim, a Turtz double and Ermel sac fly for a 4-1 lead. Both teams put up a goose egg in the 3rd and then Shore Smile scored 2 in the 4th on a solo BOMB HR by Di Marco, triple by Hemp and sac by P. Lombardi. A&H answered back with 2 runs to make it a 6-3 game at the end of 4. Both teams D stepped up, for A&S Austin made a nice running catch near the woods at Mar El that robbed Di Marco of another HR that would have easily been a HR on any fenced field. Also great pitching by both Jim and Papa D allowing no runs over the next 5 innings for a 6-3 final. Shore Smile showed off their arms again throwing out 3 runners and Jim gobbled up everything hit his way included a line drive missile up the middle. Shore Smile’s offense was led by Jim (3-3) and Di Marco (2-3, 2 runs, 2 RBI’s) and multi-hit games by Hempstead and P. Ferro. After a very slow start to the season, Shore Smile has turned it around winning 7 of their last 10 games.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 5TH
Kessler 8, Lombardi 7
After news in the morning that the field would be good to go, the Game Changers were waitin' all day for Wednesday night to keep the winning streak rolling (and had to wait even longer because there was a girls softball team on the field when we got there). This one brought back division play against a very good and definitely hungry Lombardi team that was on a three game winning streak and looking to get revenge for a defeat at the hands of Team Kessler on the same field just a few weeks prior.
Like the last four games, GC spotted the other team some runs early as Lombardi surpassed their hit and run total from the first meeting alone in the first inning, scoring three runs on a flurry of hits. The Changers tied it up in the second as Jacobs and Heitz set the table before a huge 2 run single by Gary (7 RBIs in the last two games) and a Big Tommy Sexy bomb to beat the right fielder plated three.
The highlight of the game came in the top of the third inning. I highly suggest you go to the facebook stream to watch what is honestly the best defensive play I've ever seen in my 20 years watching games in this league... Oh wait, IT WASN'T ON FILM because Byko and DC can't figure out who's filming games!!! Cmon fellas!!!! Please boo them from wherever you are reading this. Anyway, I guess I'll describe the play because you can't watch it. Jeremy Levine BOMBED a ball to the CF gap. The best outfielder in the league tracked it beautifully and made a full out diving extension to rob Jeremy of an extra base hit. Only guy in the league that makes that play. Turned out to save a run because two batters later, AD hit a 2 run inside the park HR to give Lombardi a 5-3 lead.
GC took the lead in the bottom of the fourth scoring five, once again from the middle/bottom of the order. Weis single, Jacobs single, Heitzner smart out to move them over. Leading to a BEASTon game tying two run single. The captain who had his best night at the plate in a disappointing season, beat the old AD shift with a double up the middle before AGAIN who else but El Gary drove in both Brett and Ben. Papa K would drive in a fifth for the last run GC would score in the game.
Lombardi chipped away with one run in the seventh and one in the eighth and looked to be in great position to tie it in the ninth with first and second, no outs. That's where Gary steps in to kill the Lombardi rally. A great 5-5-3 double play (for the second game in a row) to negate the Lombardi threat and give Kessler their 8th win in a row, this time an 8-7 win to move to 6-0 in the toughest division in the league.
Ben was 3-for-3 to lead the offense while six guys had two hits and Gary Klein drove in half our runs with 4 steaks. All eight runs were driven in by the bottom six guys in the order in this one in what was a huge team win that everyone contributed to. Shoutout to Heitz for locking down LF all night in place of the injured Jacobs. Next up, Game Changers first trip to Freehold this season to face the Pingaro team with Pezz on the mound in a game everyone will be fired up about on Sunday.
Your Honor - 12
Vaquero - 17
The last time you heard these two names it most likely was in reference to me getting trade-raped so that I could stare longingly into the outfield at the flowing dreads of Michael Podolla for another summer. Fuck it, I stand by that trade and now I have 2 wins that say I'm right. Back to the action... Rumors swirled around town that Ace only had 9 guys which was in fact true. Used to adversity, 9 men went to the field looking to do a lot with a little. As the away team, we put up 3 in the 1st inning while Frank answered back with 1. Ace continued to put up runs in the first four innings to give us an 11-5 lead highlighted by a 3R HR by Kurt Schmidt (more on him later). As the game rolled into the second half, the Ace bats went limp (hey, this happens to a lot of guys...not me, but I've heard it happens to other guys...) which allowed the 2-time reigning champs and BBQ host extraordinaire to catch up and take the lead away. For. Fucks. Sake. To finally get off the shnide only to blow it was a devastating prospect. However, the men of Ace went to work and put more runs across with the help of Saler, Loconte, Ushkowitz, Podolla, and the unstoppable Kurt Fucking Schmidt. In a move of desperation to create a force play, Ronnie Carlin intentionally walked....wait for it.... Michael Podolla. It must've felt like how it was in Boston when they faced Babe Ruth after the trade. In the end, a 17-12 victory.
Stars of the Game:
Kurt Schmidt: 5/5, HR, 7 RBI
Frank Loconte: 4/5, 3 RBI
Ush: 4/5, 2 RBI
3 Hit games: Kleschinsky Jr, Saler
2 Hits: Podolla, Capt.
Huge Kudos to the 3 man outfield of Saler/MKJ/Podolla
Team LaRocca hit well up and down the lineup with nice pokes by Frey and Sheridan who hits the shit out of the ball.
SUNDAY, JULY 2ND
Stock 16 Cowboy 9
Team Princeton was looking to keep it rolling vs a hungry team Cowboy as we head towards the dog days of summer. Team Stock got on the board 1st, after Valentin and Lugos set the table Ronnie Pacheco continued his monster rookie campaign with a 2 run triple. Ronnie "111" was pumped up, apparently he listens to the podcast and disagreed with the prediction from the Pod boys and a certain unnamed 5 tool player. Mark Yutko would tack on another run with an rbi single to close out the inning. Fast forward to the top of the 3rd with Team Stock leading 4-2. Edwin Valentin once again sparked a rally from the leadoff spot and rookie Yutko delivered a 2 out single. Next up was Steve Catania who once again played a solid SS, Steve launched a run scoring triple scoring Mark. Team Stock would have yet another triple in the next frame this time a 2 run 3B by rookie Zach Campbell who can absolutely fly around the bases. Fellow rookie Nick Dzobia would plate Zach. Nick improves every week and had a monster day going 4-4 with 3 RBI. Although team Stock never trailed team Cowboy consistently fought back throughout the game. Going into the top of the 9th it was 12-9, Captain Stock asked for insurance and his team delivered with 4 runs to put the game out of reach. With 2 outs Nick delivered a clutch 2 run single. Next up was Craig Tepper who already had 2 RBI on the day with RBI ground outs. I bring this up because good teams manufacture runs with productive outs and Craig was a huge part of that today. Anyway Tepper wanted to join the hit parade and delivered the final blow with a 2 out single to close out his day with a career high 4 RBI game. Team Stock secured the victory 16-9. Zach Campbell, Nick Dzobia, and Craig Tepper combined for a whopping 9 RBI. Very satisfying as a manager to see the bottom of the lineup come up so huge. Nick lead the way with 4 hits. Yutko was clutch all game going 3-4 with 3 RBI. 3 hit game for fellow rookie Zach Campbell to go along with 2 steaks. Captain Stock had 3 hits and scored 3 times. Multi hit games were had by Valentin, Lugos, M Stock, and Cruz who picked up another W on the mound. Kudos and welcome to the league Juan Gallardo who was spraying the ball all over the field and played solid at SS. Also there's another Kleschinsky in the league and this kid has big time talent, he has some serious pop and a hose for an arm as he recorded an outfield assist. Next up for team Stock is team Apple.
Gastro (Byko) 7 Tuscany (Polzer) 3
Facing a 10man Fluta-BFazz-less Tuscany team the Gastro boys, armed with all 13 on hand, took care of business at the Swim Club in the extra late game Sunday morning (someone get the Gonzalez boys the right address!). Gastro jumped out to 6-0 lead through 3 innings of play and then played tidy defense the rest of the way to hold on for the 7-3 win. Big D!ck Rick carried the offensive load with 3 hits-2RBIs while MVPHIL smashed two extra base hits, and Papa Yock refused to make out all day. Zeli smoked the ball in his welcome back game as well launching a triple. Joe Mo was the defensive player of the game making a silly sliding catch in RCF that not many right side outfielders are making in this league folks. Karp was sensational on the mound walking zero and keeping the Tuscany bats off balance most of the game. Captain Polzer hit nothing but lasers every time up in defeat and even "stole" a base using his speed! Gastro will look to make it 2 in a row next week vs. GoldBeckGiers somewhere in Manalapan. Ross vs. Doug should be PPV!!!!!! Stay tuned...
A&H Chiropractic (Drashinsky) 18 over Fradkin Law (Apple) 10
No better way to celebrate our nation’s birthday than playing softball on what turned out to be a gorgeous, but hot Sunday morning. The 10 strong Back Breakers were taking on a 12 strong Apple team, hungry for a win.
After shutting down the mighty Apple bats in the top of the first, A&H struck first blood by putting up a 3 spot thanks to a bloop single by the capt and sac flies from Holden and Vinny the masher. The tides turned and Apple was able to plate across 2 runs in the top of the second while holding the A&H bats scoreless. After holding Apple scoreless again in the 3rd, the Back Breakers continued to add onto their lead by plating across a whopping 7 runs! Santi-GREAT and the elusive JR led things off with booming singles, bases were loaded after a fielders choice. Holden cleaned house with a BOOMIN’ double. A monstrous ball crushed by Vinny the masher was hit so far that Steinberg caught it in Colts Neck, causing Holden to be able to double tag. Another 3 runs were plated, highlighted by a clutch RBI single by Dave Unterweiser (who is on fiyaaaa) to round out the 7 run bonanza. In the 4th, the Back breakers added another 4 to the scoreboard thanks to a lead off double by Santi-GOAT, who would be brought in by a bloop double from the capt. Vinny would reach with a single, and a key walk by DU would set the stage for Papa D to help himself with a RBI single to make it 14-2 after 4. But FrApple said “Not so fast” and would mash the ball to put up a 5 spot in the 5th. A&H would respond with 1 run thanks to a leadoff triple by Santigate to be brought in by a sac fly by JR. After a scoreless 6th, and giving up 1 run in the 7th, the Back Breakers adjusted the score to add another 3 runs thanks to Papa D leading off with a single, Dan reaching by FC, another JR sac and then a 2-run home run by the capt beating the left fielder. I would normally not mention an FC, but this was the first time that all 3 Drashinsky’s scored in one inning. Pretty neat. Anyway, back to the action, a scoreless 8, and after giving up 2 runs in the 9th, the back breakers were able to seal the deal with a W 18-10.
A great team win for the Back breakers to make it 6 in a row. 3 hit games for Santigate, the capt and Joe Lee. JR and Papa D had 2 hits a-piece. Playing a lockdown second base must run in the Silverberg family. Kudos to Holden who completely locked it down, even turning an unassisted double play! Vinny also locked down first base, while ole reliable Joe Lee held it down in right field. For Apple, we could not seem to figure out how to get Nick Villani out. He mashed the ball each time he was up and is so fast. Steinberg also had a great game at the dish and locked down RCF and LF. The Back Breakers look to keep the hit train rolling next week as they have a double dip at UHR against Wallman and division rival Lombardi.
Kessler 22, Goddard 7
If you are just looking at the score and saying to yourself "I don't need to read this recap, it was a blowout", keep reading because the score does not indicate how close this game was. The Changers looked to make it seven in a row in a game that matched two teams missing their shortstops on a blistering hot Sunday morning in Manalapan, Stevie Blackburn for GC and Amato for the Goddard man.
Just like last week on the same field, this one started out inauspiciously for GC as Goddard came out fired up as we knew they would, scoring three in the first inning. The Changers responded with two in the second inning (that woulda been three if the captain knew how to slide), on three straight hits from Bobby Jacobs (hitting bullets all Sunday morning), Heitz (on base all four times today) and BEASTon (a really good rookie that played a great RF in his first OF start). The skip brought one in on a fielder's choice before El Gary Klein got his first of FOUR RBIs on the day.
Sing us a song you're the Goddard Man got two more in the third to take a 5-2 lead. In the fourth, the GC bats came alive with four straight hits from the heart of the order (Marty, Weis, Jacobs & Heitzner), a huge bases loaded walk by Brett and another RBI groundout by the captain (his specialty) gave Kessler their first lead of the day, leading 6-5 after four. Goddard responded right away with two in the fifth to take a 7-6 lead back.
The turning point of the game came in the top of the 6th when down 7-6, the Changers saw themselves in a bases loaded no outs scenario on defense after the bottom of the Goddard order (Adelsberg, Mallow, Amato) all got on base. An infield fly and HUGE 5-5-3 double play by Gary Brooks Robinson Klein turned bases juiced no outs to ZERO runs. Kessler retok the lead in that same inning after a RBI double by Martin (one of three on the day) and a Jacobs sac fly regave Kessler an 8-7 lead.
Now I know you are wondering, how the hell did you get to 22? The answer: FOURTEEN straight base runners (13 hits, 1 walk) all with two outs in the bottom of the 8th!! Mighta been the longest string of hits I've ever seen in this league. It started with Marty, included a Heitz walk, but all 12 men in the lineup reached base in an incredible two out splurge to win the game in the 8th, ultimately on Rob's fourth hit of the day.
Everyone on the roster (except for the guy in Bethany Beach) had at least one hit and scored at least one run in this one. 9 of 12 guys had multiple hits led by four from a banged up Jacobs and Martin (4-for-5, 3 2Bs, 4 runs, 3 RBIs) after driving back overnight from the Delaware shore (shoutout to Lynne for driving back as well!, unlike her other son). Joey filled in really nicely at SS (he is undoubtedly one of the best 18 shortstops in the league), while Lenny and Papa K fielded everything that came their way. For Goddard, Aldersburg was sensational at 3B while the captain filled in very nicely himself at SS. Next up for Kessler, our last (sad face) Wednesday night game of the year in a divisional matchup versus a very hot Lombardi squad. Happy Fourth of July!! See everyone on the fence on Wednesday.
Shore Smile (Lombardi) 16 – CK Baseball (Pingaro) 11
In a game between good buddies and 2-time teammate champs, Lombardi squared off against Pingaro. Things didn’t start well for Shore Smile going down 1-2-3 in the top of the 1st, while CK Baseball plated 3 runs in the bottom of the 1st for a 3-0 lead. Shore Smile locked it down over the next 7 innings giving up 0 runs on great pitching by Jim (no walks, except for 1 intentional walk and 3 strike outs) and great D, throwing out several runners including one at home and getting out of some big jams (bases loaded 1 out and no runs scored). Shore Smile plated 4 runs in the 4th highlighted by a Broome 2-run triple, to take a 4-3 lead. Shore Smile scored 5 more in the 7th with a leadoff walk followed by 5 straight hits and a sac fly. Shore Smile was confident going into the bottom of the 9th holding a 9-3 lead, but this is Marlboro softball. Coach Pingaro fired up his team, stringing together a bunch of hits, scoring 6 runs tying the game 9-9 in the bottom of the 9th. With the winning run at 2B and 2 outs, Shore Smile was able to get the 3rd out, giving the fans in attendance (all 3 of them) some free softball. Jim pulled his team together for some motivation and it paid off with Shore Smile scoring 7 runs (4 of them on 2 outs). Shore Smile sent 12 players to bat, highlighted by triples by Billy Ferro and Pat (I can’t let Billy out do me) Ferro. CK fought back in the bottom of the 10th plating 2 runs, with runners on and 2 outs, Jim got the next batter to pop up down the 1B line where Broome sprinted about 50 ft making the catch to end the game for a 16-11 final. Shore Smile once again had a great team win with everyone contributing, 12/13 players scoring and multi-hit games by Broome, P.Lombardi, J.Lombardi, and Ermel. For CK, Pezz pitched a very good game with 1 strikeout and a couple of hits on the day.
LHRGC (LaRocca) 13 vs ENGAGE PEO (Pollock) 6
On a humid Sunday at Union Hill Left Team LaRocca took on the Mattless Pollacks and their potent Union Hill offense of Aponte, Chase and Taco. It started out perfect for PEO when, with a man on, RC served Aponte a COOKIE that he blasted through the UHL trees for a 2 run ding dong. Bottom of the frame was also going to plan when back pitcher (11th round eh hem) OG Shwag got the first 2 batters out on three pitches. From there, though, the Reapers showed some resilience plating four with two outs on hits from Mark C (a future star in this league), Gary, RC, Beja (triple) ..... wait for it... SHERIDAN, and Ciaglia. Three more in the 4th on hits from ..... wait for it .... SHERIDAN (double), LaRocca, Needles, and a 2 rib hit from Fox is all that the Reapers would need. RC was brilliant giving up one in the 7th and a 3 rum BOMB to Chase in the 9th. Excellent defense from the OF today to outlast a tough team. For PEO, Mitch still makes plays and if Taco isn't a 5 next year, neither is Mark Carlin. Next up is Cowboy this Wednesday.
SUNDAY, JUNE 25TH
PRINCETON (ER) 21 – GODDARD (MG) 3
Team Princeton looked to follow up on their victory on Wednesday as they faced off against the Goddard boys on a humid day at Union Hill Right. The Princeton train got rollin early as they put up a 5 spot in the Top of the 1st and never looked back as they won going away 21-3. Massive games from two of the best hitters in the league, Fred Lugos and ROY contender Ronnie "111" Pacheco. They didn't make an out all day and combined for 6 runs and 6 rbis. You better not slow down Fred cause Ronnie is on your tail looking for that batting title. I can't say enough about these 2 guys, animals on the field and both are leaders of this Stock team. Edwin Valentin has excelled in the leadoff spot the last 2 games setting the table all day going 3-5 with 4 runs. Val is easily 1 of the most versatile defenders in the league and his bat is starting to heat up hitting at the top of the lineup. Another great dude who constantly fires his teammates up. Can we talk about Cruuuuuuuuuuz? Mike is having a tremendous season with both the stick and on the mound, Sunday was no different as he shoved a gem and also went 2-4 with 2 steaks. More tire pumps, this time for Bryan Thompson who is having a nice season, he's been 1 of the most consistent bats in the lineup and has locked down the corner OF. On Sunday Thompson went 2-4 with 3 RBI. Brother Rosenstock does what he does and had a multiple hit game while chipping in with an RBI. Slumping Captain perhaps is breaking out of it with a 3-4 game. Now I'll talk about 2 rookies that seem to get better with each passing game. Nick Dzobia had his best game of the season as he went 3-4 with a bases clearing 2 out 3 run double. Zach Campbell who made a friendly wager with a teammate that he would get 3 hits did just that while also getting himself an RBI steak. The stakes of the friendly wager will remain in house but I can say that the bet was paid off for a select few that witnessed it. Just an all around great team win for the Princeton Squad who was playing without talented rookie Mark Yutko. Shoutout to Catania for playing a solid SS. Steve has been absolutely lights all year manning LCF after some questioned if he could play there and today showed he can also play the other premium position on the diamond. Welcome to the league Goddard rookies Ryan and Mike Amato, Eddie Fausak, and Adelsberg. Up next for Team Stock is Cowboy and CO at UHL
Red Oak 7 EB Construction 6 F
The roof was open this Sunday at Union Hill left for this late morning first pitch as the Red Hot Red Oak Mortgage’s took on a fierce and intelligent Construction program. After a scoreless top half of the first Bryan Frank got the scoring going early for Red Oak by launching an I.C.B.M. over the left field fence to make it 1-0 after one. It seemed to be the Bryan Frank WAR game this week as he added to that solo blast with a three run upper deck shot breaking a 1-1 tie in the bottom half of the fourth as Red Oak reclaimed their lead at 4-1. For the first time this season Red Oak was without the professor David Clampfer due to a teachers convention in San Francisco, but fear not, some key scoop and scramble plays at the hot corner by Billy Losch in multiple tight situations, kept the construction franchises offense in the permit obtainment phase of their offensive plans. After a Justin Calamari insurance run in the bottom of the sixth, Red Oak was feeling focused and confident with only nine outs to go to extend their win streak….. but what’s better than being nine outs away up 3 runs being one out away as Red Oak was feeling EXTREMELY confident in that situation in the top half of the ninth. However, a rally ensued and after tacking on a single run from such a rally, an Eric Becker piss rocket three run shot down the left field line sent the Union Hill Dome into an absolute frenzy. In a win streak that has already seen one walk off and 4 come from behind victories Red Oak had the competition right where they wanted them as the skies began to open. With what was last licks to extend history for Red Oak, this was undoubtedly going to be the final inning before a pause on this contest, that's how fierce the precipitation rate was. As Red Oak was down to their final out after a Bryan Frank intentional walk, his second of the day, the franchise savior Richie Bombenblit stepped up the to the plate and on a 1-2 count blasted a sweeper over the deputy commissioners head and off the wall extending the Mortgage Run to luckily number seven.
MGA (MARRONE) 8 – ACE (MF) 4
Team Marrone, back on track with a very clean 8/4 victory over a very underrated cowboy squad. Excellent defense led by the slick fielding Santiago brothers, gobbling up everything in sight . Rookie home run power surge was the highlight of the day as Ian Mendez and Jeff Arnold both went yard… sitting at 5/6 the gymnast lost four games by two or less runs in the last inning . Next up a very shorthanded Marrone squad facing Dave Meyers without Evan, Ian, and Smalkin all on vacation.
Shore Smile (Lombardi) 12 – Fradkin Law (Applebaum) 9
Maybe it was the oppressive humidity on a hot Sunday morning, but Shore Smile started the game in an uncharacteristic style giving up 5 runs in the top of the first on several defensive miscues and throwing errors. Shore Smile didn’t give up and fought back putting up a 4 spot in the bottom of the 1st highlighted by a Di Marco nuke (the 1st of two on the day). Fradkin Law scored 1 in the 2nd and 1 in the 3rd while Shore Smile plated 1 in the 2nd for a 7-5 lead by Fradkin Law going into the 4th. Shore Smile locked it down allowing no runs for Fradkin Law through the next 5 innings with solid defense (throwing out 3 runners) and good pitching (another no walk game for Jim). Shore Smile scored 3 runs in the 5th by RBI singles from P.Lombardi, J.Lombardi and P.Ferro (a scorcher down 3rd, scoring pinch runner D’Amato), taking a 8-7 lead. Shore Smile added 2 more runs in the 6th on a Schwag 2-run HR and 2 runs in the 8th on Di Marco’s 2-run HR. Holding a 12-7 lead going into the 9th, Fradkin Law fought back but only scored 2 runs for a 12-9 final score. It was a great team win with everyone contributing. The first 5 batters for Shore Smile lead the way going 13/21, 2BB, 7 RBI’s. Schwag had a monster game 4/5 with some great catches in the OF and Levine 3/4. Hempstead, Di Marco, P. Lombardi and P.Ferro all had multi-hit games. For Fradkin Law, Klecko and Fradkin were on base all game.
CKs 8 - Gastro 7
Captain Pings demands some ink after Pezz Dazzles in debut…
Just shy of the halfway point of the season, Team Pingaro has been one of Marlboro Softballs enigmas. 4 straight wins to start the campaign were followed by 5 consecutive losses, a suspension, and a blown gasket by their captain in prime time. Looking to right the ship on Sunday, the boys took the field against a hungry Gastro Squad. A 4 run second highlighted by Dan Juniors’ two run single got CK’s out of the gate with a lead that they would never relinquish. Gastro would chip away with single runs in the 4th, 6th and 7th but Team Pings would get a pair in both the 7th and 8th and ultimately hold on for a hard fought 8-7 victory. Making his first career Marlboro Softball start, Pezz mixed his pitches beautifully striking out a pair and limiting his walks to go the distance for the win. The infield defense flashed leather all morning highlighted by Mat Manochio and TC turning multiple double plays to short circuit Byko threats. Second year stud Mcdermott also made an excellent grab in LF of a low sinking liner from the commish to rob the fella of a run scoring hit that would have tied the game. Offensively, Turano, Junior and the Captain all had multiple hits to help lead the way as CKs was able to snap their 5 game skid. For the colon-rectal docs, Jomo swung the bat very well in defeat and Karp turned back the clock pitching very well while snaring a pair of line drives ticketed for hits up the middle. Next up, a holiday double dip against Lombardi and Apple.
Engage Pro (Pollock) 14 - Tec-Tel (Wallman) 6
After losing a heartbreaker Wednesday night, Team Pollock was looking to right the ship against a hobbling Team Wallman which featured a 10 man lineup, missing its captain, Frometa, and Fishman. Toeing the rubber for a vacationing Matt Pollock was Rob Rozencwaig, ready to deliver after many times practicing BP. In the top of the first, The DiNapoli-Sandler-Aponte juggernaut did its thing and produced a quick two runs. Rob’s first start in over a decade got off to a rocky start when Wallman answered back in the bottom of the first for an early 4-2 lead. At first it looked like this could be a long day if we were going to be forced to pitch to Intoci, the Deluise brothers, JZ, and Dunleavy every other inning. However, Rob did a great job of settling down, throwing strikes consistently, and playing sparkling defense up the middle as Wallman only scored two more runs the rest of the game. The Pollock bats woke up in the fourth inning with a 4 spot highlighted by a Taco triple that split the gap in center field. Wallman would cut the lead to 6-5 in the bottom of the fourth, but Pollock would pull away by scoring 7 runs over the next three innings. Many offensive stars in this one for Team Pollock including Nick Dinapoli who reached base every at bat and scored four runs, Chase Sandler with three hits, and Shohei Rozencwaig adding three hits to help his own cause. For Team Wallman, Joe Intoci was scorching hot, getting a hit in almost every at bat. We wish the ailing members of Team Wallman a speedy recovery. Up next for Team Pollock is Team LaRocca which will feature the Nutley roommate reunion pitching matchup of Rob vs.Ron while the third former roommate/future Marlboro Softball league pitching ace Matt Pollock is still vacationing in California. I’d like to imagine the three of them having late night conversations on the best way to throw a ball underhand. Fun fact: Since the start of the 2018 season, Team Pollock is 10-0 when I have to take over captain duties for my missing older brother.
GAMECHANGER (Kessler) 11, GENESIS (Meyer) 5
For the second time in three games, the Game Changers would find themselves in a game between the teams with the two best records in the league. This time, there was much less of a crowd then the game vs. LaRocca as Kessler took on a Meyer squad who came into the game at 6-2 but were missing their 1 (Huge congrats to Nick Martino and his wife Courtney on the birth of their son!!!!)
Credit to this Meyer squad and their captain who came out firing, scoring three runs all with less than two outs in the first to take an early 3-0 lead. Unlike prior games where it's taken GC some time to get going, the men in blue responded right away in this one as Steve led off with a walk, Joey doubled to bring him in, Martin singled to bring Joey in, a big RBI FC by Heitz (great play by Gary Cohen) and another run scored on a misthrow gave Kessler a 4-3 lead in a high scoring first inning.
A Whalen sac fly (he's a good player folks) tied the game at four. In the bottom half of the same inning, a Steve bullet single and error that brought him to third and Joey sac fly gave GC back the lead. A Gary Klein RBI knock in the fourth made it 6-4 GC. Meyer would get one more to make it a one run game yet again in the sixth but like we did all day, GC responded with two in the bottom all with two outs. Weis walked and Rob set the table with a beautiful double down the LF line before the Fielders Choice boys (Heitzner and Ben) would bring both in to make it 8-5.
The next inning, a Papa K walk set the table for a Steve double and a Joey "Black Panther" Pargament two run single to extend the lead to 10-5. A sac fly by the captain in the 8th would add an 11th run as Kessler would hold the Meyer bats silent after the 6th inning, and really after the first, for an 11-5 win.
Plaudits in this one go out to the top of the order as the three Blackburns (yes, Joey is basically a Blackburn) went 6-for-8 with five runs and five RBIs. The Wakanda native had four of those ribeyes himself coming up clutch every time he was up. Steve was on base all four times (2-for-2, 2 walks) as well. Gary, who has really been on fire for about a month now, led the team with three hits. For Meyer, Pete was on base all day and Whalen did a nice job filling in for Martino at SS. This is a really good team
and one I hope to see again in October. Next week for GC brings a meeting with the Goddard Man at the scene of today's crime, Manalapan.
A&H Chiropractic (Drashinsky) 21 over Tuscany Rose (Polzer) 7
The double dip for the Back Breakers on last Sunday in June started at Union Hill Left against the mighty Polzer squad. With their stud Fluta out with an injury and missing two other key players in Joshi and Baffuto, they would only have 10, but a great 10, which meant the top bats would be getting up every time. Not taking this lightly, A&H knew they had to pile on the runs to keep the big Tuscany bats in check.
The Back Breakers would come out swinging in the top of the first. Santi-GREAT would get things going with a triple only to be brought in by a RBI single by JR. Then Doc would CLEAN-UP with a missile HR over the LF fence to make it 3-0 Back Breakers. After shutting down Polzer in the bottom half, A&H would add another 6 runs to their lead in the second thanks to a Vinny double, Joe Lee Walk, and a single by Dave U. Papa D would knock one of those runs in with a single, Dan would knock two runs in with a single, Santigate would knock ANOTHER run, in with a single and then JR would clean house with a 2 RBI, you guessed it, single. Not to mention, this was all done with 2 outs! Polzer would score one in the bottom half, but the Back breakers would get it right back with a leadoff triple by the capt only to be brought in by a Holden sac fly. Fast forward to the 6th, A&H would put up 3 more thanks to another Doc SOLO BOMB, RBI double for Holden and RBI single for Uncle Alan Raucher. A&H would give up another 1 run to Polzer, only to be answered right back with a single from Joe Lee and Dave Unterweiser, for which one would score thanks to a RBI single by Dan. 1 more run in the 8th thanks to a RBI single by Holden and giving up one run to Tuscany would make it 15-4 heading into the 9th. Knowing anything can happen in Marlboro Softball, A&H added another 6 runs thanks to lead off singles from Marc and Vinny, only to be brought in by RBI singles from Dave Squared! Santi-GREAT would knock one in with a single and JR would clean house with a 2-run NUUUUUUKE to LCF to finish the 6-spot. Polzer did not go down quietly but would not be enough as A&H took the W 21-7.
This was all Back Breakers all day. This offensive explosion was lead by Steve Santi-GOAT with 4 hits, 3 hits for Doc (who yes, had not one, but TWO moonshots), JR (who also hit a BOMB), capt, Marc Persily and Dave Unterweiser. Holding this mighty squad to 7 runs meant the defense was also spectacular and Papa D pitched a great game. For Polzer, B Fazz was a tough out all game. We all hopped in the car and made our way to Manalapan for game 2 of the DH against the Byko squad.
A&H Chiropractic (Drashinsky) 14 over Gastro of Ocean (Byko) 0
Whether you took Pease or Route 9, all roads led to Manalapan Field 2 for the second game of the double header against division rival, Byko. Both teams hungry for wins knowing it would help further secure their rankings in the tough Central Division.
After a scoreless first, the Back Breakers would strike first with a 3 spot in the second thanks to a laser 2 RBI double by Dave Unterweiser to LF (this ball was like a torpedo, going a million MPH and maybe a foot off the ground). In the 3rd, Santi-GREAT would start things off with a single, only to be brought in by a Doc RBI single, which was then followed up with a 2-run inside the park HR for the capt. In the 4th, Vinny the Masher would knock in 2 with a double to make it 8-0 Back Breakers. Then in the 5th, A&H would tack on another 3 runs thanks to singles from Dan and JR who would be brought in by Doc and the capt. Another 1 in the 6th and another 2 in the 7th thanks to a 2 RBI triple by Doc. The triple by Doc brought the lightning, both figuratively and literally! (that’s what happens when a really large man slides) The sirens at the Rec Center went off and the game was called right there, but we played enough innings to make it an official game and W, 14-0.
Doc and Vinny both lead the way with 3 hits a-piece, crushing the ball all over the field. A&H manufactured runs where they could and continued to chip away and adding on every inning. Of course, the defense was absolutely stellar in this game. Santigate and Dan completely locked down the left side of the infield while the OF tracked down balls and kept the mighty Byko bats in check. And yet again, Papa D was lights out on the mound making great pitch after pitch. And doing it for two games straight in the sweltering humidity is not easy. For Byko, Rick and Yockel continue to absolutely mash while Byko himself had some hard hit balls. This is a good team to watch out for as the season progresses. 2-0 on the day for the Back Breakers for a DH sweep, what a day! The Back Breakers look to keep the hit train chugging next weekend as they take on Apple at Mar El.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 21ST
PRINCETON (ER) 14 – TECTEL (TW) 13
On the first night of Summer that felt like a Fall night the game dubbed the no Re-tread game was not to be. Current batting leader Fred was out for the game against his former Captain Wallman but wanted me to pass the message "Nice try Todd". Both teams would exchange 0's the 1st 2 innings on a very windy night. Team Wallman broke the ice taking a 1-0 lead in the 3rd. The slumping Captain would give his squad the lead in the bottom of the 4th with a 2 run single. Rookie Zach Campbell added another run with an RBI triple that would've been a HR but the rook missed the giant plate and was tagged out. After taking the lead Team Stock was looking for a shutdown inning. Instead of that team Wallman exploded for 6 runs to take the lead right back. Fast forward to the bottom of the 6th where Princeton would tie the game by plating 4 runs. Edwin Valentin set the tone with a leadoff triple. Ronnie would bring him home with an RBI knock. Mike Rosenstock added an RBI single to close out the scoring in the 6th inning. Team Wallman would once again grab the lead scoring 2 in the top of the 8th inning to take a 9-7 lead. Princeton would battle right back in the bottom half the frame. Mark Yutko was on base all night and started the 8th inning rally with a leadoff single. Ronnie and Catania would then deliver back to back bomb doubles that would have been out of the park if not for the stiff wind blowing in all night. Pitcher Mike Cruz would help his cause with an rbi single and rookie Zach Campbell would add to his big day with a 2 run single. Princeton scored 6 runs to take a 13-9 lead as we headed to the 9th. The back and forth game continued as a feisty Wallman club refused to go quietly in the 9th. They scored 4 to tie the game at 13. Team Stock had the hammer and they would use it. After knocks from Yutko and Ronnie Team Wallman walked Catania to face Cruz with 1 out. Mike Cruz would deliver the game winning hit and also was the winner on the mound giving the Princeton squad a much needed victory over a very good Wallman club 14-13. 3 hit games were had by Mark Yutko, Ronnie Pacheco, and Mike Cruz. Multi hit games for Valentin, Catania, Mstock, Thompson, and Zach Campbell who had a nice day with 3rbi and locking down RF. Definitely gotta shout out my boy Cruz who filled in for Fred on the bump and had huge day at the plate with 3 runs and 3rbis including the game winner. Gutsy win for the boys. Kudos to Kyle, Meatballs, and Frometta who hit the shit out of the ball all night. Hoping for a speedy recovery for Captain Wallman. Princeton takes on the Goddard boys next at Union Hill.
A&H Chiropractic (Drashinsky) 15 over Engage PEO (Pollock) 14
The fans got their money’s worth in this Wednesday Night showdown on Union Hill Right between the Back Breakers of A&H Chiropractic against the Pollock Engage PEO squad. The swirlin’ Marlboro winds were going to make this an interesting game and boy did it deliver!
The Back Breakers would lead of with 1 in the first thanks to a RBI single by the capt. Pollock would strike one in the bottom of the second to tie the game 1-1 after 2. Then in the 3rd, Vinny would lead off with a key walk, and with 2 outs, and Papa D would reach on an error to score that run from second. Dan would follow up with a single only to be brought in by Santi-GOAT, who would deliver a 2 RBI double. Pollock would tack one more run in the bottom of the 4th, but A&H would answer right back in the 5th with a run of our own thanks to key singles from Vinny and Dave Unterweiser (this guy is on fire!). In the 5th, the top would come up huge thanks to a leadoff single from Dan, Santigate single bringing him first to third, JR double to knock in Dan, and then a 2 RBI single from Doc to make it 4. However, Pollock would respond right back with 4 of their own to make it 9-6 Back Breakers after 6. A&H then put up 3 in the 7th thanks to Marc leading off with a single, Dave U reaching on error, Papa D single who would eventually be brought in with RBI singles from Dan and Steve. After holding Pollock scoreless in the home half, the Back Breakers added some much-needed insurance in the 8th. Doc and Holden would reach on singles, and Pollock would decide to intentionally walk Austin to load the bases with Silverbergs for Marc Persily, who would then deliver a bases clearing 3-run triple beating the left fielder. Absolutely incredible!!! Those runs would be critical as Pollock would answer with 4 in the bottom half to make it 15-10 going into the 9th. Let’s fast forward to the bottom of the 9th. The Pollock bottom would eventually bring up the top and with some clutch hits, they narrowed the lead to 1 with 2 outs with 1st and 3rd. Matt Pollock was up who was absolutely crushing the ball all night. A meeting of the minds at the pitchers mound concluded to intentionally walk Matt to get to Taco, thus loading the bases (but yes, also putting the winning run in scoring position). No looking back now. Taco would deliver a well hit ball to LCF only to be tracked down by JR who got a great read on the ball and would seal the deal for a 15-14 victory! Adrenaline was high and the post-game cooler could not have looked better.
Great game all around for the Back Breakers. Santi-GREAT lead the way going 4-4 with 2 2B and 3RBI. Dan had 3 hits and multiple hit games for Doc, Holden, Marc and Unterweiser. The hits were timely and we got them in the right spots, and that was a big difference maker. For Pollock, Mitch went 5-5 and Kenny Feingold played a solid RF making some great plays. The Back Breakers look to make it 5 in a row this weekend as they have a double dip with Polzer at UHL and then travels across county lines to Manalapan to face division rival Byko.
SUNDAY, JUNE 18TH
EB Construction (Goldfarb) 16 Engage PEO (Pollock) 7
On a glorious Father's Day, Team Goldfarb was looking to even its record at 4-4 took on the West division leading Team Pollock (sans Chase Sandler) at Manalapan Rec Field 5 (field is much too far from the parking lot). The visiting Team Pollock put up 2 quick runs in the top of the 1st but in similar fashion to last week Team Goldfarb came right back with 3 of its own (Birthday boy Alex singled in 2 and Connor S singled in the 3rd run with both hits coming with 2 outs). Scoring slowed down and Team Goldfarb led 4-3 heading to the bottom of the 5th. With 2 outs Joe O singled and then Reid G (can hit the ball further than his older brother) smashed one for a run scoring triple. The bottom of the 6th saw Tony R (already with 2 hits) lead off with an HR then with 2 outs and a runner on first Team Goldfarb scored 6 more. With 3 runs in already and runners on 2nd and 3rd an intentional walk was issued to Dan S bringing up the mighty Doug Cohen. I'm sure most of you probably know what happened next (no, not a K). DC not wasting any time took the first pitch and launched the ball over the drawn in OF (they must have thought Capt Guy was up) for a Grand Slam making the score 12-3 after 6 full innings. Team Pollock with score 2 in the 7th and 9th and Team Goldfarb would score 1 int he 7th (on a Joe J HR) and 3 in 8th to make the final 16-7. With a fine defense behind him Eric Becker pitched another great game (fielded his position excellent). Team Goldfarb spread the hits around with Tony R's getting 4 hits (played a great SS too), Brock Hor Jr, Connor Schmidt 3 hits each and 2 hits by the Eric B, Alex G, Zach S, Joe O and of course the late night lingering himself Doug Cohen (also had 5 RBI). An important little tidbit was at least 10 of Team Goldfarb's 16 runs were scored with 2 outs. Team Pollock was led offensively by Captain Matt and Larry Rubin who had 3 hits each. If you haven't seen DC's grand slam you can view it here https://www.facebook.com/groups/225976309951/permalink/10159758858444952/ Next up for Team Goldfarb is the hottest team in the league, the Bomenblit's and possibly a makeup with another hot team (Team Meyer).
RED OAK 9 LHRGC 5
SPS (Conti) 13 – TECTEL (Wallman) 6
NICE TRY GREG!!!!
A&H Chiropractic (Drashinsky) 21 over CK Baseball (Pingaro) 11
The early Swim match-up consisted of 2, 4-win teams looking to have something else to celebrate after the game other than Father’s Day. The Pingaro defense would get themselves out of 2 early jams while plating 1 one thru two before the Back Breaker bats came alive in the 3rd. It started with a Dave Unterweiser double, and then A&H made it rain with hits as they put up a huge 9-run spot. The Back Breakers gave two back to Pingaro in the bottom half to make 9-3 A&H at the end of 3. A&H would not look back on this lead and continued to tack on runs. After a scoreless 4th, A&H would break double digits to make it 10-3 thanks to a Holden sac fly. After holding Pingaro scoreless in the bottom half, and after both teams couldn’t score in the 6th, A&H would tag on another 4 runs, thanks to another rally started by Dave Unterweiser, a Papa D double, only to be brought in by Dan and Santi-GREAT. Doc comes up with a single, and 2 more runs are brought in thanks to an RBI JR single and RBI double by Holden. CK would respond right back with 4 of their own, but the Back Breakers said, “I see your four and raise you 5”, as they would plate 5 in the next (8th) inning and 2 in the 9th to make it 21-7 at going into the bottom of the 9th. Of course, as you would expect from any Pingaro team, they kept their foot on the gas as much as they could by putting up 4 in the 9th, but A&H secured 3 outs to seal a 21-11 victory.
This 32-hit attack consisted of 12/13 players having multi-hit games. 3 hit games for Dan, Doc, JR, Holden, Uncle Alan, Marc and Dave Unterweiser and the defense and pitching were great as always. For Pingaro, it is so much fun to watch Tom Carroll swing the bat (not so much when you’re the opposing team, but still). He mashed the ball all morning along with fellow lefty and stud, Papa Manochio. Also, get well soon to the GOAT himself, Willie, look forward to seeing you back on the field. The back breakers look to make it three in a row this Wednesday against a dangerous Pollock squad. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads in the league!
Shore Smile (Lombardi) 7 – Tuscanyrose (Polzer) 6
In a low scoring, back and forth game on UHR, the game was controlled by solid D and good pitching by both teams, with both pitchers giving up no walks (1 intentional for Tuscanyrose). Shore Smile started off by plating 2 runs in the top of the 1st with a little help from the blinding sun. Tuscany answered back with 2 in the bottom of the 1st tying it 2-2 and 1 in the 3rd to take a 3-2 lead. Shore Smile plated 2 in the 4th and 1 in the 5th to go ahead 5-3. Both teams were shut down in the 6th and 7th, then Tuscany put up 2 in the bottom of the 8th to tie it 5-5 going into the 9th. Shore Smile started the 9th with 3 consecutive hits by Levine, Broome and Di Marco, plating 1 run and a sac fly by the capt to take a 2 run lead going into the bottom of the 9th. Tuscany threatened scoring 1 run and with runners on 1st and 2nd with only one out Jim was able to get the next 2 batters to fly out holding on for a 7-6 victory (making Father’s Day just a little better). Shore Smile was led by Broome (3-4) and multi-hit games by Levine, Di Marco and Schwag.
Gastro (Byko) 11 - Fradkin Law (Apples) 6
Despite playing without MVPhil, Rob Sags, and Zeli the Gastro boys made it 3 wins in a row vs. a strong hitting Fradkin Law team at Union Hill Left. (No Billy boy, YUGEEEE advantage for them! lol).
Karp was able to strand runners in the first inning blanking the top of the Frapple lineup. The Gastro guys then went to work with 3 hits in a row by Byko-JoMo-Juergens followed up by big RBI knocks by Yockel and Rabinowitz. 4-0 Gastro leads after 1. Fradkin Law kept it close trailing 5-0 through 4 when they then put up 4 unanswered run to trail 5-4 bottom 5. The meat of the Byko order then went to work again with YUGE RBI hits by Abramson, Ross Cohen, and then Mikey Rabinowitz who just missed a NUKE off the LF fence for a double. Gastro put up a 5 spot in the inning and they then locked it down from there on out for the 11-6 final. Karp, despite battling a foot injury all morning Schilling style, got out of jams all game and pitched a gem! The defense was led by the efforts of Ross Cohen at 2nd base who gobbled up everything, similar to Beja when he sees free bagels. Joe Mo and Rabinowitz led the outfield defense making a number of nice running catches as well. The offensive attack for Gastro was propelled by big 3 hit days from JoeMo, Juergens, Yockel, and YUGE 2/3 multiple RBI games from Abramson, Ross and Rabinowitz. On Fradkin Law the gorilla Ed himself had two big hits (including a missile NUKE) and pitched very well throughout. Gastro welcomes Phil back with open arms as they look to stay hot next week in a double-dip vs. Pings and Drashinsky.
Kessler 13, Ferrarese 6
On Father’s Day at East Francis we had Team Kessler take on Team Cowboy. The game started a bit late as the reunion of 10 guys from last year's Ferrarese team played in this game. The game started with Ace jumping out to a 2 run lead on singles from Mark Z, Nacho, and a huge oppo RBI single by one of the quietest killers in the league Pat Thomas. Team Kessler would tie the game in bottom half with leadoff singles by S. Blackburn and Tripod Pargament, a sac fly from M. Blackburn and a RBI single from the one legged Weis. Mark Z would hit one into the trees to give ACE back their lead 4-2. In the bottom of the 4th a lead-off single by S. Blackburn and another huge RBI single by Weis cut the lead to 4-3. After Darren Saler NUKED one into CK’s parking lot to make it 5-3 ACE, In the 6th an enormous 5-5-3 DP by Gary Klein, and in between inning “WAKE UP” huddle called by Lenny Sarcona would spark the sleepwalking Game Changers.
In the bottom of the 6th Big Tommy Sexy Sexias had a bullet single, followed up by singles from Andy Kessler, and S. Blackburn. A two run 2B from Joey Pargament, RBI walk for WEIS and a run that scored on a fly ball double play, because Joey Pargament was hustling made it 7-5 Game Changers. (By the way Darren, insane throw, good to see Saler back playing the OF, guy is very very very good out there.) Ace would counter with 1 in the top of the 7th.
In the bottom half though the Game Changers pulled away, hits from Easton, Klein, Lenny, Toran, a Sac from Tommy, and a hit by Andy led to 3 more runs and a 10-6 lead. They would extend the lead to 13-6 in the 8th with more hitting from Joey Pargament, a double by Martin Blackburn, another hit for WEIS (guy doesn’t make out) and a bullet from Heitzner. This Cowboy team is not as bad as their record says, they play with fire, Nacho is a good pitcher, and they will have more wins than Goldfarb and Lombardi’s team from last year. Gallardo and Nacho had multi-hit days, For Game Changers multi hit days from S. Blackburn, Joey Pargament, Steve Weis, Rookie Easton, Andy Kessler. Congratulations to Ben Kessler on becoming 1 of the All Star Managers for this season, you deserve it Captain.
RED OAK 9 LHRGC 5
As Red Oak arrived for their 8th straight contest at Marlboro Elementary on Fathers Day , no matter what combination Captain Eric Bombenblit is working up all cylinders are being fired on for this
undercut mortgage bunch squad. This contest was tight throughout with Red Oak trailing by a score of 4-0 in the top of the fourth, The Mortgages were able to scratch 2 rag tag runs right back after a
botched Double play attempt to first. If anyone I this league is in need of molasses fear not, Zach Kane has you covered all that you need to do is follow him running after a pop fly, after a critical drop in
the top half of the fifth, the bases were jammed. Joey “Ohtani” Bombenblit hunkered down as well as our defense and escaped the key jam having only surrendered a single run. After a patented Marlboro
Softball pre hitting meeting to get our heads out of our asses Red Oak Brought the lumber in their final two plate appearances. Justin Colorado was key to this comeback by his ability to keep the line
moving in this contest going 3-4 with a run scored. Billy Say-Hey Losch took his last piece of hamstring and offered a key walk and a run scored in this comeback along with a single and gold glove defense
at first base. On this Fathers Day we claimed witness to the intergenerational transfer of power as Justin Bickoff put the stamp on this one with his best day at the dish this season logging two hits
including a double... The Face of Fathers Day David Clampfer kept his silver slugger status alive anchoring 2 more knocks to go along with 2 more runs, it wasn’t pretty folks but Red Oak prevailed their way to
their sixth straight victory and a tie a top the Marlboro West .
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 14TH
Kessler 13, LaRocca 11
It's not often you get a matchup between the top two teams in the league record wise that lives up to the billing. Add in that it was a beautiful Wednesday night with the fence packed, the drinks flowing and the live stream going and the latest installment of Kessler-LaRocca lived up to the billing and then some in a game that will be reaired on Marlboro Softball Classics for years to come.
Contrary to Frank telling anyone that wasn't deaf before the game that his team stood no chance without Goldrosen, Ciaglia and Neiderman, the Game Changer group knew they couldn't let that talk get to them and would be facing a very formidable 10 man LHRGCLMNOP lineup. And boy oh boy did the game not start well as LHRGC scored six in the first and one in the third to take a 7-0 lead. After not allowing seven runs in a game since May 21, allowing seven in the first three innings was an unusual place to be for GC but the bats woke up in the fourth to get the Changers right back in it. Marty and Weis, who led the offense all day, led off the inning with singles before Easton and Ben put the first two runs on the board and Lenny brought two more home to cut the LHRGC lead to 7-4.
Credit to LaRocca, they responded right away with two runs to go back up five at 9-4. In the fifth, Marty boomed a triple to the LCF fence to make it 9-6 and Weis (you'll hear his name all recap) brought in another to cut the deficit to two. In the seventh with the score the same, Steve and Joey set the table for a HUGE Martin inside the park 3 run homer to give Kessler their first lead of the game at 10-9, and just like that the 7-0 hole we found ourselves in was gone. Credit to Mr. Pugliese, who hit a huge two out double in the bottom half to re-tie the game. Frank would go ahead in the 8th to take an 11-10 lead heading into the final Kessler at bat.
Joey started the rally with an infield single before a controversial IBB to Martin brought up Stevie Weis who at this point was 4-for-4 on the day. As he did all day, Weis came through with a huge hit to tie the game at 11. Jacobs reached on an error to score another run before the skipper brought in a huge insurance run to give Kessler a two run cushion. Up 13-11 in the bottom of the ninth a beautiful diving unassisted double play by the better than average SS Steve Blackburn held off any Frank rally.
Offensive stars of the day go to Weis (5-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs), Martin (3-for-4 with four runs, five RBIs and a double away from the cycle), and Joey who had three hits and scored three runs. Steve continues to play great at SS and Joey locked down RCF all night. Another highlight of the game was Marty throwing a perfect ball and Easton putting on the perfect tag to get Broome at home to end an inning. For Frank's team, really everyone on it contributed offensively. Special shoutout to Cliff Fox who turned back the clock both at the plate and first base to have a really, really good game.
With eight meetings in the last three seasons including a memorable three game Semifinal series last fall, I consider Kessler-LaRocca a rivalry and one of the best ones in the league. Every single game we play is as intense as they come and really close with yesterday being one of the best ones yet. Sure there will be another meeting in October this year. Next up, for GameChanger, a Father's Day meeting with Ferrarese at East Francis with old Cowboy friends Blackburns and Toran ready to face their old captain.
SUNDAY, JUNE 11TH
GAME CHANGER (Kessler) 8, Pollock 2
Sunday Doubleheader for Game Changers against a streaky Pollock team who was looking to wake up after sleep walking last Sunday night vs Marrone. For the Game Changers Sunday started without their captain, luckily for the Game Changers we had ACE Kessler. After a scoreless 1st inning in the 2nd inning a leadoff single by Jacobs, a FC by rookie sensation Easton and a laced ball by Mike Heitzner into RF which would have been a single, but Kenny Feingold made a diving effort which resulted in a 2-base error and a run scoring, and then Gary Klein roped a double over Larry Rubin’s head to give the Game Changers a 2 run lead. In the Top of the 3rd Andy CY Kessler led off with a single, then a surprising single from Steve Blackburn and a 2 run single by Martin Blackburn doubled the lead for Game Changers. Innings 4-7 were very quick, Kessler scored 1 run off an error and an RBI Single by Jacobs, but the highlights of these innings were Andy Kessler making the Pollock lineup look like toddlers. Rumors are Andy whispered “Sit down, Next batter please, but we were able to confirm that it was Ben Kessler from the playground. Pollock at some point did get two unearned runs off the front runner in the CY because Steven and Steve up the middle forgot how to field ground balls. The Game Changers put the final nails in the coffin in the 8th when they scored 3 runs with 5 consecutive hits lead by Joey “TriPod” Pargament, a triple from Marty, and three straight singles by Weis, Jacobs, and Easton. The final score in this one was 8-2 good guys and the Game Changers without coach Ben this year move to 3-0. Multi Hit games from Rookie Brett Easton, Steve and Martin Blackburn, Rob Jacobs, and Gary Klein.
EB CONSTUCTION (GG) 9 – CK BASEBALL (PP) 6
A not so rare 6PM start at UHL pitted Team Goldfarb against Team Pingaro. Team Goldfarb looking for their 3rd victory of the season (only June) and Team Pingaro looking to avoid a 3rd straight loss (after a 4-0 start). Visiting Tean Pingaro scored a quick run in the top of the 1st but Team Goldfarb came back with 3 in the bottom of the 1st (the top of the order redeeming itself from its weak performance last week). With the bottom third of the Goldfarb order staying hot Team Goldfarb scored 4 more times in the 2nd to take a 7-1 lead. Going into the bottom of the 4th Team Pingaro had cut the lead to 7-3 but Team G came back with 2 of their own stretching its lead back to 6 at 9-3. Fortunately 9 runs would be enough on this night as Team Pingaro was only able to muster 3 more runs in its last 5 at bats leaving the final score 9-6. Team Goldfarb while only scoring in 3 of its 8 at bats made those innings count as they were all crooked numbers in the book while Team Pingaro was held to 1 run in 4 of its 5 scoring innings. Team PIngaro also debuted its new pitcher Tom Bongiovanni who was pretty good even though issuing 6 walks (only 1 after the 4th). Both defenses were pretty good as well. For the victors Eric Becker pitched another nice game (aided by a nice defense) with the offense being led by Tony Rogiers and Reid Goldfarb with 2 hits each. Team PIngaro was led by Ian McDermotts 3 hits with Tom Carrol and Capt Ping chipping in with 2 each. Thought the stat sheet was not lighting up this was a true team win with everyone contributing in their own way with a hit, a defensive play, not playing (Coach Guy) or even a belly flop dive into 2nd base (I won't mention Connor Schmidts name here). Shoutouts to Joe J, Tony R and D Harp playing hard while not being 100%. Next up a Father's Day clash with Team Pollock somewhere in Manalapan.
Red Oak Mortgage 13 Princeton 5
As the smoke settled in the atmosphere as well as some of our vehicles, Red Oak had early morning coffee with the scouting report of lack of porta-potty as the squad came to the field ready to take on a tough Princeton squad who have a great core themselves. The scoring was tight throughout with Princeton's advantage peeking at 5-1 as Red Oaks bats began to do damage in the bottom half of the fifth inning. Bryan Frank brought the lumber going 3-5 and consistently setting the table, Zach Kane sparked the comeback with 2 outs in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI knock adding to a final line of 3-4 adding 3 RBI and another 3 Runs. Joey “Flash” Demaio added three knocks including a double off the left field cone, as well as a clutch grab off the chest. Bobby Frey turned back the clock yesterday morning and tallied three hits with 2 total runs. Justin Colorraco added not only three hits and two runs but stellar leather on multiple occasions in left center in this contest. I sometimes look at our first base bag and wonder why there are asbestos pieces popping out of all sides, after today I know why, as Clamppfer reached base a staggering five times which over time as hot as he has been will wear out the sturdiest of bags. Joey “Ohtani” Bomenblit even with an ankle brace… or monitor? … would go on to arguably shove his best game as of yet increasing his season K/9 to a whopping 2. “ And you guys try to analyze it from a numbers standpoint there is no explanation for what’s occurring right now its just bigger than us…. There’s an element of randomness to it”
A&H Chiropractic (Drashinsky) 19 over Goddard Home Improvement (Goddard) 9
A gorgeous weekend filled with softball was capped off by a 10v10 battle at East Frances between the Back Breakers and the Home Improvers. The Goddard squad was coming off an impressive offensive showing last week by scoring 31 runs, so A&H knew they needed to put the foot on the gas to drive themselves to victory.
A&H went from zero to 100 real quick by tacking on a 4 spot thanks to a RBI single by the capt and a SIZZLIN’ welcome back Holden Silverberg 3-run HR! After giving up one in the first, the back breakers would respond with 2 in the second thanks to a 2-RBI bloop single by the capt. A&H would respond again in the third (after giving up one), with 3-Runs of their own thanks to timely hits and walks from the bottom of their order (Single Marc Persily, Walk Joe Lee, Single Papa D) and then a key walk by Lead-Off Man Dan would set the table for a SCORCHIN’ 2RBI single from Santi-GOAT. In the 4th, the Back Breakers would unleash a 5-spot, thanks to a TOWERIN’ solo HR from Doc (guess who’s back….back again) a MONSTER 2-Run HR from Holden, another GROUND BREAKIN’ solo blast from Joe Lee and a RBI single from Santigate. A&H would go down quietly in the 5th and 6th, and the Goddard squad did not give up as they would score 2 runs. However, it proved to be not enough as in the 7th, Holden Silverberg would tack on 2 more runs with a 2 RBI single. After a scoreless 8th for both teams, A&H added 3 extra insurance runs for safe keeping thanks to a RBI single by Doc and a towering sac from Vinny. Goddard would put up 2 in the 9th, but would not be nearly enough as the A&H defense locked it down to secure a 19-9 W.
This was a tremendous win for the A&H squad. Missing guys caused some of the fellas to play out of position, but boy did they step up and crush it. We’ll start with Joe Lee, who not only hit his 1st Marlboro Softball career HR, but he also absolutely locked down left field running down balls and getting the ball in quick to the cutoff man. Vinny Spitaletto locked down right field, navigating the treacherous East Frances hops with ease while also going 2-3 with 2 walks and 2 RBI. Doc, who was coming off an injury completely locked down second base, snagging a line drive off Fausak that only a 6’7” fella could catch as well as turning at least 4 double plays. Not to mention, he had 3 hits with a HR and 2 RBI. Marc Persily played a stellar first base and had 4 hits. Holden Silverberg moved to the center outfield and absolutely crushed it, taking down everything in sight. Not to mention, he had his best offensive day of the season thus far, with 4 hits, 2 HR and a whopping 7 RBI! And then of course, though it is pretty much a given at this point, Steve Santigate shows week by week why he is one of the elite players to ever play Marlboro Softball. He went a perfect 5-5 (with a walk) with 3 RBI and 4 runs and completely locked down SS. For the Goddard squad, rookie Fausak played a stellar LCF and hit the ball hard all day. Additionally, we struggled to get the veteran masher Richie Spear out, as he (as he would say) “hit the ball like a man” all over the field. A&H hopes to keep the bats lively next week for the Father’s Day match-up against Pingaro at Swim.
Kessler 8, Lombardi 1
Coming off a win where the Game Changers only allowed two runs (after a string of games allowing 6, 5 & 5), how would it be topped? Your answer - by a phenomenally pitched game by Papa K and some tremendous defense all over the field resulting in only one run.
The defensive highlights: Steve having a vertical leap of the most athletic WR at the combine to rob Schwag of a hit, Marty leaping the fence to rob an AD homer, Joey making an unreal play in RCF to rob Ermel of extra bases, Gary making it look easy time after time over at the hot corner and Rob making tough plays look simple in LF over and over.
Offensively - GC scored three in the second on a RBI knock by the skipper and a huge two run single by Gary. The following inning Papa K set the table with a perfectly placed single before Steve (4-for-4 in this one) brought him in with a triple and then Weis followed up with a two run triple of his own. A hard hit ball by Jacobs added another and it was 7-0 Kessler very early.
Not much more to report from this one. Shouts to Steve on a phenomenal game offensively and defensively, Stevie Weis was 3-for-4 with his league leading fifth triple of the year and Papa K couldn't have placed the ball any better with three hits of his own.
5-0 in the first go around of central division play for Game Changer. For Lombardi, Hemp flashed leather of his own at 3B. Next up, a Wednesday night 2022 Semifinal rematch with LaRocca under the bright lights of Union Hill Right.
Pollock d. Conti 13-6
Coming off an anemic effort in their earlier morning match-up at Union Hill, a suddenly slumping Engage squad traveling to Swim Club needed a win in a bad way, to salvage the rest of the day and to start feeling better about themselves again. It wouldn't be easy, playing a Sentinel squad fresh off a big win of their own. Both teams brought their bats to start the game, as a visiting Pollock squad scored 4 quick runs, while Team Conti countered right back with 3 in the bottom half of the first. Sentinel then held Engage scoreless a couple of innings and tied the game at 4. In the top half of the 4th, the bottom of the Pollock order stepped up with a 2-out rally to plate two and take a 6-4 lead. A resilient Conti squad bounced back with 2 runs in the 6th to tie the game. Engage PEO then played small ball in the 7th to push across one run for a narrow 7-6 lead. The story of this game though came in the 8th (well, this author at least says so, but I'm biased). Aponte and Mitch led off with two hits and after a fly out advanced the runners, Sentinel decided to walk the bases loaded and set up a force play (not necessarily the worst idea, considering this captain's injuries and inability to run). In a turn back the clock moment, this tall lefty connected on a bomb for a base clearing triple. After tacking on another run, the final heroics were left to Mitch, who tomahawked a bomb of his own for extra insurance runs as Engage went on to victory. As the summary notes, this game was neck and neck into the 8th inning. For Team Conti, Wags was smoking the ball and Juska (welcome back) looked like he never missed a day. For Engage, Mitch Pollock led the way with 4 hits, while Brayant Aponte, Matt Pollock, and Paul O'Connor had 3 apiece. Scott Sandler also had a big game, reaching base 3 times.
Shore Smile (Lombardi) 6 – Genesis (Meyer) 2
There are really only two things to talk about for Sunday’s game at UHL – defense and pitching. For the 4th time this season Shore Smile faced yet another team missing their bottom guys (10&13) but that did not impact this game. Jim’s pitching was stellar holding the very dangerous Genesis bats to only 2 runs. For Genesis, Martino had his usual great game at SS making some nice plays but the defensive play of the game (and most likely of the week) was Schwag making a leaping catch in LF slamming into the fence, smacking his head on the fence rail and still holding on to the ball for the out. For Shore Smile, Schwag, Di Marco, Levine and D’Amato all had multi-hit games
TUSCANYROSE (DP) 10 d. CK BASEBALL (PP) 9
Looking to bounce back from an early morning loss to Tec-Tel, TuscanyRose was well rested after a 10 hour gap between games But it would be CK’s who got off to a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first by a Tom Carroll moon shot. The lukewarm boys answer quickly with hits from the Wizard, Captain, a Sac Fly by Leonardi, walk to BFaz, and RBI hits from Gene and Lance to take a 3-1 lead. Tuscany would tack on 2 more in the third with a hit by Leonardi, a sweet drag bunt by BFaz, a hit by Gene, RBI single from Lance and a sac fly by DJ Lou. Cy Polz was able to keep Patty Pings and the crew off the scoreboard while adding runs each inning. 1 in the 4th on a Cole triple and an rbi groundout by Polzer. 1 in the 5th on singles by BFaz and Lance, then a heads up baserunning move by Faz, tagging to third on a short fly ball to LCF and then subsequently taking home on a bobble in the infield. 2 more in the 6th on singles by AFaz and BGon, an RBI double by Cole and a sac fly by Polzer. Finally in the 7th, the bottom of CK’s order said “this is underhand fellas, what are we doing” and reached base to set the table for the top of the order. A bunch of hits later and 6 runs, put CK’s within 2 at 9-7. Tuscany answered back with 1 in the bottom of the frame on a ground rule double by Leonardi and an RBI single by Calves. Both teams would go quietly in the 8th , setting up a thrilling 9th. Polzer pitches around the first batter to get to the top of the order. He would get the next guy to fly out. Turano laces an RBI double. Intentional walk to TC would put the tying run on first. Next guy flew out. With 2 outs, Guru would lace a line drive the opposite way for an RBI single, moving the tying run to second. 3 pitches later, Cole makes another incredible play, diving in the 5 hole to steal a hit and throws it to Lance at third for the bang bang clipboard flying force play to end the game. Offensively it was Lance (3-4), Gene (3-4) and Cole (3-4) who kept the offense moving along. Tuscany will look to keep the good times going with a UHR tilt vs Lombardi and Co.
Gastro (Byko) 10 Ace (Ferrarese) 9
Coming off a thrilling victory last Sunday, Gastro looked to make it 2 in a row vs. Ferrarese in the early game at Swim Club. Capt Byko in his pregame speech asked the team if they could please not play a 1 run nail biter so they immediately responded by going down 6-0. However, credit is really due to the top of the Ferrarese order (Ush-Gallardo-Saler-Z) who started the game like a house on fire ripping line drive after line drive. On the defensive side, Cowboy turned the ball over to "Nacho" who pitched very well is his debut and was awarded the big lead before throwing a pitch. The top of the Gastro order responded with a 3 spot bottom 1 to cut the early lead in half and let them exhale a bit. Karp and the defense then went to work only allowing 3 more runs over the final 8 innings. Ross Cohen, who the team revolves around, locked down second base making a number of wizard like tag plays around the 2nd base bag. Juergens made a ton of stellar plays at 3rd base, Phil throws lasers all over the diamond hosing someone top 1, and the outfield defense of Mamone (game winning sliding catch top 9!), Byko, Zeli and Abromson played about as well as a Marlboro OF could play on the morning. Bottom 6, Sherman had a hit to score 2 runs with 2 outs giving Gastro a one run lead. Top 7, Ace regained the lead as their top of the order produced 2 runs. Trailing by 1, bottom 7, Byko-Juergens get on for Mamone who "rocketed" a single tying the game, and BDRick then hit a slicer to LCF that scored another to give Gastro a one run lead that they would not relinquish the rest of the way. ACE played well throughout and they will win games in the very near future, especially if Brock is able to come back! The offensive attack for Gastro was led by MVPhil with 3 doubles, Capt Byko with 3 hits, and multi hit games by the 3-4-5-6 of Juergens Mamone, Rick, and Zeliiii. The versatility of the Byko defense really showed itself well today and they will look to make in 3 in a row vs. Frapple next week.
SUNDAY, JUN 4TH
Goddards Home Improvements (Goddard) 31 - Gastro (Bykoski) 17
Early game at Mar El where a total of 48 runs would be scored between the two teams. The infield at this field is terrible and needs to see a rake from the township. Team Goddard would score 3 in the 1st inning with an RBI single from the Kleshinsky brothers. Bykoski squad would respond with 8 runs in the first to take a 8-3 lead with hits by everybody. In the 2nd inning each team would take on a run to make it 9-4 Bykoski. Going to the 3rd Team Goddard would score 3 with an RBI sac from J. Goddard and a 2 RBI triple for Balar. But Bykoski would plate 4 themselves to make it a 13-7 Bykoski lead. And from that point Team Goddard would go on a 24-4 run and never look back as the bats came alive. In the 4th inning Team Goddard would score 8 runs where everyone in the lineup got a hit except for one person. RBI singles from Fausak, M, Kleshinsky, Gio, Balar, RBI double for K. Kleshinsky, and 2 RBI single for R. Amato. In the 6th and 7th inning Team Goddard would add 5 runs in each of the innings. In the 6th inning RBI single for R. Amato, 2 RBI double from M. Goddard, and a sac fly from K. Kleshinsky. In the 7th 2 RBI for M. Amato, RBI single for Fausak, and an RBI single for M. Amato. Team Goddard would get one run in the 8th and three runs in the 9th to make it a final 31-17. Team Goddard scored a run in every single inning of the game. And only two of the innings where 1 run was scored . All 7 other innings were multiple runs scored in those innings. I have never seen that in this league before. J. Goddard held his own on the mound and everyone had at least 2 hits. Offensive was led by Doc Balar who went 6-6. Unreal Game out of him as he was crushing the ball all day long. K. Kleshinsky was 5-7 with 3 doubles, 4 hit days from M. Goddard, Fausak, J. Goddard and Gio. 3 hit game for R. Amato with 3 doubles and 5 RBIS. and 2 hit games by M. Kleshinsky, Adelsberg, M. Amato, and Mallow. For Team Bykoski Mike Rabinowitz had a killer day hitting going 4-5. And Sags hit a 2 run homer in the RC field jet stream. Team Goddard looks to take on Team Drashinsky next week at East Frances.
Red Oak Mortgage 5 Kessler 4 F
As Ben Kesslers secret weapon had disembarked his ship Thursday morning, the Blackburn duo reuniting was palpable leading up to this late morning showdown on Union Hill Left…. However, Captain Eric Bombenblit and team Red Oak had their own secret weapon… confidence. Having fired off three straight wins after being the league laughing stock for the month of April and May, have salvaged not only their mental health but in all likelihood their season. As the game transpired the score was tight throughout, as Kessler tallied the first run of the game in the top half of the second, a key two out knock by Zach Kane in the bottom half which knotted the contest at one. Team Kesslers advantaged peaked at a score of 4-1 as the arguments by both teams to the opposition as well as each other began to be more evident. Folks, the amount of nonsensical arguing in this contest if a blind and deaf pan handler came to the field these teams would have found a way to start an argument with that individual… now back to the game, with the thought of going home with our first loss since what was seemingly months in Softball time Captain Eric Bombenblit hit a two run towering blast over the left field fence trimming the 4-1 deficit to only a single run. Justin Coloracco has settled in and after being called up from Monmouth County AAA his stick is here to stay, notching 3 hits including a double and two of the teams five total runs. Everyone loves a good player coach but a teachers coach? Thats one in a million, but, Team Red Oak has THAT ONE as David “Professor” Clampfer notched what is seemingly his weekly multi hit game harboring three more base kicks to his season total. The biggest moment of the game occurred when Joey Ohtani-Bombenblit came to the plate with two outs in the bottom half of the ninth with two runners on and delivered a “Judy” shot heard round route 9 as Red Oak survived and advanced to their fourth straight win.
TuscanyRose (DP) 5 d. EBConstruction (GG) 4
Early game at UHL featured a Maddux vs Roger McDowell type match up as Tuscany Rose took on EB Construction. The lukewarm boys would get on the board early in the first with a single by the Captain, a triple by TG and a sac fly by Fluta. Holding a 2-0 lead until the bottom of the third when an errant throw by Wild Thing bounced off of Z. Schmidt’s head, setting up a run for Coolers and the gang. Fast forward to the top of the 5th, yeah this was a real snooze fest.. Fluta hits a line drive, splitting the outfielders and he would race around the bases for a humdinger. With 2 outs, Joshi would walk, Lance reaches on an error, and DJ Sweet Lou would cash in an RBI single to extend the lead to 4-1. Blanking the carpenters in the 5th and the 6th, Polz and the Gang would tack on 1 more run behind a leadoff single by Cole. BFaz would single him over the third and Gene would get him in on a fielders choice. In the bottom of the 7th Joe O and Reid would leadoff the inning with hits and Guy would draw a walk to load the bases with no one and the top coming up. CY Polzer would get to work, inducing 3 routine ground balls to escape the inning only giving up 2 runs, holding onto a 5-3 lead. Needing some insurance in the top of the 9th, Tuscany would bring six men to the plate but would strand 3 runners. Team Goldy made it interesting in the bottom of the 9th, plating one run and Polzer would get out of it by getting a FC ground out to end the game. 5-4 TuscanyRose wins. Not a lot of offense in this one, but leading the way for Polzer was Cole Fluta (3-3, HR, Sac , 2 rbi). Multi hit games for Joshi, Polzer and B-Faz. Lance almost had 2 hits but the official scorer said a 3 hopper to short is a routine play and should be made. Standouts for EB Construction with multi hit games were Harper, Joe O, and Reid. Next up for TuscanyRose is a brutal day night double header vs Wallman and Pingaro.
LHRGC (LaRocca) 9 vs. CK Baseball (Pingaro) 8
An instant classic at East Franny as the LHRGC Reapers hold on to defeat a tough CK Baseball squad. Lot’s of action in the first with CK plating 3 highlighted by a smash by TC that drove in Danny Jr. The good guys answered with 4 on hits and productive at bats from the top half of the order. The teams traded blows until the 8th when CK fell a bit short. Tough game to whoever lost this showdown. The LHRGC defense was short Sheridan, but Shwaggallia filled in nicely. The big efforts came from the outfield where Broome and Goldrosen each made acrobatic plays to rob Coach Pings in successive at bats and where Bey-ha continued throwing people out from left field. Gary Zemcjasumfin’ had a nice day at the plate with multiple hits, runs and steaks. RC struggled early, but settled down nicely securing his spot as the Ace of the rotation for at least one more week. As for CK, Carroll had a day at SS and Willie played his heart out battling through an achilles injury to finish the game. Next up is a double header road trip to Manalapan against the gorilla and Freehold versus Meatballs.
Shore Smile (Lombardi) 18 – ACE (Ferrarese) 10
After a disappointing 1-run loss the previous week, Shore Smile wanted to right the wrong. Things didn’t start off exactly as planned with one player sleeping through his alarm getting to the game in the bottom of the 2nd. Shore Smile D also fell asleep through the 1st 4 innings where ACE plated all 10 of their runs. Shore Smile started to think they would throw away another game in the early season. Capt Jim called everyone in for a talk and the defense and bats came alive. Shore Smile held ACE to 0 runs through the next 5 innings while Shore Smile scored in 6 of the 9 innings, with a 4-run 3rd, 5-run 6th and 5-run 7th. The offense was led by the hot bats of Schwag (3-3, walk), Broome (3-4), P.Lombardi (3-4), Barbesh (3-4), D’Amato (3-4) and a multi-hit game by J.Lombardi. Jim pitched another good game with a couple of nice defensive plays back up the middle. Overall, everyone contributed to the 18-10 win. Shore Smile looks to carry this into our double dip next week at UH.
Gastro (Byko) 8 Princeton (Rosenstock) 7 12 innings
Coming off a horrendous game at Marl El, the Gastro guys looked to turn things around in game 2 of their double header vs. a hard hitting Rosenstock crew at UHR. The top of the Stock order went to work early on, catapulting them to 3-0 lead. Bottom 3, Gastro trailing 5-1, Karp and Byko then set the table for MVPHIL who then hit a 3 run NUKE to get the boys back in the game, 5-4. The defenses would then lock everything up and Stock was able to push across two more runs through the top of the 8th, making the score 7-4. Papa Sags got the rally started bottom 8 smoking a single, Byko then slapped one through the right side, Phil then smoked a clutch 2 run triple and scored the next play, tying the game 7-7. The teams then headed to extras (3rd extra inning affair for Gastro already!) after trading zeros in the 9th. Nobody was clutch with the bat for either team in extra innings until bottom 12 when the "rooks" came through for Byko. A lead off single by Zeli was then followed up by a booming RF WALK-OFF double by Abramson to win the game for Gastro 8-7!!
There were some fireworks throughout the game in this one as both teams were feeling the fatigue from playing 2 games, and when you compete hard, it's to be expected. The LCFs put on a show defensively in this one as Catania and Capt Byko made a number of nice catches (except the one Byko botched). Karp was sensational on the mound for Gastro only giving up 4 runs in 11 innings on the bump. The offense was led by Capt Byko with 4 hits, 3 runs, while MVPHIL had a HR, triple and 5 RBIS. Robbie J, Abramson, Yockel and Karp also hit the ball well contributing with 2 hit games. This was a huge win for the morale of the Gastro crew as they look to keep the momentum going into another double header next Sunday.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 31ST
Tuscanyrose (DP) 19 d. ACE (MF) 11
The Mecca of Marlboro softball, a primetime game at the Union Hill Urinal. Home team Tuscany Rose was eager to get their temperatures rising. Standing in their way was a Brockless Team Ace. After giving up 2 runs in the top of the first, Polz and the boys got to work. Leonardi wobbled his way to third with a lead off triple, followed with an RBI base hit by Polzer, and a single by Hammer Time Tim. Silky Fluta hit a deep fly ball, moving both runners up and giving BFaz an easy opportunity to pad his stats with an easy 2 run base hit up the middle to give Tuscany an early 3-2 lead. Quiet until the top of the third, Cowboys exploded for 5 runs on some defensive miscues and timely hits. But Tuscany would answer right back in a big way. Polzer and Hammer singled to lead off the frame, after moving the runners over, Bfaz would plate 1 on an RBI groundout, but reached on an error that scored a second run. Feverless Gene walked, Joshi reached on an error, Lance would blast an rbi ground rule double to left field and DJ Lou would hit a sac fly. After blanking Ace in the 4th, Polzer would look to add to the 9-7 lead, and would do so with the help of a 2 out rally. Singles by Captain and Thor, an RBI double by Cole, and another 2 run single by the DH BFaz. Exchanging 0’s until the bottom of the 7th, Hammer would add his 4th single of the game, and with 2 outs and a runner in scoring position, Bfaz steps up again and gets his 6th RBI on the night with a single down the right field line. Taking a 13-7 lead to the top of the 8th, Cowboys pep talk put a charge into their offense and put fear into the gloves of the Tuscany boys. Again some more defensive miscues and timely hitting , led to 4 runs and a narrow 13-11 lead heading into the bottom of the 8th. Lancey Boy and DJ Lou led off with singles, IanGon moved Lance to third on the FC and AFaz hit a sac fly plating a run, giving Tuscany a 3 run lead but the Rolex boys were not done yet. With 2 outs, Bryce singled, Leonardi singled, Polzer hit an RBI single, and Timmy would drop the Hammer with a 2 run NUKE to UHL. Ace would go quietly in the 9th and the lukewarm boys were back in the win column 19-11. A big night for Tim 5-5 (HR, 2 RBI, 4 Runs), Polzer (4 hits, 2 RBI, 4 runs), BFaz (3 hits, 6 RBI), and multihit games by Leonardi, Lance, and A-Faz. Up next is an early game Sunday at UHL against the BeckerFarbs.
SUNDAY, MAY 28th
EB Construction (Goldfarb) 12 Fradkin Law (Applebaum) 11
Let's get the jokes out of the way early. Yes, Goldfarb has won their 2nd game of season 3 months before they did last year. Becker has now hit more HRs than he did all last year (1). What is not a joke is that Team Goldfarb will win many more games this year (we are getting healthy) and Becker will most likely hit more HRs.
To the Game . . . .
For the fourth straight game Team Goldfarb score multiple runs in the top of the 1st inning but unfortunately for the third straight game it gave up 6 runs in the bottom of the 1st. With multiple OFs out already (D Harp, D. Singman) and Joe Joraskie forced to pitch (injured quad) for the 3rd straight game, Joe J made the decision that he would move back to LCF after seeing Team Goldfarb trailing 6-2 after 1 inning of play. This would also move Eric Becker back to his more comfortable position on the mound. Team Goldfarb trailed 8-3 after 4 full innings but after scoring 4 in the 5th, 2 in the 7th and giving up single runs in the 6th, 7th and 8th the score stood 11-9 Team Apple after 8. With 1 out in the top of th 9th Joe J, Tony and Becker would all single to plate 1 run and after a fielders choice Team Goldfarb was still 1 behind with runners on 1st and 2nd. Alex G would deliver his 3rd straight 2-out hit to tie the game (Zach Schmidt running for Becker on 2nd) and Connor Schmidt would single to give Team Goldfarb its first lead since the top of the 1st. Heading to the bottom of the 9th up 12-11 and with 3 straights out later Team Goldfarb would have their 2nd win of the season. What can not be seen on the stat sheet but surely a major factor in the victory was Joe J's desire and screaming to go back to LCF though clearly not 100%. This selfless act seemed to jump start Team Goldfarb though there were many heroes that morning. Outside of another great pitching performance Eric B also found his bat (from the woods) and at the plate going 5-5 with a HR, 3 RBI and 5 runs scored. Connor Schmidt (4 hits, 2 RBI), Joe J (3 hits + great LCF and moving the OF around), Brock Hor (3 hits, 2 RBI and a great job filling in at 2B), Alex G (3 hits, 4 RBI), Zach Schmidt (3 hits, always good in LF) and Tony R (2 hits and lock down at SS) led the way for the winners. MIke Villani led the way with 3 hits for Team Apple who also had multiple hit contributions from Mike Klecko, Capt Apple and James Dickens (monster triple but thrown out at home trying to stretch it to an HR). Back to Union Hill Left for an 830 AM start against Team Polzer this coming Sunday.
Tec-Tel (Wallman) 8 over CK's (Pingaro) 7-
The highlight game of the day took place on UHR where two teams with only one loss combined faced off with plenty of rivalries in play. You know it's a big game when Pat texts at 7:30am asking which side we wanted...anyway onto to the game where you won't find a better played game on both sides. But for a couple of UHR "sun balls" the defense and pitching were really the story for both sides as neither team could muster a big inning. CK's got the scoring started with a TC 2 run homer in the first, but Tec-Tel answered with 3 of their own in the bottom of the inning with big hits from the 2-5 hitters and a 2 rbi sac from Nicky D. Tec-Tel added to the lead in the 3rd with 3 more with the help from the glaring sun, but CK's answered in the 4th with another 2 run HR from none other than Sudi. Tec Tel scored 1 in the bottom of the 4th with a Wally rbi single. 7-4 after 4. CK's would then eventually tie the game with a single run in the 5th and 2 more in the 6th when once again Sudi came up big with a two run single to even things at 7. There would be no additional scoring until the bottom of the 9th when after a Nicky D single and two outs Wally would bomb one over the LF head to score pinch runner JT all the way from 1st and end the game in a walk off. Kudos to Wally as he was the clear offensive star with 3 hits and the game winner. Have to mention "Munchkin Mat M" on a few incredible plays at 2b for Pingaro. Next up Frapple late at Swim.
GENESIS (Meyer) 10 v GASTRO (Byko) 8... 10inn
Meyer vs Byko was one of Caps games he circled on the calendar. As the rookie Cap was set to play without his Ace Lambo & Keenan.... He got news late night Saturday that Chef would also not be available to the Contest. Meyer contemplated the thought of him pitching and glad he didn't. A good to go whalen gave more flexibility and Cap was able to lock in Smiling "Mr. Nice Guy" Russ Krauss. Team Meyer started the game off quickly by corde waving his 4th leg around smashing a 2rbi single which eventually would lead to a 3 spot to start the good guys off. This matchup turned out to have fire for first three innings finishing in a 5-5 tie. Russ was keeping the byko bats off balance for most of the day and towards the end even mixing up heights and only walking 2 on the day. The top of the 7th Roy Candidate Pete K drives in a single to take the lead while byko gutter balls the bottom of the frame. Top 8 Team Meyer had speedy Justin Krauss causing havok on the base paths as Brent smashed a ball for a single scoring Krauss. Soskel came up with a YUGE Rbi single to plate one more. Byko and the boys would find themselves running out of time.... now trailing 3 the byko crew is down to their last 3 outs... or are they? The boys in blue rally , get a few runners on scrape 1 run in quickly as Byko smashes another ball "4-5 on the day". Dangerous Saglietto ties the game with a sac and almost beats Corde in rcf for a moonshot of a ball, but Corde reminds everyone HE IS BACK! With a runner now on third with two outs... the byko hearts are pounding as Meyer decides to Intentionally walk beautiful hair flowing jurgens and stud JoMo to load the bases up for " enter rookie name " who smashed a ball at the goat himself cotter who steps on third to stop the bleeding. To the 10!! Aforementioned Justin Krauss creates tons of pressure with a ground ball to short and gets on base. Brent comes back to the plate in a huge spot and delivers again !!! Soskel would deliver a Sac to put the good guys up by 3 heading into the bottom of the 10th. Russ would shut the bottom down and ending the game with his first career marlboro softball backwards K.
Russ and the Meyer defense held byko to 6 scoreless innings. Leading the defense Martino made plenty of great snags & Cotter the GOAT. Meyer and company get ready for a double dip Sunday vs Seth then Cowboy.
LHRGC (LaRocca) 13 vs. Tuscany Rose (Polzer) 6
Game 2 of a three game homestand at East Francis (really Doug?) had the short handed LHRGC squad (missing the Carlins and Pugs) vs the shorter handed Tuscany Rose squad (missing the Gonzalez brothers, Joshi and Mean Gene). Team Polz plated 1 in the top of the first only to have the Reapers answer back with five runs on consecutive hits from Broome, Goldrosen, Sheridan, Gary and Bey-ha with an RBI single mixed in from Fox. In the second the good guys extended their lead with an RBI single from Bey-ha and in the 3rd, they opened the lead up to 10-1 with hits from Fox, LaRocca, Broome, Goldrosen, Gary and……Bey-ha. 3 more in the 5th on hits from Broome, Sheridan, Gary and yes, Bey-ha. He was not only 5 for 5 on the day, but had 3 ….. yes 3 …. put outs from left field (it’s all coaching Todd). The evil-doers scored 2 in the top of the 9th to end the game 13-6 giving the Reapers the short-handed win. Kudos defensively to the Tuscany outfield who covered the East Franny outfield without a real problem. Next up is CK Baseball at……East Franny (FUD).
Goddard's Home Improvements (Goddard) 10 - Shore Smile (Lombardi) 9
Early game at Mar El and both Teams with one win and looking to get back on track. Starting in the bottom of the first, Team Goddard would start the first with a double by M. Goddard, single by Fausak, Sac fly from R. Amato, and RBI singles from the Kleshinsky Brothers to plate 3 runs. Going to the Top of the Second Lombardi would respond with 8 runs highlighted by a Hempstead base clearing double, and a Barbesh Rbi single making it 8-3. Team Lombardi would tack on one more in the fifth inning to make it 9-3. But in the bottom of the fifth Team Goddard would respond with 4 runs of there own. M.Goddard and Fausak led off with singles, and they would walk Amato intentionally with no outs to load the bases. K. Kleshinsky hit a 3 RBI double and another run would score on an error. After 5 innings the score was 9-7 Team Lombardi. Team Goddard would tack one run on in the 6th with a M. Amato and J. Spear single, followed by RBI single for Fausak. Going to the bottom of the 7th Team Goddard would plate another run to tie the game with a K. Kleshinsky double, and a R. Spear RBI single to tie the game. Team Goddards Defense would hold up with Team Lombardi getting multiple runners on in the late innings with no outs and nobody scored. Bottom of the 9th tie game and K. Kleshinsky led off with a single. J. Goddard would single to make it 1st and 3rd one out. Adelserg walk would load the bases to bring up R. Spear. He hit one over the right center fielders head to walk it off. What a warrior and Team guy Richie was for Team Goddard. He played hurt and had two huge hits. One to tie the game and the other in a big spot to walk it off. Offensively for Team Goddard K. Kleshinsky went 4-5 with 3 doubles, 4 runs and 4 RBIS, 3 hit games from M. Goddard, Fausak, and R. Spear. Two hit game from J. Goddard and R. Amato. Jeff Goddard pitched great hitting corners all day long as half the runs given up were unearned like Marrone would say. Next up for team Goddard is Team Bykoski at Manalapan Rec.
A&H Chiropractic (Drashinsky) 14 over Ace (Cowboy) 7
Beautiful weather, Memorial Day Weekend and Marlboro Softball…what could be better?! A&H Chiropractic looked to get back into the win column against a Ferrarese team who came off a tough double header loss last week. A&H decided to completely change the lineup and started to believe in dinosaurs to hopefully fix the offensive drought over the past few weeks. Would these changes deliver?!?
A&H would come out of the gates swinging putting up 2 in the first thanks to a leadoff single by Dan and a RBI triple and single by the capt and Vinny the Masher Spitaletto respectively. Additionally, the moment everyone had been waiting for happened in the first as yes, Jordan Rosenthal recorded his first hit of the 2023 Marlboro Softball season. Relax all you haters, you knew he was due. Not to mention, it was a booming double in the CF gap, and it would be the first of 3 doubles for him on the day. Back to the action, in the bottom of the first, A&H would retire the first two batters including Austin Silverberg robbing Darren Saler of a home run over the LF fence, spectacular catch by Austin! But, the Aces would answer right back with two runs of their own thanks to a bomb over the LCF fence from Loconte. Fast forward to the 4th, and the back breakers would do add to their lead. Santi-GREAT hits an RBI triple, Vinny with an RBI single, JR with an RBI Double and Uncle Alan with an RBI single to add 4 runs to the lead. A&H would never relinquish this lead the rest of the game as they were able to hold the Ace squad scoreless for 5 straight innings. But credit to the Cowboy Convoy as well, as they held A&H scoreless till the 6th, including a phenomenal diving play by Kurt Schmidt at second base to turn and unbelievable double play. A&H would put up 1 run in the 6th and give up one run in the 7th to make it 7-3. A&H needed some extra insurance and would deliver in a major way by putting up 6 runs in the 8th. Holden would lead off with a double, Santi-GOAT would knock him in with a single, capt with a double of his own to make it 2nd and 3rd for Vinny the Masher. Vinny would continue to mash by hitting a rocket double two bring them in. Alan would hit another RBI double, and then a little pep talk would motivate Austin Silverberg to hit a 2-run inside the park HR BOMB to RCF. A&H would put up one in the 1 9th from Papa D leading of with a double who would eventually be Sac-flied in by Holden. Ace did not go down quietly, as they got hit after hit to put up an extra 4 runs in the 9th. However, it just was not enough, and A&H secured the 14-7 victory.
A&H would be lead offensively by Vinny Spitaletto, who went 3-4 with a 2B, 4 RBI and 2R scored. He absolutely crushed it in the 5 spot in the lineup, way to step up. JR and Alan would also have 3 hits on the day with multi hit games for Dan, Holden, Steve, Persily and the capt. Santigate continues to prove why he is one of the top players in this league by being an absolute vacuum at SS while Vinny and Marc Persily locked it down at first base. For Ace, we could not figure out how to get Ush out, he was hitting the ball hard all morning long and as mentioned earlier, Kurt Schmidt played unreal defense at every position he played. Get well soon Pat Brock, wishing you a speedy recovery! The Back Breakers will look to continue their hot hand next week taking on rookie Captain Meyer for the early swim slate. Have a great and safe Memorial Day Weekend!
ENGAGE PEO (Pollock) d. PRINCETON (Rosenstock) 13-4
Not many better annual traditions than playing softball in this great league on a beautiful Memorial Day weekend morning in Marlboro, I mean Manalapan, I mean Freehold. In this one, a streaking Engage PEO squad faced off, for the 2nd consecutive game, against friends/former teammates/captain combo duos, in this case the Rosenstocks and a shorthanded Princeton team, coming off two tough losses. And if Aponte has been the one getting the most ink in these write-ups so far, one of his early season main "competitors" for league MVP, Chase Sandler, stole the show this morning. In the first Chase laced a double as part of an early 2-run first and in the 3rd smoked a clutch 2-out, 2 RBI single to give Team Pollock a 4-0 lead after 3 innings. But in a game that ended with a score that doesn't necessarily reflect how competitive the game was, Princeton fought back with 3 runs in the bottom of the 4th, and the game stayed at 4-3 heading into the 6th. In the 6th, Engage took advantage of a 2-out error to go ahead 6-3, and while Team Rosenstock responded with a run of their own in the bottom half of the same inning, that would be the closest the game would be the rest of the way. Team Pollock tacked on 6 runs in the 9th, powered by a 3-run Chase blast. For Princeton, Fred Lugos (smooth in LF) and Bryan Thompson led the way with 3 hits each, while Mike Rosenstock, Catania, and M. Cruz (who was solid on the mound) also had multi-hit games. For Engage, the aforementioned Chase Sandler, who has already stepped up as a team leader, was terrific again both at the plate (4 hits, including 3 extra base hits and 5 RBIs) and in the field, again flawlessly manning SS while Aponte patrolled RCF. Senior Sandler also chipped in with 2 hits, as did Nick Dinapoli, Mitch Pollock, Nick Lapetina, and Ken Feingold. Just a solid all around game for Engage PEO, holding a solid 10-man Princetown lineup to only 4 runs. Now with 5 straight wins and suddenly the top record in the league, an Engage squad formerly described as "looking miserable" and predicted to win only 8 games, can, at least for now, no longer claim we're under the radar and must continue to step and up and keep things going. They'll try to do so in another primetime Sunday night matchup next week against a very good Marrone squad.
WEDSNESDAY, MAY 24TH
PEO (Pollock) d. SHORE SMILE (Lombardi) 22-7 (7 innings)
Can a rookie already in the top 5 of most league offensive categories, who just played two winning FB live games, still have a breakout game? If Wednesday's Pinata Farms video and game results mean anything, he sure can. Things weren't looking as positive during BP though, as our slugging translator informed the captain that the rookie sensation had tweaked an injury that limited his ability to bend and that he needed to play the OF. When you have a "back-up plan" of Chase Sandler, that wasn't a concern. But could Brayant hit? It was clear after a few practice swings that would not be an issue. As they say, on to the game. After holding a lethal Team Lombardi top of the order to no runs in the first, the Engage bats started with two quick outs of their own and it felt like a pitchers duel was in the making. Everything seemed to change with a solo Aponte shot, which was the start of five straight two out hits for an early 4-0 Pollock lead. Shore Smile got one back in the 2nd, but the 2nd inning changed the course of the game. After a lead off 3-base error, Engage PEO capitalized, sparked by extra base hits from Nick Dinapoli, Chase Sandler, and Taco as eight more runs were tallied for a quick 12-1 lead. This inning really showed the depth of the Pollock lineup, as Aponte was actually one of only two players not to reach base that inning. But I would be remiss not to talk about a resilient Lombardi squad, that held a quick team meeting and fought back with 6 runs of their own to cut the lead down to 12-7. Unfortunately for the Lombardi's and AD, those were the last runs they would score. In the 4th, Aponte hit a 2-run bomb to help Engage go up 14-7 and in the 6th Aponte hit a 3-run bomb as Engage extended the lead to 19-7. Alas, Brayant was denied a shot at a 4th dinger in the final inning when he was intentionally walked despite the game's result basically being decided. I would be remiss to make this all about Brayant (maybe that's too late), as this Engage team is firing on all cylinders right now. Chase Sandler was a star in his own right, not only leading the game with 4 hits, but playing flawlessly at SS. Just as impressive is what a team leader he has already become. As well, hot hitters Nick Dinapoli, Nick Lapetina, Jordan Krant, and Taco had 3 hits each, while Mitch and Matt Pollock, Larry Rubin, and tonight's closer Rob Rozencwaig each had multi-hit games as well. For Shore Smile, AD was flying around the OF and on base as usual all night (but didn't leave the park, even though one blast looked like it would), while Hempstead, D'Amato, and Pollock fave Reiss/Schwag also had big hits and played great defensively. After a rough week one loss, Team Pollock's bats have woken up as they now stand at 4-1. They'll hope to keep things going on Memorial Day against another Pollock coaching tree branch, as a really good Rosenstock squad looks to avenge two recent tough losses.
SUNDAY, MAY 21st
Goddard's Home Improvements (Goddard) 12 - Ace (Ferrarese) 4
Team Goddard starting off the season 0-3 looking to get their first win and get the bats going. Top of the first Team M. Goddard would score 2 runs. Singles by Goddard, Fausak and an R. Amato Rbi single, followed by a K. Kleshinsky sac fly would give them a 2-0 lead. Team Ferrarese would plate 1 in the bottom of the second to make it 2-1. Team Goddard would get 2 more runs in Top 3, starting with a J. Spear single, an Rbi single from Fausak and a Sac fly Rbi for R. Amato. Top 4 Team Goddard would plate 3 more runs. Inning started with 2 walks and an error, followed by an Rbi single from Adlesberg, and a 2 run Rbi single from M. Goddard to make the score 7-1. Going to the Fifth Team Goddard would score one on a Sac fly RBI from J. Goddard. Bottom 5 Ziolkowski hit a 3 Run HR piss missle into the Left field woods 3/4 up into the trees making it 8-4. Team Goddard would get 2 more runs in the 7th with RBI singles from J. Goddard and M. Kleshinsky. In 9th inning Team Goddard would get 2 more runs with Rbi single from K. Kleshinsky and an RBI double from R. Amato making the final score 12-4. Team Goddard hitting leaders were M. Goddard 4-5. Fausak 3-4 with a walk, K. Kleshinsky 4-4. and 2 hit days from R.Amato, Adelsberg, and M. Kleshinsky. Great pitching by J. Goddard throwing strikes and hitting his spots. Another bright spot was rising star rookie , Shawn Adelsburg who turned all 15 plays hit to him in the hot corner while also going 2 for 4. Special shout out to Pat Brock, feel better and hope to see you on the field soon.
RED OAK MORTGAGE (EB) 8 V SENTINEL (MC) 3 F
As the rain began to evaporate on the cold concrete of the streets of Marlboro this past Saturday Red Oak and Sentinel were clambering to get back onto the field and into the win column….. just not the field they had anticipated, or the porta-potty…. Our continuation of stellar defensive play was capped off by a diving catch by the say hey kid himself Bryan Frank. This win was fueled thanks in large part to the teams budding ace that will be known by years end, Joey Bomenblit, with multi hit games from the middle as well as older Bomenblit, Captain Eric and Assistant Manager Richie which sparked multiple rallies and culminated in the scoring of five of the teams total runs . Class was in session for Clamp adding four hits and three RBI’s, with the big blow coming in the seventh off the bat of Billy Losch with a Swim Club Metal Monster shot delivering 2 more runs. RED OAK MORTGAGE will look to keep the runs at a fixed rate, and compound victories as they take on Monmouth Gymnastics at Marlboro Elementary
GAME CHANGER (Kessler) 11, PRINCETON (Rosenstock) 9
After a Saturday full of rain, we spent the day wondering if we'd be able to play on Sunday. But thanks to an early morning field crew led by Steve Blackburn, Swim Club was in pristine shape for the second game of a tripleheader between an undefeated Kessler squad and the hottest hitting team in the league coming off two wins of 15+ runs in Rosenstock.
The captain knew he had to win this one as a loss would've started a "we're better without you" narrative coming off two missed games. Stock started right where they left off on Wednesday night, scoring seven runs over the first two innings. A walk to Marty and hits from Steve, Jacobs, Weis and Easton would plate three in the first but GC found themselves down 7-3 after two and then 9-3 in the fourth after Valentin bombed one to the left field fence for a two run homer (he's a very good player everyone).
You all see the score at the top so you know Kessler would score 8 straight runs to ultimately win the game. That is correct. And it happened with two four run frames led primarily by the bottom of the order and one of the best individual defensive innings you will ever see. By who? You'll need to keep reading to find out.
The four run fifth was done by big RBI knocks from Lenny, Tommy (who was huge all day), Papa K (3-for-3 on the day) & Martin. Down 9-7 in the seventh inning, the inning didn't start great as Ben and Gary both got out to start the inning. But with two outs, Game Changer would rattle off SIX straight hits to plate four runs. Including FOUR straight by the bottom of the order. Lenny, Toran, Tommy, Andy all singled to tie the game at nine and then Joey P and Martin came up huge at the top to give GC a two run lead.
But here's the most impressive inning. Up 11-9 in the 8th, Stock would fight back, a Ronnie Pacheco (man can this guy hit, unbelievable) single and Yutko walk gave Stock first and second no outs. Here comes the current Defensive Infielder of the Year (and it's not even close if you watch the games) and everyone's favorite, or least favorite Podcast host, Steve Blackburn. Diving play to his right to get the force at third, one out. Unreal coordination off a Papa K tip to get another force out at third, two outs. How would he top it? Diving play to his left to get the force at second!! Three outs!! Go watch it on Joe O's live stream on Facebook. The time stamp is 55:40. You won't regret it.
There was no way Kessler was losing the game after that inning and would hold on for an 11-9 win. Offensive stars come from the bottom of the order. Papa K 3-for-3 with 2 RBIs, Lenny and Tommy both 2-for-3. Towards the top, Weis continued his hot start to the season with three hits, while Martin & Jacobs each had two. Shoutout goes to Gary at third for a diving play early in the game as well. This was a true team win, all 13 men on the roster played a part. Next up, the undefeated Game Changer squad missing a key piece takes on a winless but dangerous Conti team again at 10:30 at Swim.
PEO (Pollock) d. TUSCANYROSE (Polzer) 10-8
There aren't many more fun things to look forward to than a night game in Marlboro Softball.... except maybe a rare Sunday night doubleheader. It looks like the fans agreed as both games had great turnouts, which was only surprising to me b/c the games were played at Manalapan 5. First up was a 3-1 Team Polzer that has once again come into the season under the radar and is proving the doubters wrong... something this author and team know a thing or two about. The early book on Team Pollock has been how lethal the top of our order is and that the rest of the lineup would have to step up. The early part of the lineup narrative continues, but the depth of this team shined tonight. In this one, Engage's bats didn't explode early (besides a first inning Chase Sandler blast), but they did plate at least a run in each of the first 4 innings against a great pitcher (Polzer) and excellent defense, and carried an early 5-3 lead. Both teams played pretty clean defensive games as Engage held what felt like a commanding 6-3 lead into the 7th inning. That's when the Tuscanyrose bats came alive, aided by a bomb from rookie Lou Rosenthal, as they plated 5 big runs to suddenly take a 8-6 lead. But to my teammates credit, everyone stayed positive. Rob Rozencwaig led off with a big single to help set the table for the top of the order, which came through with 4 hits in a row to plate 4 and put Engage back up 10-8. The Pollock defense managed to keep the Polzer bats off the board the final two innings for the important division win. For Tuscanyrose, Cole Fluta was a defensive star, Polzer was great on the mound, and Leonardi showed great opposite field power. For Engage, Chase Sandler was one hit shy of a cycle, while many had multi-hit games including Brayant Aponte (who made some terrific plays at SS), Mitch Pollock, Matt Pollock, Taco, Jordan Krant (welcome back!), Ken Feingold, and clutch-hitters Nick Lapetina and Paul O'Connor, who was great despite a knee injury that kept getting worse.
PEO (Pollock) d. FRADKIN LAW (Applebaum) 19-16
For Team Pollock, there was plenty of motivation heading into the final Sunday night game. A mini-winning streak was on the line against a division opponent, we were facing our pre-season author predicting us to go 8-14, and we were facing the Jets without Aaron Rodgers, a team no one wants to lose to (OK, that last part is my own personal bias and not the rest of my team). As for the game, that part about playing a clean defensive game I wrote about in the last summary went out the window quickly, as Fradkin Law quickly took advantage of an early error and tacked on key hits to take an early 3 run lead. Engage quickly bounced back with 2 runs of their own, highlighted by an Aponte triple. Applebaum's squad was fired up though, and scored 4 in the 4rd and carried a commanding 7-2 lead into the 5th inning. In the home half of the 4th, a triple from Chase, a double from Aponte, and a single from Mitch helped plate two runs to close the gap to 7-4. It's the 5th inning though that was the story of this game. After Fradkin Law's bats were held quite in the road half, the middle of the Engage order took control, and kicked off the inning with 5 straight hits. In fact behind a barrage of hits and a couple of errors, 10 of the first 11 hitters for Team Pollock scored a run, as 6 batters batted twice that inning. After the dust settled, Engage suddenly held a 14-7 lead. The top of the order for Engage were responsible for another 3 runs in the bottom half of the 7th as Engage held a 17-8 lead into the 8th. Team Applebaum deserves a lot of credit for not giving up, as they kept hitting and took advantage of more Engage errors (maybe having E's on our caps in honor of our sponsor wasn't the brightest idea) to score 5 runs in the 8th and 3 more in the 9th to eventually get within 3 runs. But you've already seen the score by now, so you knew that. A sloppy win for Team Pollock, but also a great example of guys not getting down on each other and picking their teammates up (which can be said of both teams in this game). For Fradkin Law, rookie Nick Villani was very impressive with his bat, legs, and defense. That kid will be a star in this league (or already is). Ed, Klecko, Steinberg, Allegretti, and Curti all had key hits as well. For Team Pollock, Nick Dinapoli (3 runs and 3 RBIs) set the table with 4 hits, while Nick Lapetina and Chase Sandler (again one hit away from the cycle) had 3 hits each. Rising star Bryant Aponte had 2 more extra-base hits and 2 walks, while Mitch Pollock (3 RBIs), Jordan Krant, Taco, Ken Feingold, and Rob Rozencwaig also had multi-hit games. Warrior (and Furie) Paul O'Connor had two clutch RBIs, and Scott Sandler had a big RBI single as well. A very good night for Team Pollock, who now take a 3-game winning streak on short turnaround Wednesday night against a Lombardi squad coming off a big win of their own.
Gastro (Byko) 12 Monmouth Gymnastics (Marrone) 9 F/10
If you haven't played at the Freehold field be ready folks, it's wild there! So the game basically game down to a few plays, but one stood out amongst the rest. Marrone held an 9-8 lead late in the game thanks to two NUKES by Tornetta, a big triple by Weitsen, and great defensive plays at 3rd by Smalkin. Papa Saglietto then stepped up in the biggest spot of the game, top 9, 1 out, runners on the corners after YUGE back to back hits by Rabinowitz and Rossy (FUD). RSags then hit a DP play ball that the star of the game until that point, Tornetta, threw away enabling Gastro to tie the game 9-9! The Gastro defense locked down the gymnasts the rest of the way (highlighted by a sweet catch and tag double play by BDR to end the game) while their top 5 batters of Byko, Sags, Rick, Joe Mo, and Robbie J put together ABs to give Gastro the 3 run lead they would win the game by. This was a hell of an effort by Marrone's team missing their #1, and they should not be overlooked whatsoever the rest of the way!
For Gastro, MVPHIL led the way with 4 hits, 4 runs, 3RBI, 3XBH while Byko, Rick, and Robbie J chipped in with 3 hit games. Karp pitched excellent throughout, Robbie J and Phil locked down the middle infield, while Mamone and Abramson made a number of nice plays on the right side of the outfield. For the gymnasts, Tornetta smoked 2 HRs as mentioned, and the Randell boys were tough outs at the bottom of the lineup all morning. While Gastro is still waiting for the offense to erupt, they will be happy with the 2-1 start as they look to make it 3 in a row vs. a hard hitting Meyer team next week.
Shore Smile (Lombardi) 10 – Princeton (Rosenstock) 3
With Mother Nature throwing another monkey wrench into the schedule, Shore Smile’s first game at UHL was canceled and game 2 was moved from UHR to Swim Club. Hungry for our first win, it didn’t matter where we played. Rosenstock put up 1 run in the top of the 1st only to be answered by 4 straight Shore Smile hits in the bottom of the 1st plating 3 runs, highlighted by a Di Marco 2-run triple. Both teams traded goose eggs in the 2nd, then the action took place in the 3rd. Rosenstock put up 1 run bringing it to 3-2. Lombardi then sent 12 batters to the plate scoring 6 runs taking a commanding 9-2 lead. Both teams plated 1 more run bringing the final score to 10-3. Shore Smile’s D was on lockdown with some great catches by Di Marco, Pat Ferro and Schwag in the OF. IF D was also solid. Jim pitched another great game keeping a potent Rosenstock line-up off balanced, with no walks on the season and adding another strike-out. Shore Smile was led by Levine and Broome with 3 hits and multi-hit games by Hempstead, Schwag, P.Lombardi and Turtz. For Princeton, Mike Rosenstock made a couple of great catches in RCF highlighted by a stretched out over the shoulder running catch on a bomb that would have easily been a HR. Next up is a Wednesday night game against friend and former captain Pollock
MGA (Marrone) 6, A&H (Drashinsky) 1
It' still very early in the season but the second half of today's doubleheader could be a big character builiding moment for Team Marrone responding in a big way with a 6-1 victory over a highly touted Team Drashinsky after literally letting one slip away in the 1st game against Team Bykofsky. Mr. ERA pitched an abolute gem holding down the big bats of Team Drashinsky to a hard to believe only 1 run! In the top of the 1st, the Gymnasts tried to quickly negate the heartbreaking negative momentum that just ended over in Freehold with Tornetta and Ian starting off with back to back hits. But then Santigate makes a nice play up the middle on a hard hit ball by Ramon who made it back to Jersey for Game 2 and turns it into an unassisted 6-3 DP. A third out would end the inning scoreles and uh oh here comes the carryover from Game 1. . . And then Santigate follows it up with a shot into the trees in the bottom half to make it 1-0 Drashinsky. The Vegas line at this point on Team Drashinsky going scoreless the rest of the game would have been off the board!! Fast forward to the top of the 4th; ex-skiper Brad Randell leads off the inning with one of the longer singles in Marlboro Softball history with a shot beating a bit too shallow OF in LCF. One out later that ROY candidate Ian Mindas sends one of his own into the trees for a 2 run dinger to make e it 2-1 Team Marrone. In the 5th, the boys in pink would add 2 big runs highlighted by a leadoff hit from Evan, a triple from Weitsen and an RBI single from Arnold. In the middle innings, the defense took over with Marrone inducing many well hit fly balls but the middle OF combo of Noel Santiago and Tornetta were tracking everything down in the spatious East Francis outfield. Throw in a few nice plays from Jacob Smalkin who is playing an elite third base and the game was moving along nicely for Team Marrone. 2 more big insurance runs would be added in the 7th sparked by 4 consecutive hits from Noel, Evan, Weitsen and Arnold again to make it 6-1. In the bottom of the 8th, Team Drashinsky would threaten after a brief period of wildness from Marrone but Dan Madonick would make a huge play at second fielding a tough shorthop ball on his backhand side to end the potential rally and preserve the final 6-1 margin of victory. In the low scoring affair, there were still some hitting stars for Team Marrone with Mindas, Evan and Arnold with 3 hits apiece. Tornetta and Weitsen would chip in with 2 hits of their own. All in all, a solid rebound game from Team Marrone with strong defense, pitching and some timely hitting to defeat a very good Drashinsky squad and move to 3-2 on the season. Next up, Team Bomenblitt in a late morning affair at Marl El Memorial Day Weekend.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 17TH
MGA (Marrone) 14 – TEC-TEL (Wallman) 9
Wednesday night transformed Captains Marrone and Wallman from Bahamas loungechair buddies to early season rivals in a matchup that could be a preview of 2 of the higher seeded teams as the season rolls forward. A full Marrone squad of 13 took on Team Wallman missing 2 key players in pitcher Greg Deluise and SS Intoci. In the end, Team Marrone came away with a closely fought 14-9 victory moving to 2-1 to start the season. It should be noted at the outset however, (no disrespect to Greg) that the Wallman squad did not miss a beat on the mound as Chris Frometta stepped in and pitched a very solid game; not an easy task particularly in Wednesday night action with plenty of yentas in attendance. As for the action, the Gymnasts got out to a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the 1st sparked by a leadoff single from Tornetta and a 2 run single from the red hot Evan Rosenthal. Team Marrone would add 1 in the 2nd with "Easy" Eddie Johnson driving in an also red hot Jeff Arnold who led off with a single of his own. Team Wallman would respond with 4 in the bottom of the 2nd with the middle of their lineup stringing some hits together. The boys in pink would quickly respond with 4 in the top of the 3rd taking advantage of a big mental lapse from the Wallman defense capped off with RBI hits from Noel and Evan. Team Wallman would counter right back with 3 of their own in the bottom half to tie the game at 7-7. A scorelss 4th would lead to the top of the 5th when early ROY candidate Ian Mindas put a 2 on the scoreboard himself with a no doubter bomb over the left field fence. In the bottom of the 5th Team Marrone would hold the Wallman bats scoreless thanks in part to an ESPY's worthy WEB GEM courtesy of Jacob Smalkin at 3b with a diving shorthop stop of a ball ticketed for the hole combined with a throw from his knees that was picked at 1st by Weitsen with a great play of his own on the back end of the play. In the 6th, Team Marrone would tack on 2 with a leadoff hit from Evan, walk to Weitsen, and another hit from Arnold setting up a Sac Fly from Marrone and an RBI hit from Eddie. The never quit Wallman team responded with 2 in the bottom half to cut the lead to 11-9. And that's how it stood until the top of the 8th when the Marrone bats would add 3 big insurance runs set up by consecutive hits from the Santiago brothers and Evan to start the inning to provide the final 14-9 margin of victory. The Marrone offense was led by the aforementioned en fuego Evan Rosenthal (4-4), Ramon Santiago (3-4) along with Arnold, Weitsen, Noel, and Eddie with 2 hits apiece. Speaking of Ramon, the rookie Santiago brother had a nice bounce back game at SS with a solid and busy day on the left side on the infield. For Team Wallman, Formetta, Dunleavy and Wallman with multi-hit games of their own. Next up a big double dip on Sunday against Teams Bykofkly and Drashinsky as Team Marrone will try to put an early season win streak together. . .
PRINCETON (Rosenstock/Lugos) 17 – LHRGC (LaRocca) 2 - 8 inn
On a cool Wednesday night Team Princeton looked to grab their second win of the year vs the always solid squad of team LaRocca and of course CY Carlin. Team Stock would get on the board first in the bottom of the 1st inning as Fred and rookie Ronnie "111' Pacheco would set the table for fellow rookie Mark Yukto who delivered in a big way with an opposite field 2 run triple. Steve Catania would tack on a another run with a double. Rookie Nick "dont ask how tall I am" Dzobia would get his 1st hit and RBI in 2nd inning to match the run team LaRocca scored in the top half of the frame. Fast forward to the bottom of the 6th with Team Princeton leading 5-1, the Captain implored his team to break the game open and the team responded in a big way scoring 9 runs in the bottom of the 6th. Once again it was the Lugos/Ronnie combo stirring the drink and once again it was Yutko and Catania cashing in on those runs. Mike Rosenstock, Bryan Thompson, and Craig Tepper all had RBI knocks. Mike Cruz put the exclamation point on the inning with a bases loaded clearing triple. In the end team Stock secured a 17-2 victory. Fred Lugos pitched an absolute gem and continues to be a leader of this team. Leading the way offensively for Princeton was Mark Yutko who went 3-4 with 4 RBI. Cruz stayed hot at the plate going 3-3 with 3 RBI. Fred and Ronnie had 3 hits a piece. Multi hit games were had by Mike Rosenstock, Catania, Tepper, and Edwin Valentin who played a very good LF. Shout out to Bryan Thompson who made a tremendous diving catch on a tailing line drive. Welcome to the league LaRocca rookie Sheridan who looks to be a very solid player. Goldrosen made an amazing diving catch in LCF and it's great to see him back at 100%. Up next for Team Stock is a double dip vs Benny Biceps and team Lombardi.
SUNDAY, MAY 14TH
Gastro (Byko) 7 Shore Smile (Lombardi) 6
After a tough short handed loss last week Team Gastro armed with all 13 took on Shore Smile (missing their #13) at UHR as both teams looked to get their first win of the season.
After an AD nuke in his first AB of the season (new year, same stud) made the score 1-0 after 1. The bottom half of the Shore Smile lineup then chipped in and gave them a 3-0 lead through 2 innings. CY Lombardi also had it working early for Shore Smile as he held the Gastro bats quiet through 3 innings. Finally in the 4th inning Gastro broke through with 4 hits in a row by Wayne, Papa Sags, Karp, and Byko which propelled the boys to a 3 run inning; tying the score 3-3 after 4 innings of play. That score would remain until the bottom of the 6th inning when reigning champion Swagggg hit a 2 run bomb over the fence with two outs giving Lombardi a 5-3 cushion. Both sides then traded zeros until the 8th inning when Sags and BDR both got on base to start the inning and scored thanks to SAC flies by JoeMo and Robbie J. This made the score 5-5 moving to the 9th inning, what a game folks!
Rookie Zelicskovics got on base to start the 9th thanks to a defensive miscue, Yockel then delivered a YUGEEEE hit in the gap to score Zeli and give Gastro their first lead of the game. Ross (way better than Doug) Cohen then smoked a ball over Ferro's head in LF to plate the 2nd run in the inning, should've been 3 but interference was not called when our boy Rabinowitz tripped around 3rd coming home to score, that extra run could've been huge! Nevertheless, 7-5 bottom 9. Levine hits a clutch 1 out double to set up the ultimate showdown. AD coming to the plate, any ball he swung at has gone over the fence, and if we walked him it would be a double at this point. So what does Capt Byko do?!?!? He lets Phil Saglietto pitch to him of course! Wait, what?!? Yes. Phil then walked AD on 3 pitches lol setting up 2nd and 3rd for Hemp. Hemp hit a SAC and Gastro prevented AD from double-tagging, Karp then got the dangerous Schwaggg to pop up to hold on for the 7-6 win. What a thriller!
Team Byko game balls went to the "pitching staff" of Yockel and Karp Offense was pathetic outside Papa Saglietto with a 2 hit game. The outfield defense was lockdown all morning for Gastro as Rabinowitz, Byko, Mamone, and Abramson/Cohen gobbled up everything in site! The defensive webgems go to all rookies in this one. For Gastro Abramson threw a missile to hose Broome trying to take 2 on him, and Zelicskovics made a sensational diving play at 3rd. For Shore Smile Pat Ferro made a nasty diving play at 2nd base to rob a hit and Capt Jim was sensational on the mound. Gastro will look to make it 2 wins a row as they face a speedy Marrone team next week.
Hold: Phil Sags
MONMOUTH GYMNASTICS (GM) 13 - PRINCETON (ER) 23
On a beautiful Mother's Day Sunday morning team Stock looked to get in the W column as they faced off against a talented Marrone squad. Rookie Zach Campbell's Marlboro Softball career would start from the leadoff spot and he didn't disappoint. Zach set the tone early with an infield hit and his speed proved to be menacing throughout the game. Princeton would score 4 runs in the top of the 1st highlighted by a Sac fly from Yutko and a 2 run single from the captain. Team Stock would never trail in the game. After Marrone cut the lead in half the Princeton bats went right back to work. Campbell led off the 2nd inning by using his speed to reach on an error. Lugos with a knock, Campbell 1st to 3rd with Fred following to 2nd setup 2nd and 3rd with no outs for Stud Rookie Ronnie "111" Pacheco. Ronnie roped a 2 run single to make the score 6-2. After Marrone plated 1 in the bottom of the 2nd team Stock bats went right back to work in the top of the 3rd. For this Captain this was the turning point of the game. Cruz reached on a error followed by knocks from Tepper and Sal Sicurella who is off to fine start to his season. Lugos would plate 2, followed by a RBI single from Pacheco and a RBI double from Edwin Valentin. Princeton broke the game open and now lead 12-3. Fast forward to the 6th where it was the bottom of the lineup sparking another rally. Tepper who was an on base machine all day drew a walk followed by a Sal walk. Lugos would come up and put an exclamation point on his monster day with a laser oppo 3 run HR. 111 Pacheco kept the party going with a roped triple, he would be driven in by Valentin with the most beautiful play in the game the Sacrifice fly. Team Stock would go on to tack 3 more runs in the 7th and 9th highlighted by 2 triples from Mike Cruz (did I mention he was also the winning pitcher) and also a triple from rookie Campbell. In the end Princeton secured a 23-13 victory. For the Marrone squad the Santiago boys hit the ball hard all day as well as a very underrated hitter Mike "the Terminator' Weisten. For team Stock Fred Lugos led the way going 5-7 with 6 RBI. Rookie Pacheco can flat out mash as he went 5-6 with 3 steaks. Mike Rosenstock AKA the better Rosenstock did his thing and went 4-5 with 2RBI. Valentin who played a fine LF had a 3 hit day with a couple of steaks. Tepper the on base machine reached safely all 6 plate appearances with 2 hits and 4 walks. Lastly I have to shout out Mike Cruz who stepped up in a big way and took the ball with Fred shifting to LCF with Catania out. Cruz pitched a solid game and helped himself out in the box ripping 2 triples, scoring 3 runs, and driving in 2 runs helping team Princeton secure their first victory. Up next for team Stock is a Wednesday night game vs the Judge and his boys.
TUSCANYROSE (DP) 12 - FRADKIN LAW (BA) 7
On a picture perfect Mother's Day morning at the Freehold Jungle, coming off of a doubleheader sweep, Tuscany Rose was looking to Bring Da Ruckus to Fradkin Law. After blanking Team Frapple in the top of the first, Polz and the boys got to work. Consecutive singles by leadoff Leonardi and captain Polz (3-4, 3B, 3 runs), set up BDTG (2-3, sac, RBI, 2 runs) for a sac fly. With 2 outs and only 1 run in, an RBI double by B-Faz (thanks for not cutting the grass) and 3 consecutive singles by Javy (3-3, BB, RBI, 2 runs and locked down short while Cole was walking with his feet 10 feet off of Beale), Lance, and Rza. Taking that 4-0 lead to the top of the 3rd, the bottom of the order gets it going with rookie Dickens and Papa Podos with base hits, setting up the top of the order for RBI singles by SS Nick Villani, Klecko, and Steinberg. The Lukewarm boys answer right back, with 2 more runs behind the hot bats off TimG, BFaz (3-4, 2B, 2RBI, 3 runs), and Lance unveiling a 2 out 2 run single to extend the lead to 6-3 watch guys. Keeping the big Frapple bats at bay, Pppppppppppolzer and the Boys added 3 more in the 5th. Hits by Captain Polz, TG, sac fly by Yosh, RBI single by BFaz, single by Javy and a Sac fly by Lance, extending the lead to 9-3. Fradkin Law was looking to litigate a bunch of runs in the 7th with consecutive lead off hits by Evan, Max, M Villani, and Curdi. Fortunately, the sure handed defense and the razor sharp accuracy of Polzer painting the outside corner, Team Polz was able to escape only allowing 2 runs. Taking a 9-5 lead to the bottom of the 7th, Polzer leads off with a triple and Smart Yoshi does his job with a sac fly. Apple goes quietly in the 8th, giving Polzer the opportunity to tack on. Slick Javy and Hot Pants Lance started the frame with base hits, allowing Rza and A-Faz to plate a few runs with RBI singles of their own. Huge insurance runs as the top was coming up in the 9th for the Apple Squad. They would mount a mini rally behind hits from Fradkin (3-4), Evan (3-4), Mad Max (2 hits) and M Villani (2 hits), but it would not be enough as the wizard Javy Smith fields the grounder and makes the play at first to give Tuscany the 12-7 win. Leading the way for Tuscany with 3 hits was Polzer, BFaz, Javy, and Lance. Timmy the Hammer, DJ Pauly D, and A-Faz had multi hit games as well. The Lukewarm squad is moderately tepid at UHR next Sunday at 6pm.
Tec Tel(Wallman) 10 v Ace (Cowboy Mike) 3
Mothers Day special on an ideal day for softball vs the funniest man out of our 234. The ground rules were entertaining as Cowboy who was missing Pat Brock (get well soon) asked his fellow captain to please not hit it to the guys that aren't used to playing their positions....onto the game itself. Similiar to last week Tec Tel got off to a hot start scoring 8 runs in the first 3 innings to secure a seven run lead. After that neither team did much offensively on a day where the wind was blowing in at Mar El. Only two runs each the rest of the way for both squads as the pitching and defense was solid for both sides thereafter. Greg had a zero walk day and the Tec Tel D was stellar all around. Offensively the squad was lead by the ageless Jerry Tilker who was perfect on the day 4 for 4 and Nicky D who was 3 for 3. 18 hits in all...next up a shorthanded Tec Tel on Wednesday night v Mr Punta Cana G Marrone.
LHRGC (LaRocca) 15 vs Bradley Construction (Goldfarb) 2
Early morning mother's day meeting betwixt the Beckerless Farbs and the Dancerless Reapers at Swim Club, featuring Little T in the stands ready to get into the lineup at a moments notice. It started a little shaky with 2 runs being plated by EB Const. But the good guys answered back in the first with 6 runs of their own highlighted by a triple from no-name Needlstien. The lead was extended to 6 in the second on RBIs from the Carlins, before going on cruise control until the 7th when the entire lineup lit up and the no-namers drove in 5 of the 7 runs scored. Once again RC was great on the mound, the defense played well and the second half of the lineup produced (batters 7-11 had 9 hits and 10 RBIs). Other notables were Rookie Sheridan going 4 for 4 and ageless Mark Carlin going 3 for 3 while on base 5 times. Multiple hits from Beja (2) Goldrosen (2) Sheridan (4) RC (2) Gary (3) Mark (3) Neiderman (2) Ciaglia (2) Frey (2). Kudos to Joraskie from GGs squad who pitched very well despite his soar quad. Next up is a Wednesday night affair against Stock.
GAME CHANGER (Kessler) 6, A&H CHIRO (Drashinsky) 4
On a beautiful sunny Mother’s Day in Manalapan, two preseason favorites took to the field, when team Drashinsky took on Team Kessler. The 2nd week in a row without a captain, team Kessler looked to stay undefeated.
This game had a playoff intensity to it right from the 1st pitch, as runs would be hard to come by. In the 1st inning a string of 2 out hitting from Steven, Jacobs, a walk to Weis and a huge 2 run single by the red hot Mike Heitzner gave the game changers a 2-0 lead. That would be enough runs for the entire game if Simon knew the rules that he claims to have written, but more on that later.
Andy Ace Kessler pitched the best game this author has ever seen in any softball. Clipping corners, changing levels, throwing 95 on the black. Plus he is a cat off the mound and makes every play. He was Perfect, and when I mean perfect I mean the first 14 Blue Seth’s that came up went right back to dugout. Some great defense from Lenny at 1B, S Blackburn and Weis up the middle and Joey P running everything down in RCF. Santigate would break up the perfection with a single in the 5th with 2 outs.
Fast forward to the 6th where S Blackburn and Jacobs would set the table for The triples king Steve Weis, as he hit a ball dead center that split JR and captain Seth for a 2 RBI triple, heitzner with a rbi ground out made it 5-0. In bottom of the 7th Umpire and apparently author of the rules Simon would initially call Dan Drashinsky out for sliding into 1st base, then ask him why he did it. “To avoid the tag and collision.” That reasoning was good enough for Simon to overturn his call and say “I wrote the rule and it says if sliding happens to avoid tag or collision it is not an out. (Before reading this go to rule book and looked at #29. It says any slides into 1st the runner is out. Guess Simon didn’t remember writing that. This would have been the 3rd out of the inning, instead it wasn’t and Gastros took advantage with 4 singles in a row plating 3 runs total to make it 5-3.
In the 8th Weis would have another RBI hit to push the lead to 6-3. Seth and his troops wouldn’t go quiet in the bottom half as they got the tying run to 1st base but Andy Kessler would make two outstanding plays to end the game, one sliding catch on a pop up and knocking down a come-backer. Multi hit games from M Blackburn, Jacobs, Weis, Rookie Easton, and Andy Kessler. For highlights from Gastro, Steve Santigate flashed the leather all game saving at least 3 runs and Papa D had his Knuckleball dancing all morning. Up next for the Gamechangers is Sunday date at Swim with Rosenstock.
ENGAGE PEO (Pollock) d. RED OAK (Bomeblitt) 15-8
In honor of Aponte's first Marlboro Softball win... Dos equipos que sacaron la paja corta para jugar el juego tardío en el Día de la Madre realmente necesitaban una victoria hoy. Red Oak buscó romper una racha de 3 derrotas consecutivas, mientras que Engage PEO buscó recuperarse después de desmoronarse a mitad del juego en la primera semana. Algo tenía que pasar por el segundo y tercer equipo favorito de Steven Frey (su equipo patrocinado contra el equipo de su tío... bienvenido de nuevo, Bobby). En cuanto al juego, la historia de la primera entrada fue principalmente la historia de todo el juego, ya que la parte superior de la orden de Engage hizo la mayor parte del daño, con 3 hits rápidos, incluidos triples consecutivos de Chase y Aponte para los primeros 3 carreras de ventaja. Nueva entrada, la misma historia, cuando la parte superior preparó la mesa en la 3ra para una bomba de Brayant Aponte sobre la cerca de Marlboro Softball LF, que le dio al Equipo Pollock una ventaja de 6 carreras. El equipo Bomeblitt luchó para cerrar la brecha a 6-3 antes, deténganme si escucharon esto antes, la parte superior de la orden de Engage llegó con 4 hits y otras 3 carreras. Un escuadrón resistente de Red Oak anotó 3 carreras sin respuesta para cerrar la brecha a 9-6, de cara al noveno. Fue entonces cuando la parte inferior de la orden de Engage se unió a la fiesta, comenzando la entrada con 4 corredores de base, configurando la parte superior letal, que no desperdició la oportunidad y colocó un juego que decidió 6 carreras más en el camino a la victoria 15-8. Los mejores bateadores se combinaron para anotar 12 carreras y 11 carreras impulsadas, liderados por juegos de 4 hits de Bryant Aponte y Chase Sandler, quienes también se destacaron defensivamente. Dinapoli, el armador de la mesa, tuvo 3 hits, mientras que Larry Rubin, Mitch y Matt Pollock también tuvieron juegos de múltiples hits. Para el Equipo Bomenblitt, el toletero novato Bryan Frank hizo una exhibición de BP y la llevó al juego, mientras que Clamp también estuvo en la base todo el día. El siguiente paso para el Equipo Pollock es una rara doble cartelera vespertina contra Polzer y Applebaum/Fradkin.
Two teams that drew the short straw to play the late game on Mother's Day each really needed a win today. Red Oak looked to break a 3-game losing streak while Engage PEO looked to rebound after falling apart mid-game in week one. Something had to give for Steven Frey's 2nd and 3rd favorite teams (his sponsored team vs. his uncle's team... welcome back Bobby). As for the game, the story of the first inning was mainly the story of the entire game, as Engage's top of the order did most of the damage, with 3 quick hits including back-to-back triples from Chase and Aponte for the early 3 run lead. New inning, same story, as the top set the table in the 3rd for a bomb from Brayant Aponte over the Marlboro Softball LF fence, giving Team Pollock a 6 run lead. Team Bomeblitt battled back to close the gap to 6-3 before, stop me if you heard this before, Engage's top of the order came up with 4 hits and another 3 runs. A resilient Red Oak squad scored 3 unanswered runs to close the gap to 9-6, heading into the 9th. That's when Engage's bottom of the order joined the party, starting the inning with 4 baserunners, setting up the lethal top, who didn't waste the opportunity and plated a game-deciding 6 more runs en route to the 15-8 victory. The top for hitters combined to score 12 runs and 11 RBIs, led by 4 hits games from Bryant Aponte and Chase Sandler, who also both excelled defensively. Table-setter Dinapoli had 3 hits, while Larry Rubin, Mitch and Matt Pollock also had multi-hit games. For Team Bomenblitt, rookie slugger Bryan Frank put on a BP display and carried it over to the game, while Clamp was on base all day as well. Next up for Team Pollock is a rare evening doubleheader against Polzer and Applebaum/Fradkin.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 10TH
A&H Chiropractic (Drashinsky) 7 over EB Oak (Bomenblit) 5
A wise man once said, “Good things come to those who wait”. The Wednesday night match-up between A&H and EB Oak was supposed to be played last week, but the teams had agreed to move it back a week so that captain Eric could be there for the birth of his first child, congratulations to him! In doing that, we got a picture-perfect night to play softball under the bright lights of UH. Coming off a close win from opening day, the back breakers were looking to pick up right where they left off. In their way was a Bomenblit squad who was hungry for their first win.
To the action we go. A&H strikes first blood with 2-runs in the bottom of the first off a sac fly by JR, for which Colaracco made a ridiculous grab in deep LCF and a BOOMIN’s RBI triple by Austin! A&H would tack on another two runs in the second thanks to a scorching RBI single by Marc Persily down the third base line. After holding EB scoreless for three, they would find their groove in the 4th thanks to a Bryan Frank 2-Run HR (you’ll be seeing that a lot this year) and a clutch RBI triple by J Bomb. A&H would answer back with 1-run thanks to a RBI single by Uncle Alan! Fast forward to the 6th, after the EB Oak squad knocked 1 on the board to cut the lead to 1, A&H would answer right back with 2 of their own! Austin started a two out rally with a single, Holden followed up with the same, and then Dan brought both in with a 2-RBI single! EB Oak would score one more in the 8th thanks to an E Bomb, but the mighty defense of A&H kept the bats in check to seal the deal for a 7-5 W!
This edition of Wednesday Night Softball was brought to you by defense. Both teams played phenomenal defense to keep the big bats at bay. A&H turned at least 3 double plays, and the infield of Doc/Vinny at 1st, Raucher at 2nd, Santi-GREAT at SS and DD at 3rd played as if they had vacuums for gloves! Great work by them. As for the offense, Steve, Dan, Austin and Alan (who made an insane diving play at 2nd) lead the way with 2 hits apiece. For EB Oak, Joey Bomenblit pitched extremely well for his second time on the bump! Bryan Frank is a beast, and played a very solid LF and Eric just continues to do what Eric does: mash softballs!
A&H looks to make it three in a row this weekend against an undefeated Kessler squad in Marlboro Softball’s favorite rivalry!
SUNDAY, MAY 7TH
Tec-Tel (Wallman) 17-Genesis (Meyer) 11
A high scoring affair for the normally defensive EF field on opening day saw rookie captain DM facing off against his old captain TW. The pre game preparation was clearly won by the rookie mgr as he showed up with a lethal 10 man lineup. The first inning saw 3 quick runs scored by Tec-Tel only to be answered immediately in the bottom of the inning by DM's squad 4 run bottom. The top of the second saw TW send his entire lineup to the plate with a monster 11 run inning. I believe only one was an unearned run. So 14-4 became 14-5, 14-6, 14-8, 14-9 by the middle innings and the top of DM's short lineup seemingly was up every other inning led by Tino who I don't believe made an out on the day, Pete K's 2 HR's and rookie Whalen was on base all day despite getting hurt. Fortunately for TW's squad they found a single run in each of the last 3 innings to gain some additional insurance, and found it's way to an opening day win. Offensive stars included 3 hit days by KD, JZ, Greg, TW, Jessie and Gary...24 hits in all. Greg was very solid on the mound and made several defensive gems. Up next Mothers day affair vs Cowboy.
LHRGC (LaRocca) 11 v GODDARD HOME IMPROVEMENT (Goddard) 7
It was a beautiful day at the Union Hill Left where RC and FL showed up at 8:15 to see their former teammate MVPhil go 3 for 3 with 2 HR, 2 walks and at least 6 RBIs. Nice try league. Back to 2023….. LHRGC opened up against a tough Team Goddard with a new cast of characters, but relying on the same formula…..good pitching, good defense, and offensive contributions from guys picked after round 7. RC was stellar on the mound and went 4 for 4 from the box. The defense played well (kudos especially to M Carlin and Sheridan on the left side and a rejuvenated Beja very at home in RCF). The story of the day, however, were picks 7 – 13 (hereafter referred to as the no-names) who combined to bat 12 for 24 with 6 RBIs (tinyDanzer 3 for 4; Niedermyer 3 for 4; Shwagggalia 2 for 4). Notable was Gary SZsumfin (round 5 - slightly injured – shocker) who MASHED the ball all day and hobbled around the bases like a wounded panther. More kudos to the new mat (as opposed to Sling Blade Mat) who held this game to one combined walk. As for Team Goddard, these are my takeaways: Amato rakes; R Spear still got it; Amato rakes; Fausak glides in LC and will bat .600; Amato rakes; M Goddard still got it; Amato rakes; K Klesch still got it; Amato rakes; Fat Mike isn’t fat anymore; Amato rakes and Amato rakes. As for the debut of Ryan Amato, he made every play at short and CUT a high inside pitch thirty feet over the left center field fence. Next up is Team Goldfarb bright and early at swim.
EB Construction (GG) 11 Ace (MF) 7 (10 innings)
The 1030 AM start at Swim Club saw Team Goldfarb looking to even their record at 1-1 against the 1-0 Team Cowboy. A couple of new faces on Team Goldfarb (Darron Harper, Joe Joraskie) were right in the middle of the teams 3-run first. Unfortunately, things would slow down for Team Goldfarb as they trailed 6-4 heading into the top of the 6th after Team Cowboy scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 5th thanks to what it seemed to be and endless string of line drives to left. With single runs in the 6th and 7th by Team Goldfarb and no other scoring by either team the game would be tied heading into extra innings. The top of the 10th saw 2 other new faces (Connor and Zach Schmidt) right in the middle of a 5-run inning. Joe J would lead off the 10th with a hustle double and after an intentional walk to Alex G, Connor Schmidt would unleash a long double to deep center field that plated Joe J (only 1 scoring as most thought Pat Brock would catch up to it as he did most of the day). After another intentional pass (to Brock Hor) loaded the bases Zach came thru with a seeing eye double up the middle (he's fast) that scored 2. A sac fly and RBI ground out completed the scoring for Team Goldfarb. In the bottom of the 10th with 1 out and a runner on first Daren Saler blasted the ball to the fence in LF but a good relay and throw home the runner on 1st was cut down at the plate. Team Cowboy would end up scoring 1 run to make the final 11-7 giving Team Goldfarb their first win of the season (a few months earlier than last year). Joe J and Alex G both had 3 hits for Team G while Zach Schmidt and Tony Rogiers added 2 hits each. Eric Becker pitched great and also fielded his position exceptionally. Cowboy pitched well in front of a very capable defense. Rookie Juan Gallardo had 4 htis and was solid in the field for Team Cowboy who also had 2 hits from Paulie K. Team Goldfarb if it gets any hitting with its excellent defense will hopefully top its 2-win total (3 with playin win) of last season. Team Cowboy will also win many more games than predicted with timely hitting. Next up an early tilt at the Swim Club against the Judge.
TUSCANYROSE (Polzer) def RED OAK (Bomenblit) 10-6
Coming off an opening night loss, The Polzer led Tuscany Rose team was looking to get in the win column. On a sunny, beautiful spring day at the lovely, but wide open Mar-el, Tuscany took on E-Bombs Red Oak squad. After exchanging zeros for the first 3 innings, Tuscany put up 1 run on 3 walks and a 2 out RBI single by Yoshi (2-4, RBI). Red Oak takes the lead 2-1 in the bottom of the 4th on some hits and maybe a walk. In the top of the 5th, Tuscany rallied for a huge 7 spot. With the bottom 3 guys up, Not sure if the coach has Tourette’s or kept giving the take sign (echoes of “Swing the bat, kitty cats” could be heard bouncing off the trees 200 yards away) but it led to 4 walks to lead off the frame and then 4 consecutive hits by Polzer (3-4, BB, RBI, 2 runs), Timmy “The Hammer” George (2-4, BB, 2 RBI, run), B-Faz, and Crazy Legs Gene (2-4, RBI). Up 8-2 in the 5th, Red Oak answered right back with 2 of their own before the sure handed Tuscany defense put an end to the threat. After a few innings of routine outs, in his 4th at bat to lead off an inning, DJ Sweet Lou Baffuto took his second base on balls of the day. That led to a 2 out RBI double from Cole. Looking for some more insurance, Shawn Leonardi steps up to the plate and checks in with a clutch RBI single, extending Tuscany’s lead to 10-4. Red Oak would add one more in the 9th, as Tuscany held on 10-5. Bright spot for Red Oak was Hy Bickoff, reaching base multiple times. Look out for the Red Oak squad on Union Hill. They hit a number of shots that may or may not have been out on a fenced field, my depth perception isn’t the best! Next up for Tuscany is the back end of a doubleheader as we head to UHR to face off against the bright Sentinel Team Conti.
TUSCANYROSE (Polzer) def SPS (Conti) 5-4
Looking to piggyback off of an early morning win at the spacious Mar-El, Tuscany brought the defense again in game 2. Scoreless heading into the third, with 2 outs Bryce Gonzalez gets things started with a single. With the top of the order up, Fluta (2-4, R) singled and Leonardi singled in Bryce. That sets Polzer (2-4, 2B, 2 RBI) up for the biggest Tuscany hit of the day, a 2 run double just short of the center field fence, plating 2. Quiet again until the 6th, Tuscany got another 2 out rally going again (great base running Hammer). Gene (2-3, RBI, sac, run) singled, Yoshi (3-4) singled, and B-Faz came through with a weak seeing eye dribbler between first and second to plate Not Mean Gene. Sentinal did score 2 runs sometime in the first 8 innings. T Rose added a huge insurance run in the 8th on hits by Captain,Timmy the Hammer (2-4), and a smart hitting Gene sacrifice fly. Heading to the top of the 9th with Tuscany up 5-2, Sentinal would not go down quietly. Hits by rookie Semenick, Wags and a sac by rookie Cano, plating 1. Katz then laces an RBI single to RCF. Drapkin steps up to the plate, with Conti pinch running for Katz as the tying run at first, rips a single to left field and Cannon Arm Gene throws out Conti at third for the last out of the game. Legend Drapkin had a solid game for Sentinel, 2 hits at the plate, didn’t walk anyone and kept hitters off balance all day with his fastball. Next up for lukewarm Tuscany Rose (2-1) is Frapple at Freehold on Mother’s Day.
A&H Chiropractic (Drashinsky) 12 over Princeton (Rosenstock) 11
After what felt like an eternity of rainouts, Marlboro Softball was finally back to its regularly scheduled programming and was able to start off the season on a picture-perfect day to play. The A&H squad were looking to kick off the season with a strong start. In their way was the mighty Rosenstock squad, who has a fierce lineup and is a force to be reckoned with. An outsider looking at this game may have thought to themselves “hmmm, that is a lot of people to have on one softball team”. I say this as our team’s uniforms look almost identical. However, make no mistake about it sports fans, both teams were hungry to win and came out swinging. How would the contest unfold for the inaugural game in Freehold?!?!
A&H would strike first blood by putting up a run in the first thanks to a Santigate double (1 of 2 on the day) and a nice RBI single by Austin Silverberg to bring him in. However, the Princeton bats would answer right back with two of their own to take a 1-run lead after one. This would be a constant theme for the entirety of the contest. Both teams would go scoreless in the 2nd, and Rosenstock put up 2 of their own in the 3rd to take a 3-run lead. A&H would answer right back with a 4-spot including a HR by the capt, RBI knock by Doc, and a clutch 2 RBI single from Dan the man to take a 1 run lead after 4. However, the see-saw battle continued as Rosenstock would put up a run in the 5th to tie the game. After scoring one in the 6th thanks to a missile Santigate HR, the fellas of Princeton would have a huge inning of their own by putting up a 5-spot to take the lead. Running outta daylight, the A&H needed to check-in and chip away and that is exactly what they did! Singles by Doc and Austin to start would set up Holden for a booming double to bring in one. The electrician duo of Raucher and Spitaletto would do their jobs with sac flies to bring in two more runs. Finally, an RBI single by Marc Persily would secure a 4-spot in the 7th. The back breakers would then follow-up with 2 more runs in the 8th thanks to a sizzilin’ 2 RBI triple from Doc! With a two-run lead going into the bottom of the eight, the A&H defense was able to lock down the strong bats of Rosenstock to 1 run and secure themselves a 12-11 victory.
This was a nerve-racking game and a total team effort from A&H to secure the W! Santi-GREAT had himself a monster opening day going 3-4 with 3R, 2 2B, a HR and an RBI. Marc Persily also had a 3-hit day with an RBI as well. The defense was lights out and Papa D was sensational on the mound, not walking a single batter. For Rosenstock, Sal Sicurella was impossible to get out, going 2-3 with some real clutch hits. A&H looks to make it a winning streak this Wednesday night under the lights against the Bomenblit squad of EB Oak.
GAME CHANGER (Kessler) 26, SPS (Bykofsky) 10
After being blue balled by that fickle bitch Mother Nature for two straight Sundays, it was finally time to “Play Ball” and open the 2023 regular season. Short handed Team Kessler took on even shorter handed Team Bykofsky. If you like offense then you enjoyed this game, as this 8:15am start (yes you read that right, your welcome commish) wasn’t too early for the bats to wake up.
It started early for both teams, as in the top of the 1st the Game changers would open the scoring and never look back. They would put up 3 runs on the back of a picture perfect 2 run triple for Steve Weis who painted the RF line with two outs. In the bottom of the frame, Phil would hit his 1st of 2 Nukes with a frozen rope linear into the trees to cut the lead to 3-2. The game changers would score 5 in the 2nd, coming from 7 hits in the frame, starting with Lenny Sarcona lead off single, Joey P and Martin Blackburn both hitting RBI doubles, and finishing with the trio of Jacobs, Weis and Heitzner with 3 rbi singles in a row. In the bottom of the frame, a lead off single by Roberto Saglietto, which was his 1st career Marlboro softball hit, opened the door for Gastro to have a big inning, which was highlighted by Phil Saglietto hitting a Grand Slam no doubt bomb into the trees. (Andy heard Ben screaming from wherever the fuck the Maryland Womens lacrosse bus was located at the time of that NUKE).
So heading into the 4rd inning 8-6, Andy the spark plug would lace his 2nd hit of the morning down the RF line which sparked the top to start of the game changers lineup to load the bases with singles from Joey, Martin, Rob, Heitzner, and rookie Easton, and Sac Flys from Steven Squared added up to a 4 spot and the 1st true sign that this game was going to get ugly. Gastro would try and stay in the game with an rbi single from Rabinowitz in the bottom half of the frame, to cut the lead to 12-7. After trading a run each in the 5th the lead would remain at 5 until the top of the 6th when Weis and Heitzner would both single, rookie Easton would hit a sac fly to the fence, Gary Klein laced a double over the LF head and Lenny Sarcona would drive in Gary, and the game changers would push their lead to 16-8.
Into the 7th inning and stop me if you heard this before, but Andy Kessler lead off single to RF would start things off, but this time Joey and Martin shockingly got out; thankfully our two out hitting was spectacular today, with 5 straight 2 out hits lead to 4 runs and the big blow was a Rob Jacobs 2 run 2 out 2 strike Bomb just inside the LF foul pole. Heading into the 8th team Gastro found themselves even shorter handed when the commish had to leave early and forcing his team to play with 9. 6 runs 8 hits 10 batters for team Kessler in this frame pushed it to a mercy rule of 26-10.
This offensive explosion of 38 hits (15 of them with 2 outs) made coach Ben smile for the entire 7 hour bus ride he endured on Sunday morning. Highlights on the Gastro side, Obviously Phil who had 3 hits 2 homers and 6rbis, Rabinowitz might have had his best game ever, 3 hits 2 RBIs and made at least 4 insane catches in LF. Now to the tire pumps for my guys, every single Game Changer had a hit, leading the way was Mike Heitzner who had 6, Joey Parg 5, Martin, Weis, and Andy had 4 each, and Jacobs, Easton, Sarcona, and S. Blackburn each had 3. Next up is a Big Rivalry game as Benny Biceps take on his long time friend Seth Drashinsky and the Chiros in what should be the top two teams of the central division, unfortunately it’s at the dumb East Francis.
MGA (Marrone) 14, SHORE SMILE (Lombardi) 4
Finally, some perfect weather for a delayed season opener against Team Lombardi in the early matinee at the Swim Club. It was a battle of shorthanded teams with both squads missing their repective 1's; Dimarco and 1/2 of the Santiagos, with Team Marrone extra shorthanded missing Rosenthal and Easy Eddie Johnson as well. But Captain Glen had the squad motivated all week and it paid off as the boys in pink responded with a strong 14-4 victory. It was an all-around performance from the 10 in attendance with strong defense, hitting and speed on the bases. Only caveat is Glen has gratiously agreed to donate his Kentucky Derby winnings to hire Davey Lopes to hold baserunning class Monday morning in the film room as 5 yes 5 baserunners were erased on the basepaths over 9 innings; could be a Marlboro Softball Record. Getting back to the positive, Team Marrone came out strong scoring 2 in the top of the 1st set up by 3 straight hits from Tornetta, Ian Mindas, and an RBI double from Noel. In the bottom of the 1st, ex-skipper Randell at 2b started off the tremendous all around defensive play from Team Marrone with a turn back the clock diving stab of a Levine grounder headed for the hole to record the out. Justin Randell was at 1st to make it a nice Randell family play. Team Marrone would get 2 more in the 2nd set up this time by hits from Weitsen and another rookie Jeff Arnold to start the inning. RBI singles from Brad Randell and Tornetta would plate the 2. Team Lombardi would respond with a run in the bottom half to make 4-1 which would have been more but for a great running catch from Noel Santiago in LCF; the first of his multiple great catches in the OF covering a ton of ground. Team Marrone would tack on 2 more in the 3rd on a leadoff hit from Noel and a big RBI single from Jacob Smalkin. Team Lombardi would fight back with 2 of their in the 4th to make it 6-3. The Gymnasts would add 1 in the 5th to extend the lead to 7-3 sparked by another hit from Smalkin to start the inning. Then the Marrone squad would add 3 big runs in the 6th to make it 10-3 highlighted again by 3 straight hits from the top of the lineup to start the inning. 4 more would be added in the 7th to make it 14-3 sparked by a single from Justin Randell to start the rally capped off by RBI hits from Ian and Noel yet again. Team Lombardi would plate 1 in the 9th for the final 14-4 margin of victory. Hitting stars abounded for Team Marrone; 4 hits apiece from Ian and Noel; 3 hits from Smalkin, Weitsen, Arnold and Tornetta; and Brad Randell chipping in with 2 hits of his own. But the real story of the game was Marrone on the mound and the defense behind him. Mr. ERA only gave up 1 earned run. Behind him, the defense was tremendous with Jacob Smalkin making several nice plays gobbling everything up at SS. Brad Randell was equally solid at 2B also turning a DP with Smalkin on a hard hit grounder by Broome; certainly not an easy man to double up. And then there was Noel in LCF making it look easy tracking everything down in sight and even making a nice running catch in RF to thwart a potential Lombardi rally as part of some defensive maneuvering. For Team Lombardi, Ferro with a great catch in LF to rob Weitsen of extra bases in the middle innings. Next up loolkng for a 2-0 start against Team Rosenstock at Manalapan with the men in pink back at full strength.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 3RD
Smell My Rollie Fingers – 4 - The Fireman Ed Fradkins - 2
After being discarded as a team that traded away its first round pick and has the same band of shitty players as always, Team Ace woke up Wednesday ready to prove the naysayers wrong. Realizing that the game was a night game, Team Ace spent the day texting about the potential victory while dealing with pain in the ass people and making it looking like they were working when really just daydreaming about the potential of at best hitting a ball that is misplayed but marked as a hit all while wondering if that feeling in my stomach was just anxiety about the game or the potential of having to shit mid-inning and finding out that the Porta Johns are locked and this is all on Facebook Live for the world to see. Maybe that was just me. Anyway, I like my draft so go eat a dick. Back to the action... Team Apple looked like a Meadowlands tailgate as the Gang Green seemed confident with all those big motherfuckers plus an aging Apple. The game gets underway with Team Apple putting up one with help from Klecko, Steinberg, Al Toon and Wesley Walker. The game then got a bit boring due to a lack of hitting and some sharp defense. In the 6th inning, Team Ace finally got on the board as Michael Podolla scored on a Daren Saler Sac fly. Podolla would go on to get 2 hits and 2 runs in the affair to meet his quota for the first half of the season. The Fighting Freeman McNeils would regain the lead in the 7th with an RBI by Fradkin but Ace would strike back quickly with 3 runs in the bottom of the 7th with hits by Ush, Juan Gallardo, the Captain, and Nacho Cornacchia. Apple then rallied his Jets together and showed them the infamous Brett Favre dick pics from his brief Jets stint which failed to hit the mark as the Mighty Kleckos looked more like the Gastineau Girls to close out the game. In the end, Team Ace opened to a 1-0 start after being projected as a play-in game team. For Ace, Rookie Juan Gallardo, Frank Loconte, Podolla and the Captain had multi-hit games in a low scoring affair. Pat Brock made a game-changing catch in LCF. For Apple, Klecko, Evan and Joel Podos hit well and Big Kudos to Mike Iorio who in his return to Marlboro Softball after some trials and tribulations chipped in with two big hits. By the time you read this, we will have lost our Sunday game to Goldy, hence a lack of shit talking in this recap but we'll be ready for next Sunday.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26TH
GAME CHANGER (KESSLER) 8 – ERIC BRADLEY CONSTRUCTION (GOLDY) 2
After months of waiting, prep, mock drafts, practices, scrimmages, incoherent GroupMe messages from Mr. Marrone, the night was finally here. Opening Night, under the lights, at Union Hill. (Side note - every season should start on Wednesday night, not Sunday, it’s a great showcase for the league).
And boy did the opening night game have its stars and storylines. The Blackburns. Tony. Becker. DC. The Blackburn-Becker podcast beef. How does Goldfarb respond from last year with a lot of the same pieces? And then, three days before opening day, the Kessler skipper may or may not have had an unfortunate treadmill accident. Would the captain, who got hurt to end his 2022 season, suit up and play on opening night?
Thanks to a very generous 2 (contrary to popular belief) who had a brace lying around, the captain was a go and we were ready to play in front of a large audience!
The game started just as all my wet dreams for the last month have went. Joey led off with a single for 95% of the league but a double for someone with his speed and Marty did the exact same thing to follow up. Boom 1-0 GC. What could’ve been a huge inning was negated by some bad base coaching by yours truly who told Martin to go on contact. He did, and a great play by Schmidt who was fantastic at third all night got him at the plate and Kessler only got one run in the first.
Anyone who watched this game knows it was mostly defense, not a lot of offense, which was the case for Kessler who held Goldy scoreless in eight of nine innings. This was due to what mighta been a league record in assists for Steve at SS (at least 10) and a really flawless night by all 11 on the GameChanger defense. For those who remember how last season started, Papa K walked 8 guys on opening day, including 4 to Wallman. Tonight was the complete opposite, as he pounded the strike zone all night, only walked two and made some great pitches both up and down in the count to hold the Goldy bats at bay. Not to mention some great defense on the mound including a vertical leap that’d have him drafted in the NFL tonight.
Kessler’s big inning at the plate came in the third where the top 4 all got hits, scoring 2 before the captain hit a single that turned into a HR (yes, it was marked as a single, even in the Kessler book) with the fake tag heard around the world (great call by Tracey who has become one of the 2 best umps in the league) to score three more and give GC a 5-0 lead.
The final score would be 8-2, not much more to report. The offensive stars for GameChanger were Martin, who began the year with a four hit evening, the rookie Brett Easton who just hits rockets and had three hits in his Marlboro Softball debut and the leadoff man Joey P who set the tone all night at the plate, on the base paths and in RCF. For Goldy, their defense was very solid as well all over and Becker pitched well, not walking anyone.
Next up for Kessler, we pray for no rain on Sunday as a day-night double dip at UH with Marrone & Lombardi awaits!
GENESIS (MEYER) 16 – TUNSCANYROSE 14
Opening Night!!!! As all the Marlboro faithful attended the snooze fest On UHL with RoBecker vs Steven (frank DA ROCK serving as Harry Doyle was the real highlight) Captain Meyerlanski had the Hot Soup Boyz jacked up ready for war to face Freehold Boro legend Polz and his squad. First inning was highlight by C- Murda going Yahtzee giving 2-0 lead. With Flutz, Polz and TG no lead is safe and they tied it up. Few runs scattered and then Tuscany put up a big 5th where they score 8 or 9 but only B. Fazz knew the exact number. From there on the Boyz went HAM. Rookie Matt Whalen took the write up personal and hit a two run bomb along with first inning triple single and was a double away from the cycle. The bottom of the lineup was huge as we passed the stick and everybody got a hit to put us up 16-10 in bottom of the 9th. One quick out and a huge scoop by the Big Mick Mac RG to be 1 out away from a victory. But like I said with that top 3 they didn’t go away easy and cut lead to 16-14. Lambo as he did all day said “enough of this shit” and got Mean Gene out to end the game. Lambo was lights out with 3 strikeouts and the defense played solid. 29 hits led by Matty” Ice” Whalen going 3-5 one hit shy of the cycle!!! Another Rookie took write up personal Big Dick Peter K was 4-4. Have a day rookies!!! After that it was a Total team effort everybody had a hit or more on the day!!! Congrats Captain Meyerlanski!!!! Dem Boyz will have double dip Sunday against a cowboy and RoBecker!! Stay Swaggy Marlboro!!!