After a full month off, with temperatures in the 50’s, it damn-near felt like opening day again. But the ball was flying around the park like the teams in the Wild Wild West were in mid-summer form.
Game 1 – MaGerks (4-2) at Hattricks (0-4)
MaGerks got things going in a hurry with 3 straight singles before Brian Hilbert delivered a big 2-RBI double, as 4 runners crossed the plate in the top of the first. In the bottom half, Bob Scott tripled and Josh Graef drove him in with an RBI double for Hattricks.
Bill Schubert led off the second with a double for MaGerks before the singles parade started, yielding 3 more runs. In the bottom half, Hattricks aimed to up their individual slugging percentages, as Basil Papanicolopoulos tripled before Frank Murray, Jordan Glasure, Steve Day and Kyle Ramsay all doubled, nearly catching up in the process. MaGerks held a slim 1-run, 7-6 lead after two.
In the middle innings, these teams had a case of “anything you can do, I can do better.” The teams traded 2-run innings in the third, as Bill Schubert again doubled for MaGerks and both Josh Graef and Basil Papanicolopoulos tripled for Hattricks. In the fourth, they traded 3-run innings. Ryan Bell doubled for MaGerks, while Hattricks again racked up the extra-baggers, as Matt Bookheimer doubled before Bob Scott and Josh Graef both tripled.
MaGerks cooled off in the fifth, but hattricks continued to ball out. Pat O’Leary kicked off the fifth with a solo homer. A single, a walk and an error set the stage for Kyle Ramsay’s RBI double, helping to produce 5 runs and take the 16-12 lead. Hattricks continued to pile on in the sixth, as Bob Scott and Josh Graef kicked off the inning with back-to-back solo homers. Pat O’Leary and Basil Papanicolopoulos tripled and Collin Murray doubled en route to a 7-run outburst, extending Hattricks’ lead to 23-12.
The 4-2 MaGerks squad was stunned by the 0-4 Hattricks offensive onslaught, but still had an inning to recover. Jim Malloy led off the seventh with a walk and then Brian Hilbert knocked him in with an RBI double. He’d later score on an RBI single from Steve Korpalski, but that’s where the rally would end.
Hattricks got themselves into the win column in convincing fashion.
Final Score: Hattricks 23 (1-4) MaGerks Pub 14 (4-3)
Player of the Game: Given the outburst, it’s hard to pick a single player from Hattricks, but Josh Graef was a step above his teammates. Graef went 4 for 4 with a double, 2 triples and a homerun, including 3 RBIs and 2 Runs Scored.
Game 2 – Randazzos Pizza (0-4) at SCLSU Mud Dogs (4-0)
In game one of the day, Hattricks got their first win over a playoff-bound team. Randazzos looked to do the same in game two, kicking off the first with a leadoff double from Pete Corrigan followed by a 2-run homer from Mike Howard. Anthony Miller followed up with a solo homer of his own, quickly giving Randazzos a 3-0 lead. It was short-lived, though, as the Mud Dogs used 5 singles and a walk to quickly grab the lead 4-3.
After a quiet second, Harr Steglich delivered a big 2-RBI triple for Randazzos, putting them back on top. Again, the lead wasn’t held for long, as Matt Figueroa smashed a solo homer to lead off the inning for the Mud Dogs. Later in the inning, Jason Figueroa smacked an RBI triple, putting his team ahead 7-5
Pete Corrigan delivered an RBI triple in the fourth, bringing Randazzos back to within 1. In the fifth, Randazzos would actually, once again, reclaim the lead 10-7, thanks to back-to-back doubles from Harry Steglich and Brandon Crockett.
The lead would stand through the bottom of the fifth. Randazzos failed to tack on insurance runs in the sixth, so the Mud Dogs took advantage. B2B singles kicked off the inning before B2B2B doubles from Matt Figueroa, Ben Daniels and Sam Matos did the real damage. Things started to settle, but then Matt Greever added a double of his own for good measure, putting the Dogs back on top 11-10.
The seesaw battle continued as Angelo Miller homered for Randazzos in the seventh, knotting the score at 11. In the bottom half, needing just one run, the Mud Dogs loaded the bases with a single, a double from Matt Figueroa and a walk. With one out and the winning run just 65 feet from home, Sam Matos had a number of options at his disposal to provide his team a walk-off victory. Ultimately, he didn’t need to do anything other than step to the plate, as Randazzos walked Matos, gifting the Mud Dogs the winning run.
The Mud Dogs won this exciting game in true “walk” off fashion.
Final Score: SCLSU Mud Dogs 12 (5-0) Randazzos Pizza 11 (0-5)
Player of the Game: Harry Steglich was the straw that stirred the drink for Randazzos with his double, triple and 4-RBIs, but Matt Figueroa was the clear player of the game. Figueroa went 5 for 5 including 2 doubles, a homerun, 2 RBIs and 3 Runs Scored.
Game 3 – Backdoor Sliders (1-2-1) at Jackhammers (3-2)
To keep themselves in serious playoff contention, the Sliders needed a win in this one. Under the circumstances, it appears no one sent out that memo to the team.
Despite an error and a free pass, the Sliders couldn’t score in the first. The Jackhammers had no such issues. Mike Wadsworth blasted a 3-run bomb, quickly giving his team a 4-0 edge. A series of errors and walks tacked on another, making it 5-0 after the first.
In the second, the Sliders got a little something going, as John Aiken delivered a 2-RBI double, helping show some signs of life. But the Jackhammers used their first inning template once again. With two men on, Wadsworth blasted another 3-run bomb, putting the Jackhammers up 9-2.
A 1-2-3 inning for the Sliders allowed the Jackhammers top half of the order to strike again. Rob Wardrop smacked a 2-RBI triple, extending the score to 12-2. After a scoreless fourth, the Jackhammers used 5 singles, 2 walks and RBI doubles from Glen Hipple and Chris Day to tack on 7 more runs.
Down 19-2, the Sliders needed 3 runs just to extend the game. 3 errors and 3 walks helped to accomplish this, as the Sliders scored 5, closing the gap to 19-7…that is, until the Jackhammers came to the plate again. Looking to put the Sliders away for good, the Jackhammers loaded the bases via singles and walks before Mike Wadsworth delivered the death blow…a Grand Slam, marking his third homer of the day, enacting the mercy rule in the process.
This one wasn’t pretty, as the Jackhammers won it going away.
Final Score: Jackhammers 24 (4-2) Backdoor Sliders 7 (1-3-1)
Player of the Game – Arguably the single best individual performance I’ve seen in my time in SBA, Mike Wadsworth had himself a game. He went 3 for 3 plus a walk and a sac fly. All 3 of his hits were homeruns, accounting for 11 RBIs and 3 Runs Scored. WOW!
Game 4 – Hambinos (2-3) at Isotopes (2-2-1)
With these squads back-to-back in the standings, this one looked to have serious playoff seeding ramifications…and things got going in a hurry.
The Hambinos went to work in the first, using a handful of singles and walks, plus an RBI double from Joe Pizzola to score 5. The Isotopes fired back in the bottom half, capitalizing on a double from Howard Miller, a 2-run triple from Keith Szurpeta and a 3-run homer from Justin Berry to take the lead 7-5.
Hambinos reclaimed the lead, briefly, in the second when Joe Pizzola launched his own 3-run homer over the fence, putting his team ahead 8-7. But a pair of back-to-back doubles from Carlos Herring and Justin Berry helped the Isotopes to reclaim the lead 10-8.
The Hambinos kept on fighting the fight, using 7 singles plus a key 2-run double from Spencer Stutsky to plate 8 in the third. The Isotopes answered back thanks to a 3-run double from Justin Berry, but this time fell a little short, allowing the Hambinos to keep the lead for the first time all game, 16-14.
After the offensive onslaught in the third, it was a surprise that the Hambinos bats fell silent for the next three innings. The Isotopes took this opportunity to reclaim the lead and, they hoped, tack on enough insurance runs to preserve a W. Back-to-back doubles from Keith Szurpeta and Mike Ivers propelled the Isotopes back on top, 17-16, in the fourth. In the fifth, a Justin Berry double was followed by a Marc Miller homerun, making it 19-16.
Now down by 3, the Hambinos had work to do in the seventh. Tony Stevens led things off with a double. Mark Peasley singled, scoring Stevens, and then Joe Pizzola doubled, setting up Mike Hilt for the go-ahead 3-run bomb. Looking to tack on insurance runs of their own, the Hambinos used a Bill Peters double and a clutch 2-RBI single from Stutsky to extend their lead to 22-19.
Having relied on the long-ball for most of the game, it was surprising that the Isotopes used a small-ball strategy to attempt to rally for the win in the bottom of the seventh. After a lead-off out, Ryan Greenberg, Dave Ray and Keith Szurpeta all singled, loading the bases. Mike Ivers drove one in as he reached on an error. Colin Snyder drove another in with a walk. Jayson Banks tied the game with an RBI single. Finally, with the bases loaded and one out, Howard Miller singled, knocking in Szurpeta for the walk-off victory.
This was a back-and-forth battle all day, and the Isotopes ultimately came out on top, marking the second walk-off win in the B-West on this particular Sunday.
Final Score: Isotopes 23 (3-2-1) Hambinos 22 (2-4)
Player of the Game: Justin Berry was on fire all day, going 4 for 5 with 3 doubles, a homerun, 8 RBIs and 3 Runs Scored.
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