By Mark Senna
Under normal conditions, the first week of August usually brings the start of the playoffs here at M Street. However, the pandemic has caused a very late start to the season so here we are just hitting our stride at the midway point. For a brief moment on Friday it was looking like we were going to lose that momentum and our season when governor Baker scaled back his reopening plan. Not to worry folks, his plan reduced the number of large gatherings from 100 to 50, which we are under on most nights at the park. Not sure about those large protests though. The organizers are going to have to keep a close count or face the idea of being shutdown. Yeah right!
Moving along, the Pat Simpson Club enjoyed a great week of softball by winning two hard fought games that vaulted them into first place in the Larry Lucas (“A”) division. If you don’t personally know the players from this team then I can assure you they have quite the cast of characters. Keeping it all together and calling the shots is their leader, Scott Simpson. Scott is selfless and is often penciling other players in the lineup instead of him and he’s a great player too. That’s what being a leader is all about.
Speaking of leading, Roza Lyons has led the Buckey Feeney (“B”) division since the very start of the season. Coach David Franco has assembled another talented team and manages one of the most organized and well-liked teams in the league. From submitting his carefully penned lineups where every player’s full name is spelled out to having his team in matching uniforms, Franco is on the ball and very much appreciated at this address.
Southside also enjoyed a successful week, which has led them to taking over first place in the Sam Moran (“B”) division. This family oriented team is led by Nick Manning and has the longest running lineage in the league. They started in 1999 as the L Street Tavern and then became the Boston Beer Garden and eventually, Southside Tavern. Peter Drummey is the only veteran remaining as Manning has reconstructed the roster. John, Zac, and Jack round out the Manning tribe on the roster. Pitcher Jack is in his seventies and is still lacing them up and taking the ball. Amazing!
Last week’s action started with the Bravos taking down STATS 5-4 behind pitcher Jose Bonilla’s strong outing. Jose’s son Jonathan put the Bravos ahead to stay in the third inning when he cleared the bases with a double.
The middle tilt saw the Dukies take out DRC, 13-5. Pat O’Sullivan (3 hits), Brian Walsh (3 hits), and Colin McNeil (2 hits, 3 runs, 3 RBI) provided the offense for Dukies while Ernie Vega (2 hits) and Tony Hutchinson (2 hits) were the hitting stars for DRC.
Monday came to a close with a great pitcher’s duel between Simpson’s Mike Garland and the Pirates ace, Jimmy Pinkston. This one had high drama throughout but it came with minimal scoring. Mark Goodman broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the fourth with a laser beam homerun to left center that put Simpson ahead. Goose eggs were tossed the rest of the way until the very last frame. The Pirates loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning. Anything other than a strikeout should tie the game. Nope! A sharp ground ball was hit to second baseman, Brian Goodman, who fielded and tossed to shortstop, Michael Lush, who then fired to Pat Dolbeare for the game ending double play, mercy!
On Tuesday, the red-hot Dorchester Brew Crew showed the league why they should be taken seriously as they flexed and pimped there way to an impressive 21-10 win over Pastoral. Bo Berluti (5 hits, 2 HR, 7 RBI), Glen Parsons (4 hits), and Derek Curley (4 hits) led the Crew while Tyler Weeks and Tim Juitt hit two home runs each for Pastoral.
In the middle contest it was the Playwright Shamrocks out-smashing the Ballers, 18-8. Sean Clarke (3 hits), Sean Higgins (3 hits, 4 RBI), and Mike Blackman (3 hits, 4 runs) were the stars for Playwright while Jimmy Butler (3 hits) led the Ballers attack.
Tuesday came to a close as VMT took on Roza Lyons with first place in the Feeney division at stake. VMT took an 8-4 lead into the top of the sixth inning when Roza’s offense erupted. Ten runs came across the plate highlighted by two blasts – a three run home run by Tom Cole and a two run home run by Jamill Moquette. Those runs would be all Roza would need as they cruised to an 18-11 victory. Forrest Kimball led VMT with three hits and three runs scored.
Wednesday began with a beauty as the Banshee and Southside battled for eight innings and still couldn’t produce a winner. Southside pulled ahead in the fifth when Taylor Spagone and Nick Manning drove home a pair of runs each, 8-4. But JJ Sabin and the Banshee answered the bell in the very next inning with Sabin going deep to tie the game, 8-8. Due to time constraints, the teams were only able to play one extra frame and nobody scored so it will go in the books as a tied game. James Katsiroubas (3 hits, 2 doubles) led the Banshee’s offense while Zach Manning (3 hits) paced Southside.
The middle tilt saw a desperate Pirates team looking to end a three game skid take on the Telegraph Hill. From the outset, it was all Pirates as they scored in every inning and made quick work of the Hill gang, 20-6. Bryan Erwin (HR, 5 RBI), Esteban Trujillo (3 hits, 4 runs), and Edwin Colon (3 hits) provided the knockout blows while Alex Cooper (HR, 3 RBI) was the lone star for Telegraph.
Wednesday’s nightcap saw the Kekambas take on Lincoln Tavern with both teams still looking to establish their identity. Scott Morrison (3 hits) put the Kekambas ahead 1-0 in the third but that would be all the scoring as pitcher Drew Atton tossed his best game of the season thus far. Taylor Ferguson put Lincoln ahead to stay in the bottom of the third with a 2-run homerun.
Thursday’s action saw the Betty’s squad dismantle the Bombers, 17-5. Chris Peris (double, two triples, 6 RBI), Alberto Vasquez (3 hits, 3 runs), Nick Slevoski (3 hits), and Nick Sours (3 hits, 3 runs) provided the punch for Betty’s.
The middle contest put the Kekambas and STATS on the field with each looking to end a skid and put one back in the win column. The Kekambas were clinging to a 3-2 lead entering the bottom of the third when the game would change with one swing of the bat. Phil Scirreta (triple, 2 HR, 6 RBI) hit a 3-run homerun as STATS rallied to plate seven runs in the inning which help lead to an 11-3 win. Pitcher Tom Kazanowski went the distance to earn his third win of the season. Will Sleeper (4 hits) was the hitting star for Kekambas.
The week closed with two great games and one upset. Up first was the Telegraph Hill taking on Lincoln Tavern. The Hill’s bats sprung to life in the first inning as they put up four runs, 4-0. They eventually would carry a 5-2 lead into the bottom of the fifth where Sean Gorman would tie the game with a bases clearing double, 5-5. The very next inning, Max Vigliotti hit a home run to put Lincoln ahead to stay as pitcher, Chris Boyd, secured the 8-6 victory. Scott Howard and Luke Serra (3 hits each) led the hitting attack for Telegraph.
The middle game was a “made for TV” game as the Simpson Club took on the Los Bravos with first place in the Lucas division on the line. The league was broadcasting the game through FaceBook “Live” and we had over twenty viewers tuned in to see the action. The Simpson Club didn’t disappoint the raucous home crowd as they jumped out to an early 3-0 lead. In the top of the fifth, the Bravos offense came to life when Tati Baez came through with a clutch hit that tied the game and quieted the crowd. After pitcher Mike Garland tossed a scoreless sixth, Simpson’s Pat Dolbeare rewarded his club with a game winning two-run double. The tough luck-losing pitcher was, Jose Bonilla, who at one point, struck out five batters in a row!
The week came to a close with Southside taking down Betty’s, 17-5. The win moved Southside into first place in the Feeney division. Pete Drummey picked up the win while Scott Tarentino (5 hits) and Jack Hockington (3 hits, 6 RBI) were the driving force at the plate.
In closing, we had a team mistakenly leave two very expensive bats at the field after their game on Friday night. They didn’t realize the bats were missing until their next game, which was on Monday at 6pm. The coach sent me a text and asked if I had found any bats left behind. I quickly looked at the schedule to see who played on Friday and then sent out a group text to the coaches of those teams. At this point, I’m thinking the chance of recovering the bats was very low. Within minutes I got two responses. The first, “no, but I found a glove on the bench.” The second, “what kind of bats?” I replied that they were DeMarini’s. “I have them. When are they playing next?” I answered that they are playing right now. Within minutes, the missing bats were returned and in the hands of the owners just in time for their first at bats of the game. Needless to say, the guys were extremely grateful and sent me a follow up of thanks. “This league has a lot of good people in it” it sure does my friend. It sure does!
That will wrap up another very busy week of softball at this address. M Street Softball games are played Monday through Friday starting at 6pm, 7:30, and 9pm. Have a great week everyone!