Week #11: Holliston Senior Softball Wrap-Up: (thru 6/26)
Week 11: PLAYOFF WEEKEND!
Dalton Rd took down South, 13-6 and claimed sole possession of 3rd place in the ‘A’ division. For what started as such a promising season for South (6-0), ends with losing 3 of the last 4 and finishing 4th in ‘A’. Dalton Rd, on the other hand, quietly went about their business and won 4 of 5 to end the season. Manager Steve Cotto deserves a ton of credit for navigating this roster as each week was a struggle to field 10 players. From P Dave Birmingham’s gambling (he makes Mickelson looked reformed), SS Jason Krantz’s love of Southern Rockhopper Penguins (see wk #3), 3B Jamie Ross’ newfound love of soap carving (Sunday craft fairs), to 2B Mike Silk’s decision to take on the lead role as Executive of the Wellfleet Bay Audubon Sanctuary, Cotto still managed to field a competitive team each Sunday. Congrats, Steve…
In the ‘A’ Championship Game at Damagella, Kampersal bludgeoned 6X-defending champions Braggville, 22-12 with a relentless line-up and stellar defense. P/slugger Alex Kampersal was named MVP (by me) going 4-4 with 2 HR’s and 8 RBI while pitching a gem as he kept the middle of the Braggville line up fairly quiet after a shaky bottom of the first as Braggville jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead. Kampersal answered in the 2nd when OF Dennis Dietz put Kampys on the board with a 2-run HR. From there, P Alex ‘Big Hurt’ Kampersal went to work on his historic night and connected on his first 3 -run HR in the 3rd. As has been the theme all year with this squad, their defense shined when needed most. Braggville’s P Chris Connors was victimized twice on the bases by ridiculous throws from the young Kampersal additions. In the 3rd, Connors hit a rocket to 3rd that deflected toward SS and Josh Jolicouer bare hands it and fires a strike to first to get him by half a step. In the 5th, Connors tried to go 1st to 3rd on a single to right but, RF Bill Sticka had other ideas and threw him out by 10 feet to end a Braggville threat. Kampy’s LF Brad Rowe left his mark on this game too with a 2-run HR in the 5th to tie it and then robbed Braggville’s Ted Mottor of extra bases with a fine sliding catch toward the foul line in the bottom of the inning. Later in the 5th, the Big Hurt put the game out of reach with his second 3-run jack of the night to extend the lead to 10. Congrats to Kampersal!
Game Note#1: Kampersal was without both Tom and George Kampersal Jr who were on a family vacation to the Dominican Republic. Not sure who Alex upset but, maybe after directing this team to the title, he’ll get the invite next time. Millie, make it happen!!
Game note #2: The nucleus of this team is all under 40 so, I see Kampy’s being in the running for a long time. GM Tom Kampersal has set the standard, who will follow is the question.
Johnson North walked-off The Hood, 13-12 to punch their ticket to ‘A’ division in just their 2nd yr! Congrats to manager Derek Darling and all the kids. Trailing 12-2 after 4 innings thanks in part to the stellar pitching of The Hood’s Jim Werner, Johnson began their comeback in the 5th as they figured Werner out and scored 5 to make it a game again. The Hood looked to answer in the 6th but Johnson 2B Leo Downing made a tremendous diving stab of a liner off the bat of OF Greg Andreola to prevent 2 runs from scoring and keeping all the momentum with his squad. OF Tom McMahon’s (4 for 4) HR in the 6th cut the lead to 4 and P Derek Darling’s (4 for 4) double then cut it to 3 setting up a memorable finish in the bottom of the 7th. With 1-out and the bases loaded, future HSS MVP, SS Chris King hit a bomb into the playground in left to send his team up to ‘A’ division.
With a log jam in ‘A’ with 3 teams (DYR, Jasper, & Anthony’s) within 1 game of each other, this playoff weekend had more meaning than in past years as both Anthony’s and DYR were teetering on relegationand needed help to stay in A. Anthony’s East staved off relegation to ‘B’ with a dominant win over Jasper Rock, 13-4 behind the pitching of veteran Alan Lisak who gave up just 2 ER in 7 innings. Anthony’s was led by 2B Dan Higgins’s 3 hits, and 3 runs scored while OF Angelo Damato had 2 doubles along with 3 RBI. With nothing really to play for, Jasper played like it and with their loss, relegated DYR (despite a win Sunday) to ‘B’ based on the tie-breaker formula. Anthony’s did have some concerns post game as star LF Ben Pratt seemed to be favoring his throwing arm at the year-end banquet. We’ll keep an eye on his off-season rehab.
DYR edged Downtown, 24-23 behind the gutsy performance of spot-starter Doug Reeley who battled his way through 7 innings. Thrown into the circle because starting P Justin Lessard decided this was the weekend to visit the New England Wildflower Society Gardens in Framingham and back up P Matt Piselli was off in Europe on a Griswold family vacation. Reeley asked for the ball and delivered, (sort of). Downtown jumped out to an early 5-0 lead but DYR, for the first time in 2 weeks, put up more than 1 run with an 8-run 3rd behind SS Jason MacDonald’s 3-run HR and 2B Zach Raymond’s 2-run blast. New leadoff hitter RF Ken Szajda shined in his new spot going 5-6 with an inside-the-park HR and scored 5 times. (Seems Jobu woke up the bats). Up 12 heading into the top of the 7th, Reeley tired having thrown 1,235 pitches through 6 and lost his control in the 7th. After 2 walks, Downtown went with the ‘Kevin Youkilis’ approach and looked for walks as the bottom of the order was up. It worked. After a few more walks led to 3 runs, the heart of the order for Downtown decided to swing and slugger Tim McCarron hit a 3-run blast to cut the lead to 5. RF Todd Kiley soon followed with a 2-run single and CF Scott Burke drove in 2 with a double. Finally with 2-out and the tying run on third, Reeley’s 1,297th pitch induced a fielder’s choice grounder to SS to end the game. Despite the win, DYR, along with Downtown, are headed down to ‘B’ division next yr. Thanks a lot, Jasper….
Mudville beat up on Brentwood, 19-5 behind the bat of Manager/3B Eric Kuharich who went 4-4 with 4 runs scored and OF Eric Higgins’ whose 3-run HR in the 3rd started the 9-run inning. Higgins also robbed SS Shawn Thompson of extra bases and RBIs with a diving stab of liner in the 4th. With the win, Mudville heads on up to ‘A’ along with the Johnson kids. Postgame at the banquet, Kuharich dedicated the win to their fallen SS Mark Landry who passed away last year unexpectedly from a heart attack. Classy move for a great guy taken way too soon. R.I.P., Mark.
Queens KingZ, 12-9 as OF Mike McKenna led the way for Lions with 3 doubles and 4 RBI on the night. (Need managers for both these teams to supply a little recap to spice up this write up.)
Season Ending Notes:
- A big THANK YOU to Mike and his crew at Anthony’s for taking such good care of us these past 11 Sunday nights. Beers are cold and the pizza is hot! Wait Staff is outstanding too….
- Special thanks to Jack Hendler of Downtown and owner of Jacks Abby Brewing Co for his creation/donation of ‘Sunday Night Light’ lager beer. Very cool to see HSS represented on the can!
- Alert: Special column next week with our Year-end Awards and Wrap up as voted on by the managers and me.
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