Week11: Holliston Senior Softball Wrap-Up: (thru 6/25)

Week 11:

Yes, Coach Mora, it was HSS playoff week!

For the 2nd time in as many years, Kampersal is on top of the HSS world with a convincing, 18-7 win over Braggville in the ‘A’ final.   But first, I’ll dive into their first win of the day since the new ‘A’ playoff format has the top 4 teams play a single elimination tournament.  Kampersal hosted the #4 seed, South in the first round and pounded them, 19-5.  South did get off to a quick start thanks to OF Sean Jaquet’s mammoth 3-run HR in the first which was inspired (probably)by the return of 2B Steve Lawless who came out of retirement for the 2nd time this yr.  Lawless fared well at the plate (2-4, 2B, RBI) but struggled in the field as his range is not what it once was:

The defending champs answered with 2 of their own in their half of the inning.  The score stayed that way until the 3rd when Kampy’s exploded for 7 runs, then 4 more in the 4th, and 6 more in the 5th to put this one away.  1B Alex ‘The Big Hurt’ Kampersal led the way in this one going 3 for 3 w 2 HRs and 5 RBI (one into the playground & the other off the roof of the Dunkin Donuts on Rt 16) while OF Brad Rowe was 4-5 w 2 doubles and 4 RBI.  3B Keith Carlton got into the long ball party as well with his 2-run bomb in the 5th. So, the 3/4/5 guys in the Kampy line-up went a combined 11-13 with 3 HR’s and 11 RBI…nbd

L-R: Alex Kampersal, Keith Carlton, and Brad Rowe: Kampersal’s version of Murderer’s Row.

Crazy play in the 4th when South P Bryan Sweeney fell to the ground mid-pitch, just collapsed in pain.  First thought was that the sniper from last week’s DYR -Lions gm made his way over to Damigella, but it appears to be some sort of knee injury.  Sweeney appeared fine at the banquet so, he may have pulled an ‘Al Czervik’ here to avoid that powerful Kampersal line up.

Sweeney Al Czervik leaving his match with a ‘broken arm’.

In the other ‘A’ first round game, Braggville beat Dalton Rd, 8-3 as OF Darren Fells and P Chris Connors had 3 hits and 2 RBI in the win.  Dalton Rd kept it close thanks to spot starter P Mike Silk who was called up from Cape Codto fill the void in the circle as Dalton’s #1 and #2 pitchers were unavailable.  Dalton had numerous chances to grab the lead with RISP but Connors kept them at bay when he needed to most.  The extreme humidity took its toll on Silky as Braggville added 3 runs late to put this one away.

Dalton Rd’s P Mike Silk cooling off between innings vs Braggville.

Braggville’s win set up the showdown we were looking for in the Championship Game, #1 vs #2 for the Cup.  (More to come on this one later in the wrap -up.)

Kampersal vs Braggville in a rematch of last year’s title game.

An undermanned Mudville squad nipped Anthony’s, 9-8 ending their 7-gm losing streak. Despite the absence of 3B Eric Kuharich, 1B Errick Spada, and P Eric Higgins, Mudville turned to some new faces to get the win.  SS Kenny MacFadyen (3-4, 2B, 3 RBI) and RF Brian Reid (4-4, 2 RBI) set the tone early offensively and late defensively to preserve the win.  MacFadyen flashed the leather in the 4th and 5th with 2 diving stops up the middle to end scoring threats while RF Reid threw a rocket from deep right to nail the potential tying run at 3rd in the 6th to preserve the lead.

Anthony’s Jack Connors is out at 3rd on an absolute missile from RF Brian Reid.

Now, back to the absence of ‘the 3 Erics’.  I was not able to confirm their whereabouts from current players at the banquet as they were joyously celebrating their win and wanted to keep the focus on the guys who were there, rightfully so. I did, however, receive intel that the 3 attended an 80’s band costume theme party at the Orpheum. Photo below from a reliable source confirms this:

L-R: Kuharich, Higgins, and Spada going as the great 80’s band, The Outfield.

HBO should include Mudville in their rotation of ‘Hard Knocks’ as this offseason sets up to be a doozy.   The clubhouse appears fractured now as guys were talking of a ‘new direction’ with the younger guys taking on a bigger role heading into next year while just a minority longed for the return of the ‘Erics’. New manager Eric Higgins needs to get out in front of this or the name Budville may be permanent. 

The Hood beat Kingz, 9-3 for their 3rd win over them this season thanks to the arm of P Shawn Peters, the bat of SS Greg Andreola, and some poor Kingz defense.  Peters gave up 10 hits but worked out of jams in the 3rd, 4th and 5th to keep Kingz off the scoreboard.  Andreola was 3-4 with a 2-run double in the 2th to extend their lead to 5 and The Hood never looked back. Kingz needed this win and a DYR loss to move to ‘A’ but played a bit tight in their first meaningful game in 15+ years with 4 errors in the first 2 innings. Still, manger Sean Foley deserves kudos for the revamped roster he’s assembled and it now seems Kingz will be competitve in the years to come.

Johnson North ended their 4-gm losing streak with a 10-8 win over Jasper Rock.  Johnson jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first on back-to-back doubles by OF Charles Kerchner and SS Leo Downing (subbing in for the vacationing Chris King) but Jasper answered with 4 of their own in the bottom half of the 1st as P Derek Cordon and C Greg Williams each had 2-out RBI singles.  Johnson then added 4 more in the 4th thanks to OF Tom McMahan and 3B Shawn Whitehead who each had 2-run doubles. In the 6th, Lindsay Chapman capped off the scoring for JN with a 2-out, 2-run single to make it 10-4.  Jasper would threaten in the 7th cutting the lead to 2 but two straight pop outs doomed their chances.

Johnson North celebrating their playoff win and ending their 4-gm skid.

It looks like Johnson North got the message regarding their postgame drink of choice after that embarrassing tailgate with Kampersal a few weeks back.  My source caught manager Derek Darling enjoying a real beer after his team’s victory.

Johnson North skipper Derek Darling enjoying not a fruity seltzer drink.

Lions earned their 1st win of the year with a 21-15 win over Brentwood!! OF Mike McKenna (5-6, HR, 2 2B’s, 6 RBI) and OF Ned Daniels (4-6, 2 2B’s, 5 RBI) paced the offense while P Peter Barberi got the big outs when needed.  With bases loaded and 2 out in the 6th, Barberi induced a deep fly to left by SS Shawn Thompson to end the last real Brentwood threat.  Congrats to Lions!!

Lions skipper John Cronin leaping on the pile of teammates as they celebrate their 1st win.

Downtown rallied to pound DYR, 25-13 as 3B Todd Kagno and 2B Pete Warren each had 4 hits and 5 RBI while P Mike Adams collected 3 hits and 4 RBI and shined on the mound.  After your humble correspondent’s bases loaded triple extended the DYR lead to 11-4, Downtown went on to score 21 unanswered despite DYR playing solid defense as DYR’s outfielders turned into Helen Keller, Michael J Fox, Stevie Wonder, and Stephen Hawking and committed somewhere in the neighborhood of 37 errors in Downtown’s 12-run 5th.

This slogan will appear on DYR’s new warm up shirts in 2024.

Despite the loss, DYR will still move up to ‘A’ thanks to The Hood’s victory over Kingz.

DYR up to ‘A’….

And now for the ‘A’ Championship: #1 Kampersal vs #2 Braggville.

This ‘A’ final was a rematch of their week #1 bout with a similar outcome as Kampersal rolled to an 18-7 thumping to secure their second straight HSS title.  Kampersal jumped out to 9-0 lead after 3 then Braggville answered w 5 in the 4th to make it a game. But, in their half of the 4th, Kampersal answered the threat with 5 of their own to pull away. As was the case vs South, the 3/4/5 guys in the lineup set the tone in this one as The Big Hurt (2-4, 2 2-run HR’s, 4 RBI), Brad Rowe (3-3, intentional BB, 2 HR’s, 5 RBI), and Keith Carlton (3-4, HR, 3 RBI) dominated.  So, for those keeping track, this trio was 19-24 with 7 HR and 23 RBI in 2 games.

Happy after hearing the line score for the 3/4/5 guys in the Kampy line-up.

As they say, hitting is contagious and the trio inspired the rest of the line up too as RF Bill Sticka (3-3, 2B, 2 RBI) and CF Dennis Dietz (3-4, 2 2B, HR, 3 RBI) enjoyed big games while SS Josh Joliquer, 2B Tim Swift and LF Chris ‘GQ’ Boggess joined the HR brigade in this one.  Kampersal bombarded the playground and school blasting 12 HRs in 2 games at Damigella while scoring 37 runs.  (Happy is asking that question again).

The Placentino Elementary school after the 2 Kampersal games at Damigella.

Congrats to Kampersal as the capture back-to-back titles in convincing fashion.  Well, at least their core is getting old and losing a step since their core players are all under 40, other teams need to hit the recruiting trail like GM Tom Kampersal has these past 4-5 years to make ‘A’ competitive again.

Delta Fl #213 headed to the Dominican with confirmation of Tom Kampersal aboard.
#recruitingtrip #nodaysoff.

The End of Season Banquet:

Every season ends with the banquet at Anthony’s on the Green, to celebrate the season, but this year’s celebration had a special twist to it.  Spawned from the creative mind of Bryan Sweeney, the HSS Board and 14 Managers unanimously agreed to change the name of the ‘A’ championship trophy to the Shanny Cup in honor of the recently retired and legendary Anthony East player and person, John Shannahan.  I wrote a special feature on John earlier this year you can read here.  Here is a picture of the new trophy for the ‘A’ winners:

Notice the broken softball (back right) as Sweeney had his hands on it for all of 10 seconds before snapping it off just before we presented it to John.
The 2023 ‘A’ Division Champions with the guest of honor, John Shannahan & The Shanny Cup.
L-R: Steve Cotto (Dalton Rd), Shannahan, Jack Connors (Anthony’s), and Derek Cordon (Jasper Rock)
Shannahan receiving the trophy from Bryan Sweeney(r) and then a 2-minute standing ovation.
  • Predictions:

After going 3-0 on the final weekend of the year, my record stands at:

*Prediction Record (11-0) NBD…..

                                 Me walking into Anthony’s Sun night after a perfect season of predictions.

Downtown and DYR are promoted to Division A – congratulations!

Congratulations to Kampersal for winning the Division A championship game
and congratulations to Downtown for winning the Division B championship game!

Season Ending Notes:

 ·        A big THANK YOU to Mike and his staff at Anthony’s for taking such good care of us these past 10 Sunday nights.  Beers are cold and the pizza is hot!  Teri, Shae, Audrey, and others (I’m terrible with names) thank you for putting up with this rowdy crew.

 ·        Alert: Special column next week soon with our Year-end Awards & Wrap Up as voted on by the managers and me.

Ken Sawyers


  1. Mary Greendale on June 30, 2023 at 1:08 pm

    As a “legitimate senior,” I am puzzled by the fact that a team has members who are under 40 playing for senior baseball. I thought 40 was the new 30???

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