By Frank Rizzo
MONGAUP VALLEY September 1, 2000 Maybe it did not make up fully for the disappointing showing at the Turfler Tournament, but a win is a win, especially when it drops the curtain on the season.
Roches Garage of Callicoon edged Lewis Auto Parts of Liberty 13-12 in the rubber match of the Monticello mens Softball league A Division championship match.
The contest was held on Wednesday night at Eddie Collins Memorial Park in Mongaup Valley. The teams had split the first two games, and had to wait two weeks to play the decisive one.
Todd Mosher, bad arm and all (he tore some muscles in his shoulders two years ago and rarely plays the outfield) threw out Ron Paulson at the plate in the bottom of the seventh to complete a double play and preserve the win for his brother Scott.
LAP scored first against Mosher. Kurt Buddenhagen drew a two-out walk and went all the way home when Brian Golden lifted a tricky pop behind first. Mike Yager gamely tried but could not hold on to the ball.
In their bottom of the half Roches struck back against Bob Head who is also on Roches roster and pitched for the team in the Turfler. With two outs and two on Mike Yager blasted a no-doubter over the left field wall, the first of five home runs by the two teams on the night.
Head thought that he and his sometime teammate Scott Mosher werent getting a consistent strike zone.
They knew he [the plate ump] wasnt calling the corners, so I had to throw it down the middle and they were waiting for it, said the veteran hurler.
Mike Mancusos two-out single in the second scored Tim Yager, who had led off with a double, and gave Roches a 4-1 lead.
LAP tied the game in the third, aided by a couple of errors and two bases loaded walks by Mosher. then he offered a fat pitch that Stu Parsons crushed over the center field wall and LAP now led 8-4.
It was short lived.
Roches loaded the bases again in the third and scored one run on an error. With two outs and the bases full, Marc Anthony, a strikeout victim his first time up, lined an opposite field single to score two runs and cut the margin to 8-7.
The fleet Chris Hubert, leading off the LAP fourth, went all the way to third on a throwing error. Matt Buddenhagen immediately sent him home with a sac fly.
Mike Yager struck again in the fourth, tagging a Head pitch over the right field wall for two runs and a 10-9 Roches lead. Tom Giordano and Jim Brush then joined the home run parade against Head, upping the lead to 13-9.
Brushs two-run shot turned out to provide the winning margin.
After the pitchers exchanged rare 1-2-3 innings in the fifth, LAP got aboard again in the sixth. Keon Miller led off with a triple, and immediately scored on Chris Huberts single to make it a 13-10 game.
Head set the Roches side in order in the bottom of the frame to set up the dramatic finale.
Mosher issued a leadoff walk to Craig Smith, then gave up a bloop single to Glenn Hermann. LAP manager Fritz Kirchner then sent Joe levner in to run for Hermann and he went all the way to third when Parsons lashed a single to right. Smith scored to make it 13-11.
Tim Hubert then scored Levner with a single up the middle and Parsons reached third. Paulson was sent in to run for the big first baseman.
Mosher got Tim Bult to pop to second. Miller then skied one to Todd Mosher in center. Paulson tagged, but stumbled, and this might have cost him. Moshers throw was on target and catcher John Wilhelm held on to the ball to complete the double play.
In the meanwhile Roches was denied a bid to win its 11th Neal B. Turfler Softball Tournament, held the weekend of August 18-20 in Middletown.
The dominating team in the tournaments 21 years, Roches was eliminated via two one-run decisions.
There was an obvious reason [we lost]. We were flat and did not hit, said Roches manager Tony Mancuso. The middle part of our batting order did not come through in the clutch spots.
Roches also had to play without one of their best hitters, former Turfler MVP Todd Mosher, along with Merle Connor and Mike Finn.
On Wednesday night the Roches batters rediscovered their stroke, giving them a victorious season sendoff.