Sullivan County Democrat
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Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

ROCHE'S IS THE 2001 Monticello Men’s League “A” Division Playoff Champion. Kneeling from left to right are John Wilhelm, Paul Braun, Bill Tolli, Mike Mancuso, Brian Collier and Bob Yakin. Standing in the same order are Merrill Connor, Mike Finn, Dennis Dietrich, Tom Giordano, Paul Exner (with his daughter, Ashley), Jim Brush, Jeremy Ernst and Scott Mosher. Missing from photo are Manager Tony Mancuso and players Pete Rossiter, Joe Sottolano, Mike Yager and Tim Yager.

Meet the New Champs

By Rob Potter
MONGAUP VALLEY — August 28, 2001 – Lewis Auto Parts manager Fritz Kirchner just shook his head and shrugged his shoulders following last Thursday’s Monticello Men’s Softball League “A” Division playoff game.
“We’re playing against the best,” Kirchner said.
“The best” Kirchner referred to was the Roche’s Garage softball team. Roche’s rallied for two runs in the seventh inning to win the contest by a 5-4 margin.
That win, coupled with Roche’s 15-5 victory two nights before, gave Roche’s the “A” division championship.
Until that last-inning comeback, however, it appeared that Lewis Auto Parts would force a third and deciding game in the playoff series.
Down 3-2 in the fourth inning, Lewis rallied to take the lead and momentum. With one out, Chris Reichmann ripped a triple down the right field line. Reichmann scored to knot the game at 3-3 when the next batter in the Lewis line-up, Ken Peters, grounded out to second base.
Brian Kitson then doubled to right field to keep the inning alive. As Mike Larson beat out a ground ball, Kitson, who had moved to third base on a wild pitch, scored to give Lewis a 4-3 lead.
Lewis held that advantage until the top ot the seventh. With one out, Mike Mancuso singled and Jim Brush followed with a double to left center to tie the game.
Brush scored what turned out to be the game-winning run when Paul Braun grounded out.
After giving up a one-out single to Mike Weir in the bottom of the seventh, Roche’s pitcher Scott Mosher induced fly outs from Stu Parsons and Craig Smith to preserve the win.
“They’re a good hitting team,” Mosher said of Lewis Auto Parts.“I was a little nervous. I didn’t want to come back and play them again.”
The victory marked another milestone in a very successful season for Roche’s, which captured both the Edward M. Collins Memorial and Neal B. Turfler Tournaments earlier this month. Mosher stressed the support the team receives from its sponsor, Roche’s Garage of Callicoon. He noted that while some players on other teams must pay their own entry fees for area tournaments, Roche’s pays those fees for its team members.
“I just want to thank Mickey (Roche) for the year,” Mosher said. “You couldn’t have a nicer sponsor.”
Though the game’s outcome was disappointing for Kirchner, he praised his team for advancing as far as it did. He also noted the performance of pitcher Tim “Chopper” Ackermann.
“Chopper did a helluva job for us this season,” said Kirchner, noting that Ackermann became Lewis’ number one pitcher halfway through the season after ace hurler Bob Head suffered an injury. “We just gave him the ball and he did a great job.”

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