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Democrat Photo by Ted Waddell

IN ONE OF the few tournament games not affected by rain, Captain’s Table pitcher Merrill Connor looks toward first base as an out is recorded there.

Weather Won't Let Up
On Softball Tournaments

By Ted Waddell
MONGAUP VALLEY — August 12, 2003 – In the wake of Saturday’s games being delayed by heavy rains, inclement weather struck again on Sunday at Collins Field, curtailing the 22nd Annual Edward M. Collins Memorial Softball Tournament.
In the midst of the match-up between national champions DeVries Concrete of Middletown and Captain’s Table of Monroe Woodbury, a storm blew up the valley, drenching an already soaked field.
On Sunday, a hardy crew of volunteers from the Smallwood/Mongaup Valley Fire Department (SMVFD) – which hosts the tournament each year – showed up at 4 a.m., yes, as in four o’clock in the morning, to rake the field.
And it worked, at least until rain staged a repeat performance, lashing the sodden field into a quagmire.
Dennis Dietrich has been the tournament director since the gitgo.
“This is one of the strongest lineups we’ve had in many years,” he said. “You’ve got the national champs and most of the guys from the old Roche’s Team [playing on the Captain’s Table roster]. Lakewood Estates is a good young team, and the Z-Tile pitcher from New Zealand really throws it!”
Charlie Kalinowski, 1st Assistant Chief at SMVFD, was the guy in charge of burgers and dogs over at the concession stand.
“We had a little rainout yesterday, but the field came around,” Kalinowski said before Sunday’s drencher.
“We’ve had a lot of good pitching,” he added.
Bob Bonnaci, Sr. said the tourney served up two kinds of barbecue featuring the “Bonnaci Family’s Secret Recipe” for chicken barbecue and Eddie Lube’s homemade barbeque sauce slathered on chicken and pork loins.
“We sold out on Saturday, and had to get some more this morning,” said Bonnaci, an 18-year member of the local fire department.
Moments before the storm hit, Bonnaci said, “That’s the last hurrah for the chicken this year.”
After holding a quick conference and assessing the condition of field, Dietrich ruled it a last hurrah for this year’s event.
Z-Tile of Bloomingdale, NJ was declared the tournament champion based on runs given up, as the team allowed a mere four opposition runners to cross the plate.
The second place trophy was awarded to Lakewood Estates of Port Jervis, which yielded a total of five runs during the tourney.
In addition to the teams already noted, other participating teams included: Amazing Bombers of Monticello ( a team of players from the Monticello and Liberty softball leagues), Copperfield’s Bar and Restaurant of Montgomery, J & W Plumbing and Heating of Matamoras, Pa., Kestler Well Drilling of Hawley, Pa. and Zubies Lawn & Garden of Matamoras, Pa.
The annual tournament is held each August at the field bearing his name to honor the memory of Eddie Collins, a 1970 graduate of Eldred Central School. Known as one of the best all-around athletes in that school’s history and the veteran of many softball teams, Collins was just 29 years old when he died of viral pneumonia in April 1981.

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