By Rob Potter
MONGAUP VALLEY June 11, 2004 The Smallwood-Mongaup Valley Fire Department softball team earned a victory Tuesday night, but it had to withstand a last-inning comeback attempt to do so.
Smallwood-Mongaup Valley FD took a 14-4 lead into the seventh inning, but the White Lake FD team scored six runs in that inning to close its deficit to just four runs. But SMVFD recorded the third out of the frame before WLFD got any closer to preserve a 14-10 victory in the Sullivan County Firemens Softball League game that was played at Edward M. Collins Memorial Park in Mongaup Valley.
After a scoreless first inning, the SMVFD offense started to click in the bottom of the second. Nine batters stepped up to the plate in the inning as the team grabbed a 5-0 lead. With one out and Tim Morey on base, John Panos ripped a triple to center field that allowed Morey to cross home plate with the first run of the game. The next batter, George Speer, reached on an error to put two runners on with still just one out in the inning. Jake Burns then hit a bloop single to shallow right field to bring Panos in to score.
Later in the frame, Gerard Donohue reached base on a fielders choice to put runners on the corners. Donohues son, Jerry, then stroked a double to left center field. Speer and Gerard Donohue scored easily on the hit to give SMVFD a 4-0 lead. Seconds later, Jerry Donohue crossed home plate due to an errant relay throw from the outfield.
The WLFD offense answered immediately, however. In the top of the third, three of the first four batters singled to load the bases with just one out. Russ Keesler then reached base on a fielders choice ground ball to shortstop, which allowed teammate Shane Cunningham to score. The next batter, Bob Yakin Jr., singled to score Todd Telesky and make it a 5-2 game.
SMVFD extended its lead to 7-2 by scoring one run in bottom of the third and another in the bottom of the fourth. Josh Hinkley crossed home plate on a error in the third and hit an RBI double in the fourth that brought teammate Dusty Miller around to score.
With the scoreboard still showing SMVFD with a 7-2 advantage in the top of the sixth, WLFD scored a pair of runs. Keesler led off the frame with a solid double to right center field. Yakin then crushed a pitch, sending the ball flying high towards the center field wall. The ball landed at the base of the wall, which allowed Keesler to score easily and Yakin to trot into third base with a stand-up triple. Robbie Keesler then hit a bloop single to center field to score Yakin, which cut the SMVFD lead to just three runs at 7-4.
But SMVFD added some insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth. Chris Cavello had a RBI double and Hinkley and Morey each recorded an RBI single to push the SMVFD lead to 10-4. A sacrifice fly by Joe Bonnaci, an WLFD error and two-run single by Jake Burns gave SMVFD a 10-run lead heading into the final inning.
Cunningham, Telesky and Ralph Brown Sr. led off the WLFD seventh with back-to-back-to-back singles. Browns hit allowed Cunningham to score and make it a 14-5 game. Two batters later, Yakin singled to score Telesky.
Moments later, Derk Van Wolde hit into a fielders choice and Brown scored on the play as the second out of the frame was recorded. The next batter, Frank DiCostanza ripped a triple to left center field that brought both Yakin and Derk Van Wolde to the plate. Kyle Van Wolde then reached base on an infield hit. DiCostanza scored on the play to cut the SMVFD lead to 14-10.
But Cavello, who pitched the entire game for SMVFD, got the next batter to hit a fly ball to center field to end the contest.
Cavello got the win, while DiCostanza took the loss for WLFD.
SMVFD improved its record to 2-2 for this season, while WLFD fell to 1-2.