Democrat Photo by Rob Potter
THE AMAZIN BOMBERS softball team won the Liberty Slow Pitch Softball League championship on Tuesday night. Kneeling from left to right are Dan Gallo (holding his daughter, Kristen), Dennis Rivera, Jay Legenos, Edwin Rodriguez (with the teams number one fan, Edwin Jones), Shane Conner and Mike Gallo. Standing from left to right are Mark Logan, Steve Vlaovich, John Brewer, Sam Millheiser, Keith Shaddock, John Rusin and Frank Exner.
Turning the Tables
At the Playoffs
By Rob Potter
LIBERTY August 27, 2004 After finishing second to the T&M Tree Service team during the Liberty Slow Pitch Softball Leagues regular season, the Amazin Bombers turned the tables against T&M in the leagues playoff championship series.
The Amazin Bombers prevailed in Sunday nights first game of the best-of-five finals series by a final score of 13-8. On Monday night, the Bombers took a two games to none lead with a 9-5 win.
On Tuesday night, the Bombers completed a three-game sweep of T&M.
After falling behind 5-0 in the first inning, the Bombers scored six runs in the second inning, seven in the third and six in the sixth on their way to a 22-14 win.
In the bottom of the first, however, T&M utilized its power to take that 5-0 advantage. After leadoff batter Ryan Edwards singled, Greg Lewis followed with a towering home run to left field to give T&M a 2-0 lead. Moments later, George Helms stepped into the batters box with two teammates on base. He blasted a homer to left center field, extending the T&M lead to 5-0.
But the Bombers responded in the top of the second. With one out, Dan Gallo walked and the next two batters, Mark Logan and Jay Legenos, singled to load the bases. Edwin Rodriguez then ripped a single to center field, bringing Gallo and Logan around to score.
The Bombers narrowed their deficit to 5-4 when Dennis Rivera and John Brewer each hit an RBI single. Rivera scored the tying run on an error later in the inning and Brewer scored the go-ahead run on a single by Keith Shaddock.
Down 6-5 in the bottom of the second, T&M wasted little time in knotting the score at 6-6. With two outs, John Mills blasted a solo home run to deep left field.
However, the Bombers took the lead for good in the top of the third. Steve Vlaovich and Gallo both scored on an error, which gave the Bombers an 8-6 advantage.
Two batters later, Legenos smacked a solo home run to center field. Later in the frame, the Bombers added a run on an RBI single by John Rusin.
The Bombers extended their lead to 13-6 when Shane Conner hit an RBI single to score Rusin. Sam Millheiser and Conner also scored on the play due to aggressive base running and an error by the T&M defense.
In the top of the fourth, the Bombers added a run on a one-out RBI single by Legenos. Rusin led off the top of the fifth by blasting a home run to left field, which gave the Bombers a 15-6 advantage.
T&M responded in the bottom of the fifth as Lewis hit his second two-run homer of the contest to pull the team to within 15-8.
The Bombers countered with six runs in the top of the sixth. Conner, Frank Exner, Legenos and Rivera all had RBI singles in the frame. Rusin added an RBI double as the Bombers took a 21-8 lead.
T&Ms Joe Staudt scored on a groundout in the bottom of the sixth, making the score 21-9.
Logan hit a solo homer for the Bombers in the top of the seventh.
Trailing by 13 runs and down to its final three outs, T&M put together a rally in the bottom of the seventh. Mills led off with his second solo home run of the evening to make it a 22-10 game.
After Ryan Edwards and Lewis each reached base on a single, Mitchell Peck stroked a double to left field that allowed Ryan Edwards to cross the plate. The next batter, Scott Edwards, cleared the bases with a home run to left field that brought T&M to within eight runs at 22-14.
But Bombers pitcher Gallo got the next three T&M batters to hit fly balls which his teammates easily caught to ensure their victory.
We had some ups and downs this season, said Gallo, who is the player/coach for the Amazin Bombers. When you play recreational softball, its hard to get the same 10 guys at the field for every game. But once the playoffs began, these guys came together and played as a team.
The Bombers finished the regular season with a 16-4 record and received a first-round bye in the playoffs. Last week, the Bombers defeated Stingers three games to two in a best-of-five semifinal series.
When asked about the key to victory over T&M, Gallo was quick to answer.
Our defense was great and our bats got hot, he said.
After finishing first in the regular season with a perfect 17-0 mark, T&M also earned a first-round bye in the playoffs. T&M, which won the leagues playoff championship last summer, then defeated Mongaup Technologies, also known as TEK, three games to one in a best-of-five game semifinal series.
We just didnt hit, T&M player/coach Helms said of the finals series. If we would have hit better, it might have been a different story.