By Nathan Mayberg
MONTICELLO August 23, 2005 Mas & Pas captured the Bickham Division crown and advanced to the Monticello Mens Softball League championship series by defeating regular season division winners ABC Title 13-10 on Wednesday night at Somerville Field.
ABC Title was on top 7-3 after three and a half innings. But Ma & Pas responded with a six-run rally in the bottom of the fourth to take a 9-7 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, Ma & Pas extended that lead. The key hit in the frame was a three-run, bases clearing double by Alex Rodriguez. That hit turned out to be game-winning RBI.
Ma & Pas received a strong offensive game from several players. Captain Charles Chuck Worthington belted three hits and an RBI. Billy Schutz had three hits, with an RBI and a walk, while Wayne Kozloski had two hits and two RBI. Josh Card had three hits and an RBI and Brian Kowal had two hits and an RBI.
For ABC Title, D.J. Pugh led the way with three hits and two RBIs. John Bell, George Brandes and Matt Helfman each had two hits.
The game began with Ma & Pas executing a small-ball strategy, which was a sign of the importance of the game. After a single by Worthington, Schutz bunted him over to second, but an overthrow by ABC catcher Mudassar Abbas allowed the pair to move to second and third base, respectively. ABC Title held off the early charge when shortstop Mike Gilberg picked up a sharp grounder and threw Worthington out at home plate in a bang-bang play.
ABC Title responded with sharp hits, which went directly at Ma & Pas players.
In the second, Ma & Pas took the lead when Vinny Randesca scored on a double by Card.
In the third inning, ABC Title took charge with a four-run outburst. But that was quickly countered by Ma & Pas two run-rally.
ABC Title took the lead again in the fourth by scoring three runs before the big Mas & Pas rally.
The game had several outstanding defensive plays, including a great catch by Ma & Pas right fielder Matt Klemm on a deep shot by ABC Title first baseman Julian Dawson. The ball was heading foul, and Klemm had to risk the possibility of falling down the steep hill in order to catch it, but he made the outstanding grab. Gilberg also made a superb basket catch by running from the infield all the way into deep left field to catch a blooper in the fourth inning.
Ma & Pas will now face the winner of the Fitness Factory versus Lewis Auto Parts division championship game which was scheduled to be played last night at Sommerville Field.
Card, who had a big game for his team said he was pretty happy we beat these guys.
We got beat twice by them this year in the regular season, he added.
Worthington said it feels good.
It was a long, hard year, he commented. Its good to finally get to the championship.
Last year, Ma & Pas lost to Lewis Auto Parts in the division championship.
Mike Greco, pitcher for ABC Title and the league president, said his team did not play together.
You need to play as a team to win the game, Greco stated.