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Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

MANY OF THE Cobbler’s Bombers hold up three fingers to signal their “three-peat” of Liberty Slo-Pitch Softball League “A” Division titles. In the front, from left to right, are Dan Gallo, Corey Mott (batboy), Mark Logan, Derwin Rivera, Keith Shaddock, Shane Conner, Jay Legenos and William Smith. In the back, from left to right, are Matt Gallo, John Brewer, Julian Dawson, Matt Stoddard, John Rusin, Steve Vlaovich and William Merchant. Missing from photo is team member Gil Suarez.

It’s a Threepeat For
The Cobbler’s Bombers

By Rob Potter
LIBERTY — September 5, 2006 — After three games in which its offense was held relatively in check, the Cobbler’s Bombers softball team lived up to its nickname on Thursday night at the Liberty Elementary School field.
Cobbler’s belted eight home runs on its way to a 36-12 victory over the McCabe’s Hitmen in Game 4 of the Liberty Slo-Pitch Softball League “A” Division finals. The lopsided win, combined with 8-7 and 7-6 triumphs in the first two games of the series, enabled Cobbler’s to earn its third straight “A” Division title.
About 24 hours after McCabe’s won Game 3, 15-13, the Cobbler’s players were determined to end the series on Thursday evening.
McCabe’s grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Jim Gorman scored on a fielder’s choice.
From that point on, however, the majority of the runs were scored by Cobbler’s. Dan Gallo and Keith Shaddock singled and doubled, respectively, to begin the bottom of the first. John Rusin then ripped a home run to left center field to give Cobbler’s a 3-1 lead.
Steve Vlaovich hit a solo homer and Shane Conner and Matt Stoddard each added an RBI double as Cobbler’s extended its lead to 7-1 at the end of the first frame.
McCabe’s pulled to within four runs at 7-3 in the top of the second, thanks to an RBI single by D.J. Pugh and a sacrifice fly by Frank Scuderi.
But that was as close as McCabe’s would get for the evening.
Cobbler’s scored four runs in the second, seven in the third, six in the fourth, seven in the fifth and five in the sixth on its way to the decisive victory.
Leading the Cobbler’s offense were Vlaovich, Rusin and William Smith. Vlaovich went 4-for-6 with three home runs and six RBIs, Smith was 4-for-5 with five RBIs and Rusin finished 4-for-5 with four RBIs.
In addition, Mark Logan was 2-for-5 with an RBI and William Merchant went 3-for-3.
John Brewer and Dan Gallo also blasted home runs for Cobbler’s.
Aaron Dinkel paced the McCabe’s offense by belting two home runs – a solo shot in the third and a three-run round-tripper in the seventh.
Jim Gorman also hit a home run for McCabe’s while going 3-for-4 on the evening, and Kort Wheeler was 2-for-4 with an RBI.
“This was a tough series,” said Gallo, who is the Cobbler’s Player/Manager. “They are a great team. This was a showdown. We were clearly the best two teams in the league this year.”
Both teams finished the regular season with 23-2 records. But McCabe’s took the first place in the division by defeating Cobbler’s in two of the three regular season games between the squads.
While excited about achieving the “three-peat” of “A” Division titles, Gallo and all of the other Cobbler’s players were thinking about teammate Gil Suarez during and after the game.
Suarez played all season but had to miss Thursday night’s game after undergoing surgery earlier in the day.
“We dedicate this win to Gil,” Gallo said.
Wheeler, who serves as Player/Manager for McCabe’s, said that offense became more important as the series progressed.
“Somebody was bound to break out offensively and score a lot of runs,” he said. “It just happened that they did it tonight.”

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