Democrat Photo by Rob Potter
MANY OF THE Cobblers 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.
Its a Threepeat For
The Cobblers Bombers
By Rob Potter
LIBERTY September 5, 2006 After three games in which its offense was held relatively in check, the Cobblers Bombers softball team lived up to its nickname on Thursday night at the Liberty Elementary School field.
Cobblers belted eight home runs on its way to a 36-12 victory over the McCabes 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 Cobblers to earn its third straight A Division title.
About 24 hours after McCabes won Game 3, 15-13, the Cobblers players were determined to end the series on Thursday evening.
McCabes grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Jim Gorman scored on a fielders choice.
From that point on, however, the majority of the runs were scored by Cobblers. 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 Cobblers a 3-1 lead.
Steve Vlaovich hit a solo homer and Shane Conner and Matt Stoddard each added an RBI double as Cobblers extended its lead to 7-1 at the end of the first frame.
McCabes 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 McCabes would get for the evening.
Cobblers 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 Cobblers 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 Cobblers.
Aaron Dinkel paced the McCabes 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 McCabes 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 Cobblers 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 McCabes took the first place in the division by defeating Cobblers 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 Cobblers players were thinking about teammate Gil Suarez during and after the game.
Suarez played all season but had to miss Thursday nights game after undergoing surgery earlier in the day.
We dedicate this win to Gil, Gallo said.
Wheeler, who serves as Player/Manager for McCabes, 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.