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Rob Potter | Democrat

The members of the Fitness Factory softball team hold up six fingers to represent their sixth straight league championship after winning the Sullivan County YMCA Softball League title on Monday night in Monticello. In the front row, from left to right, are Alex Salazar, Edwin “Flaco” Rodriguez, Aaron Dinkel, Derwin Rivera and Jay Falasca. In the back row, from left to right, are Dennis Rivera, Keith Shaddock, Julian Dawson, Corey VanKeuren, JoJo VanKeuren, Serafin Rodriguez, Xavier Cardona, Mike Weiner, Mike Mann and Shane Conner. Missing from photo are team members Tim “Chopper” Ackermann, Macho Cortez, Dan Gallo and Des Gonzalez.

Fitness Factory continues reign as YMCA Softball League champions

By Rob Potter
MONTICELLO — August 13, 2010 — The Fitness Factory softball team just keeps extending its championship run.
On Monday night at Kenneth H. Somerville Memorial Field in Monticello, Fitness Factory won its sixth straight Sullivan County YMCA Softball League title with a two-game sweep of New Hope Community in the best-of-three finals series. Fitness Factory won the first game, 10-0, and prevailed in the second game by the score of 16-8.
In the postgame awards ceremony, Fitness Factory also received a trophy for winning the league’s regular season title. It was the team’s sixth consecutive regular season championship in the league, which was formerly known as the Monticello Men’s Softball League.
Game 1 ended after four and a half innings due to the league’s 10-run mercy rule.
Fitness Factory, which reached the finals by sweeping Sara’s Gourmet two games to none in a semifinal series, jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Aaron Dinkel hit a two-run double and scored on a wild pitch and Mike Mann scored on a double by Corey VanKeuren.
In the bottom of the second, Dinkel belted a two-run triple and crossed home plate on Mann’s double to push the Fitness Factory advantage to 7-0.
Fitness Factory (19-1) made it a 10-0 game in the bottom of the third. Dennis Rivera ripped a two-run triple to center field and Shane Conner added an RBI single.
In Game 2, Fitness Factory was the designated “away” team and took advantage of batting first by taking a 5-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Dinkel hit a two-run, inside-the-park home run, while Jay Falasca, VanKeuren and Rivera each had an RBI single.
After Julian Dawson hit a sacrifice fly in the top of the second, Falasca led off the top of the third by hitting an inside-the-park home run to give Fitness Factory a 7-0 advantage.
New Hope (14-6), which earned its spot in the finals with a two-game sweep of Fallsburg Lumber in the semifinals, got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third. With two outs, Mike Kushetsky hit an inside-the-park home run to right field.
But Fitness Factory responded with five runs in the top of the fourth to extend its lead to 12-1. Falasca and VanKeuren both hit two-run, inside-the-park home runs and Mann had a two-run double.
In the bottom of the fourth, Darrin Raynor and Lou De La Cruz both scored on a single by Lou Velasco to cut New Hope’s deficit to 12-3.
New Hope made it a 12-5 game in the bottom of the fifth on Matt Stoddard’s two-run double.
After Mann scored on Falasca’s double in the top of the sixth, Fitness Factory recorded its final three runs in the top of the seventh. Dawson hit a two-run double and Dinkel had a sacrifice fly to push Fitness Factory’s lead to 16-6.
New Hope tried to rally in its last at-bat in the bottom of the seventh. Kushetsky led off with an inside-the-park home run to left field. Gil Suarez then tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Stoddard.
But pitcher JoJo VanKeuren then got the next two batters to fly out to seal Fitness Factory’s eight-run victory.
“The key was we played good defense against them,” said Fitness Factory Interim Coach Julian Dawson, who is also the team’s first baseman. “Everybody contributed to this championship. It turned out well and everybody did their part.”
Dawson also serves as the President of the Sullivan County YMCA Softball League.
“I want to thank all of the teams and players for a great season,” he said.
New Hope Player/Coach Darrin Raynor noted that his team did very well by earning the second place trophy its first year in the league.
“Our guys went out and gave it their all,” he said. “They played their best all season.
“That’s a great team over there,” added Raynor, referring to Fitness Factory. “That team deserves credit, they’re the champions again.
“But our guys deserve credit, too,” he continued. “We made it to the finals in our first year. We played with a lot of heart. We’ll be back next year.”

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