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Rob Potter | Democrat

Andy Garigliano slides into second base for a double as the softball hits him in the back during the top of the third inning of Tuesday night’s Eastern Sullivan Firefighters League semifinal series game at the Swan Lake Firefighters’ Max Eronimous Field. Also pictured is Swan Lake FD shortstop Kyle VanWolde, who was hoping to tag out Garigliano.

Neversink defeats Swan Lake to advance to Firefighters Softball League finals series

By Rob Potter
SWAN LAKE — August 20, 2010 — The Neversink FD team advanced to the Eastern Sullivan Firefighters Softball League’s finals series on Tuesday night with a victory over a very determined host Swan Lake FD team at the Swan Lake Firefighters’ Max Eronimous Field.
Neversink FD scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to record a 10-7 win in Game 2 of the best-of-three game semifinal series. The victory, coupled with a 17-10 triumph in Game 1 of the series, means that Neversink FD, which finished in first place during the league’s regular season, will face the winner of the other semifinal series between Smallwood-Mongaup Valley FD and White Sulphur Springs FD in the best-of-three game finals.
After Swan Lake FD (10-6) scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth to knot the score at 7-7, Neversink FD answered with three runs in the top of the seventh. Jesse Noren led off the frame with a single and Mike Garigliano and John Shamro both walked to load the bases. Noren scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly by Andy Garigliano. Matt Costa then singled to left field, which allowed Mike Garigliano and Shamro to cross home plate and give the team a three-run advantage.
In the bottom of the seventh, Neversink FD pitcher Mike Garigliano got two quick outs before Mark LaGattuta and Jordan Mercklin both singled to reach base. Jim Parks then hit a fly ball that looked as though it would drop into shallow right field for a hit. But Neversink FD shortstop Bo Murphy made a nice running catch to end the game.
Swan Lake FD tied the game in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a two-run single by Mike Parks, an RBI double by Tim Eronimous and RBI singles by Leon Zayas and Kyle VanWolde.
Neversink FD (13-3) jumped out to a 7-0 lead with four runs in the top of the second, one run in the top of the third and two runs in the top of the fifth. The key hit in the second was Jesse Noren’s two-run single and the big hit in the fifth was a two-run, inside-the-park home run by Shamro.
“We had our typical Neversink inning as we call it,” Neversink FD Player/Coach Russ Turner said of the bottom of the sixth when the team gave up five runs. “It’s Murphy’s Law.
“But you have to give Swan Lake credit,” he added. “They kept battling and did what we did to them in the first game when we were down 8-0 and came back.”
In that first game last Thursday night in Neversink, Swan Lake FD took an 8-0 lead after four innings. But Neversink FD scored 17 runs in the fifth and sixth innings on its way to the 17-10 win.
“Tonight, we just stuck together and played good softball,” Turner said. “Everybody played well.”
Turner expects the finals series to be very competitive.
“Whether we play Smallwood-Mongaup Valley or White Sulphur Springs, there’s going to be some good softball,” he said.
Swan Lake FD Coach Don Sherwood was proud of his players for the way they battled back to tie the score.
“We were trying to come back and win after they came back to win after we had them down by eight runs in the first game,” he said.
Sherwood was also pleased with the team’s overall performance this season, which included finishing fourth in the regular season standings and defeating Neversink FD in both of the regular season games between the teams.
“We had an excellent season,” he said. “It was the first time we made the playoffs in four years. It was great to make the playoffs.
“We played good offensively and defensively this season,” Sherwood continued. “Tim Eronimous took over the pitching for us and he did a great job. It was a total team effort this season, we didn’t have to depend on just a couple of guys.”

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