By Rob Potter
LIBERTY The Liberty Slo-Pitch League began the playoffs earlier this week at the Liberty Elementary School softball field.
The league is conducting two best-of-three game semifinal series in its “A”, “B” and “C” Divisions. In each division, the team which finished first in the regular season plays the fourth-place teams in one semifinal series. The No. 2 and No. 3 teams face off in the other semifinal series.
The winners of the semifinal series then play each other in best-of-three game championship series.
On Tuesday night, Mor-ton’s Recycling, McCabe’s Hitmen and Royal Associates all recorded victories.
In the first game of the night, No. 4 Mor-ton’s Recycling defeated No. 1 Sam’s Misfits, 12-9, in Game 1 of their “A” Division semifinal series.
Mor-tons held the lead from the first inning through the seventh inning. In the top of the first, the team took a 1-0 advantage when Nick Vasquez scored on a base hit by Andrew Garigliano.
In the top of the third, Mor-tons pushed its lead to 5-0. Paul Reifenheiser and Matt Smith both scored on an error and Garigliano and Nick Huggler both crossed home plate when Andy Porter Sr. doubled to left field.
Mor-tons tacked on three runs in the top of the fourth. An error allowed Steve Horos and Vazquez to score and Reifenheiser scored on Garigliano’s sacrifice fly.
Sam’s Misfits got on the board with three runs in the bottom of the fourth. Justin Yaun doubled to left field to score Randy Caruso with the team’s first run. The next batter, Pete Hefele grounded out, but he earned an RBI as Billy Porter crossed the plate on the play. Yaun then scored on an error to cut the Mor-ton’s lead to 8-3.
Mor-tons got those three runs back in the top of the fifth. Dwayne Martin singled to score Charlie Streimer and Martin and Matt Popadiuk both scored on an error.
With five runs in the bottom of the fifth, Sam’s Misfits was able to reduce the Mor-ton’s lead to 11-8. Richie Edwards and Brian Caruso each hit an RBI single to make the score 11-5. Brian Caruso, Randy Caruso and Billy Porter all scored on an error moments later.
Following a scoreless sixth inning, each team added a run in the seventh.
In the top of the frame, Andy Porter Sr. led off with a base hit to left field and scored on Danny Fraser’s infield hit.
In the bottom of the frame, Joey Bertholf singled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Billy Porter.
The teams are scheduled to play Game 2 of the series tonight at Liberty Elementary School. The winner of the series will meet the winner of the series between No. 2 Ratner & Son Paving and No. 3 Mongaup TEK.
McCabe’s Hitmen take a 1-0 series lead
No. 2 McCabe’s earned a 16-5 victory in the opening game of its “A” Division semifinal series with No. 3 Manor House of Furniture & Appliances, Inc.
Manor House got on the scoreboard first, however. Derek Blume started the top of the first by doubling to center field. After an out was recorded, he scored on a single by George Helms.
McCabe’s took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first as Dez Williams hit a towering two-run homer over the left field fence.
McCabe’s pushed its advantage to 4-1 in the bottom of the second thanks to an RBI triple by Pete Dworetsky and an error.
In the top of the third, Manor House cut the McCabe’s lead to 4-3. John Gorr began the frame with a double. After the next two batters were retired, Blume hit a two-run, inside-the-park home run.
McCabe’s took a 7-3 lead in the bottom of the third. D.J. Pugh ripped a two-run single to left field and Dworetsky hit an RBI single.
McCabe’s added two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Williams scored on Kort Wheeler’s single and Tom Butler scored as Manor House turned a double play.
In the bottom of the fifth, McCabe’s made it a 14-3 game. The team scored five runs on Gil Suarez’s two-run single, Butler’s sacrifice fly and two errors.
McCabe’s scored its final two runs in the bottom of the sixth as Pugh and Bobby Sze both crossed the plate on Dworetsky’s single.
Manor House responded with two runs in the top of the seventh. Tim Mills scored on a sacrifice fly by Greg Lewis and Ryan Edwards scored on Josh Belle’s infield hit.
McCabe’s and Manor House were slated to play Game 2 of the series last night at Liberty Elementary School. The winner of the series will play the winner of the other “A” Division semifinal series between No. 1 Dutch’s Bombers and No. 4 Hot Shotz in the championship series.
Royal Associates wins opener
In the third game at Liberty Elementary School on Tuesday night, No. 1 Royal Associates defeated No. 4 Holiday Mountain, 17-7, in Game 1 of their “C” Division semifinal series.
Game 2 was scheduled to be played last night at the school.
The winner of the series will meet the winner of the other “C” Division semifinal series between No. 2 Wet Noodle and No. 3 Second 2 None.