By Rob Potter
SWAN LAKE Sometimes what appeared to be the final score of a softball game really isn’t the final score.
That was the case on Tuesday night when the Monticello Fire Department and White Lake Fire Department teams played an Eastern Sullivan Firefighters Softball League game at Max Eronimous Firefighters Field in Swan Lake. (The Swan Lake FD graciously allows the White Lake FD team to used the field for its “home” games.)
Down 17-7, White Lake FD attempted to rally in the bottom of the seventh inning. An RBI double by Jeremy Cunningham, RBI singles by Evan Kraack, Jason Kraack and Joe Rodriguez, a sacrifice fly by Josh Cunningham and an error allowed the team to pull to within three runs.
But just after Evan Kraack scored on Rodriguez’s base hit to make it a 17-14 game, the home plate umpire called the game on account of darkness. Even though White Lake FD was down to its final out, she noted that it was too dangerous to continue playing.
She also stated that the score would revert back to the sixth inning. Therefore, the game will officially be recorded in each team’s scorebook as a 17-7 victory for Monticello FD.
With the win, Monticello FD improved its record to 6-7. White Lake FD fell to 6-7 on the season.
The two teams, along with Neversink FD and Swan Lake FD, are battling for the league’s final two playoff spots. Smallwood-Mongaup Valley FD and White Sulphur Springs FD have already clinched the other two playoff berths.
The league will wrap up its regular season schedule next week. The playoffs are slated to start with two best-of-three-game semifinal series on Tuesday, Aug. 18.
After scoring a run in each of the first two innings, Monticello FD scored five times in the top of the third to grab a 7-0 lead.
With one out, Josh Price tripled to center field. After Alex Nagoda walked, Price scored on a single by Jim Steinberg Jr.
Following the second out of the frame, Gerry Diets singled to load the bases. Brian Gregory then singled to left field to bring Nagoda in to score.
The next batter, Keith Kurthy, cleared the bases by belting a three-run double to right field.
White Lake FD got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third. With the bases loaded and no outs, Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly to allow Josh Cunningham to cross home plate.
But the Monticello FD pitcher, Gregory, got out of the inning without any more damage done by retiring the next two batters.
Monticello FD added five runs in the top of the fourth. Price had a two-run double, Gregory earned an RBI by reaching base on a fielder’s choice and Steinberg and Diets both drew bases-loaded walks.
White Lake FD answered with five runs in the bottom of the fourth. Jason Kraack ripped an RBI double to left field and Jeremy Cunningham, Josh Cunningham and Evan Kraack all hit RBI singles.
In the top of the fifth, Monticello FD pushed its lead to 17-6. Nagoda singled with the bases loaded to score Wayne Vandermeulen and A.J. Washington. Gregory, Kurthy and Chris Cavello all walked with the bases loaded to force in a run.
White Lake scored once in the bottom of the fifth to make it a 17-7 game. Colleen Collins led off with a single to left field and scored on a base hit by Rich Krauss.