Andy Simek | Democrat
L.P. TREE SERVICE of Staten Island won the 2007 Edward M. Collins Memorial Softball Tournament this weekend in Mongaup Valley. Kneeling, from left to right, are John Bosco, Mike Pierce, Bob Sous, Tony Caccaouch, Joey Meyers and Mike Barbacka. Standing, from left to right, are George Ramirez, Jared Williams, Cicero Wanbie, Thomas Brej, Keith Lutito, John Law, Elejandro Martinez, Rodney DeGroat, Bill Samson, George Grott and Anthony Turturro.
L.P. Tree Service Wins 2007 Collins Memorial Tourney
By Andy Simek
MONGAUP VALLEY August 14, 2007 Softball has never been more competitive.
This past weekend marked the 26th annual Edward M. Collins Memorial Softball Tournament at Collins Park in Mongaup Valley, where the best of the best get together to battle it out in a test of endurance and skill.
Twelve of the best men’s major modified softball teams from New York and Pennsylvania came to Collins Park to find out who would take home the 2007 championship trophy.
The tournament has been held each summer since 1982 to honor Eddie Collins, a 1970 Eldred Central School graduate. Known throughout the area as an outstanding softball player and all-around athlete, Collins passed away from viral pneumonia in April 1981 at the age of 29.
The tournament finished on Sunday evening with Zubi’s Lawn Care of Middletown battling L.P. Tree Service of Staten Island in the championship game.
The contest was hard fought on both sides, but the L.P. Tree Service players didn’t want to make the long drive back home to Staten Island empty handed. As a result, L.P. Tree Service edged Zubi’s Lawn Care, 4-3, in the title tilt.
While many softball games are won by towering home runs, this was definitely a defensive game.
According to his teammates, L.P. Tree Service pitcher Rodney “Binky” DeGroat was a major reason the championship game was so low-scoring.
“There’s no way we could have won without him,” said Cicero Wanbie, L.P Tree Service second baseman.
Until the very end, however, it was unclear who was going to take home the title.
Zubi’s Lawn Care was down 2-0 before getting on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth inning.
Zubi’s then pulled ahead by scoring two runs in the top of the fifth.
Zubi’s Head Coach Craig Lynch seemed fairly confident that his team would keep that 3-2 lead.
But his positive projections were proven false by L.P. Tree Service in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Joe Termini and Keith Lutito both crossed home plate in that frame, giving L.P. Tree Service a 4-3 advantage.
Zubi’s tried to at least tie the game in its final at-bat in the top of the seventh.
DeGroat got the first batter to pop up to the outfield, however.
Zubi’s Nikoli Vasquez reached base on a bunt.
But the L.P. Tree Service fielders then turned a double play to seal their title victory.