By Lori Brown
LIBERTY The Dutch’s Bombers and Sullivan Fire teams met last Wednesday evening in a Liberty Slo-Pitch Softball League best-of-three game “A” Division semifinal playoff series at Liberty Elementary School.
Dutch’s Bombers advanced to by the “A” Division finals by sweeping Sullivan Fire. Dutch’s Bombers won the opening game by the final score of 10-5 and captured the second game, 15-1.
In the best-of-three game finals series, which is scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Liberty Elementary School field, Dutch’s Bombers will face Manor House.
Manor House reached the finals for the second straight year by sweeping McCabe’s Hitmen two games to none in the other “A” Division semifinal series.
Wednesday night’s Game 1 between Dutch’s Bombers and Sullivan Fire was scoreless until the bottom of the second inning.
Dutch’s Bombers took a 3-0 lead in the frame as Matt Stoddard scored on a single by Keith Shaddock and Shane Conner’s single allowed Shaddock and Mark Logan to score.
After holding Sullivan Fire scoreless in the top of the third, Dutch’s Bombers added to its lead. Steve Vlaovich slammed a solo home run over the center field fence to make it a 4-0 game.
Dutch’s Bombers took a 5-0 advantage in the fourth when Conner slammed a single to score Shaddock.
Sullivan Fire finally got on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth. Tommy Butler started the inning with a single and advanced to third base when Dana Presto slammed a double. James Ratner earned an RBI when he hit a sacrifice fly to score Butler. Sullivan Fire closed to within three runs at 5-2 when Wesley Olivio belted an RBI double.
But Dutch’ Bombers responded by doubling its score in the bottom of the fifth. Vlaovich led off the frame by blasting another solo home run. Will “Wuzzy” Smith slammed a double, and then Jason Falasca hit a single to put them both in scoring position. Matt Stoddard hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Smith.
Mark Logan smacked a two-run homer over the fence in right field to push the Dutch’s Bombers advantage to 9-2. Later in the inning, Shaddock scored on a sacrifice fly by Adam Lake.
Down 10-2 as the sixth inning began, Sullivan Fire attempted to to rally. Richie Edwards singled to send home Steve Rogg. Edwards, who advanced to second base on an error, and Macho Cortez both scored when Josh Navinski singled.
Dutch’s Bombers secured victory by getting the first three batters out in the top of the seventh.
“We came out flat, but don’t look for it to happen again in the second game,” Dutch’s Bombers Coach Keith Shaddock said of his team, which has a record of 39-0 since the 2007 season began.
Sullivan Fire Coach Dan Ricco said, “They hit the ball and we didn’t.
“Our fielders played well and I pitched well,” Ricco added. “Not too many teams hold Dutch’s Bombers to only 10 runs. I am very proud of my team.”
Between the two games, Conner, who is the league president, presented a trophy to the coaches of the four conference-winning teams this season: Dutch’s Bombers (“A” Division Ty Cobb Conference), McCabe’s Hitmen (“A” Division Billy Martin Conference), Beaverkill Valley Fire Department (“B” Division Casey Stengel Conference) and Prestige Towing (“B” Division Lou Gehrig Conference).