By Dave Hoffenberg
Phat vs. McGrath’s
Last week the Phat Italian played McGrath’s with the winner punching their ticket to the championship game. The Phat was vying for their first ever championship appearance and McGrath’s was seeking their second in a row.
The Phat kept their hit parade going from Monday and came out swinging in the first and built a 5-0 lead behind Cam, Steve “Killer” Kent and Dan the Man. McGrath’s answered with two runs from Ezra and Cliff. They had a chance for more but Prior suffered the big “Cold Beer K” to end the inning. Then, Coach Craig showed his speed with a lead-off inside-the-park home run to stretch the lead 6-2. An overthrow from McGrath’s (their fifth error of the game) led to a 7-2 hole. Rob “Rambo” Ranberg stayed hot and drove in two runs for the huge 9-2 second inning lead. McGrath’s couldn’t get anything going in the second but were able to deliver a “CBK” to Dan the Man in the third. McGrath’s had a mini rally in the third with two runs after Cliff got an inside-the-park home run and Bob Pauly drove in the other.
It was all defense in the fourth. McGrath’s shut down the Phat with a sweet third to first back to third double play. McGrath’s then went down 1-2-3 and Joe M suffered his first “CBK” of the season. The Phat ran away with the game in the fifth scoring nine runs. Rambo Ranberg started the inning with a swinging bunt single and then ended the inning with a RBI single. In between was hit after hit after hit. McGrath’s shut them down in the sixth 1-2-3 and got Craig with a “CBK,” plus, Prior also had a stellar double play, but it was too late. McGrath’s team was going to the loser’s bracket and the Phat looked forward to the week off too rest up for their first championship try.
STF vs. the Vermonsters
STF and the Vermonsters played next with a lot at stake: the loser was going home. Vermonsters were the heavy favorites but didn’t play like it. STF took a play from the Phat’s handbook and scored five in the top of the first. The Vermonsters got on the board after a big error from the shortstop but Jason suffered a “CBK.” The Vermonsters cut it to one run in the third and had the chance for the lead with two on and two out but Big Shawn got nothing. STF hit through their order in the fourth with Red getting a bunch of RBI’s in his two at-bats to give his team the 10-3 lead. It was “CBK” time for SloMo in the fourth.
STF was nowhere near done and stretched their lead to ten in the fifth. That was an ugly inning for the Vermonsters because Rollie stayed hitless and Tyler flew out. In the top of the sixth, Red knocked the stuffing out of the ball and nearly took SloMo’s hand off with a hard hit line drive to make it 17-3. The last chance for the Vermonsters and they double “CBK’d” with another by SloMo and PBR Guy. STF stays alive and the Vermonsters are “bye-bye.”
STF vs. Clearly Moguls
STF got another shot at Clearly Moguls on Monday and was trying for their first win ever against them. This was a defensive battle. Brett “Home Run King of Killington” Regimbald started out with the big “D” to record two of STF’s 1-2-3 start of the game. He put C.M. on the board with a monster solo shot. Both teams went scoreless in the next two innings until STF got on the boar in the fourth and took a 2-1 lead. Judd drove in Brett to tie it 2-2. It was an all Ronzoni sixth as he recorded all three outs and shut them down 1-2-3. It was Brett time again in the bottom of the sixth as he blasted the longest home run ever at Killington, landing it on the upper lawn of the library, to make it 5-2. STF put a scare into C.M. in the seventh getting two runs off RBI’s from Dave Beckwith and Adam. Red had the chance to be the hero with a man on but he hit it right to Judd for their season ending out.
Clearly Moguls vs. McGrath’s: Semi-finals!
Clearly Moguls had to immediately face McGrath’s in the semi-final elimination game. Jake got a hit in the first for McGrath’s but nobody else did and Cookie went down swinging. Brain Peters drove in Brett for a 1-0 C.M. lead. Regimbald proved why he is a “Gold Glove” candidate with the craziest web gem of the playoffs. He dove backwards for a grounder and from his knees, threw to first for the out. The fans were amazed and cheered like crazy!
That catch kept McGrath’s scoreless but in the third they fired up the hit machine with four runs. The playoffs have not been kind to Joe M in the “CBK” department. After going all season without one, he suffered one twice in back-to-back games this week. After intentionally walking Brett in his first at-bat, Bob P decided to pitch to him in the third since they had a 4-1 lead. Brett made him pay for that decision and canceled that lead tying it at 4-4.
Tweed Bus Bob then scored for McGrath’s to regain the lead 5-4. C.M. felt they suffered a bad ump call which led to that run. But that fired up the squad and the bottom half of the order shined with five runs to make it 9-5. Bubba and Scooter made it 11-5 in the sixth. It was the Brett and Ronzoni Defense Show the rest of the game and they sent McGrath’s packing.
C.M. is going back to the Championship for the second year in a row and is hoping to get their third title in five years. Standing in their way is the Phat who beat them earlier in the playoffs.
Monday, Aug. 11, @ Killington
Game 3 of Championship Phat Italian vs Clearly Moguls 6 p.m. (pending outcome of championship game 2 on Aug. 6)
Wednesday, Aug. 13 @ Killington
All-Star Game 6 p.m.