By Dave Hoffenberg
It was a championship series for the ages. For those just tuning in, Clearly Moguls won game one 19-7 and Garlic McGraths won game two 8-5 to set up this winner-take-all battle. G.M. was going for their second title and second against C.M. For C.M., the stakes were higher as they were going for their fifth title but trying to take three in a row, something that has not happened since 2005. The lawn of the Sherburne Memorial Library in Killington was packed with fans. Announcer Matt “Ajax” Anderson called the action and right after Jewel sang the National Anthem, it was game on.
G.M. got on the board first and took a 3-0 lead. Pitcher Ronzoni Hacker, who is normally on it at the start, had a late arrival and no warmup, which led to him walking the first two batters. Cliff Melendy made him pay with a stand up double, driving in the first run. Josh Tarleton had a nice looking sac to drive in run number two. Zach “Cookie” Cook hit a dribbler back to Ronzoni but was able to score Melendy for the early lead. G.M. was fired up and pitcher Bob Pauly used that to fuel a lead off “Cold Beer K” to Tucker Zink.
The theme of the game for C.M. was trading hits with intentional walks and it worked out well for them. Will “OG” Burdick got on base after a long fly ball error and then Angel “Walk this Way” Shannon was walked. It wasn’t intentional but it may as well have been since the balls were thrown to the back stop. Brett “Mr. Pink” Regimbald drove in Burdick for the team’s first run. Judd “Walk Like a Man” Washburn was intentionally walked to load the bases. “Tall Tom” Gilligan made them pay with a hard hit double to score two and tie the game 3-3. C.M. wasn’t done yet, Jackie Blue Livesey also had a nice looking sac to give his team the lead and Hunter Pike drove in Gilligan to stretch the lead 5-3 after one inning.
Nate Mispel led off the second with a double but had some difficulty getting home. Jeremy “Cuddle Buddy” Prior popped out to Ronzoni and then Denel Mcintire suffered a “CBK” looking thanks to bad coaching from teammate Owen “Throw Momma from the Train” Murphy. Joe Montemurro walked and then finally Bob Pauly hit Mispel home to cut the lead to one. Melendy was a beast in left center field, not letting any balls past him. The first two batters for C.M., Russell “The Love Muscle” Dalglish and Ronzoni both flew out to him. “DJ Dave” Hoffenberg started a two out rally with a single down the line at third and then Zink moved him to third with a double. Burdick then walked to load the bases for Shannon. Fearful of the long ball power of Shannon, Pauly intentionally walked him and let Hoffenberg walk home for the 6-4 lead. Regimbald flew out to Melendy to end the inning.
Nothing good was happening for G.M. in the third as Melendy suffered a “CBK” and then Cookie hit into a double-play to end their at-bat. The same happened for C.M. as they got two on but failed in getting them home to keep the score 6-4 and it was the game’s first scoreless inning. The drought stayed with G.M. in the fourth and all they could muster was one walk. Not the same for C.M. because Burdick drove in Ronzoni and Zink to double G.M. up 8-4.
G.M. was able to break their two inning scoreless streak in the fifth with a combination of hits and walks and that combo worked pretty well since it allowed them to tie the game. Montemurro led off the inning with a ground out to Ronzoni but Pauly followed that up with a single and Ezrah Lemieux walked. Bob Schaffner doubled and did the “Bob & Bob” combo, scoring Pauly. Melendy drove in Schaffner and Lemiux and then Tarleton was intentionally walked. Cookie drove in Melendy to tie it 8-8 but then suffered the second out off a fielder’s choice by Murphy. After Mispel walked, the bases were loaded for Prior but he grounded out to Ronzoni to end the inning. Regimbald popped out to Cookie to start C.M.’s fifth. Washburn and Gilligan both singled but could not move around because of a web gem catch by Lemieux. He went one way but ended up catching it the other and sent Jackie Blue back to the bench. Pike took a crucial walk to load the bases with two outs. Brando Remick got the biggest hit of his playoffs with a bases clearing double to regain the lead 10-8. Dalglish suffered a “CBK” to end the inning but the team was fine with that and the lead.
C.M. used that momentum and played some great defense in the sixth to shut down G.M. and hold them scoreless once again. C.M. kept their hit machine fired up when Ronzoni led off the bottom with a single. Zink also singled and Burdick drove in Ronzoni with a double. Shannon didn’t even need a bat in his hand because he was intentionally walked yet again. It didn’t make Shannon happy but it should because of the fear they have of his power. Regimbald had a nice looking sac that scored Zink to make it a four run deficit for G.M. in their potentially last at-bat of the season.
Schaffner flew out to Zink to start the seventh. Melendy singled and Tarleton was intentionally walked again to put two on base. Cookie singled, scoring Melendy and moved Tarleton to third. Murphy got a clutch hit, scoring Tarleton to cut the lead in half. Once again Mispel took a walk to load the bases for Prior but unfortunately once again, Prior could not deliver. He reached base this time on a fielder’s choice but Cookie was sacrificed at home for out number two. You could cut the tension with a knife as Mcintire got up with two outs, down two and the bases loaded. Ronzoni released the ball and you could hear a pin drop it was so quiet. The ball was hit hard to Pike who made a diving stop and he flipped it to Regimbald to make C.M. Champions once again. If that ball had gone through, G.M. would have tied the game but Pike’s web gem stop sealed the back-to-back-to-back titles for Clearly Moguls.
Last year former league player Jeremy “Creeper” Rayner said you can’t call it a dynasty until they win three straight. Well now I believe you can call it a dynasty since this also gave them their fifth overall title in seven years with only one loss. Regimbald was named Championship MVP and Burdick was named MVP Runner-Up but this win was a solid team effort.
By Robin Alberti
Team Clearly Moguls, were the 2016 champions of the Killington Softball League. Pictured standing (l-r): Russ Dalglish, Brandon Remick, Brett Regimbald, Tom Gilligan, Judd Washburn, Tucker Zink, Will Burdick, Kinsley Burdick, Joben Burdick. Pictured kneeling (l-r): Buddy, Ron Hacker, Hunter Pike, Angel Shannon, Dave Hoffenberg, Jeremy Livesey. Missing from the photo: Josh Souza, Jared Hall.