By Dave Hoffenberg
Garlic McGraths punched their ticket to the big dance and earned a Championship rematch with Clearly Moguls. G.M. is going for their second title after a 2013 win against C.M. In their first elimination game, they cruised to an 11-0 mercy win against the Killington Deli and sent them packing. G.M. jumped out to a 9-0 lead after only one inning of play. It was smooth sailing from there and the Deli could not recover, nor could they score.
Immediately following that, they had to face the no. 1 seed Killington Resort in another elimination game. This game was not smooth sailing for either team and was close from start to finish. G.M. got on the board first and never relinquished the lead but could never pull away either. It all came down to the resort’s last at-bat. They were down two and managed to get two runners on second and third. “So close yet so far” as they say, since they ended up flying out to end the game. The resort was trying to return to the Championship for the first time since 2010 when they lost to C.M. Maybe next year.
The fans are getting the heavy weight battle they wanted, no. 2 seed Garlic McGraths vs. no. 3 seed Clearly Moguls. This Championship has so many story lines. G.M. swept C.M. 3-0 in the regular season, G.M. has handed C.M. their only Championship loss back in 2013 but C.M. won the first playoff game and sent G.M. to the loser’s bracket. This is a best of three series and this year was eerily similar to 2013 but in reverse. Back then G.M. won the first game 9-5, C.M. the second game 19-6 and G.M. the winning game 9-5. This year C.M. won the first game 19-7 and G.M. the second game 8-5. This sets up a winner take all game on Monday.
G.M. got on the board first 2-0 after Ezrah Lemieux and Cliff Melendy scored. C.M. welcomed back Will “O.G.” Burdick and he helped them with a single. They won the inning because they scored three runs. C.M. used that momentum and shut them down 1-2-3 the next inning but stranded two runners themselves to keep the score 3-2 after two. Melendy reached base in the third but pitcher Ronzoni Hacker delivered a huge “Cold Beer K” to power hitter Zach “Cookie” Cook, looking, to end the inning. Brett “Mr. Pink” Regimbald and Angel Shannon each drove in their second runs of the game to stretch the lead 5-2. Jeremy “Prior for Hire” Prior drove in Big Josh Tarleton to put the deficit back to two. They had a chance for more but Hacker delivered another “CBK” looking, this time to Nate Mispel. G.M. loaded the bases but Bob Pauly flew out to end the inning. Hacker and Tucker Zink each drove in a run to make it 7-3. Lemieux got a lead-off single in the fifth but the rest of the team could not get anything, including Bus Bob Schaffner who was Hacker’s third “CBK” victim.
C.M. put the game out of reach in their fifth when they batted through the order and exploded for eight runs and a 15-3 lead. Shannon blasted a two run home run in that onslaught. Prior had a nice looking sac in the sixth and Mispel also drove in a run but it was too little, too late. C.M. added four more runs in the sixth and Shannon blasted another two run shot. G.M. fired up the singles hit machine with four straight in the seventh but only two scored and they suffered the 19-7 defeat.
Game two of the series was a totally different ball game. C.M. was up first and went scoreless but had multiple opportunities to score. Zink led off with a single and Burdick hit him around but trying for home instead of halting at third was a costly mistake. C.M. loaded the bases but failed to score then as well. G.M. put runners on second and third but went scoreless too. C.M. could not get anything going and went down 1-2-3 the next two innings. It was the same thing for G.M. who went scoreless with one 1-2-3 inning and more stranding runners. C.M. got on the board first in the fourth with three runs behind a monster home run by Regimbald. They had a chance for more but Hunter Pike suffered a “CBK” to end the inning. G.M. liked the fourth inning too and they scored three runs to cut the lead to one. Cook suffered another “CBK,” although this was only a foul out Owen. Both teams put runners on in the fifth and both failed to score. G.M. loaded the bases but Cook flew out to Zink to end the threat. Regimbald and OG Burdick scored in the sixth to break the tie 5-3. Judd Washburn suffered a rare “CBK” in that inning. Owen Murphy led off with a triple and Prior for Hire drove him home and then Mispel scored to tie the game. C.M. was one out away from breaking that tie in the seventh but G.M. was not done. They loaded the bases for Bus Bob Schaffner and he hit a long fly ball to right. Zink made a run for it but Tall Tom Gilligan called him off. The ball was in Gilligan’s glove for the out but popped out and three runs scored for an 8-5 G.M. lead. That took the wind out of the sails for C.M. and they went down 1-2-3 to send this series to a one game winner take all Championship on Monday.
Will history repeat itself for Garlic McGraths or will Clearly Moguls go back-to-back-to-back? Tune in next week to find out.
Wednesday, Aug. 10
5:30 p.m. All-Star Game
Killington Softball League Championships were held early this week and saw Clearly Moguls victorious. Visit mountaintimes.info/category/sports for Dave Hoffenberg’s play-by-play analysis on the elimination rounds and look for the championship game recount in next week’s edition.
Photo by Robin Alberti
Clearly Moguls poses for a team photo after their winning game, Monday, Aug. 8.