By DJ Dave Hoffenberg
Rock Landscaping vs. First Stop Base Camp
The playoffs started in slow fashion with Rock Landscaping taking on First Stop Base Camp (FSBC). Both teams went scoreless in the first. FSBC veteran pitcher Johnny Sharpe was on vacation so left fielder Chris Majors stepped up and did well in his first half inning. Bobby Dederer put FSBC on the board, scoring off a Max Elles single. Rock had many singles and scored four.
FSBC could not follow that up and went down 1-2-3 in the third. Rock batted through their order, scoring eight runs to blow the game wide open 12-1. Three came off a blast by Captain Josh Stevens.
It was another 1-2-3 inning for FSBC and another big inning for Rock. They hit through their order again, scoring seven, with three off a dinger by Warren “The Bomb” Bombardier. FSBC woke up their bats in the fifth, hit through their order and scored seven to liven things up.
But Rock was not done and neither was Josh. He hit a two-run shot and his team added four more to send FSBC to the loser’s bracket with a 23-8 loss and give Majors his first loss as a pitcher.
Dirty Mike and The Boys vs. Flannels Fanatics
The game between Dirty Mike and The Boys (DMTB) and Flannels Fanatics (FF) was one for the ages. FF holds a 3-1 advantage with the last three games being decided by a run or two. Both teams went scoreless in the first and went down 1-2-3 in the second. The only difference was Larry Napolitano went down swinging for a FF “Cold Beer K.” DMTB got on the board after a two-run shot by Chauncey Germain. FF followed suit with two of their own. They had a chance for more but Troy “Cowboy” Gilbertson ended the inning, stranding the bases loaded with a “CBK.”
Todd “Skins” Popovich scored in the fourth to break the tie (3-2) and FF did nothing. FF Pitcher Ronzoni Hacker had a web gem in the fifth by covering first for a big out but his team went down 1-2-3 including a “CBK Looking” by Cliff Aker.
Popovich scored again in the sixth to give his team a two-run lead.
Things then got interesting in the bottom of the sixth after Brett “The Hitman” Regimbald hit a RBI single to cut the deficit in half. With two outs, DMTB intentionally walked Judd Washburn to load the bases for big hitter Duane “Big D” Laughlin. Pitcher Mikey Davis Jr. did his best to pitch garbage to Duane but he got a hold of one for a huge grand slam to take a 7-4 lead.
Mikey “CBK’d” in the seventh but Matt Littler blasted a two-run shot and Nick “Hebrew Hammer” Davis jacked a solo to tie the game 7-7 to go to the bottom of the seventh.
FF had the bases loaded with one out and rookie Timmy Blanchard up. He’s been mixing “Cold Milk K’s” with hits and this time it was a walk-off hit that scored Jimbo Cassineri to win the game for FF 8-7 and send DMTB to the loser’s bracket.
Winner’s bracket: Flannels Fanatics vs. Rock Landscaping
The winner’s bracket game saw FF try to hand Rock their first loss of the season. FF scored first off a Washburn RBI. They had a chance for more but Laughlin hit into an inning-ending double-play. Ronzoni had trouble finding the plate but luckily for him his three walks only led to only one run and a tie score.
Both teams went scoreless in the second.
Ronzoni and Josh “Purple Gal” Souza scored in the top of the third to put FF up 3-1. It was a short-lived lead because a combo of walks and hits led to a 5-3 Rock lead.
Cowboy started the fourth with a “CBK” and Blanchard ended it with one and nobody scored in the middle. Garrett Tupper smacked a solo shot in the bottom to stretch Rock’s lead 6-3.
FF went down 1-2-3 in the fifth and sixth with Souza suffering a “CBK.” Bailey Peters’ home run was part of a two-run fifth to put Rock up 8-3.
Regimbald led off the seventh with a big home run and then Ricky Robair’s nice looking sac scored Cowboy to cut the lead 8-5.
With two on and two out, Cassineri flew out to end the game and send Rock to the Championship and his team to a semi-final elimination game.
Losers bracket: Dirty Mike and The Boys vs. First Stop Base Camp
The loser’s bracket elimination game was DMTB vs. FSBC. Elles led off the game for FSBC with a “CBK” but a few singles led to a 2-0 lead. Colin “Dizz” Clark started off DMTB in a different direction with a solo home run and then Hebrew Hammer’s two-run shot gave his team a 3-2 lead.
Ed Mazzella scored in the second to tie it at 3-3. It stayed that way until the third when the Davis cousins, Mikey and Nick, both scored to make it 5-3. That’s the only lead they needed because FSBC never scored again. But they scored in the “CBK” department after Smith Donelon went down swinging and Aker looking, his second one like that this week. Aker was on loan to FSBC but he didn’t help out at all. Majors was having a respectable game on the mound until the fifth and sixth when DMTB batted through their order both times, scoring a combined 11 runs. Their only blemish was a “CBK” by Mike Goodnough but his team knocked out FSBC 16-3.