The following update was submitted by Roger Whittlesey.
Third place Drew Farms (8-7) traded places in the standings with fourth place Shortcut Landscaping (8-8) again this week. Both teams are anxiously looking in the rearview mirror, as Willis Tent (5-9), Mario’s Restaurant (5-10), Healy Oil (5-10), Gutcheck (4-9) and Pro Sports Therapy (4-10) are a hot-streak away from taking their spots in the standings. The Nashoba Valley Veterinarian Mustangs (14-0) and Floral Arts (13-3) remain in first and second place, respectively, and both appear headed for a first-round playoff bye for the fifth year in a row.
Nashoba Valley Veterinarian Mustangs 2, Drew Farms 0
On Tuesday, Mustang Don Cusano earned the shutout on the mound in a tight defensive victory over Drew Farms. Cusano, Jim Ward, and Jay Lincoln all had two hits apiece for the winners. Left fielder Bill Knute gunned out a runner at the plate to keep Drew Farms off the board. The Mustangs ended the game by turning a 4-6-3 double play with the tying run at the plate. Jack McGrath made several good plays behind the plate.
Floral Arts 31, Mario’s Restaurant 17
Floral Arts and Mario’s finished up a rain-suspended game from June when Jim Peloquin recorded the last three outs of a 31-17 Floral victory. Floral hit three grand slams in an inning. Mike Alonardo made a diving catch in the final inning to keep runners from scoring.
Floral Arts 10, Mario’s Restaurant 1
In the nightcap, Larry Mardany gave up a run in the first and nothing after that. Rob Beaudette hit a two-run homer as part of a six-run second as Floral cruised to victory. Wind conditions were tough for both hitters and pitchers. Mario rookie Tim Scott made a sensational diving catch from his left field position and Jerod Colley continued to pitch well despite the loss.
Shortcut Landscaping 12, Gutcheck 2
On Wednesday, Gutcheck managed only two runs after loading the bases three different times. Shortcut bats broke out in the bottom of the fifth, scoring six runs to put the game out of reach. Both teams played solid defense in the contest.
Healy Oil 17, Willis Tent 4
Brian Egan and Tony Pantoja went deep to help lead Healy Oil to victory over Willis Tent. Every player on Healy hit well and a watertight defense was key in keeping Willis from picking up any momentum.
Nashoba Valley Veterinarian Mustangs 16, Pro Sports Therapy 2
On Friday night, Paul Liguori earned the win on the mound in another excellent defensive performance by the Mustangs. Outfielders Mark Cusano and Jay Lincoln made great running catches while Mustang infielders Mike Kennedy, Don Cusano, and Dan Crogan all made outstanding plays for the winners. In a well-balanced offensive attack, every Mustang had at least one hit. Don Cusano led the charge with two doubles, a home run, and two RBI. Lincoln added three hits and three RBI. Liguori helped himself at the plate with two hits and two RBI. Derek Donegan homered for PST.
Mario’s Restaurant 17, Willis Tent 16
When Willis and Mario’s met earlier in the season, they needed extra innings to decide a winner (Willis), and on Friday night in their second of three meetings this season, the teams ratcheted up the pressure with Mario’s prevailing this time, thanks to a six-run comeback in the bottom of the seventh. Willis chose to intentionally walk Keith Reynolds (3-run homer, 4 RBI) to load the bases with two outs when John Geary stepped up to the plate and belted a double that scored Jerry Breen to tie it at 17-17. An errant throw to third base on Geary’s hit allowed Reynolds to take home, earning Mario’s a walk-off win. Mario rookie Tim Scott had three hits.