The following was submitted by Roger Whittlesey
Westford Over 30 Softball (Week 15)
As Floral Arts pitcher Larry Mardany is fond of saying, “You need ten to win.” The logic in this maxim is that on most nights scoring ten or more runs will result in a win. The same notion could be transferred to a team making the playoffs this season:
You may need ten to get in.
Healy Oil (9-14) appeared to be a team earmarked for a playoff berth, but two losses this week allowed several other teams to creep close enough to make it very uncomfortable for the Oil Men. Healy may need to win its final game of the season against Willis Tent (8-13) if it wants to see the post-season. A loss would tie Willis and Drew Farms (9-14) with Healy, and both teams, by virtue of their winning records against Healy in the regular season, would earn the tie-breaker and knock Healy into sixth place, where they would grab the last playoff berth. However, surging Pro Sports Therapy (9-13), which has won its last two games by a 41-15 margin and has two chances to acquire its tenth win, could play the spoiler under the same conditions described above and keep Healy from making the playoffs.
This week Shortcut Landscaping (13-10) defeated Gutcheck (6-16) thereby mathematically eliminating the second year team from the playoffs. Mario’s Restaurant (6-16) cannot earn a playoff berth this season either.
Mustangs, Floral Arts and Shortcut Landscaping are seeded one, two, and three. They’re in the playoffs. After that, it comes down to four teams (Healy Oil, Drew Farms, Willis Tent, and Pro Sports Therapy) with nearly identical records vying for the three remaining playoff spots.
This will be settled on the field this week.
Mustangs 15, Willis 2
On Sunday, Don Cusano got the win on the mound for the Mustangs and also led the way at the plate (3-for-3, 2 HR, 4RBI, 4 RS). Bill Knute, Jim Ward, Paul Selfrige, and Jack Erickson each had three hits. Selfrige and Erickson added home runs as well. Erickson also threw out another runner from his left short fielder spot to end a potential Willis rally.
Gutcheck 6, Drews 5
Gutcheck played another tight game against Drew Farms, winning the defensive battle, 6-5, and taking the regular season series, 2-1. Most of the damage was done in the bottom of the third inning when Gutcheck put up five runs. A couple of double plays, one unassisted by shortstop Rey Vienneau, and then a run down between third and home that ended in a tag out by catcher Earl Dawson were big inning-ending plays orchestrated by Gutcheck during the game. Gutcheck, not mathematically out of the playoffs, doesn’t appear to be going down without a fight.
Pro Sports Therapy 22, Healy Oil 9
Pro Sports Therapy continued their desperate drive to claim the last playoff spot with a run-rule victory over Healy Oil in the top of the sixth inning, winning 22-9. PST jumped out to a 6-2 lead, but Healy put up six in the bottom of the third to go ahead 8-6. PST then had a huge fourth inning, putting up eight runs, followed by five in the fifth inning, and then got a walk off for the second game in a row by rookie Ben Armstrong, who doubled in the game-ending run. PST had a big offensive day by playing small ball—putting up 29 hits. Mark Urlage led the onslaught from the lead-off position, going 4-for–4 with a walk and four runs scored. PST also got big days from Derek Donegan (4 H), rookie Mark Pelosky (3-for–3, BB), Gordon Eddy (4 RBI), and the bottom of the order (Gary Royal, Jeff Morse, and Jeff Fuller—all with three hits). Chris Ricard hit a three-run homer and Bill Eaton added a solo shot for Healy.
Floral Arts 24, Healy Oil 10
Simon Tripp (2) and Geoff Pavao each hit homers in a 24-10 victory over Healy Oil on Tuesday night. Billy Luppold (2H, 2 RBI), Dean Wormell (2H), and Mark Chambers (2H) chipped in at the plate for Floral. Right center fielder Mike Alonoardo cut down a runner at the plate and second baseman Frank Lancelotta made a nice running catch in the win.
Mustangs 10, Willis 4
Don Cusano got the win on the mound and helped himself with two home runs, five RBI and three runs scored. Cusano’s homers were his 21st and 22nd of the season, which makes him the league leader in that category. He was aided by Bill Knute’s three hits, along with two hits apiece from Paul Selfrige, Jim Ward, and Jay Lincoln. Dave Barnes made an outstanding play at first base for the Mustangs.
Floral Arts 10, Mario’s Restaurant 6
On Friday night, Simon Tripp hit his third homer of the week and his 20th of the season, this one a grand slam in the first inning, to help Floral get off to a fast start against Mario’s Restaurant. Jim Peloquin and Rob Beaudette also hit home runs. Roger Whittlesey (3-for-3, 2R), Dave Janowsky (2-for-3, 2R) and Greg Marchand (2-for-3) chipped in for Floral in the win.
Shortcut Landscaping 10, Gutcheck 5
Shortcut Landscaping gunned down two players at the plate in one inning to eliminate a Gutcheck rally that could turned the game around. Instead, SCL hung on for the win. Mike Gross hit a grand slam for SCL and Carl Dean also homered. Doug Bigham was solid at third base for SCL. Thanh Nguyen hit a three-run homer for Gutcheck.