The following was submitted by Roger Whittlesey.
Westford Over 30 Softball (Week 14)
The Nashoba Valley Mustangs (20-1) won twice this week and have clinched first place. Second place Floral Arts (17-4), with one win in two tries this week, has now clinched second place.
Then it gets muddy.
Third place Shortcut Landscaping (12-10), despite winning one of two this week, can still be caught by fifth place Willis Tent (8-11) or fourth place Healy Oil (9-12). If Willis Tent, by virtue of its three wins against SCL this season, were to tie SCL in the final standings, the league tie-breaker rule would go into effect and Willis would take over third place. If Healy Oil, which has split two games against SCL, wins two of its final three, including its game against SCL, it would overtake SCL’s spot in the standings.
Drew Farms (9-13), which has spent most of the season in third or fourth place, dropped to sixth place after losing three games this week. Seventh place Pro Sports Therapy (8-13) currently sits a half game away from gaining a playoff berth. Mario’s Restaurant (6-15) and Gutcheck (5-15) are both a whisker away from being mathematically eliminated from making the playoffs.
Nashoba Valley Veterinarian Mustangs 19, Gutcheck 4
On Sunday, Mike Kennedy led the balanced Mustang offense with three home runs, six RBI, and three runs scored. Every Mustang had at least one hit and one run scored. Jack McGrath hit a home run, while Jack Erickson (3 RS, 2 RBI) and Dan Crogan chipped in with three hits apiece. Mark Cusano (4 RBI, 2 R) and Jay Dolan (3 RBI) contributed two hits each for the Mustangs. Bill Knute continued his excellent outfield play.
Healy Oil 7, Shortcut Landscaping 5
On Tuesday night, when the air was heavy and the ball remained in the ballpark, Healy Oil’s Mike Finegan and Cam Santana both hit triples with men on to pick up the majority of the Healy runs. SCL rallied in the sixth and picked up three to get within two but couldn’t put up any runs in the top of the seventh.
Floral Arts 19, Drew Farms 6
The Floral bats boomed in the first inning, scoring 10 runs against Drew Farms. Drew Farms chipped away at the lead, getting within five runs in the third inning, but then the Floral bats erupted again to out the game out of reach. Ken Delaney (2-for-3, 5 RBI) stroked a grand slam in the first. Rob Beaudette continued his power streak, hitting two more home runs (solo, 2-run), while going 3-for-3. Frank Lancelotta had a nice day at the plate for Floral, collecting two hits, including a two-run home that cleared the left field fence. First baseman Mark Chambers had two hits and made a leaping catch on a hard hit liner that robbed Drew Farms of a sure hit. Larry Mardany pitched a great game and made a running basket catch on a pop up in foul territory between home and third base.
Healy Oil 9, Gutcheck 11
On Wednesday, Gutcheck ended their losing skid by winning a tight contest against the playoff hopeful Healy Oil, 11-9. Both offenses traded blows all game until Gutcheck took the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning and held on, keeping the Healy Oil offense off the scoreboard in the seventh. Gutcheck’s defense was solid all game with Rey Vienneau and Jeff Curley making big plays in the infield. Curley hit two home runs and gathered 6 RBI, and Thanh Nguyen (home run) drew an intentional walk.
Floral Arts 8, Mustangs 17
On Friday, Mike Kennedy (4-for-4, home run, 3 RBI) and Mark Cusano (2-for-3, home run, 4 RBI) led the way for the Mustangs as the 20-1 team cruised to a well-earned victory. Floral went up 2-0 in the first inning on a home run by Simon Tripp, but the Mustangs stormed back in the top of the second. Jim Peloquin (solo home run and two walks) played a fine game at short before coming in as a relief pitcher in the fifth inning. Floral’s Greg Marchand was 3-for-3 with a grand slam homer. Mustang Jim Ward (3-for-4, 3 RS) was productive at the plate, and Cormac Bordes (2 H, 2 RBI) played excellent defense at first base. The win clinched first place for the Mustangs.
Shortcut Landscaping 11, Mario’s Restaurant 9
Shortcuts prevailed over Mario’s on the strength of five home runs, which provided enough cushion to survive the last-inning rally staged by Mario’s. The game ended with the tying run on first base for Mario’s. SCL’s Jason Humphrey, Dave Silton, Brent Oakleaf, Mike Gross, and Dave Sullivan homered. Sullivan’s two-run blast was the difference-maker in the game. Mario’s Rick Waldron continued his late-season power surge by hitting his third home run of the last three games, this one a two-run shot that cleared both fences. Rookie Tim Scott added to his team lead in outfield assists by throwing out an SCL runner attempting to advance to third base. Brian Collomore remained hot at the plate; he has hit a combined 8-for-9 in his last two games.
Pro Sports Therapy 19, Drew Farms 6
In a desperate drive for the playoffs, Pro Sports Therapy defeated Drew Farms 19-6 in the nightcap on Friday. PST jumped out to a quick lead, putting up four runs in the first. Leading 7-0, Drew Farms scored six runs in the bottom of the fourth to make a game of it. PST responded on the back of Mark Strzegowski home runs in the fifth and sixth innings, which drove in five combined runs. Newly installed lead off man Ben Armstrong then ended the game with a thre-run homer in the top of the seventh. PST also got big offensive performances from coach Gary Royal (3-for-3, Walk, 3 RS) and Jerry Cressman (3 H, 3 RS). Gordon Eddy was on base all night, scoring three runs to go along with two hits. He also executed a fine double play with second baseman Derek Donegan.