The following was submitted by Roger Whittlesey. To submit your own news, e-mail the editor at [email protected]
The Nashoba Valley Veterinarian Mustangs raised the league trophy again on Wednesday night after soundly beating Floral Arts in the fifth and final game of the championship series. The league trophy, a brass chalice, the provenance of which is anybody’s guess, will now have the Mustangs’ name engraved on it for the fourth time, along with three previous championship seasons in 2009, 2010, and 2013. The victory on Wednesday night was the Mustangs’ 29th win of the season against only three losses. It was a truly remarkable season in the history of a team that has been a perennial contender over the last eight years.
Floral Arts 16, Nashoba Valley Veterinarian Mustangs 14
On Tuesday night, Floral Arts staved off elimination and forced a Game Five of the championship series. Floral pitcher Larry Mardany was masterful, keeping the powerful Mustangs from scoring in four innings. Floral retired the top of the order in the first inning and then put up three runs in the bottom of the inning on Jim Peloquin’s three-run homer. After six innings and a barrage of hits, Floral had built a 16-10 lead, but the Mustangs appeared poised for one of their trademark comebacks. The Mustangs scored four runs in the top of the seventh inning before finally making the third out on a fly ball to left-center field. Don Cusano hit three home runs in the contest and knocked in eight of the 10 Mustangs runs. Bill Knute, Mark Cusano, and Cormas Bordes each hit home runs for the Mustangs.
Mustangs 14, Floral Arts 1
The Mustangs capped off a record-setting regular season (23-1) by making their 8th finals appearance in the last 9 years. Outstanding all-around team defense and great pitching by Don Cusano held the powerful Floral Arts lineup to just five hits, four walks, and one run in the clinching win. Mustangs leadoff batter Paul Selfrige set the tone, as he did throughout the series, by going 3-for-3, hitting a home run, scoring two runs, and knocking in a pair. Don Cusano added two hits, including his seventh home run of the finals, to go along with a walk, two RBI and two runs scored. Jack Erickson continued his torrid hitting with three hits, including a home run, an RBI, and two runs scored. Mike Kennedy chipped in with a homer and outstanding defense at third base. Mark Cusano went 3-for-3, while Jay Dolan added two hits and 3 RBI. Jack McGrath contributed two big hits and two runs scored. Jim Ward made several tremendous running catches in left-centerfield, while second baseman Dan Crogan made the play of the night, a diving grab on rocket line-drive up the middle in the last inning.