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In a big closing week to the final regular season, Drews beat Burton’s to not only secure a playoff berth, but grab the fifth spot with a nice .500 record. Drew’s played exceptional ball down the stretch. Short Cut also finished strong securing the number two slot and the first round bye. CSA Graphics had a nice win against a good Willis Tent team and Healy Oil ended on a high note beating Short Cut by a bunch. The Nashoba Valley Mustangs finished with just once loss and enter the playoffs again as the team to beat.
Drew Farms 23 – Burtons Grill 17
In one of the most important games of the week, one in which the winner would make the playoffs and the loser eliminated, Drew Farms out-hit Burton’s Grill and secured the final spot. Drews has been on a tear the last two weeks and this was no exception as they posted an 11 run second inning. Burton’s would score 10 of their own in the fourth giving them the lead but that wouldn’t be enough in the end. For Burtons, Tim Scott played well in the outfield and went 3-4 at the plate. Eric Cataline had another 4-4 night including two doubles and three runs scored, Jerry Breen 2-4 with a three-run home run and Jon Russo 3-4 also with a two-run homerun. Murph McKeon 3-4, two RBI and two runs scored, Jerod, “DA” Colley 2-4 and two RBI, and Brian Collamore hitting a shot to right for an inside the park home run with two men on.
Nashoba Valley Mustangs 17- Floral Arts 4
Floral hung tight with the Mustangs for five innings, but the league-leading Mustangs exploded for nine in the sixth for a run-rule victory. Ryan Dunne and Geoff Pavao homered for Floral and Dave Janowsky was 2-3 with two RBI. Mustang’s pitcher Don Cusano got the win on the mound and added a long grand slam after being walked twice earlier in the game. Bill Knute pounded two homers of his own, while Mike Kennedy and Jack Erickson also homered for the winners. Kennedy also made some solid plays at third base.
Short Cut Landscaping 19 – Pro Sports Therapy 6
PST got beaten soundly by SCL, 19-6 in six innings. The ball was flying and Short Cut had their seven home run max by the third inning. PST simply didn’t have the right line-up to keep pace with that kind of offensive output. Mike Gross hit a bomb for the winners that didn’t stop until the basketball court in the parking lot. As for the PST squad, Ben Armstrong was a stud again and went 3-3 and threw a guy out at third on a force play. Mark Pelosky and Jeff Morse were also perfect on the night, 2-2, and Ryan Slate had a three-run home run in the first to give PST a brief glimmer of hope. Short Cuts clinched a bye for the first round of the playoffs with this old fashioned “mashing” of the PST squad. The Men in Black hit seven home runs in the first three innings to set the pace for the night. Excellent pitching by Bill Doherty kept PST off balance all night. Big nights at the plate for rookie of the year candidate John Ablondi, 4-5, two home runs, Mike Gross, 3-3, two home runs, and Donny “White Shoes” Morash, 3-3, two home runs.
CSA Graphics 11 – Short Cut Landscaping 9
Although out of playoff contention, every member of CSA Graphics came to play on Tuesday night, contributing to a win against Willis Tent. CSA opened the scoring in the first with a lead-off single from Billy Ryan and a two-run homer from Jim DeMarco. In the second, five straight singles from Darren Wizst, Nico Landry, Jim Coveno, Tim Piwowar, and Derek MacDermott led to another three runs posted, and an early 5-0 lead for CSA Graphics. It was deja vu in the third inning when Billy Ryan had another single, followed by a Jim DeMarco two-run homer. Hits from Matt Sepe and Bill Cullen led to another run, and an 8-0 lead. Willis bounced back with a grand slam by Brian Gallardo to cut the lead in half. Zak Smolkin led off the fifth with a double, and scored off a two-out double from Billy Ryan, who then scored off a single from Jim DeMarco, who scored from first off a long single from Matt Sepe. However, a comfortable 11-4 lead was trimmed short when Willis posted five runs, making it 11-9. Defense remained key for CSA on the night, though. At one point, a relay from outfield through shortstop to Ryan Nolet at the plate stopped one Willis run from scoring. Zak Smolkin made two strong plays at third base in the final inning, both diving stops (one with a great stretch and catch from Tim Piwowar at first), to preserve the victory. Brian Gallardo went 3-4 with two home runs. Also contributing to the Willis effort with home runs were Andrew Metters and Stephen Damiani.
Drew Farms 22 – CSA Graphics 9
Drew Farms out hit CSA Graphics and had numerous impressive defensive plays to remain in control of the game for the duration. CSA had offensive contributions from Bill Ryan, 2-3 and two runs scored, Jim Coveno, 3-3 and a run scored, and Bill Cullen, 1-2 with a double and sacrifice fly. Also, Darren Wizst was 2-3 with a two-run homer, and Jim DeMarco was 3-3 with two doubles and a home run. CSA could not stop Drew’s, however, and a two-run home run in the top of the 7th by the winners ended the game by the run rule.
Nashoba Valley Mustangs 19 – Willis Tent 18
After an inning and a half the Mustangs were in an unusual position of being down on the scoreboard 14-3. However, the Mustangs responded with an eight run inning of their own and continued to chip away at the lead. Entering the bottom of the seventh inning behind by two runs the Mustangs’ bottom of the order “slugs” came through by setting the table so top of the order hitters Paul Selfrige, 3-5, two home runs, four RBI and Jim Ward, 4-4, sac fly, four runs scored, and an RBI, could drive in the game tying and game winning runs respectively. Lefty slugger Bill Knute continued his outstanding season by going 4-4, with three home run blasts, seven RBI, and four runs scored and played his usual stellar game in left field. Mike Kennedy added three hits for the winners, including a home run. Jay Lincoln and Mark Cusano also chipped in with three hits apiece for the winners. Mustangs win in an unusual come from behind effort. Willis offensive stand-outs included Stephen Damiani, 4-4 with four singles and a walk, Justin Swanson 4-5, three singles and a home run, Tom Mahanna, 4-5 and Willis pitcher Bob Fluery 3-4 with two singles and a double. Keith Wauters 2-4 effort included a single and a grand slam.
Healy Oil 20 – Short Cut Landscaping 4
Wayne Meadows was able to keep SCL’s strong offense at bay with steady pitching. Tony Pantoja and Matt Dowling both added impressive defense as well as offense with Dowling putting two over the left field fence and Pantoja hitting a line drive over center. Bruce Wilhelm, came back from IR to put two over the left field fence as well, one being a grand slam.