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Fall League, Week 5: Hornets & Pats Win, Playoff Hopes Alive

Millers 1

Murder Hornets 3

WP: Steve Ostrowski

LP: Mike Krezmien

It was cold and blustery morning at Mitchell Field in Holyoke for a grudge match between the Murder Hornets and the Holyoke Millers. The weekend rain made Anniversary Field unplayable, but with a little elbow grease Mitchell was ready at game time. Ace, Steve Ostrowski toed the rubber for the Murder Hornets; Mike Krezmien got the nod for the Millers.

The first two innings belonged to the starting pitchers: Krezmien was dealing some heat, striking out two and giving up no runs. On the other side Ostrowski allowed two walks in the first, but then shut down the Millers easily. Both pitchers hurled 1-2-3 frames in the 2nd. 0-0 after two innings.

In the top of the 3rd inning the Millers got on the board first. Chris Krezmien walked and advanced to 2nd on a Jeff Cahill single down the third base line. Jack Eisenstadt blooped a single into left field, scoring the junior Krezmien.

Mike Krezmien got in trouble in the third, hitting Larry Pietras (who was later out on a fielder's choice) then giving up singles to Steve Ostrowski, Micheal Ringler, and Bill Evans to load the bases. Jim "Kruk" Fogarty walked to bring in a run and Kriezmien was done for the day, leaving with the bases still juiced. Jeff Whitehead came in to relieve and gave up a blast to Mike Martindell that plated two more. At the end of 3 it was Murder Hornets 3, Millers 1.

The Murder Hornets threatened again in the 5th, getting four men on base. But they were stymied by the Millers defense, that included an 8-4 out on a throw from Chris "Chaka" Scanlon to Justin Gaudette.

The heart of the Millers lineup was up in the top of the 7th, but Steve O didn't care: the Murder Hornets' ace induced two ground outs and an infield fly to secure the win. Final Score: Murder Hornets 3, Millers 1.

PLAYERS OF THE GAME: Steve Ostrowski: 7 IP, 1 ER, 2 K. Jack Eisenstadt: 1-2, 1 RBI.

Game photos courtesy of Venessa Clark

Patriots 5

Millers 3

WP: Morriss Partee

LP: Rick Fleurent

In Saturday’s late game, due to an unplayable Anniversary Field, the Patriots rode a big 3-run 2nd inning for a 5-3 win over the 1st place Diamond Rats. The Patriots struck first off of D-Rats ace, Ricky Fleurent. Marin Goldstein and Morriss Partee singled and then Nolan Anaya’s RBI hit brought in Goldstein. The D-Rats countered in their half off of Partee when lead-off hitter Micah Winston laid down a perfect bunt single, and then with 2 outs, Diego Ortiz reached on an error, and Greg Elbaum laced an RBI single to CF.

The bottom fell out for the D-Rats in the 2nd. Matt Boulanger singled, Andy Klepacki reached on an error to SS, and then Shawn McMillan drove a double into the jet stream in right-center, scoring Boulanger. Paul Iellamo and Ryan Dietlin followed with RBI singles, and it looked to be a disastrous inning for the D-Rats. However, Fleurent settled down by getting a pair of infield popups, and after a walk, K’ing the next batter with the bases juiced.

Both teams threatened in the next 2 innings, but to no end. However, the D-Rats stormed back in the bottom of the 5th off of pitcher Ken Sloat, who had come on in the 4th. With 2 outs, Winston and Mark Caputo singled, John Malikowski lined an RBI single to CF, and then Diego Ortiz drove a monster blast to deep CF for an RBI double to bring the D-Rats to within one.

Greg Elbaum relieved Fleurent in the 5th and pitched 2 clean innings. However, the D-Rats defensive woes came back to bite them again in the 7th. After a single by McMillan, Iellamo reached on an error and Ken Sloat singled to load the bases with 1 out. Then Jack Wileden’s RBI groundout to the right side made it 5-3. The D-Rats could only manage a walk in the 7th before Sloat retired Winston on an infield pop fly (the 2nd game in a row the Rats have had 9 infield pop-outs).

Offensive stars were McMillan (3-3, double, RBI, 2 runs), Partee (2-2, BB), Anaya (2-3), and Dietlin (2-3) for the Patriots, and Winston (2-4, 2 R) for the Rats. Top defensive plays were by the CFers: Winston made a sensational inning-ending sliding catch in CF to rob Sloat of an RBI hit for the Rats, and Goldstein raced in to grab a sure base hit by Tony Maspo to CF on one hop and fired a strike to force the runner out at 2B by a hair.

The Diamond Rats can still clinch first place with a win over the Millers next week. The Patriots must win next week vs. the Murder Hornets and then will have to run the tie-breaker gauntlet to see if they will make the Final.

Game photos courtesy of Stu Clark

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