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Hustlers Outslug Millers, Lizards Rally to Defeat 'Hornets in Extras

Hustlers starting pitcher, Rick Stacy delivers a pitch in the first inning on Sunday at Herlihy Park.

Millers 1

Hustlers 6

The Millers and Hustlers squared off Sunday at Herlihy Park.

Starting pitchers Rick Stacy and Eddie Esposito were effective early, holding the opposition to 1 run over the first 2 innings.

The Millers opened the scoring in the second on a leadoff walk to Hector Arroyo followed by back-to-back singles from Paul Iellamo and Mike Olkin. The Millers led 1-0 after two.

The Hustlers answered in the bottom of the third, scoring 4 runs on hits by Rick Stacy, Paul Kaplan, Ken Sloat, Bill Evans, and John Dusenberry to take a 4-1 lead.

The Hustlers added one more run in the 4th on hits by Bill Evans, Jeff Whitehead, and Tim Bombard. The 6-1 lead was more than enough for the Hustlers in this one, as Ken Sloat and Jeff Whitehead held the Millers scoreless through the last 4 innings.

Rick Stacy picked up the win, giving up 1 run on 4 hits, striking out 1. Ken Sloat pitched 2

scoreless innings in relief, giving up only 1 hit while walking none and striking out 1. Jeff

Whitehead pitched the last 2 innings, giving up no runs on 1 hit.

The Hustlers’ offense was led by Paul Kaplan (2-4, R), Bill Evans (2-4, 2 R, RBI), Jeff Whitehead (2-4, R), Tim Bombard (2-3, RBI) and John Dusenberry (2-2, 3 RBI, BB). Matt Boulanger collected two hits for the Millers and Stu Clark contributed two scoreless innings of relief.

A crisp, well-played game by both teams, neither squad committed an error.

Game photos courtesy of Stu Clark

Lizards 11

Murder Hornets 5

It was a beautiful Sunday morning for a TNB50 Fall Ball showdown as the 1-0 Murder Hornets hosted the also 1-0 Lizards at historic Mitchell Field in Holyoke.

The Lizards opened the scoring in the first after a couple of Hornet miscues, a passed ball, and RBI hits by Mark Fox and John Malikowski amounted to a pair of reptilian runs. The Lizards then plated another run in the third taking advantage of more Hornet miscues to take a three run lead.

Meanwhile, Lizards starter John Malikowski danced in an out of trouble, until the Murder Hornets broke through with four runs of their own in their half of the third, capped by a two-run single to right center by Eric "Noodles" Bennett, plating Jon Ross and Andy "AK" Klepacki to take a 4-3 lead.

From there the game went back and forth. Steve Ostrowski relieved and pitched 3 2/3 innings of 1-run ball, an RBI single by Jon Ross, and was helped out by 2 of the 3 DPs turned by the Lizards IF on the day, but the Lizards answered back with a solo run in the 5th on a booming ground rule double to left by Mark Fox to cut it to 5-4.

Ross, who relieved Elbaum and pitched a perfect 6th, ran into trouble in the top of the 7th. Ron "Tater" Totten led off with a single, advanced on a WP and groundout, and scored on an RBI groundout by Jeff Cahill. Mark Caputo came on in the bottom of the 7th and pitched a 1-2-3 inning, sending this one into extra frames.

The Lizards exploded for 6 runs in the top of the 8th with Malikowski singling in zombie runner Fox for the lead, then a costly error, followed by RBI singles from Edwin Rodriguez, Micah Winston, and Ron Totten, a wild pitch, and another RBI groundout by Cahill.

Caputo closed out the bottom of the 8th without allowing a run, for the win.

Winston led the Lizards lineup, going 4-4 with a BB, and scoring 3. Fox, Malikowski, Totten & Rodriguez each had 2 hits.

For the Hornets, starting pitcher Greg "G-Bomb" Elbaum threw 5 innings without giving up an earned run, and creatively reached base four straight times, on an error, a walk, a hit by pitch, and a base hit. Skipper, Noodles Bennett went 2-3 with a walk and two RBI, and everyone's favorite heel, Brian "Benji" Benjamin went 1-3 with a walk and a run scored.

The Lizards improved to 2-0 in TNB50 Fall Ball with the thrilling come-from-behind victory.

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