Week 13*: Plugs Deny Wonders, Grays Double-Up Plugs, Wonders Stomp Goats, Isotopes claim 2nd seed
Greg Elbaum is tagged out at home by Wonders' catcher, Scott Taylor Wednesday night at Herlihy Park.
Plug Uglies 11
WP: Jon Adolph
LP: Chris Ciepiela
It was deja vu all over again as the Plug Uglies faced off against the Wonders for the second week in a row. On a sunny evening at "The Herl" Greg Elbaum faced off against Chris Ciepiela in a game that had serious playoff implications, as the Uglies and Wonders vied for the 2nd seed in the playoffs and its coveted bye week. The Uglies were a depleted team again this week, with covid and injuries sidelining several key players.
The Wonders got the scoring started in the top of the 2nd inning with back to back singles from Tod Garfield and Nabil Hannoush, who were later driven in by Kevin O'Grady and Senior Jacques respectively. The Uglies responded in the bottom of the 2nd when Nolan Anaya scored from 3rd on an overthrow to first. This was the tale of the game for most of the night: the Wonders would score, followed by the Plugs playing catch up.
The back and fourth continued until the bottom of the sixth, with the game tied at 7. Brian "Benji" Benjamin got things started with a bunt for a single. Bill Evans reached on an error and Greg Elbaum singled to load the bases. Benjamin was thrown out trying to score, but the bases were still loaded with one out. Jeff Cabana walked, bringing in a run, then Mike Olkin hit a single that scored two and Anaya singled in another run to put the Uglies up by 4.
One of the heroes of the game was Jon Adolph, who came in to relieve Elbaum in the top of the 5th. Jonny A. was brilliant, pitching three hitless innings, striking out 2, giving up no runs and earning the win. The Uglies' offense was led by Bill Evans (2-4, 3 runs), Greg Elbaum (3-4, 2 runs, 1 RBI) and Matt Boulanger (2-3, 2 runs, 1 RBI).
Dreams of reaching second place were still in reach for the Uglies, heading in to Thursday night's matchup with the Grays. Final score, Plug Uglies 11, Wonders 7.
Game photos courtesy of Stu Clark
Plug Uglies 4
WP: Chris Bernacki
LP: Bill Evans
The first seed Grays hosted the battle-weary Plug Uglies on a stormy night at Herlihy Field. The Grays, having clinched the week before, were playing for the love of the game. The Uglies, trying to claw their way to the 2nd seed to buy some time for key players to get healthy, were going for broke.
The Plugs were able to squeeze a couple of runs out of Grays starter Chris "Nacho" Bernacki in the top of the first with an RBI single from Nolan Anaya and a Mike Olkin sacrifice. The Grays responded with a 4-run bottom of the first that featured a 2 RBI single from Steve "Money" Monette. The Grays added two more the following inning with RBI singles from Jay "Supe" Sadowski and Tim Sigda. They say "hit em' where they ain't", and the Grays did just that all night long with multiple hits to the outfield that were always just out of reach of Ugly fielders.
The Uglies got two more runs in the top of the 5th against Grays reliever Rick Fleurent, featuring another RBI from Anaya. Just when they thought they might be back in the game, the Plugs were rudely awakened with two more runs driven in by John "Ski" Malikowski and Monette.
With two men on and no outs the skies could no longer refrain from erupting, with dark moody clouds turning into thunder and lightning, then a downpour. The game was called and the win was awarded to the Grays, who finish the 2022 season with a league best 9-2-1 record. The Plug Uglies fall into a tie for 2nd place with the Isotopes at 7-5, but ultimately end up in third place because they lose the tiebreaker. The Grays and Isotopes earn a week off as the four remaining teams face off next week!
Game photos courtesy of Jeff Whitehead
WP: Rick Stacy
LP: Pres Pieraccini
"The game was as ugly as the inclement weather rolling in around the fifth inning." Two teams with depleted rosters resulted in plenty of hits, a bunch of errors, and a high-scoring affair.
The Wonders jumped out to an early lead in the first, scoring three on a leadoff walk, back-to-back errors, and a passed ball. The Wonders added two more in the second and 1 in the third to jump out to an early 6-1 lead and this one was getting out of hand quickly.
But Las Cabras Desmayas (the Goats), who had been shorthanded for much of the season, refused to roll over, scoring 2 in the third and 3 in the fourth to cut the Wonders lead to 6-3, and suddenly we had a ballgame.
A huge 4-run fourth inning by the Wonders seemingly put this game out of reach, but those resilient Goats responded with 3 in the bottom half to make the score 10-6.
A valiant effort by the Goats came up short as the relentless Wonders added 2 more in the fifth to build on their lead. The Goats plated 1 in the bottom of the fifth to make the score 12-7, the skies opened, the thunder rolled, and the game was called after five.
Jim Healy (3-3, 3R) and Andy Ayres (3-3, 3 R) had big nights at the plate for the Wonders, while Tom Conway (2-3, R) and Stu Clark (2-3, 2 SB, 2R) led the Goats' offense.
Game photos courtesy of Stu Clark
Regular Season Wrap Up
With the completion of our makeup games this week, comes the end of a terrific regular season. Thank you to the players, managers, and umpires for a thrilling year. Congratulations to the first place Grays and second place Isotopes. Now on to the playoffs...
Playoffs begin next week with the Goats (6) vs the Plug Uglies (3) on Wednesday and the Phillies (5) vs the Wonders (4) on Thursday. Both games will be played at Herlihy and will begin at 5:30.
Second round matchups will continue on August 10th and 11th under the lights at Whalley Field in Southwick; with the championship game being played the following Thursday. Best of luck to all our teams.
Players, their families, and friends, are invited to our 2nd annual Player Appreciation Picnic during the championship game on August 18th. Hot dogs and cold drinks will be served, team MVPs will be announced, and of course, this year's two best teams will be facing off for the championship. Hope to see you there!