Dennis Holmes blasts a double in the 7th inning at Mitchell Field.
Murder Hornets 3
Another beautiful TNB Fall Ball Sunday found the undefeated Lizards hosting the scrappy Murder Hornets fielding a bare minimum of 9 players at Herlihy Park. If you remember these two teams squared off earlier in the season with the Lizards coming away with an exciting extra inning win, and the Hornets were looking to even things up.
With both starters Greg "E-Bomb" Elbaum and Lizard ace Ricky "Bobby" Fleurent dealing, the game was scoreless going into the 3rd, when G-Bomb led off with a rare TNB50 hustle double, advanced to third on a ground out, and then scored on a ground out to third, just barely beating the throw home from the first baseman with a fancy head first slide around
Lizard catcher Ron Totten.
The Hornets then added an insurance run in the 5th on a clutch RBI single by shortstop Andy Klepacki, driving home Gordy Lustila to make it 2-0 Hornets.
After throwing 4 shutout innings, Elbaum ceded the hill to Jon "JR" Ross, who tossed a scoreless 5th and 6th. In the top of the 7th the Hornets manufactured another run after G-Bomb singled, moved to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a productive ground out to the right side by Colin, and scored on a bloop single to center by Noodles.
In the bottom of the 7th, with JR still on the hill, the Lizards finally got on the board after John "Ski" Malikowski singled, advance to third on consecutive wild pitches and scored on an RBI hit by Edwin Rodriguez, but that's all she wrote for the Lizards as JR shut the door and dashed any hopes of a dramatic Lizard comeback.
The Hornets win, coupled with the Hustlers victory over the Millers sets up a 2nd place / wildcard showdown this coming Sunday against the Hustlers, the winner advancing to the championship game in two weeks.
Greg Elbaum led the Hornets' offense, going 4 - 4 with two runs scored. Eric "Noodles" Bennett went 2-4 with an RBI. Gordy Lustila checked in with a 1-2 day with a walk and a run scored. John Malikowski went 2-3 for the Lizards with a run scored. John Wills went 2-2 with a walk and Edwin Rodriguez went 1-3 with an RBI.
G-Bomb picked up the win, tossing 4 shutout innings and JR Ross pitched 3 innings allowing a solo run late, picking up the save. Ricky Fleurent pitched 3 innings for the Lizards allowing 4 hits and just 1 run.
The Hustlers and Millers took the field on a beautiful, crisp October morning at Mitchell Field, with the Hustlers prevailing 5-1.
A pitcher’s duel over the first 3 innings, Hustlers’s starter Ken Sloat held the Millers hitless, facing the minimum number of batters, striking out 2, while Millers’ starter Eddie "The Problem" Esposito allowed only two hits and a walk over his three innings.
The Hustlers broke through in the top of the 4th, plating 3 runs off Millers’ reliever, Pres Pieraccini, on hits by Brian Krylowicz and Ken Sloat and ground balls by Jack Wileden and Tony Maspo, filling in for the shorthanded Hustlers.
The Hustlers added another run in the 5th on an RBI single by Chris Scanlon and one more run in the 7th on a hit by Jeff Whitehead and a fielder’s choice by Scanlon.
Jeff Whitehead pitched the final three innings for the Hustlers, allowing just one run on four hits, picking up the save.
The game ended in exciting fashion, with Hustlers’ shortstop Bill Evans throwing Dennis Holmes out at the plate on an RBI single by Tom Conway.
The Hustlers offense was led by Tim Bombard (1-3, 2B, BB), Jeff Whitehead (2-4, 2 R), and Brian Krylowicz (2-4, R). The Millers’ offense was led by Tom Conway (1-3, RBI), Paul Iellamo (1-2), and Pres Pieraccini (1-2, R).
Game photos courtesy of Stu Clark