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Week 6: Murder Hornets & Lizards Walk Off to Victory and into Championship Game

Mark Caputo pitched two scoreless innings and picked up the win against the Millers.

Hustlers 4

Murder Hornets 5

Under overcast skies the Murder Hornets hosted the Hustlers at Mitchell Field with both teams tied for second place, and the winner moving on to face the Lizards next week for the first TNB Fall Ball Championship Game.

The game started out well enough for the Hornets, as they took advantage of a couple of Hustler miscues to jump on top 1-0 in the first. But, the Hustlers would quickly answer back in the second when Chris "Chaka" Scanlon roped a single to left, then advanced on a passed ball, and motored home on an RBI single by Bob Mastorakis. The Hustlers followed that up in the next inning plating 3 runs on RBI singles by Jeff Whitehead and Scanlon to extend the Hustler lead to 4-1.

With Sloat giving way to Hustler, ace in the hole hurler, Whitehead in the 5th, it appeared

hopes for the Hornets were dimming, but a Hustler error, a walk, and a booming RBI blast by Colin Hosley and a run scoring hit by Greg Elbaum closed the gap to 4-3.

That's where the score remained until the dramatic bottom of the 7th...

With one out Dave Poppie reached 2nd on an error. Hosley was intentionally walked to set up a force, but it also put the winning Hornet run on base. The speedy "J.R." Ross reached first on a fielder's choice for the 2nd out, but, E-Bomb, with his 3rd hit of the day smacked an RBI single up the middle to tie the game. The next batter, Jim "Kruk" Fogarty, parachuted an opposite field pop to right that barely eluding the desperate sprawl of Hustler shortstop Bill Evans, scoring Ross from 2nd, whose head-first slide got in just ahead of the throw to give the Murder Hornets a dramatic 5-4 win, propelling them to the championship game against the Lizards.

Greg Elbaum (3-⁠⁠4, 2 RBI), Jon Ross (1 H, 2 R), and Colin Hosley, (1-⁠⁠2, BB, RBI, & 2 perfect innings of relief) led the Hornets' attack.

Jeff Whitehead (1-⁠⁠3, 2 RBI) and Chris Scanlon (2-⁠⁠3, R, & RBI) led the Hustlers' offense while Kenny Sloat did not allow a run in his 4 innings of work.

Game photos courtesy of Andy Klepacki

Millers 5

Lizards 6

Ron Totten's line drive RBI single with no outs in the bottom of the 7th capped an exciting 6-5 walk-off win for the TNB50+ Lizards over the Millers.

The Millers jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first on 3 walks, 2 HBP, 1 error & 2 hits, before Morriss Partee relieved, tossing 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Totten's RBI single in the 2nd made it 4-1, but the Millers scored another in the 5th when Eddie Esposito knocked in Tony Maspo to extend the lead. Steve "Bass" Ostrowski entered the game in relief and pitched 2 scoreless innings, only allowing an inherited runner to score.

The Lizards battled back in the bottom of the 5th when John "Ski" Malikowski laced a 2-run single down the LF line to cut the Millers lead to 5-3.

Mark Caputo beat out an IF single to start the bottom half of the 7th. Mark Fox & Morriss Partee drew walks, and then Malikowski dropped an RBI single in short CF. Edwin Rodriguez drew a walk to tie it, setting the stage for Totten's heroics.

Caputo pitched the final two innings, retiring all 6 batters he faced, earning the win.

The 5-1 Lizards will face off against Eric Bennett's 3-2-1 Murder Hornets in the Championship Game next Sunday at Herlihy field.

Game photos courtesy of Stu Clark

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