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A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains - Fanwood Thursday, August 24, 2000 Page 11


THE WEEK IN SPORTS Check it out on the Web site! www. goleader. com Sports Section Pages 1113


Sun Tavern Captures SP Softball Crown; Glows With 75 Win Over Ferrara’s Auto


Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

Veterans’ Day celebrations came early at Brookside Park in Scotch Plains for the wellseasoned Sun Tavern men when they held off a spirited Ferrara’s Auto Center, 75, in the third game of the best of three series to win the Scotch Plains Softball A Division Championship on August 15, the 31st Anniversary of the Woodstock Rock Festival. It was the second A Division title inarow for most of the veterans, who

played under the name of Meyer’s Marauders.

Just as in last year’s title game, Sun Tavern slugger Mark Nies rose to the occasion and became the

game’s hero. In fact, Nies was an offensive terror throughout both of those championship series as he blasted jawdropping home runs. In game two, this season, Nies knocked in four runs with two colossal home runs. In the title game, he tricked the Auto men by tapping an RBI single in both the first and third innings, then in the sixth, he launched a heelrocking solo blast into the trees in

left center. Later, in the eighth, he added another single.

Nies obviously did his damage but Sun Tavern combined for 17 hits and got three hits from Doug Fischer and



Pioneer Transport Tramples Unsuspecting L. A. Law, 160


Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

Getting the best of the law does not happen often. However, Pioneer Transport got rolling and trampled L. A. Law, 160, in the first game of a best of three semifinal series in the Union County Senior Softball League at Bierteumpfel Field in Union on August 16. Scotch Plains’ own Dom Deo held the Lawyers at bay by tossing a three hitter.

The Pioneers brought 18 men to the plate and produced 19 hits with their “metal sticks.” Deo, Bob Canales and Don Robertson led the offensive lightning with three hits apiece. Canales provided the most crunching blow with a threerun triple and Robertson added three RBI and scored two runs.

Both teams displayed some respectable defense. Pioneer third baseman Norm Stumpf was the man not to hit the ball to as he scooped any grounder that hopped his way and teammate Nick Ciavatta was smooth in the outfield. Stumpf even had the Lawmen mumbling among themselves. However, the Lawmen got spectacular performances from left fielder Tony Orlando, rightcenter fielder Joe LaPlata and shortstop Hank Lataweic.

The Lawmen had to be in a state of shock as they had been dictating policy in the 60+ Division all season, having been in first place with a 142 record while the Pioneers were struggling with a 108 record. The Pioneers left deep ruts in the base paths from the beginning and L. A. Law could never find a loophole to skirt the Pioneers’ onslaught.

Five Pioneer footprints crossed the plate in the first inning with the assistance of four hits and three walks. Bill Richie, Stumpf, Canales, Robertson and Deo left their imprint on home base.

Deo muted the first three Lawmen in the bottom of the first, then the Pioneers added a run in the second. Ed Gangeski walked, then scored

after Ralph DelVecchio and Ed Malko both singled and Lou Melillo grounded into a double play initiated by Lawman Lataweic.

Deo yielded a single to Lataweic in the second, then Pioneer added three runs in the third for a 90 lead. John McCarthy looped a single to center, Richie bopped a single past short, Stumpf walked and Canales launched his threerun triple to re mote rightcenter. During that inning,

LaPlata and Orlando both made brilliant running catches in the outfield.

Rich Ryan plopped a single to left for L. A. Law in the third, then Pioneer Transport struck with four runs in the fourth. Robertson and Deo both singled and Jim Steiner lobbed an RBI sacrifice fly to center. “Good


Willoughby Road Rises, Puts Mattress Factory to Rest, 144


Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

Fifthseeded Willoughby Road awakened on August 17 at La Grande Park in Fanwood with an offensive blitz which resulted in a 144 lullaby that put fourthseeded Mattress Factory (Hunter Avenue) to rest in the Fanwood Old Men’s Association playoffs. Ralph Russo applied the largest sedative with two unbelievable home runs which would only seem to come true in dreams.

Russo led the 15hit Willoughby blanketing with a single in the first inning then went on to pulverize a threerun shot deep into the playground in the third and a tworun blast in the fifth. Willoughby’s Chris McAlindin also smashed a tworun blast in the fourth and Matt Mahoney contributed two triples, a single and two RBI. The Hunters scraped up six hits which included a tworun crunch by slugger Steve Kamins.

Mattress Factory Hunter first baseman Ron Shovlin made several of his patented stretches to complete putouts, one which resulted in a double play, and third baseman Frank Marcazza made a superb stop in the first inning to prevent a run.

Willoughby right fielder John Gerkens made a spectacular catch, resulting in a collision, in the first inning and made a running shoelace snag in the sixth. Second baseman Chris Park made a slick backhanded grab which resulted in an out in the seventh.

It was the Hunters who struck first with three runs in the bottom of the first. Mike Ewing walked then stole second, Frank Cuccaro blooped an RBI single to right and Kamins launched his tworun shot. However, from the second through the fifth inning Willoughby ace pitcher Fred Walz would sit down nine of ten Hunters.

The score knotted in the top of the third when Matt DePalma beat out an infield single, Paul Frias walked and Russo rocked his first homer. Then Willoughby took a 73 lead in the fourth. Fred Gamboa walked, Mahoney thumped an RBI triple to deep center, Gerkens walked, Scott Gaito lofted an RBI sacrifice fly to center and McAlindin drilled his tworun homer over the left field screen.

DePalma led off the fifth for Willoughby with a double off the

screen and Russo upped the score to 93 with his tworun shot. Then in the sixth, Gerkens walked, Gaito skid a single past short, Park bounced a single to left and McAlindin hit an RBI sacrifice fly.

Four more Willoughby runs crossed the plate in the seventh. Frias sliced a double to left, Russo walked and Gamboa looped a tworun single over short. Gerkens added the final run with a single to right.

The Hunters’ last chance provided just one run. Phil Wein whacked a triple to deep right then scored on Dave Roth’s grounder to second.

The victory advanced Willoughby to play secondseeded Montrose in a best of three series. Topseeded Russell Road (Sun Tavern) hosted Shady Lane.

FOMSA Final Standings:

TEAM W L Pct. Russell Rd 9 5 1 .642 Montrose 9 5 1 .642 Willoughby 7 6 2 .538 Sun Valley 8 7 0 .533 Hunter 8 7 0 .533 Shady Lane 6 9 0 .400 Marion 5 8 2 .385 Poplar 5 10 0 .333

Willoughby 003 421 4 14 MF Hunter 300 000 1 4

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Montrose Ave. Squeezes Past Willoughby, 43, in Playoffs


Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

Things change during playoff season. What did change in a big way was the defensive quality of both teams when secondseeded Montrose Avenue squeezed past Willoughby Avenue, 43, in the first game of the Fanwood Old Men’s Softball Association semifinal series at La Grande Park in Fanwood on August 21.

Both infields bolstered their alertness to combine for 13 spectacular plays – eight by Willoughby and five from Montrose. Two of Montrose’s fine plays smothered a potential, outofcontrol scoring spree in the fourth inning. Three of Willoughby’s great plays came in the bottom of the second where Montrose scored one run and had two men aboard just itching to score.

The pitching was superb as Montrose pitcher Bob Swisher tossed a fourhitter and yielded no walks and Willoughby pitcher Fred Walz spread out nine hits and allowed no free passes.

However, feet must trample over the plate and two key hits by Montrose told the tale. A perfect RBI bunt single in the second inning by Bob Swisher, scoring the third run, and a solo blast in the third by Rob Schuten for the fourth run proved to be enough

for the victory. The first fabulous fielding play came in the top of the first when Montrose second baseman Marc Romano skimmed the dirt with his chest, grabbed a grounder and fired it to first for the out, saving a run. Willoughby followed suit in the sec ond when second baseman Chris Park

made a running basket catch in shallow right, shortstop Scott Gaito made a running snag behind second and center fielder Ralph Russo made the first of his two outstanding catches, also saving runs.

a crucial tworun single in the sixth inning from Tom Pennimpede. Ferrara’s Auto connected well, banging out 15 hits but were successful only once in getting more than two hits in an inning. Rob Tumulo led Ferrara’s with two doubles to the fence, a single, two runs scored and an RBI. Mike Whalen cracked two singles and had two RBI.

In a championship game, defense usually sparkles and several bright plays were turned in by both teams. Sun Tavern third baseman Dale Wirkus made a flashy diving grab of a grounder, then first baseman Tom Behr followed up his throw with a brilliant scoop to complete the out. However, Ferrara’s outfield performed three spectacular catches and the middle infield completed two double plays.

Sun Tavern struck first with two runs in the bottom of the first. Curtis Gilmore patiently received a walk and Joe Limera followed with a hopping single past short. Nies chopped an RBI single past third and Tom Behr bounced an RBI single into right field. Auto second baseman

Dan Serido initiated a double play and ended the inning by scooping a grounder then tossing to shortstop Dave Serido covering second, who in turn fired to pitcher Mike Petersen

AllCorbin Team *Coming Soon*

The third annual AllCorbin Team for summer softball leagues is scheduled to appear in our September 7 issue. The selection is made solely on unique, interesting and fun pictures from the Mountainside, Fanwood, Scotch Plains, JCC, St. Bart’s, Union County Senior and TriCity leagues.

The public can nominate any previous summer league 2000 picture by contacting David B. Corbin at dave@ goleader. com or calling (908) 2324407.


covering first. In the second, Auto man Dan DiDario prevented a run with a superb chestsliding catch in left field. So, Sun took a 30 lead in the third

CONTINUED ON PAGE 13 David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader and The Times ABOUT TO BOP A SINGLE TO LEFT… Bill Richie of Pioneer Transport concentrates on the ball and bops a single to left against L. A. Law. The Pioneers trounced the Lawmen, 160.

David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader and The Times HOPPING SINGLE PAST SHORT… Ferrara’s Mike Whalen hops a single past short in the fifth inning against Sun Tavern in the championship game.

David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader and The Times SCOTCH PLAINS DIVISION 1 CHAMPS… Sun Tavern defeated Ferrara’s Auto Center, 75, in game 3 to claim the Scotch Plains Men’s Softball Division 1 Championship. Pictured, left to right, are: kneeling, Joe Limera, Dale Wirkus, Dave Legg, Rusty Meyer and Fred Behr; standing, Tom Behr, Tom Pennimpede, Rich Wilson, Mark Nies, Curtis Gilmore and Doug Fischer.

David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader and The Times SHOVLIN TAKING THE BIG STRETCH AT FIRST… Ron Shovlin of the Mattress Factory Hunter team takes a big stretch and makes the putout on Willoughby’s Matt DePalma during the playoff game at La Grande Park in Fanwood.

David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader and The Times LAYING DOWN A KEY BUNT… Bob Swisher of Montrose successfully lays down a bunt which becomes an RBI single in the second inning.

David B. Corbin for The Leader and The Times MAKING THE PLAY… Tom Behr of Sun Tavern makes the putout at first base.
Copyright 2000 - The Westfield Leader and The Times of Scotch Plains-Fanwood
Covering Fanwood, Mountainside, Scotch Plains and Westfield, Union County, New Jersey (NJ)