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By DAVID B. CORBIN Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
St. Jude pulled out a double victory in the St. Bartholomews Oldtimers Softball League on August 26 at Jerseyland Field in Scotch Plains, defeating St. Louis in a carry-over game, 9-8, and beating St. Michael in the regularly scheduled game, 10-6.
An extra inning game with St. Louis, sponsored by Rossi Funeral Home in Scotch Plains, halted by darkness with the score tied, 8-8, on August 25 at Brookside Park in Scotch Plains was continued at Jerseyland. In the bottom of the 10th, Glenn Walz singled home jack Lynch with the winning run to advance St. Jude to the next playoff round against St. Michael which previously received a bye.
St. Jude immediately began its quest. Rich Contrino took advantage of an error and made it to first base, Walz drew a walk, and Fran Celardo brought Contrino home with a shot to left field. Tony Williams stepped up and plastered a two-RBI single to right, then Nick Barattucci drilled a single to right to bring in the fourth run of the inning.
St. Michael, sponsored by Pace Scrap Metal, answered with three runs in the bottom of the second. Marv Scherb reached on a fielders choice, Stan Lesniewski hooked a single to left and Chris Reimers stumped St. Jude with a looping RBI single over second. Joe Romash drove in the second run with a single to left and Tom Kucin bounced the ball off the St. Jude pitcher to bring home Reimers with the third run.
By the end of the third inning, the cause of St. Jude appeared to be lost as St. Michael added another three runs to take a 6-4 lead. Tony Blasi blasted a single to left, Nick Troiano drilled a single to center, the Mike Brennan crushed a two-run triple to deep left field. Jerry Riepe drove in the third run with a single to left.
With dogged tenacity, St. Jude got back on the path. Gerry Spitzer ripped a single to left to start the fourth inning, Tony Perfilio skidded a single to right, Larry Erhard walked to load the bases, then Nate Mangiris bounced the ball off the third baseman as Spitzer scored. Lynch launched an RBI single to left, then John Wilkinson slashed a single to left to bring home Erhard and Mangiris. Charlie Laskowski lashed another single to left to drive in the fifth run of the inning and St. Jude now held a 9-6 lead.
St. Michael threatened in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Lesniewski hacked a single to left, Reimers flied out to center, Romash drilled a single past the diving St. Jude third baseman Spitzer, then Kucin sent a shot to center, but the center fielder Contrino snagged it for the third out.
St. Jude put a topping on its lead by adding another run in the fifth. Williams hit a sharp grounder which forced the shortstop to go deep into the hole, then Williams legged out the single. Spitzer hopped a single past third, Barattucci got an infield single to load the bases, then Perfilio hit a sacrifice fly to center to bring in Williams.
The solid pitching of Barattucci over the remaining three innings held St. Michael to only one hit, a single by Brennan in the sixth. Barattucci was assisted by great catches from Perfilio in right field and Celardo with a great sliding catch in left field.
St. Jude advanced to the semifinal round and defeated St. Thomas, 6-2, at Brookside Park on August 27.
St. Jude 400 510 0 10
St. Michael 033 000 0 06