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A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains - Fanwood Thursday, July 22, 1999 Page 11




Russell Road Gang Grounds Struggling Poplar Place, 92


Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

Pitcher Tom Culinane, after a shaky first inning, recovered well and shut out Poplar Place for the remaining six innings to lead Russell Road to a 92 victory in a Fanwood Old Men’s Association game at La Grande Park in Fanwood on July 13. The victory placed the Road “Gang” in a tie for first with the wily Willoughby team.

It was not that Cullinane had control problems in the first inning, but the Poplar Place men came out ready and hit several good pitches. Mike Kelly ripped a leadoff triple to deep center, then after an infield pop up, Tom Smith slapped an RBI single to rightcenter. John DeNoia and Mike Christensen both walked to load the bases, then Matt Smoot lobbed an RBI single over second.

With two runs in and only one out, Culinane was in trouble. Dave Comer

stepped to the plate and drilled a shot into Culinane’s glove. Culinane spun around and fired the ball to third in time to nail the runner to complete the double play.

The powerful Road “Gang” strutted to the plate in the bottom of the first and answered loudly with five runs. Don Weber howled a single to right, Tim Walsh whistled a double to center, then Dave Buchwald banged an RBI single off the third baseman’s glove. Before the din could subside, Jordan Scher rattled the left field screen with a screaming tworun double. Mike Wexler whacked an RBI triple to right center, then Kurt Staeudle crashed an RBI single onto the left field grass.

An offensive armistice occurred in the second inning and in the top of the third, but Russell Road roared

with three to take an 82 lead after three innings. Culinane softly sliced a single over third. Wexler whizzed a single to right as the courtesy runner sped to third. When Wexler attempted to steal second, the Poplar catcher decided to fire the ball to third to trick the runner. Unfortunately, the ball sailed into left and the runner scored.

With a runner on second, Staeudle smacked a single to left to create another firstandthird situation. Staeudle attempted a steal. This time the throw went to second but was late. In the meantime, Wexler rumbled home for the second run. Then, Eric Birnbaum stepped up and rapped an RBI single to right.

Russell first baseman Walsh made a brilliant diving grab of a grounder off the bat of Christensen in the fourth and scrambled to first in time for the


Meyer’s Marauders Mangle Bravo Landscaping, 106 By DAVID B. CORBIN

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

John Hagy dazzled opposing batters in the first seven innings with his repertoire of pitches and the Meyer’s Marauders offense gathered enough runs in the first six innings to withstand a late rally as they halted Bravo Landscaping, 106, in a Scotch Plains Softball League game at Brookside Park in Scotch Plains on July 14. Team sponsor Rusty Meyer was anything but rusty as he whacked four singles, scored three runs and had one RBI.

Meyer began the Marauders’ invasion with a leadoff single in the first inning. Tommy Behr singled, Hagy lofted an RBI sacrifice fly, then Tom Pennimpede pounded an RBI single.

Bravo answered with the only run that it would get for the next seven innings. John Mastrianni yanked a single to right, then Marty Bernstein brought him home with an RBI double to deep left.

Defense ruled in the second inning as neither team scored; however, after Marauder Greg Roe hit a one out single to left, Bravo third baseman Jerry Isolda turned a fine thirdtosecondtofirst double play. The offense did, however, return for Meyer’s Marauders in the third. Meyer looped

a single to left, Fred Behr walked, Tommy Behr bashed an RBI single to right and Hagy poked an RBI single to center to up the score to 41. The assault ended abruptly when shortstop Bernstein initiated a thirdtosecond double play.

Meyer’s murmured in the top of the fourth when Mark O’Day hopped a oneout single past short and Roe sent the left fielder to the fence to make the catch, but Lee DiDonato

muffled the murmur with a full speed, running snag in center. Bravo also barked in the fourth with singles from Bernstein and Dom Mastrianni but no runs were scored.

The real pillaging occurred in the fifth when Meyer’s Marauders seized four runs to jump their lead to 81. Steve Barber lined a single to center and moved to second when the ball was bobbled. Meyer thwacked his


A. J. Jersey’s Hustle Hinders Bewildered Chaos Men, 94


Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

John Robinson was an offensive terror, going 4for4 and scoring two runs, as he helped lead A. J. Jersey to a 94 victory over Chaos in a Westfield Men’s Softball League game on the newly dragged fields at Tamaques Park in Westfield on July 15. Shortstop Jerry Lipshitz kept Chaos in a dazed state with his dazzling defense.

Chaos had the honors and successfully scored two runs in the top of the first inning. Chuck Harcourt drew a baseonballs and Junior Gamas reached base safely on an error. Matt Smith ripped an RBI single to left, then Jersey shortstop Lipshitz made a nice scoop and threw the runner out at second, but when the throw to first was dropped, Gamas scooted in to score.

Robinson ignited a twoout rally in the A. J. Jersey half of the inning by slicing a single to right. Lipshitz laced a shot to center and hustled his way to second for a double. Mitch Cohen tapped an RBI single to left, then Leo White tied the score at two with an RBI single to left.

Displaying his great range, Lipshitz highlighted the scoreless top of the second with a nice grab of a grounder which robbed Kevin Lonergan of a hit. A. J. Jersey added a run in the lower half of the inning when Tony Ciullo scored from third on Paul Meade’s ground out to short.

Chaos regained the lead, 43, in the third. Dave Kervick walked,

Chuck Harcourt blooped a single over first and Gamas reached on a force play. Smith scribbled an RBI single past short and Steve Kamins lofted an RBI sacrifice fly to right.

Robinson led off the bottom of the inning by chopping a single past short, then Lipshitz flew safely to first on an error. Next, Cohen looped

a tworun triple down the right field line, then later scored on an error, making the score 64.

Chaos was held scoreless in the fourth when Ciullo made a nice play at third and Lipshitz performed two magical tricks at short. The Jersey men, however, pushed their lead to 74 in their part of the inning when


St. Michael Keeps Chipping; Nicks St. Paul, 1312, in 8th


Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

Third baseman John Chupko made a startling barehanded, running, morale sparking stab of a foul ball in the fifth inning and St. Michael kept chipping away offensively to pull out a 1312, comefrombehind victory over St. Paul in St. Bartholomew’s Oldtimers Softball League action at Brookside Park in Scotch Plains on July 16. Norm Hansen provided major offensive clout as he hammered a tworun home run, ripped two singles and totaled four RBI.

St. Michael pitcher Frank Chupko was tagged early as St. Paul scored 11 of its runs in the first two innings but he quickly licked his wounds and virtually paralyzed the St. Paul bats for the remaining six innings. In the meantime, John Chupko not only dazzled onlookers with his defensive magic, but he also recorded three hits and two RBI with the “metal stick”, including the game tying RBI.

Yes, the Brothers Chupko were quite a onetwo punch, but it was nearly all St. Paul in the beginning. St. Michael did get the jump, however, with three runs in the top of the first. Glen Walz and Lou Balestriere both singled, then Dan Perrine pounded a tworun double to left. Later, Perrine scored when Derek VonLangen’s shot was dropped in right field.

After the first two St. Paul batters flied out, Bill Mirto sliced a single over first, then scored on Tom Engleman’s triple to center. Jerry

Spitzer, who went 4for4 on the evening, ripped an RBI single to left. Tony Barattucci belted an RBI triple to left and Paul Naldony dribbled an RBI infield single. Wes Chase drilled a double to left then Tony Blasi gave St. Paul a 63 lead with a tworun single to center.

Stunned, St. Michael failed to score in the second with Frank Chupko getting the only single. However, St. Paul erupted for five runs in the lower half of the inning to take an 113 lead. Bob Elmi and Reimers both singled and Mirto walked to load the bases. After, Elmi was forced out at

home, Spitzer spanked an RBI single to left. The ball was mishandled and Mirto scampered across the plate. Barattucci lofted an RBI sacrifice fly, Naldony thumped an RBI triple to center, then Chase chopped an RBI single past short.

St. Michael chipped away with two runs in the third. Perrine hopped a double over third, then Hansen dug in at home and buried his tworun homer to center.

Elmi displayed his fleet of foot by beating out an infield single; however, further St. Paul advancement



David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader and The Times SLIDING IN FOR A TRIPLE… St. Paul’s Paul Naldony slides safely into third for a triple in the second inning as St. Michael third baseman John Chupko prepares for the throw. St. Michael pulled off a stunning, 1312, victory in eight innings.

David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader and The Times MAKING ANOTHER FINE PLAY… A. J. Jersey shortstop Jerry Lipshitz scoops a grounder then fires the ball to first for the out. Lipshitz had a great defensive evening against Chaos. The Jersey men won, 94.

David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader and The Times REGAINING HIS BALANCE… Meyer’s Marauders catcher Tom Pennimpede attempts to regain his balance after Dom Mastrianni of Bravo Landscaping slides safely past the tag in the ninth inning. Meyer’s Marauders defeated Bravo, 106.

David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader and The Times BRELINSKY CALLING THE OUT AT HOME… Umpire and Fanwood Old Men’s Softball Association President Bob Brelinsky makes the out call as Russell Road’s Jordan Scher is tagged out by Poplar catcher Carlos Vasquez in the fifth inning. Russell Road rolled over Poplar Place, 92.

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