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Sports Briefs for The Week 97jul31
by David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader and The Times

Union County Senior Softball 60+ Division


Ron Cerina drove in the tying and winning runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to lead L.A. Law to a 6-5 win over Mangel's Realty


L.A. Law defeated Marion Roofing 15-9. Tony Orlando and Tony Muccini contributed three hits apiece while Joe LaPlaca, Gabe Ilaria, Lou Vespasiano, and Irwin Holtz each had two hits.


On an extremely hot and humid evening, L.A. Law defeated Mangel's Realty by a score of 11-9 in extra innings. By doing so L.A. Law moved into second place in the Union County Senior Softball's 60 and over division. Fred Zitomer, Bill Nicolls and Don Auer each had three hits.


In five inning-game followed by severe thunderstorm.


L.A. Law rallied for three runs in the bottom of the sixth to eke out the victory. Ron Cerina and Tony Orlando homered.


John Patricco had three RBI and Aldo Romandelli was among those with multiple hits, Cliff Johnson was the winning pitcher in relief.

Seth Burstein Wins Gold at Maccabiah Games in Israel

Seth Lee Marshal Burstein has just returned from the 15th Quadrennial Maccabiah Games in Israel. This was the venue for the third-largest sporting event in the world. Burstein competed as a member of the United States Junior Swim Team, being only one of six young men chosen nationally.

Three days out of the three-week trip were devoted to his competition. Burstein was the winner of three gold medals. Additionally, he set two Maccabiah records in the 50-meter and 100-meter butterfly and was a member of the record-setting 4x100-meter medley relay team. Parenthetically, this was the same competition format and site that saw swimming's greatest swimmer, Mark Spitz. compete prior to his Olympic career.

Burstein, about to be a junior at Westfield High School and already one of its top swimmers, was born and raised in Westfield. A scholar, as well as an athlete, Burstein routinely has been achieving straight A grades, even in advanced courses. He is the son of Dr. and Mrs. Julian Burstein and is the brother of Marcus, Adam and Maura.

JCC Marauders Invade Old Star System, 11-5

The Marauders entered the Old Stars’ space and came out with an 11-5 looting in a JCC League game at Tamaques Park in Westfield on July 27. Both teams began the interstellar contest with identical 9-2 records.

Being the aliens, the Marauders batted first and immediately launched a five-run assault on the Old Stars’ domain. Tom Lopez reached safely on a hard grounder to the second baseman, Dave Heiden rapped a single to center, then Marshall Feldman socked a single to left, driving in Lopez.

Jeff Silverstein continued by drilling an RBI single to left and Don Merkelson reached first on an error which allowed Feldman and Silverstein to score. Neil Leitner ripped a single down the third base line and Merkelson came tearing around third to score the fifth run of the inning.

The next scoring occurred in the bottom of the second when Tim Conroy of the Old Stars arced a leadoff single to shallow center, Scott Burns blooped a single to right, Jim St. Lifer slashed a sizzling grounder to third as Conroy scored and Marc Schweitzer bopped an RBI single for the second run.

The Marauders retaliated with one run in the third. Lopez skidded a hot grounder to second and reached first safely, then tagged up on a fly ball to center hit by Heiden and scored when Feldman looped a single to right-center.

The Old Stars answered with a run in the bottom of the third as Bill Emmons savagely thrashed a single up the middle, Ron Brachman reached on an error and Steve Aronson drew a walk to load the bases, then Harry Semple sailed a sacrifice fly to center, bringing in Emmons.

The fourth inning proved to be too much for the Old Stars’ defensive system as the Marauders bombarded them with a five-run shelling. Leitner walked, David Livingston top-spinned a bad hopper to short, then Barry Offitzer smashed a liner by third to score Leitner.

Richard Corman stepped to the plate and reached on an error which allowed Livingston to score, then Todd Krell drew a walk to load the bases. Rich Gallen singled home Offitzer and Corman and Jim Polonsky wiggled an infield single which allowed Krell to score.

The Old Stars emitted a flicker of light by scoring two runs in the fifth. Bob Kendler hopped a single past short, Jerry LeRoy hooked a single over the third base man, Emmons walked to load the bases and Brachman whacked a single to right to bring home Kendler. Aronson drove in the second run with a sacrifice fly to right.

The remainder of the game became a defensively dominated struggle which yielded some fine and interesting plays. Silverstein of the Marauders hit a pop-up so high that it could have been a home run in an elevator shaft, but gravity took hold and a patient Ron Manne caught it as it fell to earth.

In the sixth, St. Lifer of the Old Stars fired a warp-speed shot which was intercepted by a leaping Heiden at third. Manne and Emmons of the Old Stars combined to make a great putout of Gallen’s attempt to score in the eighth inning, then the game ended when the Marauders turned in a second-to-first double play.

The victory upped the Marauders’ record to 10-2 while the loss dropped the Old Stars to 9-3.

Marauders 501 500 00 11

Old Stars 021 020 00 05


(As of July 28)


Congregation Beth Israel 9 1 1

Marauders 10 2 0

Old Stars 9 3 0

Sour Grapes 7 5 0

Orange 4 6 1

White 4 7 0

Temple Emanu-El 1 10 0

Club 40 0 12 0

Club 40 Runs Into Sour Grapes, 11-6

The Sour Grapes did some stomping of their own on Club 40 during a JCC League game at Tamaques Park in Westfield on July 27 by squeezing an 11-6 victory.

John Kerstein and John Applebaum each blasted home runs for the Sour Grapes while Alan Kaufman had a double and recorded eight putouts in left field for Club 40.

Mattress Factory Puts Greco’s to Sleep, 1-0

The third-seeded Mattress Factory set second-seeded Greco Steam Cleaning on their backs after pulling out an eight inning, 1-0, victory in the first game of a best-of-five playoff series of the Westfield Men’s Softball League at Tamaques Park in Westfield on July 27.

Spectacular defensive plays prevailed as both teams performed great fielding maneuvers which resulted in gutsy diving plays, dirty uniforms, abrasions and several game-saving double plays.

In the first three innings, only five batters reached base resulting in no runs for either team. Kevin Zipler ripped a single up the middle for the Mattress Factory in the top of the first. For Greco’s, Joe Penzak scalded a double off the glove of a diving, fully stretched Zipler in the bottom of the first, Steve Kamins also stretched Zipler to the limit as he zipped a single just out of his reach and Bill Harcourt drew a walk in the second inning and Dave Kervick reached on a walk in the third.

Tim Walsh bounced a hard single past third for the Mattress Factory in the fourth inning, but any scoring opportunity was snuffed out when Greco second baseman Ron Greenberg showed great range as he made a running catch of a pop fly hit by Tom Perotta to end the inning.

Penzak delivered his second hit of the game as he punched a single just out of the reach the Factory shortstop in the fourth.

Each team’s shortstop turned in spectacular plays in the fifth. Penzak robbed the Mattress Factory’s Gene Marabella of a hit when he lunged for the ball and made a brilliant diving catch as he bounced upside-down on his shoulder and Zipler of the Mattress Factory snagged a grounder hit by Bill Harcourt, tagged second unassisted and fired the ball to first for the first double-play of the game.

Zipler was involved in another fabulous play in the sixth when he received a throw from pitcher Walsh, slid his foot over second base, then flicked the ball to first for the second double-play of the game.

The Mattress Factory threatened in the seventh with two outs when Chuck Mueller slapped a single to right-center and Zipler looped a single to left, but Perotta was forced to pop up to first to end the inning.

Things appeared to be in dire straits for the Mattress Factory in the bottom of the seventh. Chuck Harcourt led off with a base-on-balls and Brian Keller singled through the gap at second putting runners on first and second with no outs. Penzak flew out to right-center, then Frank Seculic lined a shot to right which was caught by Perotta for the second out as both runners advanced.

Kamins was intentionally walked, loading the bases, then Keith Gallagher stubbed a dangerous infield pop between the pitcher’s mound and first which appeared as if it would drop in for the game winner; however, Ron Shovlin had different ideas as he used his long arm and body length to make a knee-skinning, diving grab of the ball just before it hit the ground.

Shaken, but now stirred to ultra-enthusiasm, the left-handed Shovlin led off the eight and sliced a seemingly modest single to left, but the ball took a sharp bounce to the left and rolled toward to foul line out of the reach of the fielders. Shovlin, not only advanced to second, but also made a gutsy rush for third and dove face forward safely into third before the tag. Marabella stepped to the plate and banged a sacrifice fly to right-center to bring home Shovlin for the only run of the game.

A steamed Greco’s had its last chance to score. Bill Harcourt poked a single to left. Matt Costello drilled a hot grounder to shortstop Zipler who shoveled the ball to Gary Niserak, at second for the force, who in turn, tossed the ball to Shovlin at first to complete their third double-play of the game. Rick Weber was Greco’s last hope. He slashed a grounder which was knocked down by Niserak at second. Niserak recovered and fired the ball just in time to get Weber and preserve the victory for the Mattress Factory.

Mattress Factory 000 000 01 01

Greco Steam 000 000 00 00

Gamblers Derail Trolley in Two

The fourth-seeded Gamblers advanced to the semifinals to compete with the first-seeded Checchio Chiropractic where they began a best-of-five series on July 27.

Playoffs (First Game):

Gamblers 10, Jolly Trolley 6

Playoffs (Second Game):

Gamblers 17, Jolly Trolley 6


(Final July 22)


Checchio Chiropractic 15 6

Greco Steam Cleaning 15 6

Mattress Factory 14 7

Gamblers 14 7

Jolly Trolley 10 11

Nuclear Chickens 9 12

Black Crackers 5 16

Crossroads 5 16


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TheWestfield Leader.
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