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A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains – Fanwood Thursday, June 25, 1998 Page 13



Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

Chris Park crashed a two- run home run to cap a six- run third inning as Willoughby Road tightened its grip on second place by whipping Poplar Place, 13- 1, in Fanwood Old Men's Softball League action at LaGrande Park in Fanwood on June 16. The victory lifted Willoughby to 6- 2, putting them only one- half of a game behind first- place Hunter Avenue.

Pitcher Fred Walz was superb for Willoughby as he never allowed more than two hits in any given inning. Willoughby Road, sponsored by Lock Snips Haircutters in Fanwood,

amassed 17 hits in its assault on Poplar Place.

After the first three Poplar Place batters flied out in the first inning, Willoughby growled out a threat in the bottom of the inning but were silenced with some unusual fielding plays. After Kevin Sicala walked and Joe Smith wiggled an infield single, Ralph Russo hit a pop- up to very shallow left field. As the runners held their position, the shortstop dropped the ball, but alertly tossed the ball to third and the third baseman quickly fired the ball to second for a double play. Matt Mahoney hopped a single down the third baseline but

Russo was nailed out at third. Poplar Place posed a small threat in the second. Chris DeNoia dribbled a one- out single past third and Steve Skaar followed with another single. Walz escaped the inning unscathed by getting Dave Comer to pop- out to third and Mike Dafchek to fly out to right.

In the bottom of the second, Paul Frias of Willoughby zipped a one- out single up- the- middle, Matt DePalma drew a walk and Park loaded the bases with a chopping single to short. Chris McAlindin brought Frias home with a sacrifice fly to left, then Lou Cerchio drilled a two- RBI single to left to put Willoughby in front, 3- 0.

Willoughby bent a little in the top of the third but did not break as Poplar, once again, put two men on base but could not score. Mike Kelly glanced a single off the pitcher's arm and Tom Smith slashed a double down the first base line to put runners on second and third with two outs. But when John DeNoia ripped what appeared to be a single, shortstop Mahoney made a great diving play and threw him out at


Checchio's Crunches A. J. Jersey, 12- 2 By DAVID B. CORBIN

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

Controlled pitching and strong hitting by Checchio Chiropractic helped surge them past a tough A. J. Jersey Forklift team, 12- 2, in Westfield Men's Softball League action at Tamaques Park in Westfield on June 21. Checchio's cracked A. J. Jersey with four runs in the fourth inning and broke them with six runs

in the fifth. Only one run was scored in the first three innings. In the top of the second, Frank Malta of Checchio Chiropractic hopped a single to left, moved to second on a single by Dave Buchwald, then scored off Joe Walsh's single to left. Checchio pitcher Manny Perez allowed only a single to Tony Ciullo in the first and a single to Leo White in the second.

Checchio's threatened in the third with singles from Orlando Rivera and Perez, but a fine unassisted play by A. J. Jersey shortstop Jerry Lipshitz extinguished the possibility of a score. So, the real punishment began in the


Hideaway Emerges and Beats Malibu in SP Softball Action


Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

Dan DiDario blasted a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth and Pat O'Sullivan scored in the sixth as The Hideaway emerged from a 7- 6 deficit to sink Malibu, 8- 7, in Scotch Plains Softball League action at Brookside Park in Scotch Plains on June 17. With the win, The Hideaway edged closer to PEPCO for the lead in the A Division.

Malibu was definitely game as they erupted for three runs in the top of the first. Leadoff hitter Jon DeFoul wiggled a single up- the- middle and Kevin Sicola bopped another single up- the- middle. With one out, Jake Zakuviak bashed a two- RBI single, then Keith Gibbons bounced a single by the pitcher to bring home Zakuviak.

The talented Hideaway answered with two in the bottom of the second to narrow the score to 3- 2. With two outs, Mike Petersen drew a walk, Pat O'Sullivan hooked a single over third base, then Rob Tumolo tapped a single to left to drive in both Petersen and O'Sullivan.

Joe Smith doubled in the second but Malibu was unable to score. The

Hideaway rose to take a 6- 3 lead with four runs in the second. Left- hand hitting Nick Piscopo yanked a leadoff homer over the right field fence. After Malibu shortstop Jerry Lipshitz initiated a slick second- to- first double play, Bob Darby chopped a single to center for The Hideaway. DiDario followed with a looping single to leftcenter and Greg McCombe crushed a two- RBI triple to deep center, then scored on a throwing error.

Malibu got back on the controlling side of the see saw with four runs in the third to take a 7- 6 lead. DeFoul hopped a fair- ball single up- themiddle, then Sicola stepped to the plate and launched a towering home run over the center field fence. Lipshitz

lashed a single to left and tagged up on a fly ball to left. Gary Zakovic drew a base- on- balls and Vinnie Pereira peppered an RBI single to left. The righthand hitting Tom Straniero outfoxed the defense and punched a single to right field, then Smith sizzled a single off the shoe of the first baseman to drive in Zakovic.

The big, blazing offensive guns of both The Hideaway and Malibu were cooled from the bottom of the third until the bottom of the fifth. Petersen and Paul O'Sullivan had singles in the third for The Hideaway. Dom Deo had a single for Malibu in the fourth and Lipshitz had another single in the fifth.

DiDario led off in the bottom of the



Willoughby Road Rambles; Pounds Poplar Place, 13- 1



Shannon Wagner Selected All- Area Softball 1st Team

Westfield High School senior Shannon Wagner has been selected by

The Courier News to the First Team All- Area list in softball. Blue Devils Sue Phillips and Colleen Ryan and Diana Mendez and Wendy Underwood of Scotch PlainsFanwood High School have been named to the All- Union/ Middlesex list. Also, Blue Devils Courtney Thornton and Kristen Leonardis and Raiders Michelle Evans and Jillian Mazzagetti have been named Honorable Mentions.

This season, Wagner led the Blue Devils with a .486 batting average and used her speed and quickness to amass a team- leading 16 steals. As a

pitcher, Wagner was untouchable in the Union County Tournament. Wagner shutout A. L. Johnson, 1- 0, in the quarterfinals, shutout Union, 6- 0, in the semifinals and wrapped up the title by shutting out Roselle Park, 9- 0.

Wagner followed up by shutting out Plainfield, 15- 0, in the very next regular season game; then in a battle of champions, she defeated the 1997 Union County Champion Governor Livingston Highlanders in a 3- 2 thriller. Wagner scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh. Wagner finished the season with a 1.36 earned run average and a 16- 5 record.

In 1997, Wagner led the Blue Devils in batting with a .455 average and thumped a Westfield High School record eight triples. Wagner will be attending the University of Delaware

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Doug Bishop Gets Selected All- Area 1st Team Baseball

Scotch Plains- Fanwood High School senior Doug Bishop has been selected to the First Team All- Area Baseball list by The Courier News.

Raider seniors Dave Gewirtz and Jim Buccola and Blue Devil senior Greg Freisen and junior Lamont Turner have been named to the All- Union/

Middlesex list. Raider senior Adam Baumwoll and Blue Devil seniors Phil Orsini and Bob Baykowski have been named as Honorable Mentions.

Bishop, the Union County Boys Scholar- Athlete and team captain, went 21- for- 57 with a .369 batting average, thumped three home runs, including a pair of solo homers against Cranford in the final game of the season, and drove in 17 runs. Bishop will be attending Amherst College in Massachusetts in the fall.

Gewirtz batted .393, drove in 24 runs and scored 25 runs. Gewirtz also had a 6- 4 record as the Raiders' ace pitcher. Buccola led the Raiders in batting with an incredible .602 fourth. With Gary Ruban on first,

Frank Malta mashed an RBI triple to left- center. Malta held at third when Buchwald reached first on an error but scored when Walsh whacked a sacrifice fly to center. Bryan Chapman cracked a single to left to score Buchwald and Orlando Rivera wiggled an RBI single to left to make the score 5- 0.

In the fifth, Danny Mondelli bounced a single past short and Joe Dasti dumped a single to right. Jim Freel reached first on a force play and Ruban ripped a single to left to score Dasti. Malta brought Freel home with a single to right and Ruban scored on a mis- throw. Buchwald blasted an RBI triple to left and scored off Walsh's single to left. Chapman plunked a single between second and right- center and Walsh scored the sixth run of the inning when Rivera grounded out to second.

The A. J. Jersey men needed a lift, but were down 11- 0 before they could get on their feet in the bottom of the


Mike Baly Named All- State Lacrosse

Westfield High School senior Mike Baly has been selected to the Second Team All- State list in boys lacrosse by The Star Ledger. Baly, a team Tri- Captain, scored 32 goals and had 15 assists for the Blue Devils this season. Baly will attend Harvard University in the fall.

David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader and The Times SINGLE TO CENTER… Fred Walz of Willoughby Road smashes a single to center in the fourth inning. Willoughby defeated Poplar Place, 13- 1, at La Grande Park in Fanwood on June 16.

David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader and The Times SAFE AT HOME… Kevin Sicola of Malibu slides safely into home in the first inning against The Hideaway at Brookside Park in Scotch Plains on June 17. Later, Sicola blasted a home run over the center field fence.

David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader and The Times PERFECT HOME RUN SWING… Nick Piscopo of The Hideaway executes a perfect swing and crushes a solo home run over the right field fence in the second inning at Brookside Park in Scotch Plains.

David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader and The Times OUT AT THIRD… Dave Buchwald of Checchio's slides into third but becomes a victim of a great play which involves third baseman John Kolas of A. J. Jersey.

Shannon Wagner

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Baly, a two- time Scholar- Athlete of the Month for his achievements in wrestling, amassed an incredible 91- 29 high school varsity record, has won numerous titles and has advanced to wrestle in the state tournament. Baly also was outstanding in soccer and in boys lacrosse. Recently, Baly was named All- State Second Team in boys lacrosse. Baly will attend Harvard University in the fall.

Mike Baly

E ducational Achievement A thletic Achievement G ood School Standing L eadership E nthusiasm

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