Southside Warriors 5,
Connecticut Top Hats 4
'Warriors Score Two in Eighth to Complete Comeback'
By Steve Potter, special to MSBL National
November 5, 2016 –
Carpenter Complex, Clearwater, Florida - The Southside Warriors used
a couple of untimely Top Hat fielding errors and a balk call in the bottom of
the eighth inning to score two runs and seal a 5-4 come from behind
victory. Mike Capolla and Joe Ferrara reached on consecutive
errors by the Top Hats third baseman to lead off the inning. Southside manager Jerome Stabile laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance them
both into scoring position. Frank Bungevino ripped a long sacrifice
fly ball to right field to tie the game. Top Hats pitcher Rich Lee was
then called for a balk on the next pitch that scored Ferrara with what turned
out to be the game winning run.
The Warriors scored first in the contest plating a run in
the bottom of the first inning on a Joe
Demiri sacrifice fly that scored shortstop Matt Kinsella who had reached on a fielder's choice, advanced to
second on an error and then stole third base.
Connecticut scored all four of their runs in the top of the
second inning keyed by RBI singles from Rich
Burns and Steve Simone along
with an RBI fielder's choice from Manager Bob
Manowitz. That lead held till the
fourth inning when the Warriors chased Top Hats starting pitcher Eric Brady with two runs. Brady went 3 2/3 innings before yielding to
lefty Rich Lee who held the Warriors
scoreless till the bottom of the eighth.
Stabile started on the hill for the Warriors and pitched one batter into
the third inning before giving way to left hander Frank Bungevino. Bungevino
pitched seven scoreless frames to earn the mound victory for Southside.
Southside had only four hits in the game but used three
sacrifices, five walks, a hit batter and four Top Hats errors to score their five
runs. Connecticut had nine hits in the
game, three by shortstop Wally Hurd ( two singles and a double) while leadoff hitter Bill Bardes reached base three times via walks.
Skipper Stabile praised Bungevino by saying, "Hard fought
battle today. Frankie came in after I struggled. He threw 16 scoreless innings
this week including the seven today for us and was outstanding.” The team wore camouflage jerseys during the
week. Stabile explained that he works at Southside Hospital in New York and
that they have a Wounded Warriors Project. The hospital sponsored the jerseys in their
honor which is really cool.
Top Hats manager Manowitz was gracious in defeat stating,
"It was a tremendous tournament, my team showed a lot of heart coming from
behind in both the quarter and semi finals. The baseball gods just didn't shine
on us in the eighth inning. Two errors
and a balk and to lose on a balk call was tough. I have been playing with Rich
for a long time and I can't ever remember him getting called for a balk.” He said he was very proud of his team. They
have won two championships in the tournament in previous years. This is their first
loss in a championship game. Manowitz
said they would be back next year to battle for another title.
Southside’s Craig Smith was named the tournament MVP. I spoke to his mom in the stands before the
game and she gave me prophetic words stating that he was the best player on the
field. Mothers always know best!
Pool Play :
Southside went 4-1 earning the number one seed from Division
Two. They outscored their opponents 43
to 23 during the week. Connecticut also
went 4-1 and qualified as the number two seed from Division One. They outscored their opponents by a count of 53
to 21 during the five games.
Southside defeated the South Atlantic Twins 9-7 in the
quarter final round and the Atlanta Giants 14 -2 in the semi finals. Connecticut topped the Susquehanna Valley
Hitzmen 11-10 in the quarter finals and the Del Val Bombers 12-9 in the semi