Ohio MSBL 60+ ‘Timeless’ Division

Warren Panthers 8, Canton Coyotes 4

Front row (L to R):Larry Yoho (LaBrae-1972), Nick Dragash (WWR-1976), Tom Boyd (WWR-1969), Denny Malaska (Toledo Woodward-1970), Donny Smith (Tallmadge-1966), Dave Irish (Conneaut-1970), and Bob Woody (Tallmadge-1964). Back row (L to R): Bruce Brewster (WGH-1965), Ed Martin (Pymatuning Valley-1972, Bernie Novotny (WGH-1968), Brian Kochunas (WGH-1964), Dave Kerestly (New Castle, PA-1968), Kevin Martin (Jackson-Milton 1976), Jim Nutt (WWR-1969), and Joey Bertilacci (Youngstown Rayen-1965). Missing from picture: Ron Warga (Youngstown Chaney-1968), John Larson (Youngstown South-1971), Greg Stenglein (MiamiBeach, FL-1969), and Terry Hogan.

‘Big Eighth Inning Propels Panthers to Title’Submitted by Brian Kochunas, Panthers manager

The Warren Panthers recently completed their second season in the Ohio MSBL Timeless (60+) Division with another championship. The Panthers defeated the Canton Coyotes by an 8-4 score to claim their second title in as many years.

In the championship game, the Coyotes jumped out to an early lead scoring twice in the first inning, and adding single runs in the third and fourth innings to take a 4-0 lead. However, in the bottom of the fourth the Panthers closed the gap with a three-run inning. Bernie Novotny led off the inning with a single. After a strikeout and fielder’s choice, Nick Dragash drove in one run with a single, which was followed by a walk to winning pitcher Dave Irish to load the bases. Second baseman Donny Smith immediately drove home two more runs with a line drive single to left. The Panthers tied the game in the bottom of the sixth inning when Kevin Martin singled and stole second base. He moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by Ed Martin.

The game remained tied at 4-4 until the Panthers broke the game open in the bottom of the eighth with four runs. The inning started with a single by Denny Malaska, who promptly stole second base. Kevin Martin followed with a base hit to drive in Malaska and give the Panthers the lead. Ed Martin was then hit by a pitch and Joey Bertilacci drew a walk to load the bases. Third baseman Bruce Brewster capped the rally by ripping a double to right center to clear the bases and put the game away for the Panthers.

Winning pitcher Dave Irish, who had shut down the Coyotes since the fourth inning after their great start, went out in the ninth inning and retired the side in order to nail down the victory. For the game, Irish went the distance allowing eight hits and four runs, of which only three were earned, while striking out two and walking three Coyotes.

Leading the Panther offense were Kevin Martin (3 for 3, with 2 runs scored and an RBI), Nick Dragash (2 for 3, with a run scored and an RBI), and Bruce Brewster (2 for 4, with a double and 3 RBIs).

During the regular season, the Panthers finished with a 12-1 slate. They had a team batting average of .418, scoring 200 runs, while holding opponents to a total of 64. The team also had 220 hits, including 38 doubles, seven triples, while adding 172 RBIs. They had several players contributing to these outstanding numbers. Regular season stats:

Batting Stats

Batting Average: Dave Irish .571; Larry Yoho .533; Bernie Novotny .500; Dave Kerestly .500; Greg Stenglein .474; Nick Dragash .472; Bruce Brewster .447; Ed Martin .447; Kevin Martin .429; Tom Boyd .420.

Hits: Bernie Novotny 23; Tom Boyd 21; Bruce Brewster 17; Ed Martin 17; Nick Dragash 17; Dave Irish 16; Larry Yoho 16; Ron Warga 11; Dave Kerestly 10; Joey Bertilacci 10.

Runs Scored: Ed Martin 28; Nick Dragash 20; Bernie Novotny 18; Larry Yoho 15; Bruce Brewster 14; Dave Kerestly 13; Tom Boyd 13; Donny Smith 13.

RBI: Bruce Brewster 19; Tom Boyd 17; Bernie Novotny 13; Nick Dragash 12; Larry Yoho 11; Ron Warga 11.

Doubles: Tom Boyd 6; Nick Dragash 6; Kevin Martin 5; Ed Martin 4; Bruce Brewster 3; Dave Irish 3; Denny Malaska 2; Jim Nutt 2; Terry Hogan 2.

Triples: Ed Martin 3; Nick Dragash 2; Bruce Brewster 1; Kevin Martin 1.

Stolen Bases: Ed Martin 9; Ron Warga 8; Bruce Brewster 6; Denny Malaska 5; Nick Dragash 5; Bernie Novotny 4; Joey Bertilacci 4; Bob Woody 3.

Pitching Stats

Winning Percentage (min. 2 decisions): Dave Irish 6-0 (1.000); Larry Yoho 3-1 (.750).

ERA (min. 7 innings pitched): Terry Hogan 1.28; Larry Yoho 1.73; Dave Irish 4.15.

Strike-Outs: Larry Yoho 25; Dave Irish 17.

During the post season playoffs, the team went 3-0 with a batting average of .337. The Panthers scored 31 runs and held opponents to 17. They accumulated 35 hits with 3 doubles and a triple, and had 28 RBIs. Post season team leaders were as follows:

Batting Stats

Batting Average (min. 6 at-bats): Kevin Martin .636; Donny Smith .429; Bruce Brewster .400; Nick Dragash .375; Bernie Novotny .375; Ed Martin .375; Dave Kerestly .333.

Hits: Kevin Martin 7; Bruce Brewster 4; Denny Malaska 3; Donny Smith 3; Ed Martin 3; Nick Dragash 3; Bernie Novotny 3; Dave Kerestly 3.

Runs Scored: Ed Martin 6; Kevin Martin 5; Dave Kerestly 4; Denny Malaska 3; Dave Irish 3.

RBI: Bruce Brewster 7; Ed Martin 4; Nick Dragash 4; Donny Smith 3; Dave Kerestly 3; Tom Boyd 3.

Doubles: Bruce Brewster 1; Ed Martin 1; Nick Dragash 1.

Triples: Ed Martin 1.

Stolen Bases: Kevin Martin 2; Donny Smith 2; Denny Malaska 2; Dave Irish 2, Bob Woody 2.

Pitching Stats

Winning Percentage (min. 1 decision): Dave Irish 2-0 (1.000); Larry Yoho 1-0 (1.000).

ERA (minimum 7 innings pitched): Dave Irish 4.00; Larry Yoho 5.62;

Strike-Outs: Dave Irish 7;