2022 50+ Central

Albany NY Yankees 11, Wright Field Reds 1

Saturday, November 19, 2022-Fresh off the Yankees’ 9-2upset victory over the Criollos de Venezuela in the semi-finals, veteran manager Lex Herrlett looked at his line-up card and shook his head thinking, I wish there were more spots in the lineup for all these studs!

But, knowing he had to make a decision and with four days off following a masterful performance against the Rhode Island Salty Dogs, the skip selected to run out right-hander John Holmquist, knowing however it would be all hands on deck for the Championship Game. Big Haus John’ made good on that decision, going five strong innings while scattering seven hits, 0 walks, and 0 runs.

The Yankees’ offense would provide plenty of support plating four runs in the second and three more in the third. Hits came from every position in the lineup with everyone contributing. Some notables were Big Billy’ Mellen and Doug Flutie, each going 3-4, while Flutie also added two stolen bases.

Manager Lex Herrlett, who had pitched a complete game in the semi-final victory the day before, came in to relieve Holmquist in the top of the sixth and put two perfect innings in the book while striking out two. Big Earl’ German pitched the eighth striking out one while walking one. After the Yankees added three more runs in the bottom of the eighth, Yankee closer JJ Janetsky struck out three of the four batters he faced to seal the deal and earn the ring by a final count of 11-1 and a resounding chant of THE YANKEES WIN! THEEEEEEEEEE YANKEEEEES WIN!

Lex reflected on the week, noting that everyone hit at the right time and that for a 50+ team, they played near error free ball, often looking like teams twenty years their juniors! Herrlett was voted team MVP, but he noted “this was a team win. You could go up and down this line-up and find a half dozen people deserving of this honor, but each and every man on the roster contributed when the time came, whether it be a defensive gem, a clutch hit, or timely pitching, this team had the right man, at the right spot, every time!”

Notable defensive mentions were made to Doug Flutie, who played a stellar shortstop notching seven assists in the championship game, while outfielders Mike Smith, JJ Janetsky, and Adam Ellenbogen all made great catches to help the pitchers out of sticky situations throughout the contest. Additionally, the three-headed “wall behind the plate” of Dave Leonard, Carlos Llera, and Charles Carr cut down base stealers and expertly managed a top-notch pitching staff.

“I am proud of everyone on this team,” added Herrlett.  “Whether guys were starting or filling important situational roles, everyone contributed and supported one another. I want to extend my sincerest thanks to each and every man for being a huge part in our Championship! Let’s go Yankees!”

The complete roster for this year’s 50+ Central Division Champions includes Lex Herrlett, JJ Janetsky, Adam Ellenbogen, Doug Flutie, Bob Altobelli, Mike Smith, Richie Cavalier, Big Erick Enriquez, Big Earl German, Big Billy Mellen, Sammy Segara, Dave Leonard, Carlos Llera, Joe Careccia, Charles Carr, Big Haus John Holmquist, Big Grunt Chris Lewis, Rob Kluba, Tim Burns, and Steve Nutt.