Westchester-Putnam (NY) MSBL 28+ Division
Westchester Royals 13, Somers Orioles 9
Submitted by Dave DiMaggio, Westchester-Putnam MSBL
SOMERS, NEW YORK—The Westchester Royals and the Somers Orioles of the West/Put MSBL in Somers, New York finished the regular season with identical won-lost records. Both teams had to win closely contested best 2-of-3series in the semi-final round of the playoffs and both teams are based in the same small town.
In the culmination of a great post-season of action, the Westchester Royals swept a doubleheader over the Somers Orioles, 7-3 and 13-9, to repeat as champions of the Westchester-Putnam Men’s Senior Baseball League 28-Over Division. Fittingly, the Royals (18-7)overcame the formidable challenge by the Orioles (16-9)with an overall team effort that featured solid fielding and pitching, hustle on the base paths and clutch hitting up and down the batting order.
The Royals’ Chris Fox and Orioles’ Bruce Jazwinsky matched up as starting pitchers in Game One. The Orioles jumped to an early lead on a two-out double by Andy Panos and an RBI single by Steve Chrapowitzky. Matt DeMartino opened the Royals’ first with a lead off single, stole second and scored on a double by Fox. Ralph Boniello drove in Fox to put the Royals ahead, 2-1. In the fourth, Jazwinsky drew a walk, stole and scored on John Boro’s two-out RBI blast. The Royals scored four in their half of the inning, loading the bases on a walk and two hit batsmen. Nick Boniello drove in the go-ahead run, DeMartino hustled home on a passed ball, and two more scored on ground balls. In the fifth, Erick Magsamen delivered a two-out RBI single to make it 7-2.Fox, who struck out five and walked two, held the Orioles to a single run in the late innings.
DeMartino led off the action-packed Game Two with a base hit and scored when Ralph Boniello smashed a double down the left field line. The Orioles came back as Don Panos singled, Chrapowitzky hit a long double and they both scored on Jazwinsky’s hit. In the third, the Orioles took a 4-1 lead when Andy Panos belted a two-out, two-RBI double to left field. The Royals countered with four in the fourth to take a 5-4 lead. Corey Johnson knocked an RBI single to center, Tom Hiro lined a two-RBI smash to right-center and Nick Boniello tripled in another run.
The Orioles threatened in the fourth with two on but a double play turned by left-handed Anthony Vontobel ended the inning. In the fifth, another two-out RBI hit by Boro tied the game, 5-5,for the Orioles. In the sixth, the Royals loaded the bases and Jazwinsky replaced Joe Diaferia on the mound for the O’s. Hiro came through with another 2-RBI hit, Nick Boniello doubled in a run and two more scored on a walk and error as the Royals opened a 10-5 lead.
The Orioles rallied in the bottom of the sixth, cutting the lead to 10-9. Rick Mogg and Steve Vera singled ahead of RBI hits by Don Panos, Drew Panos, Chrapowitzky and Diaferia. In the seventh, Vera made one of the game’s many great fielding plays when he caught a long fly ball to center and threw out a Royals runner at home plate. With Magsamen and Nick Bonielloaboard and two out, veteran slugger Rob Jacobsen drove a two-run single through the left side and the Royals had a 13-9 lead. Vontobel pitched a scoreless last-of-the seventh to close out the title-clinching victory for the Royals.