Top seeds survive scares in postseason debut

The top two seeds of the Westfield Adult SoftballCSC_0164’s Friday division playoffs both advanced into the later rounds of the winner’s bracket, but the No. 1 seed needed a breakout offensive display in order to shake the No. 9 seed.
Mike Carney drove in 11 runs and hit three home runs and a triple in his four at-bats, proving to be just enough help to aid Short Stop Bar and Grill’s 25-23 slugfest victory over K&R Machine and avoid the upset at Whitney Park Friday night.
After K&R had defeated No. 8 East Mountain in the second game of the tripleheader, the visitors’ offense continued early and often, jumping out to a quick 5-0 lead after half an inning. Short Stop answered with six runs in the first, but a 10-run frame in the top of the second gave K&R a commanding lead.
The two sides swapped offensive blows for every inning except for one—the pivotal sixth inning, where K&R did not score. With a three-run lead and momentum from their five-run fifth inning, Short Stop tacked on two crucial insurance run in the bottom of the sixth.
Starting pitcher and No. 11 hitter Andrew Pevlin drove in Joe Halpy on a RBI double to right-center field and Marcus McDonald drove in Pevlin on another double–his third RBI of the game—to extend the lead to five. Pevlin’s double proved to be the game-winning run, as K&R answered with three runs in the seventh inning to cut the final deficit to those two runs.
Carney’s 11-RBI outburst began in the first inning on a two-run triple to right field, scoring McDonald and Beau LaCasse. One inning later, those same two players scored again on Carney’s first homer—a three-run shot to left-center field.
The home run derby continued in the following inning, when Carney skied a grand slam over the left field fence. To top off his night, Carney gave Short Stop their second lead of the game, cranking a two-run home run to the same side of the outfield.
Along with Carney’s 11 and McDonald’s three RBIs, Pevlin, LaCasse and Bret Casey each contributed a pair of RBIs, while Halpy, Jay Callahan, Scott Murphy and Mike Bombard added one RBI each. K&R’s offense was led by 4 RBIs by Kyle Levere and 3 runs driven in by Brian Canterbury and Brian Donze. Don Levere and Jesse Martin drove in a pair of runs, while Joe St. Jean, Skip Furkey and Brian Gallagher each drove in a run.
K&R Machine v. East Mountain (19-4, three innings)
The lone upset according to the standings Friday night came one game before the two-run slugfest, when K&R scored 17 runs in the top of the third to defeat East Mountain and advance to face Short Stop.
The No. 9 seed ended Friday night by combining for 42 runs, continuing their streak of scoring in double figures in five straight games and six of the last seven games. K&R avenged a 20-18 defeat to East Mountain in May by coming from behind to score 19 unanswered runs, including nearly batting around twice in the third inning.
Jim Crum delivered a sacrifice fly for the second out of the third and then the K&R bats plated 14 straight runs and had 15 straight batters reach safely before the final out was recorded after 21 men went to the plate.
Donze ended the third inning with a bases-clearing triple to lead the team with three RBIs and Furkey drove in three runs on a pair of RBI singles. Starting pitcher Brian Gallagher also led the team with three RBIs, while Crum and Canterbury drove in two runs apiece. Martin, St. Jean, K. Levere and Miguel Diaz each drove in one run to finish the offensive distribution.
Vector Tool v. Girard’s (16-6, 5 innings)
A seven-run first inning proved to be the catalyst for the No. 4 seed in the tournament, winning the rubber game of the best-of-three season series over No. 5 Girard’s in a game featuring two of the four teams tied for third place at the end of the regular season.
Down 3-0 after half an inning, Vector plated seven runs to take their first lead and then scored in every inning to eventually reach the 10-run mercy rule limit. Doug Champagne led the offense with three RBIs from the No. 11 spot in the lineup, highlighted by a pair of run-scoring singles. Eric Kaleta, CJ McMahon, Mike Gagnon and Frank Montanez drove in a pair of runs, while Joe Calabrese, Evan Pighetti, Nick Melo, Tony Melo, Shawn Whalen and Chris Roldan added one RBI each.
After their three-run first inning, Girard’s manufactured three runs over the next two innings, but were then shut out by the Vector defense during the final two innings. John Pretola drove in both runs in the third inning on a two-run double to lead the No. 5 seed. Dave Richter, Darryl Seaha and Mike Tanski drove in the three first-inning runs on consecutive hits, while Jeff Guay hit a sacrifice fly in the second inning.
Commercial Scale v. Mestek (15-9)
Commercial Scale started the summer with an 8-4 record, but four straight losses dropped the No. 3 seed into a four-way tie for third place. With the tiebreaker in hand, Commercial bounced back in the night cap of the Field Two tripleheader, using a seven-run second inning to defeat Mestek by six runs.
Mestek, who started Commercial’s losing streak with a 12-5 win on July 31, jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead after one inning, but the home team responded with a big inning of their own. Dave Placzek drove in his two RBIs of the game on a triple to score Mike Lorenz and Brian Pepe. Lorenz drove in three runs of his own, tying for the team lead with Andrew Howes, who drove in Placzek one batter later. Steve Ramos, Pat Cullen and Ryan Cullen finished the inning with consecutive RBI at-bats.
Rolando Maisonet led Mestek’s offense with four RBIs, including the second run in the first inning to give the No. 6 seed a temporary cushion. Vinnie Torres added RBIs in the fifth and seventh innings, while Anthony Walker, Willie Villanueva and Luis Ortiz drove in the final two runs.
Local #7 v. Advance Manufacturing (15-13)
The second-highest seed in the tournament also needed a late rally and a defensive stop to avoid an upset of their own, as Local #7 scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth to break a late tie and held Advance to a pair of runs in the seventh inning to preserve the victory.
Mike Macutkiewicz started the four-run frame with a two-run double, tying him for second with Colin Boone with two RBIs. One batter later, Brad Lord secured his spot for the team lead by belting a two-run home run to give him three RBIs in consecutive innings. Jake McGrath, Chris Peczka, Jeremy McShef and Mark Liberty all drove in one run to conclude the offensive attack.
Advance Mfg., playing in their second straight game of the night, scored in double figures for the second straight game and fought back to tie the score at 11 in the sixth inning with a five-run frame. Sam Renauld, John McCarthy and E.J. Bara, the bottom three men in the lineup, drove in a pair of runs each and began the fifth-inning rally with a run apiece. Anthony Grasowski, Kyle Atkinson and Matt Preuss drove in the trio, recording their lone RBI of the game.
Advanced Manufacturing v. Berkshire Industries (15-3, 4 innings)
The No. 7 seed began its tournament—and its postseason doubleheader—with an offensive outburst from the early innings, scoring crooked numbered runs in the first, second and fourth innings to clinch a 12-run mercy-rule induced victory.
Brian Morrisey drove in four RBis in as many innings, opening the scoring with a two-run double in the first inning and hitting RBI singles in the second and fourth innings. Matt Preuss drove in two runs, including a RBI triple to open the seven-run fourth inning. Six other batters recorded one RBI each during Advance’s 15-hit attack.
Berkshire scored its three runs in the third inning, cutting the Advance lead to 8-3 after two and a half innings. Dave Madsen opened the Berkshire scoring on a RBI single and Dan Gagnon drove in two more runs on a double to conclude the offensive threat.

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