After coming within one run of reaching the finals at last September's New York City Mayor's Cup softball tournament, the Columbus Lodge #2143 Golden Lions (CL) showed they had shaken off defeat and were ready for another solid season. Talent and teamwork were the two words being bandied about after their 14-4 opening day victory over IDX Systems Corp.
The Golden Lions opened this season with a 4-run, first inning, but the resilient IDX rallied to tie the score. "Our guys don't panic," said a serene CL Captain Ed Bochynski. Patience paid off in the fourth when the Lions took a 10-4 lead after a 6-run, 7-hit outburst that included four doubles and a triple. After the lead expanded to 12-4 in the fifth, CL's Rob 'the Big Hurt' Igneri put the icing on the cake with his 2-run double in the sixth, for a 14-4 final.
The outfields Gandolfo, Hynoski, Saviano, and Steinberg forced opposing runners to move station to station, while pitcher Anthony 'the Big Sausage' Curran kept base runners to a minimum. Ball hawk Joe Percella was breathtaking at shortstop, while the 'Bash Brothers' (Jeff Steinberg and Dennis Tranchina) each collected 4-hits, 5-RBIs, and 2-doubles each. "They're awesome," said veteran David Saviano.
Still a mystery is whether team Captain Ed Bochynski will return at the helm next season. After the game, Bochynski reiterated that he has not decided on whether he wants to return next season, but appreciates the support he's received from his players. All indications are that he will probably wait until after the season before deciding on whether he wants to manage beyond this year.
Tomorrow morning (Saturday, May 22), the Golden Lions face their biggest challenge of the young season as they play in the Ronald McDonald House's 10th Annual Business Cares for Kids Sports Festival softball tournament. All proceeds will go toward financing the current construction of a new 24 bedroom, 4-story tower that will more than double the size of the existing Ronald McDonald House facility.
The Ronald McDonald House is a temporary lodging facility for seriously ill children and their families who must travel to Schneider's Children Hospital or LIJ Medical Center for urgent medical care. To make a donation or to see how you can help, one may call Silvana Gullo at 775-5683 ext. 31. Since opening its door in 1986, the RMH has served over 7,500 families.
The Columbus Lodge Golden Lions are a softball team dedicated to raising money for local charities through fund raising events. Since the team's inception, their participation in such events has helped raise over $579,000. The philanthropic players are a talented group, boasting a lifetime tournament winning percentage of .729. To become a member, contact Steve LaScala at 735-2535.