Friday, 13 November 2009 00:00
The Manhasset Men’s Softball League concluded its season with an exciting championship series under sunny skies on Nov. 8. The Sportsmen defeated the Bulldogs, winning the first game of the series in extra innings by a score of 8 to 7, and then winning the deciding third game by three runs. The Bulldogs won the second game by two runs.
Playoff series feature a best-of-three format. Games are shortened to six innings to allow each series to be determined within the confines of one Sunday morning.
The young upstart Bulldogs are enjoying their first year in the Men’s Softball League. Manager Frank Messina’s club finished last in the regular season, but they were quick studies. They had to win two elimination playoff series to make it to the championship game. The Bulldogs bested the Wallbangers in three games in the first playoff round on Oct. 25. Their next opponent was the regular season leader, the Sambucas. The Bulldogs took the series in two games on Nov. 1 to clinch a berth in the Playoff game.
The Sportsmen are one of the legacy teams in the league. There are a plethora of Vlahos’ on the team, including father John and sons John Jr. and Nick. All came up big in the final game. Nick got a hit in the sixth inning of the first game and was driven home for the tying run to send the game into extra innings. Brian Carrihill moved to shortstop in place of Mike Jud, one of the stars of the league who was unavailable for the game. Brian played flawlessly. Rich Imperitore moved to Brian’s usual spot, third base, and also performed well. Mike Leeolou rounded out the infield on the right side and made a number of putouts. Dave Cornachio played outfield and contributed key hits.
With trophy in hand, the victorious Sportsmen followed their long-time manager, Alan Brown, to Friday’s for some well-earned beverages after the series.