The Nashoba Valley Veterinarian Mustangs (12-0) outscored their opponents 42-13 this week to add two more wins to their undefeated season. Now, as the league goes into hibernation for 11 days for its annual mid-season break, most teams have played 12 or more of the 24 games in the regular season. At the break, Floral Arts (10-3) remains in second place. Drew Farms (8-7) and Shortcuts Landscaping (7-7) continue to play musical chairs with the third and fourth spots in the standings. Willis Tent (5-7), Mario’s Restaurant (4-8) Gutcheck (4-8), Pro Sports Therapy (4-9) and Healy Oil (4-10) enter the break knowing that each is in striking distance of earning one of the six playoff spots.
Willis Tent 17, Mario’s Restaurant 14
On Sunday, Willis Tent and Mario’s Restaurant were knotted up at 13 before Willis prevailed 17–14 by scoring four runs in the eighth inning and then withstanding a Mario’s rally in the bottom half that brought the tying run to the plate. Mario’s made up a seven-run deficit in the last two innings to send the game into extra innings. Murph McKeon had a season best two homer and 5 RBI to pace the Mario’s offense. Dave Batchelder and Keith Reynolds also homered, and Brian Collamore capped a three-hit night with a triple.
Nashoba Valley Veterinarian Mustangs 25, Drew Farms 5
In a well-balanced offensive attack, every Mustang had at least one hit and scored at least one run in the five-inning run rule victory over Drew Farms. Bill Knute led the attack with three home runs and 8 RBI. Paul Selfrige and Jim Ward set the table at the top of the Mustangs’ order, combining for six hits, seven runs scored, and 6 RBI. Mike Kennedy, Jack Erickson (3-for-3, HR, 3 RBI), and Craig Smith each had three hits apiece.
Shortcut Landscaping 27, Gutcheck 11
In the Sunday nightcap game, Shortcut offense came out swinging, scoring nine runs in the top of the first. Carl Dean returned from a few weeks absence to go 4-for-4 at the top of the order for Shortcuts. Chris Clark (4-for-4) and Steve Harrison (GS) helped build up the score for the winners. Gutcheck responded with seven runs in the second inning, but could only muster two more runs before falling to Shortcuts via the mercy rule in the fifth. Thanh Nguyen went deep for Gutcheck, and Billy Cullen had a multi-hit game.
Mario’s Restaurant 3, Shortcut Landscaping 2
On Tuesday, in a worthy reprisal to the previous encounter—a 2-1 Short Cut win—Mario’s evened the regular season score with a 3-2 victory in a game when the bats were all but silenced and pitching ruled. Mario’s scraped together a single run in the second, third and fifth innings to support pitcher Jerod Colley, who kept Short Cut hitters off-balance all night. Team defense was key for Mario’s as Rick Waldron played a flawless short, Tim Scott and Brian Collamore ran down every fly ball, Raghu Mantena made a crucial catch in right, and catcher Brian Haley fielded a swinging bunt to throw out a Short Cut batter to end the game.
Nashoba Valley Veterinarian Mustangs 17, Gutcheck 8
The Mustangs rallied from a three-run deficit with a nine-run sixth inning to defeat Gutcheck, 17-7. Mark Cusano struck the big blow with a grand slam, the only home run of the game for the Mustangs on a windy night at the field. Jim Ward and Cormac Bordes had three hits apiece for the Mustangs, while Jack Erickson added two hits and three RBI for the winners. Paul Ligouri pitched out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the fifth inning, while the Mustangs still trailed in the game. This allowed the Mustangs to rally in the next inning, giving Liguouri the win on the mound. Gutcheck carried a narrow lead into the sixth inning but the Mustang bats came alive and scored nine runs in the top of the frame. Gutcheck threatened in the bottom of the sixth, with the bases loaded and two outs, Liguouri threw a pitch that was caught in deep left field to end the inning.
Gutcheck 14, Healy Oil 5
On Wednesday, the Gutcheck defense came ready to play, holding the Healy Oil offense to just five runs. Bats were alive for Gutcheck as Thanh Nguyen went deep twice, and Matt Sepe, Jim Curley, and Gary Lavelle all had multi-hit games. Mike Martin hit a home run for Healy.
Floral Arts 19, Healy Oil 4
On Friday night, Mike Alonardo smacked two home runs to lead Floral Arts to a 19-4 win in five innings over Healy Oil. Jim Peloquin and Rob Beaudette each hit a home run. Larry Mardany was masterful on the mound, giving up no runs until the fourth inning, and Bill Luppold continued his hot-streak, collecting two more hits.
Willis Tent 21, Drew Farms 6
Willis Tent’s bats came alive as they went deep nearly a half a dozen times to defeat Drew Farms in runaway fashion, 21-6.
Drew Farms 12, Pro Sports Therapy 8
Pro Sports Therapy scored six runs in the first inning, but Drew Farms held them to only two additional runs for the balance of the game to post the 12-8 win. Drews played solid defense, as Bill Faherty, Sal Buonacore, Pat Pawlak, Rob O’Neal, and Joe Welch each made great plays. Blake Buxton, Welch, Mark MacAleese, Pawlak, Todd Shepherd, Buonacore, and Mark Kost each had multiple hits for the winners. Derek Donegan and Jerry Cressman both went 3-for-3 in the loss for PST
Mario’s Restaurant 20, Gutcheck 5
Mario's offense scored in every inning to support pitcher Jerod Colley in a five-inning run-rule victory over Gutcheck. Murph McKeon continued to swing the bat with authority as he added a pair of doubles and a home run, crossing the plate four times. Luke Boulanger, Dave Batchelder and Brian Haley each contributed three hits, and rookie Tim Scott went 4-for-4 from the leadoff spot. Colley allowed a two-run homer to Thanh Nguyen in the first but held Gutcheck in check the rest of the way as Mario's tightened up the standings by moving into a tie for sixth place.