Brookline Little League Association
Game Updates - July 7, 1998

The old Brookline Journal Baseball Logo

GIRL'S CHAMPIONS CROWNED

The holiday weekend is over, but two girls teams still have plenty of celebrating to do. Senior Division Party Cake and Little Division Slick's, the Big and Little Red Machines, have both capped off their regular season championships with season ending triumphs in the 1998 playoffs. Party Cake fought a see-saw three-game series with Schwartz Market, taking game one by a hair, dropping game two 12-0, then clinching with a 10-8 come from behind nail-biter to literally steal the show. After the final game, the victors held an impromptu pool party to begin their festivities.

In the Girls Little Division series, coach Ed Kinzel's "Little Red Machine", Slick's, fought off a fierce challenge from Jim Sheridan's Bellisario's Pizza. Slick's took game one 2-0, dropped game two 8-5, then rebounded with an 8-0 whitewash in game three. This marks Slick's third championship in the last four years. They won in 1995 and 1996, were runners-up in 1997, and now return to the top in 1998.

Congratulations to Party Cake and Slick's on their fine performances this season, but let's also extend a hand to Schwartz Market and to Bellisario's Pizza, who gave an excellent account of themselves. Lastly, a short tympany roll for commissioner Ray Manella, winner of this years "Conductor's Award". Ray managed to fight off the best El Nino could offer, navigating through the raindrops to bring the girls season's to a successful conclusion within his original estimates.

DIAL 'K' FOR KINZEL

Girls fastpitch pitching sensation Kelly Kinzel is really on a tear. After recording her 21K no-hitter at Overbrook last week, she returned to the mound the next game against South Fayette and tossed another no-hitter, with late inning relief from Justi Shannon. Kelly struck out 11 in four innings, to raise her season total to 95 strikeouts in 43 innings pitched, including 32 in the last eleven. She also has a current string of sixteen scoreless innings to her credit.

BOYS PLAYOFFS

The Boys Little and Minor Divisions cut their regular seasons short by a game or two (due to the lousy weather) and have started their post-season playoffs. Minor Division defending champions Getaway Cafe disposed of Big Mouth's Pizza in their semi-final game and Cliff Supe's Sullivan's Auto kept their perfect record alive by eliminating A-Boss Optical, 6-0. The winners earned a spot in the upcoming final round duel. In game one of the championship series, Getaway Cafe pulled within two runs at 10-8 before Sullivan's turned on the steam, pulling away for a 15-9 triumph. Game two begins July 13th, at 5:45pm.

In the Little Division semi-final opener, Knights of Columbus' warriors squeaked out a 5-4 last minute victory over Rick's Auto. Trailing 4-1, Knight Mike Dienert drove a two-run homer over the fence in right center to narrow the gap to one. It looked as though that might be it for the Knights when, with one out in the bottom of the sixth and a runner on first, Tyler Undereiner hit a ball into the gap in left center that he stretched into a heart-stopping two-run inside the park homerun, snatching the game from a shocked Rick's. It was a great day for Greg Phillip's defending champions, but I could feel the pain in the hearts of each and every one of the opposing players. Rick's Auto played a fine game and nearly pulled off one of the season's premier upsets.

In the second game, Steve Poremski Plumbing protected their unbeaten streak by winning a 2-1 struggle against St. Mark's and pitcher John Barley. Having just had a cast removed in time for the game, this was John's first outing in six weeks, and he proved he hadn't lost a step. During the game, Poremski's second baseman, Kevin O'Rourke was injured when struck by a ball. Kevin spent four days hospitalized with a damaged spleen, but the latest reports are that he is back home and recovering nicely. He'll have a period of rest and recuperation, and then he'll be good as new.

In the opening game of their championship series, Poremski fought off a fierce challenge by the Knight's, winning 5-4 in the bottom of the sixth. After trailing through four innings, the Redmen came alive with a two-run double by Josh Poremski to tie in the fifth. Then, with two out in the bottom of the sixth, Tom Francesconi scored the winning run on a bases-loaded single by Bill Seibel, spoiling a 10 strikeout performance by Knight Mike Dienert. This was an excellent game between two equally talented teams, complete with all the requisite drama and excitement. It just doesn't get much better than this! Game two will begin at 8:00 on July 13th.

In the Boys Senior Division opening round, Fiori's Pizza almost pulled a stunning upset, but were contained at the last minute by Brookline Catholic, 4-3. Toole Auto Body shook off their late season blues to take the second opening round game from Brookline Distributing. In the semi-final game, Toole kept the magic alive by thrashing #2 seed Brookline Catholic, 13-2. It was an inglorious conclusion for Ang Masullo's talented BRC squad, but their 10-7 season qualifies them for the "Comeback Team of the Year" award. The championship series begins July 12th, with Toole meeting this years goliath, Bob Healy's DeBor team led by Scott Gaugler and associates.

Speaking of Mr. Gaugler, he has been at a prestigious baseball clinic in Denver, Colorado for the last couple weeks. The clinic brings in a select few of the best youth ballplayers from the entire country for a regimented training program. It's a lot of work, and not much fun, but they teach what it takes to be the best. Scott will be home in time for the championship series to exhibit his freshly sharpened skills as he leads DeBor into battle against Toole.

<1998 Year In Review> <BLLA History> <Brookline History>