Colts Now Division Champions;
Battle Greentree For Post-Season Championship
Brookline's Big Red Machine
(22-3-1), already the regular-season champion of the Chartiers Valley
Colt League and conquerer of Carnegie in two straight semi-final playoff
games, was battling Greentree's defending champions for the post-season
championship as the Journal went to press.
Carnegie, a tough foe for
Brookline in the regular season, inflicting one of the team's three
losses and battling the Big Red Machine to a 7-7 tie in the other, was no
match in the playoffs. Brookline's pitching mainstays, Clint Burton,
Johnny Miller and Johnny Boyle, limited the Green and White squad to a
mere six hits in the two games.
In the opener of the best-of-three
set, Brookline, which won the "home team advantage," was forced to play
Carnegie at Collier Township's Webb Field since their home field, Danny
McGibbeny Memorial Field, was in use by the Senior Little
But the change of scenery didn't
put a halter on Manager Sharkey Romano's charges, particularly Mike
Raimondi, Bobby Forster, Sam Achille and Brian Phillips. That quartet
wielded the big bats while Clint Burton held Carnegie in check with a
four-hitter, fanning nine and walking only one in the 12-2 romp. Raimondi
slammed an "out-of-sight" homerun on top of the Webb Field refreshment
building, some 50 yards beyond the left-center fence. He also doubled and
drove in four runs as Brookline avenged the only lopsided loss they
suffered this season.
Forster continued his steady
hitting with a double and single, plus two walks, scoring three runs.
Sudden Sam slammed three singles while Phillips doubled and singled.
Burton collected Brookline's only other hit, a run-producing
The semifinal series winner,
played at Carnegie's Seventh Avenue Field, formerly known as "Cubbage
Hill" Field, was a struggle all the way despite Boyle's brilliant
fireball pitching which enabled him to strike out 14, a season high for a
Brookline pitcher. The Big Red machine, however, won it in eight innings,
8-4, pounding four Carnegie pitchers for 17 hits.
Boyle, in spite of six walks, was
impressive as he twirled a two-hitter, which included a bad-bounce single
which hit the first baseman's shoulder and rolled into short right field.
That helped send the game into overtime after Brookline had staged a
thrilling three-run rally with two-out in the top of the seventh to take
After grabbing a 1-0 edge,
Brookline weakened slightly to see Carnegie take a 3-1 lead in the fifth.
Then, in the seventh, with two on, two out and two strikes against him,
Burton tied the game with a sharply hit triple just inside the left-field
line which drove in both runners. Vince Gianella's single put Brookline
ahead. Then Carnegie tied the game with the help of the bad-hop single to
But in the eighth, Joey Fundo
reached base on an error. Raimondi walked. Then Boyle singled to score
Fundo with what proved to be the winning run, raising his pitching record
to 2-1 in the process. Forster singled and another run came in. Then
Miller doubled in a pair and it was 8-4. Miller replaced Boyle, set down
Carnegie in order, applying the clincher with a strikeout, and earned the
Forster ran his hitting streak to
six and two walks in his last nine at-bats by going 4 for 5. Fundo
drilled three singles, Boyle socked two and Gianella collected a
Burton, who slammed the long ball
that sent the game into overtime, tripled and singled and Miller doubled
and singled. Boyle, Burton and Miller drove in two runs each. Forster and
Gianella drove in the other Brookline runs. Raimondi and Chuck Haley
rounded out the 17-hit bombardment with singles.
But it was Boyle who saved the
only team that had to engage in regular season games during the week
(that drains the pitching.) Manager Romano had to go to the fireballer
for the help needed on the mound and John came through there, as well as
driving in the winning run in the extra inning.
However, Boyle would be the first
to admit, using Sharkey's phraseology, it was "an all-around team
JULY 18 - Forfeit victory over
Scott Township Americans.
JULY 21 - Forfeit victory over
JULY 22 - Carnegie pulled off the
upset of the year as Brookline played its only bad game of the year,
making 21 errors as Burton pitched possibly the worst game of his career.
Carnegie won the game, 12-3, after Brookline had hopped out front in the
first inning, 3-0. That was the game which probably revitalized the
slumbering "Machine." Joey Fundo rapped two singles, Ray Benvenuti a
double, Johnny Boyle a single and Sam Achille a single for Brookline's
JULY 24 - Johnny Miller chucked
a five-hitter, whiffing five and allowing only two walks as Brookline
got back in stride by nipping Scott Township's Reds, 3-2. It was the
Colts 20th victory this season. Johnny Boyle socked two singles, Ray
Benvenuti rapped one, Brian Phillips one and John Miller the fifth for
the Brookline hits.
JULY 26 - Manager Romano toyed
with his pitching rotation in preparation for the upcoming playoff games,
sending seven different boys to the mound to work one inning each. Sam
"Knuckler" Achille had to go two innings as the game went into overtime
before Mt. Lebanon won in the eighth inning, 5-4. It was Sudden Sam's
first loss on the mound and the end of Brookline's regular season
schedule. The Colts topped the Chartiers Valley Colt League with a 20-3-1
record and the regular season championship. Big bats for Brookline were
Achille, with a double and single; Joey Fundo with two singles;
Brian Phillips, Clint Burton and Bobby Forster drilled doubles while
Ray-Ray Benvenuti ended his Colt career with a single (he is going on
vacation and will miss the finals.)
* Reprinted from The Brookline Journal - August 3,