Weekly Feature



2018-08-15 / Sports

Dudas, Americans to play for 50+ division championship

Glory Days Softball

Defending division champion Wallenwein’s will attempt to break its 2018 split with ALP Steel Corporation on Diamond Two in Westfalls Park at 6:30 tonight, Aug. 16, when the squads clash for the Glory Days Softball League’s 50+ title.

The only loss of the season by Wallenwein’s came at the hands of the Americans.

The Dudas earned their spot in the title game by defeating Classic Awning in a semifinal-round contest last Thursday, 12-3. The Dudas wasted no time in scoring, plating four runs in the bottom of the first inning as Joe Shanahan, Marty Hackford, Sam Cullis, Jeff Van Remmen and Ron Haberer all hit consecutive two-out singles to account for the scoring.

Classic Awning got on the scoreboard in the top of the second as hits by Mike Flemming, Tom Tighe and John Hulslander led to a run. The Dudas responded with three additional runs in the bottom of the third on singles by Dave Richards and Jeff Souder, a long triple by Shanahan and a single by Cullis.

Classic Awning managed another run in the top of the fourth on a walk to Dave Vesneski, and singles by Jim Bartram and Tighe. The bottom of the fourth saw the Dudas offense explode for five more runs on singles by Greg Merkle, Ricky Edwards, Dan Bermingham, John Cimperman and Souder. Shanahan provided the big blow, however, smashing his second triple of the night.

Shanahan completed the frame’s scoring by dashing home on a single by Hackford.

Classic Awning mustered just one more run in the final three innings, as the Dudas’ defense repeatedly stopped potential rallies by Classic Awning. Shanahan turned several potential extra base hits into long outs in left field, while Souder’s defensive wizardry at shortstop included a charging, bare handed scoop and throw to first base.

The Dudas pounded out 18 hits on the day, with Shanahan leading the way with his two triples. Cimperman, Souder, Hackford, Cullis and Bermingham each contributed two hits as well.

Tim Tighe had a solid three-hit night to lead the way for Classic Awning, meanwhile, and teammates Bartram and Hulslander had two hits each.

In the other semifinal, the ALP Steel Corp. Americans played the West Herr Automotive Group Knights in a nailbiter of a contest. The Americans jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first as lead-off batter Bob West walked, then moved to third on a single by Jeff Benz. Harry Louth’s sacrifice fly enabled West to score.

The Americans’ lead was brief, though, as the Knights scored three runs to take the lead behind a walk to Brian Coyle, and hits by Rick Wells, Kevin Larson, Kevin O’Brien, Mike Hallinan and Al Malke. The Knights then went through the order in the second, scoring seven runs to take a commanding 10-1 lead off key hits were by Coyle, Wells, Larson, Kevin O’Brien, Hallinan and Baetzhold.

There was no quitting for the Americans, though, with a walk to Jeff Jaris and a single by Dave Corbelli starting the Americans’ comeback. Jeff Johnston and Louth each added another hit to make the score 10-5. The Americans’ defense then turned their first of two double plays to finally quiet the Knights’ bats.

The Americans scored two more in the fourth inning off hits by Greg Tripp, Rick DeKay and Boris Kuvshinoff to make the score 10-7. Another double play helped the Americans get out of the fourth with no damage by the Knights.

The Americans started the fifth inning with four straight hits, allowing them to score three runs and tie the game at 10-10. Hits by Benz, Johnston, Louth and Tripp causing the damage. Johnston, Bobby Jensen and pitcher Tripp all made great defensive plays to shut down the Knights in the bottom of the fifth.

After a scoreless sixth, the top of the seventh started with Johnston getting a single to right field, followed by Louth’s RBI triple. A throwing error allowed Louth to come home and push the Americans’ advantage to two runs. Wallenwein’s then took the field to complete the comeback.

Jerry O’Brien and Larson each went 3-for-4 with two RBIs for the Knights, while Kevin O’Brien went 3-for-4 with three RBIs.

The previously rescheduled 60+ Division doubleheaders for Aug. 8, meanwhile, were rained out. A decision was made to cancel those doubleheaders rather than postpone them again in order to start the playoffs on the date agreed upon before the season started.

The division’s postseason began Wednesday with clashes between the second-place Comfort Funeral Home, Inc. Senior Cubs and fifth-place Bat Pack, as well as the third-place Mogs facing the the Northeast Collision Jazz Dogs. Information about those contests was not available at press time, however.

Whichever winner from Wednesday was the lowest remaining seed will advance to face Tony Rome’s at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, at Westfalls Diamond One, with a spot in the following Wednesday’s championship game on the line.

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