The scoreboard was working again and things were pretty much back to normal at the Terry King ball field in Amagansett Monday night as Schenck Fuels, the defending champion, whose hitters delivered four runs in the top of the seventh inning, ousted Round Swamp Farm from the playoffs and, by virtue of the 13-12 win, advanced to a best-of-five men’s final with CfAR that was to have begun last night.
The Fuelmen won despite the fact that Round Swamp’s Jimmy Miller hit three home runs that night and Bryan Anderson, the team’s player-manager, hit two. Schenck’s trailed 12-9 going into the top of the seventh, but Andy Tuthill, after Vinnie Alversa had reached first base as the result of an infield error, poled a two-run homer and Brendan Fennell followed with a solo shot of his own, tying the score. The winning run was driven in soon after by the pitcher Doug Dickson’s bases-loaded sacrifice fly to center field.
Dickson shut Round Swamp down in the bottom of the seventh to cap the two-game sweep — Schenck’s had won game one by a score of 19-16 — as three successive overanxious hitters lofted fly balls to outfielders who’d camped out under them.
“They were slugging ’em — they’re a good team,” Rich Tuthill, Schenck’s manager, said afterward. “But they had some miscues in the field. That’s what made the difference.”
A grand slam home run by Fennell during a nine-run sixth had made the difference in the first game, Tuthill added.
Schenck’s and CfAR met in last year’s final as well, though Ray Wojtusiak’s team played under the Stephen Hand’s Equipment banner in 2011. The Fuelmen won the championship, the first in 12 years for Alversa’s roster, in four games.
Playoffs in the East Hampton Town women’s slow-pitch league were to have begun Tuesday night, with Grazina Orthodontics matched with Groundworks, and Men at Work versus P.B.A. The losers of those games are successively to play top-seeded Bostwick’s and the winners are to play a best-of-three semifinal to determine which teams are to contend in a best-of-three final.
Though Bostwick’s, the perennial women’s champion — its core has won 16 championships in the past quarter-century — lost half a dozen players this season, including its ace pitcher, Susie Warner, and Jeanie Berkoski, a hard-hitting lefty, the team reloaded.
One of the newcomers, Sami Krantz, an excellent shortstop, said following Bostwick’s 12-2 rout of P.B.A. last week that she had pitched four years at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass., that Jenna Kovar had led all field hockey scorers in the nation when she played that sport at Hofstra, and that Kenzie Maloney had played softball at Methodist University in Fayetteville, N.C. All three, Krantz said, had been teammates on Hampton Bays’ girls softball team four years ago.
Bostwick’s, whose starting lineup also comprises Mireille Sturmann, Kathy Amicucci, Virginia McGovern, Jeannie Bunce, Eileen Noonan, Erin Molloy, Jen Spellman, and Patricia Mulligan, is thus again the team to beat. It finished the season with a 7-1 record and is looking to win its seventh playoff title in a row.
In other slow-pitch news, the Travis Field memorial tournament’s “bracket bash” is to be held tomorrow night from 7:30 to 10:30 at the American Legion Hall in Amagansett. Sixteen coed teams, including one recruited from the women’s slow-pitch league, are to vie in the tourney, which is to be contested at the Terry King ball field from next Thursday through Aug. 5.