Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Some Consolation: Bullets Battle Past Newsweek/Daily Beast

Both the DC Bullets and Newsweek/Daily Beast dropped their first round games during the New York Media Softball League playoffs on Saturday. I like to think that with a better hop here or there, either team could easily have been in the championship game. The Bullets lost by a mere 13 runs, and NDB only a dozen.

So in the Loser's Game - sorry, the "consolation" game - both DC and NDB opted to have some fun. In the end, the Bullets held on for an 8-5 victory.

NDB struck quickly, scoring a run in the top of the first. Just one. Not ten. The Bullets responded. After Christine Napolitano fouled out, Pat Brosseau, John Choi and Mike Lorah singled in sequence to load the bases. Vince Letterio's fielder's choice erased John, but scored Pat to tie the game, and both Mike and Vince moved into scoring position on an errant throw. Joel Press capitalized, driving home both runs with an RBI single to left, giving DC an early lead which they'd hold onto.

Jerry Cerza and Larry Ganem singled with one away in the second, but both were left stranded. DC, however, added to their lead in the third: CNap singled, was forced at second on Pat's grounder. John doubled to score Pat, but had to hold at second on Mike's infield single. Both runners scored on Vince's triple to left field, and a fourth run scored on Joel's single.

After a scoreless fourth by both teams, NDB answered DC's four-run third with four runs of their own, making the game a two-run affair. DC came up empty in their half of the fifth, but held NDB scoreless in the sixth. Singles by Vince, Joel, a fielder's choice by Allison Dugas, and a base hit by Brian Cunningham added one more run to DC's tally. Larry Ganem held Newsweek/Daily Beast scoreless one more time in the seventh, and DC won the consolation game for the third straight year.

Defensive highlights included a John to Mike to Blake relay to cut down a run at the plate, a pair of backhand pick-ups by Brian at second base, and a nice running catch from Vince in left. Jay couldn't stay for this game, Laura left partway through, and Jerry departed with an injured thumb (hope you're feeling better!), but the remaining Bullets picked up the slack, stepped into unfamiliar positions and held their ground.

The Bullets finish 15-10 overall, including 6-4 NYMSL regular season and 1-1 NYMSL playoffs.
Oh, but wait, there's one more game to go! Yes, this Friday, DC Comics vs. Archie Comics. Rained out earlier this summer, we're gonna make this one up. Last chance for softball, so you all better be there.

Bullet Box:
RF Christine Napolitano - 2-3
RCF/1B Pat Brosseau - 1-3, 2 R
LCF John Choi - 3-3, R, RBI, double
SS/3B Mike Lorah - 2-3, 2 R
LF Vince Letterio - 2-3, R, 2 RBI, triple
3B/SS Joel Press - 3-3, R, RBI
C Allison Dugas - 0-3
2B/1B Brian Cunningham - 2-3, RBI
1B Jerry Cerza - 1-2
P Larry Ganem - 1-3
1B Laura Demoreuille - 0-1
C/2B Blake Kobashigawa - 0-3

NYMSL Playoff: First Round Heartbreak

Saturday afternoon's first round playoff match-up between New York Media Softball League #2 seed Wall St. Journal and #3 DC Bullets went down to the wire. DC broke out of an offensive malaise, perhaps instigated in part by their three-week layoff between the season's final game and the playoffs start-up, with three runs in the seventh. But the Bullets fell just short in a 7-4 loss.

Okay, that would've been the story if we could only ignore that rather psyche-damaging ten-run first inning that WSJ put on the Bullets. The final score was actually 17-4. But it sounds more dramatic when it's a closer game, doesn't it?

DC fell into a black hole from the start: Larry Ganem grounded out, Mike Lorah mustered an infield single, and John Choi grounded into a 6-4-3 twin-killing; WSJ then batted around, scoring numbers that usually look okay on the opposing scoreboard - "1" and "0", but they don't look quite so good when you put them together. "10"

Could the team rally? In the second, Pat Brosseau hammered a one-out double to center, moved to third in Vince Letterio's base hit and came home on Laura Demoreuille's grounder. After Allison Dugas grounded out to end the second, DC managed a few scoring threats, but little actual scoring.

One-out singles by Jerry Cerza and Blake Kobashigawa offered hope in the third, but Christine Napolitano grounded into a fielder's choice, erasing Jerry, and WSJ's pitcher snared Larry Ganem's line drive to end the threat. Mike, John and Jay Kogan, the heart of the order, went meekly in order in the fourth; Pat singled to lead off the fifth, and Joel added a two-out hit, but neither came near home plate. Two-out singles by CNap and Larry brought Mike to the plate in the sixth, but a high fly to deep right was hauled in for the inning-ender.

Meanwhile, WSJ tacked on two runs in the third, four runs in the fifth, and one more (on a monster home run to right center) in the sixth. And it could've been worse: with a runner on first in the fourth inning, Jay Kogan ran down a towering fly ball somewhere on Central Park West, and then doubled up WSJ's runner - who'd gone from first base nearly to third - when he missed second base while retreating. The very next batter scorched another towering drive that Jay also ran down. CNap also ran down a long fly in right earlier in the game, and after a terrible first inning, captain Sal Cipriano's re-aligned defense played much better over the final six innings.

Seventh inning, down to our last three outs, and sixteen runs down - the Bullets showed just a little bit of fight. After John worked a leadoff walk, Jay and Pat singled, scoring one run. Vince popped up, but Laura drew another walk to load the bases. Joel grounded into a fielder's choice, forcing Laura, but Jay scored, and Pat also sprinted home on an errant throw on the double-play attempt. Brian Cunningham and Jerry added two-out singles to reload the bases, but Blake's fielder's choice wrapped up the game.

17-4, not much good to say about it. Congrats to Wall St. Journal for going on to top High Times for their third straight NYMSL championship, and credit to their hitters and defense for preventing DC from ever seizing any momentum in this one. They are the class of the league. For now, anyway.

Bullet Box:
P/C Larry Ganem - 1-3
3B Mike Lorah - 1-3
LCF/SS John Choi - 0-2, R, BB
LCF Jay Kogan - 1-3, R
RCF Pat Brosseau - 3-3, 2 R, RBI, double
LF Vince Letterio - 1-3
1B Laura Demoreuille 0-1, RBI, BB / C Allison Dugas - 0-1
SS/P Joel Press - 1-3, 2 RBI
2B Brian Cunningham - 1-3
2B Jerry Cerza - 2-3
C Blake Kobashigawa - 1-3
RF Christine Napolitano - 1-2

Friday, September 9, 2011


From league commish Steve Bloom:


It's a huge weekend in New York with the 9/11 commemoration, but there's
at least one other event worth noting: the New York Media Softball League
playoffs on Saturday.

Starting at 1 pm in Central Park's Heckscher Playground (Fields 1 and 2),
the top four NYMSL teams will face off in a round-robin tournament. It's
#1-seed High Times (9-1) vs. #4-seed Newsweek DailyBeast (3-7) and #2-seed
Wall St. Journal (7-3) vs. #3-seed DC Comics (6-4) in the semifinals. The
championship and consolations games will commence at 2:30 pm.

While High Times won the regular-season schedule, losing just once (to
WNYC), Wall St. Journal is the team to beat. Having won the last two
titles, they're aiming to three-peat. WSJ defeated HT in last year's
championship game. The long-time rivals recently played an 11-inning game,
which High Times eventually won 6-5.

Don't count out DC Comics, last year's third-place finisher as well. This
veteran squad defeated WSJ twice last season, but lost to them 11-4 in
their only meeting this season.

Though long-shot Newsweek Daily Beast barely made the playoffs (with three
wins), they could play the spoiler. In their last game against HT,
NewsBeast fell short by a run, 7-6.

An additional angle is new Forbes editor Randall Lane (Forbes is also in
the NYMSL), who will likely pitch for his former team, NewsBeast. Lane
just made the switch from NewsWeek Daily Beast to Forbes, where he started
his publishing (and media softball) career in the '90s.

WHAT: New York Media Softball League Playoffs
WHEN: Sat., Sept. 10, 1-4 pm
WHERE: Heckscher Playground, Central Park, 63rd St. entrance from Westside

For more information, contact NYMSL Commissioner Steve Bloom:

NYMSL website: http://nymsl.org
Follow the NYMSL at Facebook: http://on.fb.me/jl5LhW