In the words of the Great Yogi Berra “It’s like Déjà vu all over again”
Once again the final regular season championship was played between Island Pizza/NeNe’s and Joeys Pizza & Pasta House.
From the minute the teams stepped on the field you could sense the seriousness of the players, especially on the faces of the Joeys’ team. Island Pizza had already defeated Joeys twice during the regular season, and had it not been for R.K. Reiman handing Island Pizza their second loss of the season the week before, Joey’s would not be having the chance to take the regular season crown from Island Pizza on the last day of the season.
The schedule had been done in November yet somehow, here we stood with both teams having an 11-2 record with the winner of this game taking the crown.
Joeys was the home team, and after Island Pizza notched 3 runs in the 1st, Joeys answered with 6 and looked as determined as ever that they would not lose for the third time this year. After the first inning both teams tighten up on the defensive side.
They swapped 1 to 2 runs an inning and after Vince Gentile’s towering home run over center field in the 4th, Joeys looked firmly in control leading 10 to 5. After a scoreless fifth inning, Island Pizza chipped away at Joeys lead with 2 runs in the 6th.
Heading into the last inning down 10 to 7, Island Pizza bats came alive and they notched 11 runs to take the lead for the first time 18 to 10 and with all the momentum it looked as the game was over, but Joey’s refused to lay down; they chipped away with base hits and when Riley McGregor’s base hit got past the outfield scoring two, Joey’s was poised to regain the lead.
With runners on the corners and two outs, Joey’s big hitter Vince Gentile was once again called upon to lift the team past their nemesis with a 2 & 2 count. Vince once again drove the ball deep to centerfield, but this time Bobby Natale was waiting for it and made the catch for the third out and another regular season crown for Island Pizza/Nene’s making it their 5th in a row.
Island Pizza was led by Bobby Natale and Neil Alberry with 4 hits each, Brad Frazier, Sean Shea and Lance Alberry with three hits each. Joey’s was led by Vince Gentile’s 3 hits including a home run, Nate Poteet, Steve Pahr and Jimmy Stephenson added three hits each.
This concluded the 2015-16 regular season with the end of year tournament starting next Thursday.
In next week’s action; R.K Reiman faces off against Speakeasy at 6:30 pm, followed by Nacho Mama playing Kretch’s at 8 pm. All games are played at Winterberry park, come on out and watch some exciting softball action.