The Diamond Kings opened both ends of their Valley Independent Softball League doubleheader with Buzz & Hank’s Potato Factory with opening-inning scoring outbursts that propelled them to victories in both games.
The twin wins moved The Diamond Kings into a second place tie with Buzz & Hank’s, both with 5-3 records.
Sending 14 men to the plate, the Kings plated 10-first inning runs as they posted a 16-10 victory in the opener.
Despite the huge deficit they began with, Buzz & Hank’s did not go quietly. After answering with three in its half of the first, it whittled the lead to 12-6 after four and got within 13-9 after five.
The Kings then pushed across three in the seventh to open a seven-run gap, a gap that was too large for the Spudmen to overcome.
Winning pitcher Joe Cecio went 5-for-5, including three doubles, to spark the victors’ offense. Nick Bacarella banged out four hits, including three doubles, while Brian Lavin, Dan Gallo and Matt Marconi, who tripled, added two hits apiece.
Buzz & Hank’s got a pair of hits apiece from D.J. Larkin, Dave Findley, Ryan Osborne and losing hurler Chuck Osborne.
The nightcap saw the Kings spot the Spudsters four in the top of the first before answering with eight of their own en route to a 17-9 triumph.
Andrew Batch, Marconi and Gallo led the way at the plate with three base hits each, including a pair of doubles by Marconi and Gallo. Brandon Massaro, Tyler Perimens, Bacarella and Lavin contributed two apiece. Scott Gallo had a two-run inside-the-park homer in the fifth.
Ryan Osborne garnered three hits, including a three-run inside-the-park homer in the fourth. Gilbert Fernandez, Mark Costanzo, D.J. Larkin and losing pitcher Chuck Osborne had a pair of hits each. Findley laced a triple and a double.
Cecio earned the mound win.
With the losses by Buzz & Hank’s, Porky’s Cafe/Mutiny took over sole possession of first by improving its record to 7-1 with a pair of wins over Militia.
Although leading the entire game, Porky’s/Mutiny did not have a comfortable cushion until a four-run fifth inning paved the way for their 9-7 win in the second game.
Taking a 2-0 lead in the first, Porky’s/Mutiny made it 5-1 with a three-run third that featured a two-run double by Drew Steele. Militia pulled within 5-4 with three runs in the top of the fifth, before Porky’s/Mutiny answered with a game-deciding four-run rally in the home half of the frame. Marty Clifford capped off the scoring with a two-run single.
Militia made things close, plating three in the seventh and having the tying runs on base before Porky’s/Mutiny secured the final out to preserve the win.
Sean Qualey sparked the winning offense with a 3-for-3 performance. Tom Kavanaugh and Anthony Savo notched a pair of hits each.
Justin Guillette, who took the pitching loss, and Tyler Leopizoo were best for Militia with three hits apiece. Guillette belted a triple while Leopizzo had a double. Rob Quinones, who drove in four runs, and Bill Bogen added two hits each.
Backed by a defense led by Steele at third base and Kavanaugh at shortstop, Mike Marchese earned the pitching win.
In the opener, Porky’s/Mutiny overcame a late game deficit to eke out a 13-12 win.
Zingaro & Cretella built a 16-run lead going into the bottom of the fifth inning and then had to quelch a frantic late game Rex Marine Center/Oxford Pizza Palace rally to escape with a wild 27-24 win.
The first three innings of the game were pretty tame, with Zingaro & Cretella holding a 4-3 lead after one before Rex/Oxford went ahead 7-6 after two.
The score stood at 7-6 until the top of the fourth, when the Z & C offense exploded for 14 runs to give them a 20-7 advantage, Highlighting the outburst was a grand-slam fence-clearing home run by Gabe Diglio.
After zeroing Rex/Oxford in the bottom of the fourth, the Litigators added three more in the top of the fifth to make it a 23-7 ball game.
Then things got interesting. Needing five runs to avoid being mercy ruled, Rex/Oxford came up with six in the bottom of the fifth. Z & C tacked on three in the top of the sixth, before Rex/ Oxford answered with four.
A single tally in the top of the seventh made the deficit 10 runs.
Rex/Oxford scored seven times in the last at bat before Z & C doused the flames to end the year’s most entertaining game.
Leading the way at the plate for the victors with five hits and four RBIs was Chris Hulk. Chris Grohe had four, including a triple and a double, while Justin Krossick, Jeremy Destito, Jack Ranger, Dan Baker, Brandon Dowty and Diglio, who ended up with five RBIs, all banged out three apiece.
Steve Donnarummo had three doubles and drove in four runs to pace Rex/Oxford. Kevin Jones, who also had four RBIs, Wayne Britto, John Schepp, Greg Knobloch and losing pitcher John Sinchak collected hits each.
Mike Brunswick was winning pitcher.