Races heating up in Valley Independent Softball League

In the home stretch of the race for the Valley Independent Softball League regular-season championship, Buzz and Hank's Potato Factory and Porky's Cafe/Mutiny are neck-and-neck with a handful of games left.

Militia further tightened up the race by edging Porky's/Mutiny in a low-scoring affair, 4-3.

After Porky's/Mutiny took a 2-1 lead in the first inning, they maintained that edge until the bottom of the third, when Militia tied the score at 2 before scoring another run in the fourth for a 3-2 lead.

Porky's/Militia once again knotted the count with a single run in the top of the sixth. Militia answered with one of its own to go back on top and then zeroed Porky's/Mutiny in the seventh to complete the upset.

Rob Quinones and winning pitcher Justin Guillette garnered two hits apiece for Militia. Guillette also stood out defensively, as did third baseman Mike Bernardes.

Anthony Savo collected a pair of hits for Porky's/Mutiny. Sean Qualey was tagged with the pitching loss.

In the nightcap, Porky's/Militia looked like they were going to get even in a big way, scoring 11 times in the first inning. However Militia did not go away easily, twice reducing the deficit to three runs before succumbing 23-14.

After that opening outburst, the teams traded two in the second before Militia scored six in the top of the third to shrink the gap to 13-8. Porky's/Mutiny plated three but Miltia answered with five to now make the score 16-13.

The deficit remained at three after single runs were exchanged before Porky's/Mutiny put the win away with a six-run sixth. Jeff Giarratano's three-run, inside-the-park homer capped off the rally.

Tom Kavanaugh, who had a double and a triple, and Qualey, who was winning pitcher, led the way at the plate with four hits each. Giarratano notched three hits, while Scott Snell and Drew Steele added a pair apiece.

Bill Bogen's 4-for-4 sparked the Militia offense. Mike Angelicola and Guillette, who took the loss, banged out three hits each.

Buzz & Hank’s stayed right with Porky’s/Mutiny by running their winning streak to six straight with a sweep of The Diamond Kings.

An eight-run second inning pretty much decided early the Spudsters’ opening game 15-7 victory.

They led 3-2 going into the bottom of the second when they sent 14 men to the plate in expanding their advantage to 11-2. The closest The Kings could get after that was 11-5.

Leading the way at the plate was winning pitcher Rob Eleazer with a double and a triple. Ryan Osborne had two hits, including a triple, while Corey Dzienkiewicz, Chris Folsom and D.J. Larkin contributed a pair of hits apiece.

Best for The Kings were Brandon Massaro, Scott Gallo, Matt Marconi, Jack DiMotta and Nick Bacarella with two base hits each.

A late scoring flurry allowed Buzz & Hank's to pull away to a 21-7 triumph in the nightcap.

After trailing 4-1 early, the Spudsters scored four times in the third to go ahead 5-4. They made it 9-4 in the top of the fourth, before The Kings reduced the deficit to 9-7 with three in the home half of the frame.

That was as close as it would get, as Buzz & Hank's put six runs on the board in each of the sixth and seventh stanzas to secure the win.

Anthony Jacabacci's three hits and five RBIs sparked the winning offense. Jay Fulcher, Dan and D.J. Larkin also contributed three hits apiece to the victors' cause.

Scott Gallo garnered three hits, including a triple for The Diamond Kings. J.D. Digirolamo and losing hurler Dave Gallo managed a pair each.

Eleazer again earned the mound win

Prior to that, Porky's/Mutiny took two from Rex Marine Center/Oxford Pizza Palace.

Jumping out to a 4-1 lead after one inning, Porky's/Mutiny scored in every inning to pull away to a 20-8 triumph in the opener.

Rex/Oxford got as close as 6-4 after two and 7-5 after three, but Porky's/Mutiny did not let up, outscoring the opposition 13-3 the rest of the way.

The Savo boys, Anthony and Sal, led the 25-hit barrage with five hits each. Chris Gorozzo banged out four hits, including a double and a triple, while driving in six runs. Chris Arden collected three hits, while Giarratano and winning pitcher Sean Qualey added a pair each with Qualey also knocking in five runs.

Wayne Britto, Steve Donnarummo and Steve Pantaleo had two hits knocks apiece for Rex/Oxford with Pantaleo including a solo inside-the-park homer in his hits. Losing hurler was John Sinchak.

Porky's/Mutiny's cooled off a bit in the nightcap but they still managed to put up at least one run in every inning but the sixth as they registered a 10-3 victory.

After the rivals traded single runs early, Porky's/Mutiny went ahead 4-1 in the bottom of the second. Rex/Oxford cut the gap to one, 4-3, in the top of the third before Porky's/Mutiny shut them out the rest of the way while tacking on six more runs.

Sal Savo added three more hits to his night's total, including a lead-off inside-the-park home run in the third. Kavanaugh belted a pair of triples, while Anthony Savo and Giarratano garnered a pair of hits each.

John Fair's three base hits was best for Rex/Oxford. Sinchak, who took the mound loss, had two hits.

A Plus Exterior had just enough offense that, combined with a stellar defensive outing, led them onto a pair of close victories over Zingaro & Cretella.

Errorless fielding that included a pair of game-saving seventh-inning plays highlighted A Plus' 9-8 win in the opener.

Although holding the lead throughout the game, A Plus could never pull away from the Barristers. Ahead 3-1 after one and 5-4 after two, A Plus upped their advantage to 8-4 after five.

After Z & C plated three in the top of the sixth to draw within one, A Plus plated what proved to be the deciding run in the home half of the frame.

In the top of the seventh, after one out, the Lawyers drew a walk before Gabe Diglio doubled to put men on second and third. Chris Hulk then drilled an extra-base-labeled liner into the gap in right which right-center fielder Brian Veilleux hunted down, making a diving catch on which a run did score but no further damage occurred.

Then, with two outs, Jeremy Destito lined a single into left field. The runner on second attempted to score but was gunned down on a perfect throw from Anson Mero to catcher Jose Rodriguez to end the game.

Paul Veilleux led the way at the plate with three hits and three RBIs. Heriberto Bellido, who also drove in three runs, Juan Maldonado, Rodriguez and Mero added two hits each.

Destito went 4-for-4 for Zingaro & Cretella. Brian Gargiulo, Chris Grohe and Diglio notched a pair of base hits apiece.

The defense in the nightcap was not quite as perfect (one error was committed) but that defense and just enough hitting earned A Plus a 4-2 win.

Neither team scored until the bottom of the third, when Z & C plated a pair. That 2-0 lead stood up until A Plus tied things up with two of their own in the fifth.

After trading zeroes in the sixth, A Plus went ahead with two in the top of the seventh and then snared the game's final out with the Counselors leaving the tying runs on base in the bottom of the frame.

Alex Montero had two hits for the victors as did Brandon Dowty, Gargiulo, Grohe and Hulk for Zingaro & Cretella.

Paul Veilleux at first base, Macho Martinez at second and Maldonado at shortstop made some fine fielding plays behind winning pitcher Fred Davila, who twirled both games. Zack Vidmosko absorbed both tough losses.