Zamba Graphics defeat J & B Auto Body, 10-9

Bob Majeski singled to center in the bottom of the seventh inning to knock in the go-ahead run when Zamba Graphics defeated J & B Auto Body, 10-9, in a battle for first place last week in the Over 35 B League at East Village Park.

Zamba Graphics is 9-5 going into the final week of the regular season. J &B Auto Body is 10-4. It needs only a split of its doubleheader with Blanchettes (6-7) tonight at Riverview Park to clinch first. They hold a tiebreaker over Zampa, having won 3 of 4 between the longtime rivals. Zampa will play Interstate Batteries (1-13) and JC’s Sports Bar (9-6).

“We know we have to beat them to have a chance,” said Zamba Graphic’s manager and pitcher Paul Grimmer, who reached safely three times from his No. 2 spot in the batting order.

Jody Clark opened the home seventh with a single to right field. Chris Minotti drew a one-out walk before a force out. Grimmer reached on an error to load the bases for Majeski, who singled to center.

“We can still clinch first, but it’s all about matchups and Blanchettes is a very tough team for us,” said J & B manager Jeff Devine. “Once you get to playoffs it’s anybody’s guess. We’ve been 15-1 and lost and other years we barely snuck in and beat the number one team.”

Zamba took leads of 4-1 after one and 8-4 after four, only to have J & B rally back.

Gary Feigenblat led off the home first with a single. Grimmer followed suit. With one out, Lou Cutaneo singled, Brian Prowell doubled home a pair and Mike Federici tripled to plate two more.

J & B third baseman Ed Adamowski made the first of four outstanding plays from the hot corner to slow the roll.

Reed Stebbins had doubled home Johnny Esposito in the J & B first. In the second, the AutoBodymen stitched four hits together to close within 4-3. Fred Davila, Adamowski, Ted Behrendt and Phil Botsford had the base hits. Adamowski’s never stopped at third and drew a wide throw that brought home the second tally on Botsford’s single.

Defense dominated the middle frames.

J & B’s Bob Crego took a hit away from Minotti with a running catch of his sinking liner to right-center field in the second.

Minotti got even, plus one, when he snared Harry Rodrigues’ liner at first and stepped on the bag to double off Stebbins who had singled.

J & B tied tings at 4-all when Behrendt singled and Davila scored in the fourth.

Zamba put its hits together again in the bottom of the inning to double its advantage.

Majeski led off with a single and aggressively went to third on Cutaneo’s base hit to left, knocking the ball loose on a diving tag try by Adamowski. Mike Federici and Mike Musfeldt drove in runs with singles. Eddie Kochiss and Clark had hits to reload the bases and Lou Sabo took the score to 8-4 with a sacrifice fly.

J & B got one back, but they were denied more in the fifth on a 6-4-3 double play started by Esposito and turned by Rob Raynor. Rodrigues had doubled and Dave Matosian had driven in the run.

Zamba right-fielder Musfeldt threw out a batter looking to stretch a hit into a double to start the sixth. Sabo made a stellar over the shoulder catch on Adamowski’s bid for a base hit for the second out. J & B kept battling and pulled within 8-7 on hits from Davila, Behrendt and Botsford.

It was Zamba’s Cutaneo who sparked a one-one rally in the sixth with a single. When Federici singled, he got caught in a rundown and scored on a wide throw.

J & B came to bat in the seventh down two runs.

Crego walked and Raynor singled with one out. When Esposito doubled up the gap in right-center field, Raynor raced home and slid in safely to make it 9-all.

Zampa Graphics is led by Gary Feigenblat, Paul Grimmer, Bob Majeski, Lou Cataneo, Brian Prowell, Mike Federici, Dale Krasenics, Mike Musfeldt, Eddie Kochiss, Jody Clark, Lou Sabo and Chris Minotti.

Leading J & B Auto Body are Rob Raynor, Dave Matosian, Johnny Esposito, Reed Stebbins, Harry Rodrigues, Fred Davila, Ed Adamowski, Ted Behrendt, Phil Botsford, Bob Crego, Wayne Coury and Jeff Devine.