2007 OTHG Season
Published Weekly during the Season

Tournament Finals, Nov 2, 2007

(this is the only article on record)


November 2, 2007 - Tournament Finals
[you submit it, we'll print it]

Coach Gary Innes and Manager Al Celeste with the coveted Championship "Reilly Cup"

The Granny O'Shea's Team: Walter, Bob M, Brian, Bruce, Jay, Gary, Don, Al, , Mickey and Mitch. Missing are: Andy, Bob K, Bob T, Dave, Lenny and Mike

The 2007 OTHG Championship Finals - Singletons versus Granny O'Shea's

The OTHG Championship Finals took place this past Friday evening as the rain held off and a cool night beckoned Singletons and Granny O’Shea's at the end of a long season. Granny O’Shea's entered the game with a league best record of 11-5, earning them the number one seed for the tournament. They came out of the winner’s bracket by beating hard-hitting opponents such as Built More Builders, Bethpage PT and Hampton Air. Singletons had a strong season as well, finishing 10-6 as the number 4 seed. They earned their way into the tournament finale by besting Moby Drugs, Bethpage PT and Hampton Air.

During the course of the season, Singletons and Grannys met twice. In a harbinger of things to come, both teams played gritty ball as Singletons won the early June meeting by a score of 23-22 in their final at bat. Granny’s early season record stood at 2-3, but manager, Al Celeste and coach, Gary Innes had faith in the club. At their second meeting in the middle of August, both teams came out swinging again but this time Granny O’Sheas earned the victory in the bottom of the ninth to seal a 15-14 win. Thus the stage was set for the championship game where every run would be crucial, right up to the very end.

Unlike the previous 2 games, this game took its time building up momentum. After a scoreless first inning, Singletons scored the first run of the game in the top of second inning. Grannys answered back when Lenny Balestrieri opened the inning by drilling a double down the left field line. Singletons defense was solid and it wasn’t until Brian Mulcahy’s two out single that Lenny scored. Singletons came back to score 1 in the third and 1 in the fourth to take a 3-1 lead. The damage could have been worse as Singletons loaded the bases but a confident defense and smart pitching by Bob Meyers helped Grannys to stifle rallies in both innings.

In the bottom of the fourth, O’Shea's finally got a rally going as Al Celeste, Bruce Kubart and Mitch Maghakian all singled to load the bases. The Captain, Bob Kirk then stepped up and delivered a clutch single for 2 RBIs that tied the game at 3 apiece. With one out, Grannys' rally continued as Don “Clutch” Carlin and Jay “Wolfie” Donovan each stroked RBI singles to give O’Shea's the lead, 5-3. The fifth inning came and went without any scoring when things started to get really interesting as “Big Red” was determined to change things in the sixth inning. With a booming three run home run to left, Singletons went on to score 4 unanswered runs and go ahead 7-5. Grannys seemed to have hit a rut. Singletons defense was excellent as they turned 4 double plays during the game while holding Grannys scoreless for the next three innings. Grannys’ defense was just as good as they in turn held Singletons' scoreless in the 7th and 8th innings.

Due to the double elimination format of the tournament, Singletons needed to win this game to force a second “winner take all” game and Grannys wanted nothing more than to end it in the first game. The ninth inning arrived in a tense battle for both teams. With the score still at 7-5 in favor of Singletons, they looked to add some insurance runs. O’Shea's buckled down defensively and walked off the field still down by 2.

Bob Meyers drew a lead off walk and then went to second as the Singletons’ third baseman made a terrific play on a slow roller to get the out at first. Bruce Kubart then stroked a single that put runners on 1st and 3rd with one out. His hit rejuvenated Grannys' bench as well as their fans. Mitch Maghakian then stepped in and roped a line shot that found the gap in right centerfield. Two runs crossed the plate as the relay throw came in and found Maghakian at 3rd base with a triple. The score was now tied at 7-7. Faced with one out and a man at third, Singletons did the only thing they could as they intentionally walked Bob Kirk and Lenny Balestrieri to load the bases. After all, their defense was at the top of its game as they had already turned 4 double plays. With the field shortened by Singletons, they looked for a play at the plate; Don Carlin stepped into the batters box.  It took all of one pitch and a smooth swing by Don to send the ball to deep right center for a walk off single as the winning run crossed the plate for Granny O’Shea's.  Granny O’Shea's took home the championship with an 8-7 victory.  Singletons had lost a hard fought battle but were very gracious and complementary towards Grannys during the traditional handshake at the end of each game.  Granny O’Shea's had just finished an undefeated run in the tournament.  The last time Grannys had won an OTHG Championship was in 1991 (according to Jay & Bruce), while the team was known as Wolfies. 

Side Note by Manager Al Celeste:
Congratulations Boys, it was a long time coming. As manager of Granny O’Sheas, the OTHG Champions for the 2007 season, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my bench coach, Gary Innes.  Gary’s input and unwavering support are invaluable to me.  Once the team realized how committed we were, they all jumped on board with us and for the first time in the four years I have been playing, we were a team.  So much so, that with the changes we made, not once did we ever hear of any complaints or dissention.  Every week, we had a full squad of players who were eager to play ball.  I would like to acknowledge these men, my teammates and champions; Dave Aitchison, Lenny Balestrieri, Don Carlin, Andy Cohen, Jay Donovan, Mike Hadnagy, Walter Hasemann, Gary Innes, Robert Kirk, Bruce Kubart, Mitch Maghakian, Bob Meyers, Brian Mulcahy, Mickey Newbeck, and Robert Thompson.  I also need to mention that our Championship is being dedicated to Bill Moyer. Bill was a long time “O’Shean” who passed away last month. Bill left Farmingdale after the 2006 season to be with his family in Pennsylvania. He is fondly remembered as our teammate and friend.

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