He was a one-man wrecking crew.
Marcello Masonry, on the strength of four home runs off the bat of John Hansen, outslugged Skippers, 21-16, Monday night in the opening game of the best-of-five Greenport Men’s Softball League championship series at the Polo Grounds. Hansen homered in the first, third, fifth and sixth innings.
Going into the championship series, Skippers pitcher John Brush said the key for his team to be successful was “to keep Marcello’s hitters in the park so our defense can catch the ball. Marcello’s sluggers are ready to rip.”
Indeed, they were — especially Hansen.
After the game, Brush quietly said, “The wind was blowing out, but I didn’t do my job.”
With the score tied at 2-2, second-seeded Marcello Masonry tallied six runs in the top of the third inning. In addition to Hansen’s solo blast, Scott Anderson launched a three-run homer. Bob Marcello homered in the fourth as his team’s lead grew to 12-2.
Chris Lucarelli ripped a bases-loaded triple in the fourth, pulling top-seeded Skippers to within 12-6. After Marcello added two more runs in the fifth, Pat Gagen smacked a two-run homer for Skippers, making the score 14-8.
But a pair of costly errors by Skippers in the sixth opened the door for Marcello to add seven more runs and break the game wide open. Hansen and Marcello both homered in the uprising.
Skippers, playing without Ev Corwin, answered back in its half of the sixth as Keith Sweat belted a three-run homer, cutting the deficit to 21-15. But it was too little, too late. “We had one bad inning,” Brush said. “It cost us.”
Game 2 was scheduled for Tuesday night, followed by Game 3 last night. The date for a fourth or fifth game, if necessary, was still to be determined.
Skippers reached the championship series by shutting out Founders Tavern, 15-0, in Game 2 of the semifinal series on Aug. 3, sweeping that series, two games to none. Brush tossed a four-hitter.
Skippers flexed its own long-ball muscle in the top of the first as Matt Verity belted a two-run homer and Corwin hit the first of his two home runs, a solo shot. Corwin added a three-run blast in the fifth and Lucarelli had three hits.
“We got ahead early,” Brush said, “and Founders never got going.”
Marcello advanced on to the finals by beating Southold Fish Market, two games to one.