The Highlanders and Hurricanes, the two top teams in the Vineyard Summer Softball League had split their first two games in the finals. The Hurricanes won the first game of the best two of three series. The ‘Canes made it look easy and walked off with an 11-2 win.
The Highlanders took the second game, 12-6, setting up a winner-take-all third contest, Wednesday.
The final game
Harry Holmes led off for the ‘Canes and drew a base on balls from pitcher Danny Merry. The next three batters flied out.
The Highlanders batted around in their half of the first collecting two walks, five singles, and a three-run homer by Chris Menne. After one inning the Highlanders led, 8-0.
The Hurricanes began a comeback climb in the top of the second, scoring one run on a walk and two singles.
The Highlanders failed to score in the bottom of the second.
The ‘Canes added three to their side of the ledger in the third with runs driven in by Billy Jackson and James Holenko.
The ‘Canes halved the score: 8-4.
The Highlanders failed to tally in the bottom of the third.
The Hurricanes went down 1-2-3 in the fourth while the Highlanders posted two in their half with two runs driven in by Sam Griswold and Jeremy Scheffer.
The Hurricanes got those two runs back in the top of the fifth when Joel Rebello homered with Harry Holmes aboard.
The Highlanders went quietly their half of the fifth and the score stood at 10-6 after five.
The sixth inning was the ‘Canes turn to erupt. They scored seven runs on eight hits and took a 13-10 lead.
The Highlanders went down in order in the sixth
The Canes added an “insurance” run in the top of the seventh (final) inning to increase their lead, 14-10.
In the bottom of the seventh, Todd Hollister accepted a base on balls. Taylor Ives grounded into a fielder’s choice. Sam Griswold did the same and the Highlanders were down to their last out, down by four.
Jeremy Scheffer singled, sending Griswold to third. Ryan Kurth reached on an error, Griswold scoring. Russell Hodgson’s single loaded the bases. Matt Kurth singled, driving in Scheffer and Kurth. Joe Merry’s drive into left center was misplayed. With two outs everyone was running.
Hodgson scored easily, and in a crowd at home, as the ball arrived, so did Matt Kurth.
The Highlanders claimed game, playoffs, and summer season bragging rights. 15-14.
The annual Richie Madeiras Softball tourney, in memory of the popular O.B. shellfish warden, organized yearly by Ray Tattersall, was played last weekend at Tisbury’s Veterans War Memorial Park. Seven teams competed.
The winning combo was the Hatt Flooring team, the only unbeaten squad, 3-0. At 2-1 were the Hurricanes and Aquidneck Plumbing and the Wildcats. The Shockers and Fast Lane were 1-2. The Stampede was winless, 0-3.
Richie Roy was chosen for Sportsmanship honors.
Tad Gold was MVP for the winning Hatt Flooring team and Ryan Viera was MVP for Aquidneck.
Proceeds went to “You Got a Friend,” an Island charity.