Highlanders, ‘Cats win softball playoff openers

You make the call. Steve Kelly of the Wildcats initially bobbled the bouncing ball but gripped it in his right hand and tagged John Sturino of the Treds, who was called safe. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

The men’s Island Softball League playoffs got underway Monday night with a double-header at Veterans Park.

In the opening round best of three series, the fourth-seeded Highlanders met the fifth seeded Blazers and the sixth-seeded Treds battled the third-seeded Wildcats. The top two seeds, the defending champion Hurricanes and the Brewhas, have first-round byes.

In the opening game, the Highlanders banged out a bushel of singles to fill the bases and burn the Blazers, 14-4.

Ryan Kurth was 3 for 3. Jeremy Scheffer also had three hits, including a double.

In the nightcap, the Wildcats romped to a 13-3 win over the Treds.

The Treds took a 2-0 lead in the first inning but the ‘Cats roared back with 11 runs in the second. Jared Stobie and Harry Cippola keyed the onslaught with ground-ruled doubles.

The Treds got one back in the third but Andrew Williamson stopped further damage with a spectacular grab in left field.

Wally “Gator” Tomkins restored the ‘Cats nine-run lead with a towering lead off homer to right in the home half of the third.

The teams were back in action Wednesday night for game two. The third games, if necessary, will be played tonight at Veterans Park.