Sunday – May 2, 2021
A long time coming, as the return to College Point Fields in Flushing NY for FAN BASEBALL, was resumed for the first time since 2019. The Mongos and The Schmoozers joined together on the field of play for the first time since the pandemic. Team managers Chris Baldassano (Mongos) and first-time skipper Ryan Clarke (Schmoozers) both prepped their rosters for what would turn out to be an amazing day and game to boot!
Prior to the game starting, a meeting was held at the mound with both teams by manager Baldassano. The meeting can be seen here:
A moment of silence was held, and remembrance/prayer for the loss of teammate and friend Scott Schachter, who sadly passed away in 2020. Scott will always be remembered as a friend first, teammate, and worldly talent which we can never replace. This season has been dedicated to his memory.
The Schmoozers won the pre-game home/away coin flip, and took the field first, with Ryan Clarke taking the mound for the Schmoozers. He would oppose Vinny Puleo making the start for the Mongos. Clarke ran into some trouble in the first, the mongos loading the bases with a single, E5, and walk. Clarke bared down and got Chris Baldassano to ground into the first of his two 4-6-3 double plays (with the bases loaded) to get out of it.
Vinny Puleo started off extremely strong. With the Mongos manager limiting his pitchers to no more then 2 innings in their first outing, Puleo struck out 4 over his 2 innings, with 1 walk, and surrendered 1 hit. The Mongos would break through in the second inning off Clarke. Justin Mrwik got beaned in the noggin on the first pitch (thank goodness for helmets). He came around to score on an RBI double by Will Martinez to make it a 1-0 Mongos Lead. Clarke would settle down after that, and go 5 strong innings, striking out 5, walking 1.
The Schmoozers would answer back and take the lead in the bottom of the 3rd. Mongos pitcher Mike Surovich had gotten ahead of the batters but an error led to a Schmooze rally. With 1 runner in already, Ryan Clarke hit a hard single to left center, driving in the go-ahead run for a 2-1 Schmoozers lead. The Schmoozers would score 1 more run in the bottom of the 4th, on a Bases Loaded ground out by Chris Papastefanou, his first career FAN Baseball RBI.
The game would hold tight as both teams and pitching staffs settled in, until the Top of the 7th inning for the Mongos. Anthony Scrivanich came in to pitch in the top of the 6th for the Schmooze, his first outing against his former team. He made quick work of the Mongos in the 6th, allowing only a single to Eric Dunetz in the frame, but the top of the 7th proved rough for Kid Scriv.
Justin Mrwik started off the inning with a hard single up the middle. David Orozco and Anthony Prisco followed up with back to back singles, Prisco’s on a 1-2 count which was an RBI Single up the middle to cut the score to 3-2. Tom Dixon was hit on the leg on the first pitch to re-load the bases. Will Martinez came up and drilled a HOT shot to 3rd base, which ricochet off the 3rd baseman’s shoulder, the attempt at getting Martinez at first was wild into RF, allowing 2 unearned runs to score, making it 4-3 Mongos. Two batters later, Vinny Puleo hit a 2 run single, giving the Mongos a 6-3 Lead. Kid Scriv would end the bleeding there, and give the Schmooze a chance to come back in the bottom of the 7th.
Eric Dunetz who had come in to pitch in the top 6th, stayed in for the 7th, his second inning of work. Ryan Clarke flew out to left for the first out .A walk to Mark Goldberg would get something started for the schmoozers. Dunetz would strike out David Issac, but surrender a base hit to Jeffrey Munzer. A throwing error from 3B two batters later would allow 2 runs to score, cutting the mongos lead to 6-5. Dunetz would battle Christan Ramos hard, and got Ramos to hit a roller down to first base, that was gloved and stepped on the bag by a half step by David Orozco to get the final out, and seal the Mongos first victory of the season 6-5.