Men's modified softball is back in town after a few year’s hiatus, thanks in part to Travis L’Hereux, who used the 2019-20, men's hockey league model to jump-start the program.
They had a sign-up which yielded enough players for four teams, a draft was held and league action began on Monday, June 8. It was good to see so many guys back in action, some who are definitely "veterans" and others just getting started.
I want to thank Travis and Ryan Richard for their help, especially Ryan this time for providing me with information on the two games. Results, rosters, and schedules can be obtained by going to tinyurl.com/yb577n65.
To open the league and the action up, there was a touching moment of silence for long-time softball player, coach and advocate for softball (and all sports), Johnny Barron, who passed away suddenly on Dec. 9, 2019. Then, his long time friends and teammates, Donnie Hood and Rollie Poirier, threw out the first ball to start the game. A fitting tribute to Johnny for sure!
The inaugural season doubleheader yielded a tale of two games, Go Time beating Berlin City 4-1, in a pitcher's duel, while the nightcap saw the bats come alive with The Land outslugging Remax 12-10.
In game one, Go Time got all the runs they needed in the second inning when team captain Bryan Hood opened things up with a walk, followed by a single off the bat of Craig Bartoli. Don Hood used his speed, coupled with a miscue of his bunt to end up on first, to create a bases-loaded situation with no outs. Singles by Craig Melanson, DJ Johnson and Cam Boucher produced three runs.
In the fourth inning, Berlin City's Ethan Enman singled and Cody Leblanc doubled him in to cut the lead to 3-1, but that was all they would get. Go Time managed to pad their slim lead with one run in the fifth inning and held on to win 4-1.
As I witnessed and Ryan Richard said in his summary, "There were some great defensive plays by both teams and great pitching by Hood (one run, four hits allowed) and Berlin City's Dan Croteau (four runs on 10 hits). The Craigs (Melanson and Bartoli) had two hits each for the winners, while team captain Luke Enman had a pair and Leblanc added a hit and two walks."
Game two was a "back and forth game offensively for the entire seven innings. The Land started things off early in first inning with four runs, jump-started by a base on balls to Cam Cochran and hits by Deke Gagne, Ryan Richard and Gavin Cook.
Later, Remax scored on a walk to Mark Bisson, a single and a sacrifice fly. But the Land answered back with three more runs, when Steve Flynn doubled, followed by a walk and an Andrew Coulombe double to highlight the inning.
Remax got back into it, when Erik Tremblay had a bases-loaded clearing double to cut the deficit to 10-4.
As Richard said, "From there on in it was back and forth regarding scoring and in the seventh, Remax put some pressure on the Land by scoring a few runs and having the tying run on first, when winning chucker Kevin Allain bore down and got the final out."
For the victors, Richard had a double and two singles, with Gagne, Cook and Coulombe chipping in with two hits each.
On the losing end, Eric Nelson was 3-3, including the only homer of the night, while Martin and Bisson also had three hits. Allain was the winning pitcher, giving up 10 runs on 15 hits, while Poirier gave up 12 on 14 hits.
All games will be held on Monday nights, at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., at Libby Field in Gorham.
Berlin-Gorham Babe Ruth Coordinator DJ Johnson let me know that there are two Babe Ruth travel teams in the North Country, and the season will open on June 23. A full schedule will be ready for viewing shortly.
All information can be obtained by going to berlin/gorhambaberuth.com.
Former Plymouth State graduate snd football player Dave Anctil of Rochester recently passed away at the age of 59. Both brother Keith and I knew him and his brother, Jim, who also played at Plymouth. While attending many homecoming football games over the years at Plymouth, Dave would always be there with the "old school crew" to talk football, as he played in the early years of PSC football. I send along my condolences to his wife Becky and his entire family.