When this week's Wayne County Mens Softball League playoffs commence, The Gravity Inn will be seeded #1...but, Kestler's will be playing a "dark-horse" role.
As the Wayne County Men’s Softball League regular season wound down, the guys from The Gravity Inn met the men from Kestler’s at Bingham Park in an attempt to solidify their number one seed in the payoffs.
Striking first, The Gravity moved through its entire order and took an early lead, racking up six runs in the top of the first inning.
Jeff Gombita, from Eldred is the Kestler’s catcher. “Well, that was a tough inning,” he remarked in the dugout.
In spite of the shelling his opponents just delivered on his team, he remained upbeat.
The players range in age from their early twenties to their late forties.
“Nearly all of us played baseball through Teeners and High School,” Gombita continued. “And, most of the older guys in the league have been playing softball since we got out of school.”
Gravity’s Mike Pozarycki travels from Factoryville to play in Wayne County Men’s League games. “Poz” occupies the lead-off spot in the batting order and opens the second inning with a solo home run, his sixth of the season.
A former baseball player too, he’s been in the league for 10 years.
“Switching from baseball to softball wasn’t that difficult,” he recounts, “I played slow-pitch when I started, and that pitching was something to get used to, but this is fast-pitch and the balls come in just like they do in baseball.”
Deeply hit fly-outs, and great infielding on the part of the Gravity gang kept Kestler’s at bay through the second and third innings.
Gravity pitcher Richie Walker, from Lake Ariel, gave up only one run while his team jacked up their tally to nine runs by the time the fourth rolled around.
Veteran first baseman Buddy Vail from Lakeville scored in the bottom of the fifth for Kestler’s second run of the game. However, a homerun from Simpson’s Joe Marcavage and two more runs in the top of the sixth extended Gravity’s lead to 14-2.
Late in the sixth Kestler’s began to rally.
With two outs, they tallied twice but went down swinging to end the inning. They staved off any more Gravity runs through the top of the seventh and continued to mount a good offensive attempt when they came to the plate again.
An early run bought Kestler’s some more time and bolstered spirits.
Then, with bases loaded and two outs, a rip by Buddy Vail deep into the outfield sent two more home before a third runner was tagged out in an exciting play at the plate. This ended the game and solidified Gravity’s #1 seed in the Wayne County Men’s League playoffs.
While the 14-7 win was welcome by the Gravity team members, they are looking forward to the playoffs. They certainly seem the team to beat.
“The playoffs are what’s important,” Pozarycki proclaimed. “There’s nothing beyond (winning) a league championship.”
Indeed, once the playoffs are over, there’s no state or regional level competition for these guys.
Whichever team wins it all goes home with a trophy that will occupy a place of prominence, and the all-important bragging rights...at least until next year.