Mulvaney Plumbing, Rossini Landscaping team wins first men’s softball title
When the team’s core players made their debut in the Ridgefield Men’s Softball League four years ago they won two of 24 games.
“Only a handful of us had played organized baseball,” said Jeff Lavatori. “Things like running on contact with two outs ... some of the guys had no idea what that meant.”
But those players improved and others with more experience were added when opposing teams disbanded. The progress culminated in a title last month as top-seed Mulvaney Plumbing/Rossini Landscaping swept second-seed Little Pub/Ridgefield Pet by scores of 9-4 and 8-2 to become league champions.
“We had terrific outfield defense in the first game, and the infield was flawless in the second game,” said Lavatori, the player/manager for Mulvaney Plumbing/Rossini Landscaping. “We also had a few big innings at the plate in both games and Brian Gray pitched really well.”
The title was the first since the league contracted to one division and switched from aluminum bats to wood bats. The change was designed to make the league more competitive while also enhancing player safety.
“There were a lot fewer home runs and triples this season,” said Lavatori. “The emphasis was on base running and moving runners over, and we did a good job with that.”
In the opener of the best two-of-three championship series, Mulvaney scored five runs in the fourth inning to take control. The rally included Rob Malara’s two-run triple.
Three more runs followed in the fifth inning. Danny Coakley singled and scored on Tim Aiezza’s double, and Tim Cozens (single) and Brian Gray (double) added RBI base hits.
Mulvaney began the second game by batting around and scoring five runs in the first inning. Danny Lake had a two-run double, and Matt Leonard, Cozens, and Lavatori also drove in runs.
Aiezza added an RBI base hit in the third inning and Gray contributed a two-run double in the fifth inning to close out the scoring for Mulvaney.
When Gray held Little Pub/Ridgefield Pet scoreless in the seventh inning, Mulvaney celebrated its first-ever title.
“It felt good,” said Lavatori. “From where we started four years ago to winning a championship is pretty crazy.”
Notes: Gray pitched both games for Mulvaney Plumbing/Rossini Landscaping, striking out a batter in the seventh inning.
Mulvaney was the top seed for the playoffs after going 20-4 in the regular season. The team won six-of-seven postseason games to end the year with a 26-5 record.
The championship series was played July 29 at the old high school.