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South Jersey Softball:
West Berlin Captures First Game of Firefighters Softball Championship Series

Tuesday, July 20, 1999

By Art Redd
SJSports Staff Writer

During the summer months throughout the area of South Jersey, the game of softball is played by many as their choice of recreation. You can find several leagues that take their softball seriously, especially in a championship game. That's where you will find West Berlin going up against Laurel Springs in the Camden County Firefighters Softball League championship series. It was West Berlin who held off a late charge by their opponents to take the first game, 8-7 at Luke Avenue Sports Complex.

The Monday game, like most summer games was keyed to the weather report wondering whether or not the game would be played or finished due to a chance of thunderstorms. The game would be rained out dashing the hopes of starting the series, postponing it to Tuesday. Coach Greg Lydic was sure the delay wouldn't effect his team as West Berlin jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Cudeyro lead of the inning with a single and scored the first run of the game. But this was the championship series, which meant that Laurel Springs would not just lay down and give up. In the top of the third inning, back-to-back-to-back singles loaded the bases for Richards who drove a deep fly ball that scored Wilcott to tie the game. Lead off batter Andy Ward got his second consecutive hit to plate T. Williams to take an early 2-1 lead.


After Pinto led off the bottom of the third inning by getting on base, West Berlin's Joe Jackson followed with a one out single and advanced Pinto to second. Wilder's RBI single tied the game at two. Next stepped up to the plate was clean up hitter Sederio who drilled a ball to deep right center field for a three run homerun.

Now with West Berlin holding a 7-3 lead going into the top of the sixth inning, Laurel Springs did every they could, and did, to get back into this game. Peters led of the inning with a triple and Greg Martin came through with a single to plate a run. Reese and Kennerup both drew base on balls to load the bases for Laurel Springs. M. Williams would get the second run in of the inning on a sacrifice fly and bring Laurel Springs within two runs. Laurel Springs defense held West Berlin off the score board in the bottom of the sixth to set up the tables for a dramatic comeback. Larson got a one out single to right center to get things started in the top of the seventh inning. After a pop out to the shortstop for the second out, Ward drew a walk. Peters drilled a single to right center to plate Larson and Ward took advantage of a bobble to score the tying run.

West Berlin saw their lead disappear only to set up a final at bat win. Cudeyro led off the inning with a single and a two base error. Now with the scoring run on third with no outs, Laurel Springs elected to intentionally walk Jackson and Wilder to load the bases. Siderio was giving the chance to win the game, and he did with a four-pitch walk to score the winning run. The number one seeded West Berlin took a one game lead against the number three seeded Laurel Springs.

Photos by Boog Williams

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