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South Jersey Softball:
PrimeTime League Playoffs: Warwick Tavern Sweeps Weyman Photography to Win Championship

Sunday, August 4, 2002

By Art Redd
SJSports Staff Writer

The outcome from the Sunday morning Prime Time Division A men's softball championship game was not the results that many expected. But don't tell that to the players from Warwick Tavern as they battled the previously undefeated team from Weyman Photography/Post 56. After winning the first game of a best of three series convincingly, Warwick Tavern won game two by the score of 28-9 to claim the title. Post 56 bats were silent on this day as the ended their 28 game winning streak.

When this day started out everyone, including the fans, were trying to find shade and stay cool from the already high temperatures early Sunday morning. The shade from the trees provided the resemblance of a picnic area as most found their spot to watch these teams battle it out on the softball field. Warwick and Post 56 did their best to put the high humidity out of their minds and concentrate on the task in hand of capturing the Championship Title.

Coming into this Division A Championship game, Weyman Photography/Post 56 had an impressive record of 28-0. With Post 56's unbeaten streak in tact, their team rolled into today's game with the confidence of knowing what it takes to win games. As for Warwick Tavern/Talmar, they held a record of 23-5 and knocked off the two time defending champs last week and were looking for more.

With their first time at bat in game one, Warwick Tavern jumped out quickly scoring 6 runs in the inning. Clutch base hitting allowed starting pitcher Al Fiola some runs to play with. Warwick Tavern added more runs in the top of the second inning after Steve Laxton's 3-run home run gave them a 9-0 lead. But right back came Post 56 scoring 6 runs highlighted by a 3-run home run by #44 and the Warwick Tavern lead was cut to three runs.

What seemed like an endless trial of runners crossing the plate, Warwick Tavern sent 17 batters to the plate scoring 14 runs in the top of the third inning. Hit after hit allowed Warwick to pass the bat around, while the Post 56 defense was left baking in the sun. Another big inning in the top of the fifth built a 31-12 lead that Warwick would coast to the victory. Steve Laxton scored 5 runs, 3 home runs (2 grand slams) and 11 RBI. Todd Richards went 5 for 5 and Al Fiola pitched his team to game one's victory by the score of 34-12. Warwick Tavern would take that momentum from game one and exploded again in the deciding game two. Using their same philosophy of coming up with key hits, Warwick Tavern rolled their way to title by not giving up too many runs and winning the inning.

Photos by Art Redd

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