In last year’s River Edge Men’s Softball League Tournament, the top two seeds were sent home early.
So Jim Conway, the coach of the top-seeded Rockies, was “very pleased” that his team won it all with a 2-1, extra inning, walk-off win over the second seeded Yankees at KBG Field on Friday night.
“Good defense went a long way tonight,” said Conway, a River Edge native and 1966 River Dell grad. “I’m very happy to be able to win. It was a nice job by everybody.”
In the bottom of the eighth, Rockies shortstop Gary Lippman (2-for-4) led off with a single before left fielder Lee Baronian smacked a double. Tom Herity would get a free pass to set up the force.
Right fielder John Jennings came up with the bases loaded, and with the count full, delivered a fly ball to left to score the winning run.
“They don’t come easily,” Conway said, referring to league championships. “You savor them when they come.”
The Yankees took an early 1-0 lead on an RBI single by Tom Kyritz in the third inning. Rob Bucchieri scored the Yanks’ lone run of the evening.
The Rockies would get on the scoreboard in the sixth when Jennings (3-for-4) delivered an RBI single to score Eddie Thomas, who made a few nifty grabs while patrolling center field.
Conway, who pitched for the Rockies and scattered seven hits—all singles—has been in the league for 30 years, and this was his third championship.
“It’s fun,” Conway said of the league, “the guys enjoy themselves.
“We have some pretty good ballplayers out here,” Conway added. “We’re going to keep doing this [running a league] for as long as we can.”
Volunteers Pat Villano and Bob Smith umpired the game.
The Rockies, who finished the regular season 10-4, scored 18 runs in their first two playoff games, defeating the Red Sox 10-4 and the Cardinals 8-2 in the semifinals.
All eight teams—the Rockies, Yankees, Twins, Marlins, Cardinals, Brewers, Angels, and Red Sox—make the playoffs.
The summer league runs from May through August and the fall league picks up in late August until October. For more information about the River Edge Men's League, contact Recreation Director Bobbi Conway at 201-599-6295 or vist the League website.