Marlton Athletics Baseball Club: 2004-05 News/Info


MARCH 25 - Eight months after the Good Guys in Black last walked off Bordentown's Gilder Field in defeat last August, the Marlton A's will open up the 2004 South Jersey MSBL schedule on April 18th looking something just short of an extreme makeover.

Gone are eight players from last year's playoff squad, including original A's Todd Camp, Barry Annese, Gary Giese and Keith Wood. Manager Terry Annese, tapping the experience of the A's 2001 roster overhaul, began the team makeover in December with the signing four veteran SJMSBL players: 2B Gary Shears (Sharks), OF/IF/P Jay Rabinowitz (Yankees), C/IF/OF George Rogers (Yankees) and SS/3B Hector Colon (Cardinals). They will be joined on the roster by SJMSBL newcomers C/IF Rich McNee (USOTB - Moorestown), 3B/SS Rich Hudgins (California MSBL/SJMSBL Fall League), 1B/OF/P Larry Hubert, OF Bob Karas and P Henry Williams (Utica Bluesox).

INFIELD: Larry Hubert, Gary Shears, Hector Colon and Rich Hudgins will form the core of a new Marlton infield. P/IF Ken Ferry, IF Terry Annese and 1B/OF Pery Shusterman should provide infield depth along with George Rogers and Rich McNee, who both can play the corner infield spots.

CATCHER: Rich McNee and George Rogers will take over the catching duties for ailing veteran A's backstop Bill Hazel, recovering from off season back surgery. In addition, Marcus John will once again include third catcher duties on his busy positional resume.

OUTFIELD: Jay Rabinowitz takes his strong arm across town from Medford Lakes to assume the fleet footed centerfield shoes of the departing Camp, while Marcus John anchors the left field spot when not on the hill. Ed Miller, Phil Anselmo and Bob Karas should see time in both right field and at the EH spot, with Larry Hubert and George Rogers providing some extra depth. In addition, Bill Hazel is targeted to return in mid-May as an OF/EH upon completion of his back rehabilitation.

PITCHING: The most stable position returning from last season, Marlton ace Ken Ferry will anchor the staff and look to continue his mound dominance over the last half of 2003. Now with a year under their belts, Marcus John and Phil Anselmo will get the lion's share of the remaining innings. Newcomers Jay Rabinowitz, Larry Hubert and George Rogers will add depth to the bullpen, while hard-throwing ex-Florida Marlins farmhand Henry Williams will assume Giese's closer role upon the completion of his rehab from off-season elbow tendonitis.

OFFENSE: The top five batting positions will be new in 2004. Marcus John and Gary Shears will be given the first crack at the 1-2 tablesetter spots - giving plenty of RBI opportunities to Rich McNee's steady righthanded bat at the number three hole. Manager Terry Annese will look to mix and match power threats Rich Hudgins, Larry Hubert, Ken Ferry and Bill Hazel in the middle of the order to take the best advantage of the friendly confines of new home Rotary Field. The remaining spots will be filled a combination of players based upon game to game needs. Ed Miller, Terry Annese, Pery Shusterman and Phil Anselmo look to bounce back after off seasons in 2003; while Jay Rabinowitz, George Rogers, Hector Colon and rookie power threat Bob Karas should add some pop in the lower half of the lineup.

PREDICTIONS: A second consecutive SJMSBL playoff berth will depend on a strong defensive showing, as well as the pitching staff maintaining form from its three returning mainstays from last season. The bullpen will be deeper and a healthy arm from closer Henry Williams could mean lights out for opposing teams after seven innings. Should the offense gel as expected it should be a very positive season for the Amazin's.

And then there were three.....last of the Original A's: Ferry, Annese, Miller


Phil Anselmo tossed three innings in today's Spring Training win.
A's Defeat Glassboro in Spring Opener, 6-3

MARCH 21 - The new look Marlton A's made their 2004 debut a successful one, defeating the Glassboro Blaze, 6-3, in a Spring Training ballgame played today at Rotary Field.

Marlton ace Ken Ferry picked up where he left off in 2003, tossing three scoreless innings to notch the win. The righthander scattered four hits while striking out 5 and walking none. New A's second baseman Gary Shears paced the offense with three hits and a run scored, while EH/3B Terry Annese and RF/1B Pery Shusterman added two hits a piece.

The A's jumped out to a quick 4-0 advantage off of Glassboro starter Jeff McShane - paced by first inning RBI singles from 3B Rich Hudgins, C George Rogers and Shusterman. The Blaze collected their runs on a pair of wind assisted homers, a two-run shot by C Brian McGuire off of Marcus John in the fourth and a solo shot by McShane off of Phil Anselmo in the seventh. Marlton closed out the scoring with 1B Larry Hubert's 2-run single in the eighth.

NOTES: Marcus John led off and reached base twice with a HBP and a single, stealing three bases along the way. John also threw two innings, allowing two runs on two hits while striking out four. Phil Anselmo allowed a run on three hits over three innings work, striking out three. A gusting crosswind from the right field foul pole across to the left-center field gap played havoc with the outfielders, knocking down several balls hit to right while giving normally routine balls hit to left and center an extra boost. SS Hector Colon turned the play of the day in the second, ranging to his left to snag Brian McGuire's hard hit grounder to start a 6-6-3 double play that rescued the A's from a potential jam.

March 21, 2004

1 2 3 4


6 7 8 9 R H E

Blaze (0-1) 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 x 3 8 1
Athletics (1-0) 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 x 6


Link to "Schedules" for Complete Game Recap & Stats
WP: Ferry (1-0) LP: McShane (0-1) SV: Anselmo (1) 2B: Ferry (M), Owen (G), Jones (G); HR: McGuire (G), McShane (G); SB: John 3 (M), Hudgins (M); S: Owen (G); HBP:(by McShane) John (M)

A's Shut Down Red Sox, 12-3

John, Anslemo Shine With 13 K's

MARCH 28 - The Marlton A's scored seven runs in the first two innings and never looked back, defeating their new cross-town rivals, the Burlco Red Sox, 12-3, in a Spring Training ballgame played today at Cherokee High School.

Marlton hurlers Marcus John and Phil Anselmo each tossed four scoreless innings in the win. John, allowed two hits, walked two and struck out eight to pick up the win; while Anselmo allowed just one hit, struck out five and walked one. The offensive effort was assisted by 15 Burlco walks. 2B Ken Ferry collected half of the ballclub's six hits, with two singles and a double while driving in two.

NOTES: Marcus John again was productive in the lead off spot, reaching base three times with a HBP and two walks. Jay Rabinowitz was victimized by some shoddy "D" in the ninth, allowing three runs to spoil the shutout. Up next for the Amazin's are the vastly improved ("A" Division) Delran Cardinals, this Sunday at Rotary Field, starting at 9:00 am.

March 28, 2004

1 2 3 4


6 7 8 9 R H E

Red Sox (0-2) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3 5 3
Athletics (2-0) 4 3 0 0 0 5 0 0 x 12


Link to "Schedules" for Complete Game Recap & Stats
WP: John (1-0) LP: Clark (0-1) SV: None 2B: Ferry (M); HBP:(by Zagame) John (M)

The new Mr. & Mrs. Ken Ferry
The MVP Takes a Misses

Ken Delivers an "I do" to Joann and She Accepts!
OCTOBER 14 - Several Marlton A's players and their spouses were on hand this past Saturday to celebrate 2003 MVP Ken Ferry and his longtime girlfriend Joann, as they tied the knot in a beautiful wedding ceremony and reception that took place at Sensational Host Catering in Maple Shade.

The proud A's contingent included long-time A's players Bill Hazel, Gary Giese and his wife Diana, Todd Camp and his fiancee Carol, Barry Annese and his fiancee Shelly Pirone and Terry Annese and his wife Cheryl.

Ken surged to the 2003 team MVP award with a 4-2 record and a 2.59 ERA - that included an A's team record 29 2/3 scoreless innings to close out the regular season. The righthander helped lead the ballclub back from the depths of a 3-8 record and into the playoffs, as the A's won four out their last five games to make the post season for the first time since Marlton's improbable run to the league semifinals in 2001. Sources close to the club report that while on the dance floor, team manager Terry Annese immediately opened negotiations with the new Mrs. Ferry on a contract extention for her husband, which is expected to include an option to sign son Connor Ferry to pitch for the A's beginning in 2028.

"The Gang" Posing With the Happy Couple

Departing long time A's SS Giese will be missed.....

todd3 will speedy leadoff CF Camp
Off Season Departures Provide a Challenge for '04

As the Marlton Athletics Baseball Club cranks up once again with its off-season workout schedule, it is becoming increasingly clear that there will be a new look to the ball club in 2004 - as old faces depart and new ones arrive on the horizon.

The Marlton infield will see the biggest makeover - with 1B Rich Mazzella, SS/P Gary Giese and 3B Rich Dickinson all leaving the club, along with CF Todd Camp, OF/1B/P Barry Annese, and reserve IF Ed Hall. Giese and Annese have moved out of the area, while Camp is leaving the team for work reasons and Dickinson has decided to move up the Over-38 Division. Finally, Mazzella and Hall have asked for and were granted their releases to pursue other interests.

Offensively, the A's will need to replace long-time lead off hitter Camp (A's all-time leader in SB [59], Runs [61] and BB [52]) and the table setting Annese (64 hits, 37 Runs, .405 BA from 1999-03). In addition, the steady bat of Dickinson (13 R, .396 OBA in '03) and the run-producing presence of Giese (A's all-time hits leader [78], 37 Runs, 47 RBI from 1999-00, 2002-03) and Mazzella (A's all-time RBI leader [52], 77 hits, 36 Runs, .475 BA from 2001-03) will certainly be missed. However, the core of returning players appear hungry to fill the void. The battery combination of ace RHP Ken Ferry (4-2, 2.59, 65 K in 65 IP, 1 Sv in '03) and C/OF/P Bill Hazel (.375, 5 2B in '03) look to continue on last season's success while IF Terry Annese (.323, .404 OBA in '03) and OF Keith Wood (.269, .434 OBA in '03) should rebound from injury-riddled 2003 campaigns. Additionally, 2003 first-year players OF Zack Edelman (.312, 6 RBI, 7 SB), OF/P/IF Marcus John (6 RBI, 4 SB) and RHP Phil Anselmo (0-3, 33 IP, 5.45 ERA) are all expected to improve - while IF/OF Ed Miller (.344 OBA, 6 RBI) and 2B/1B Pery Shusterman (.105, .190 OBA) will provide support.

In advance of the wave of vacated roster spots, Manager Terry Annese has burned the midnight oil to restructure the face of the ball club - while at the same time trying to maintain the success level of the A's 2003 late season playoff run.

Gary Shears (FA, Sharks) and newcomer Rich Hudgins (SJMSBL Fall League) will enter the infield mix along with veteran free agents OF/IF/P Jay Rabinowitz, C/IF George Rogers and 1B/DH Keith Boswick - the last three of whom come over from the Medford Lakes Yankees. Shears and Hudgins will be looked upon to settle in up the middle while the departing Camp will hand Rabinowitz the CF mantle and Rogers will likely split time with Hazel behind the dish as well as see time at 3B and on the hill. In addition, the A's have invited RHP Henry Williams, 2B Keith Grandstrom and 1B Bill Owen as prospects to fill what is projecting to be a total of about 6 or 7 available spots on the 2004 roster. Rabinowitz, Rogers, Grandstrom and Owen played together with A's skipper Annese on the Cinnaminson Mutts of the SJMSBL Fall League. Another possiblity the A's are keeping an eye on for a possible roster spot is speedy OF Jason Whitney. However, Whitney, a New York native now settled in Cherry Hill, played with Mike Solmen's Lost Boys team in the fall and may ultimately end up with Solmen's Woodbury Marlins club. Either way, the roster should slowly evolve into form as the winter workouts continue to progress throughout the remainder of December and again in January.

So with that, the challenge has been cast and the A's are doing their best to meet it head-on. As the calendar soon turns to 2004, it won't be long now before that wonderful sound of wood crackling bat on ball will awaken and a new baseball season will be upon us once again.

Until then, Happy Holidays to everyone in the Marlton A's family - past, present and future!

2003 Athletics
A's reload for '04 after turning over nearly 1/2 the roster this off season

SJMSBL Board Meets With Sigler

MSBL National President Steve Sigler
MSBL National President Steve Sigler
JANUARY 29 - Earlier this week, the South Jersey MSBL Board had a welcome visit from MSBL National President Steve Sigler, to discuss the upcoming 2003 season. SJMSBL Commissioner Gary Brown and Board members Lloyd Terry, Tom Hunter, Terry Annese and Dave Kasen discussed various league matters with Sigler, who is entering his 18th year at the helm of the nationwide MSBL/MABL, which was founded in 1986.

Roundtable discussion issues included team insurance, umpire issues, player eligibility, National Tournament play and plans for a possible All-Star Game and a local SJMSBL-sponsored Labor Day Tournament.





A's Break Mom's Day Hex - Roll Past Mets

WINNING UGLY - A's Hold off Tribe, 12-8

Paolini Joins Amazins

MAY 30 - The Marlton A's would like to welcome pitcher Steve Paolini to ballclub. Paolini, a free agent acquisition at the roster deadline, will be uniform for the first time during this Sunday's ballgame against the American Division rival Delco Astros. Steve provides the club with another quality arm and comes to us from the Holy Cross HS (recently crowned South Jersey Parochial A Champs!) coaching staff after an excellent Tri-County career in a former baseball life. Welcome aboard Steve!!


Ferry Wins 4th, Sarge's HR, 5 RBI, in Amazin' Sweep of Marlins; Mazz Goes 1-for-6, 3K's in Return

JUNE 13 -
The Marlton A's continued their winning ways as Ken Ferry's arm and Terry Annese's bat combined to lead the Good Guys in Black to a doubleheader sweep over the Woodbury Marlins, 9-5 and 8-3, in action today at Rotary Field.

The Marlins (2-7) and A's (8-2) have played their share of close, hard fought contests over the past few seasons. But the stakes were raised just a little bit higher today with the return of former A's Rich Mazzella and Ed Hall - both of whom who were playing in their first action against the Amazins' following three years each in green and black. As things would turn out, it would be Mazzella, A's manager Terry Annese and pitcher Ken Ferry who would put their collective stamp on today games.

Ferry and lefty John Hughes were matched up on the hill in Game 1, and both hurlers cruised through the first inning with relative ease. Hughes took matters into his own hands in the Marlins' second, launching a solo homerun to right-center to give Woodbury an early 1-0 lead. Things would stay that way into the bottom of the third, as 1B Larry Hubert was hit by a pitch leading off the inning and Ferry walked to put two men on with nobody out. SS Steve Paolini struck out for out number one, but not before the runners moved up to second and third on a passed ball. That brought Terry Annese to the plate with a chance at a minimum to tie the game with an out. The A's skipper would do more than that, turning on a 3-2 fastball from Hughes and launching a 3-run homer to left, giving the Amazins' a 3-1 lead. EH Ed Miller followed with a single and moved around to third on a pair of passed balls, before CF Jay Rabinowitz brought him home with an RBI single - extending the lead to three, at 4-1.

With Ferry, entrenched in the SJMSBL Top 10 in wins, ERA, and strikeouts, seemingly on cruise control into the middle innings, it would appear that the Amazins' would be able to exhale a little. However, these are the Marlins, who always find a way to make things interesting against the A's, and aided by a hiccup from the Marlton defense, their 3-run lead would vanish in the fifth as quickly as it came.

Woodbury manager Mike Solmen led off the Marlins' fifth with a single to right and Al Reim grounded a sure doubleplay ball to Steve Paolini at shortstop - however the relay throw to first bounced, handcuffing Hubert and deflecting down the rightfield line. Reim made the turn and started down towards second base as Hubert retrieved the ball and threw down to awaiting Gary Shears. However, Shears dropped the throw, allowing Reim to advance unharmed. Things got really crazy at that point, as Al Salciunas, Ed Hall and Jason Whitney in succession launched flyballs to rightfield - all three of which were lost in the backstop background by RF Bob Karas and landed safely. The resourceful Marlins had quickly plated two runs to make it 4-3 and had runners on second and third and one out and Rich Mazzella striding to the plate. The lefty would get an ounce of revenge, rifling a single to left to plate Hall and tie game at four. Two batters later, Hughes completed the rush by lifting a sacrifice fly to right that was just deep enough to score Whitney without a play, giving Woodbury a 5-4 lead over Ferry and the A's after four and half innings.

All season long the Amazins' have shown that certain grit to battle back when the chips were down and today would be no exception. In the bottom of the fifth, Ferry singled and carried the tying run around to third on Steve Paolini's double to left-center. Terry Annese strode to the plate in the identical situation as two innings before, and the results would be nearly as fruitful. The A's skipper muscled a first pitch change-up into left-center field for a hit, plating both Ferry and Paolini, the latter of whom gave the A's the lead back at 6-5 with and gorgeous hook slide past Marlins' catcher Paul Kohler.

Marlton would complete the scoring by adding on three insurance runs in the sixth off Mazzella, who had come on in relief of Hughes. Rich McNee collected a 2-out RBI single and Bob Karas launched a booming 2-run double to make it make it 9-5. Ferry took it home from there, locking down the ballgame by retiring the last seven Marlins in order to collect his fourth win of the season.

Game 2 would see the Amazins' again face off against Mazzella, who continued to pitch following his one inning relief stint in Game 1. Phil Anselmo started for the A's, in search of his third win of the season. After retiring the A's with relative ease in the first two innings, the house would fall on Mazzella and the Marlins in the third, as ten A's came to bat as six runs scored on six hits, paced by RBI singles from RF Marcus John and EH Bill Hazel, along with a 2-run single from 3B Rich Hudgins. EH Gary Shears added an RBI force play and LF Bob Karas had a bases loaded walk to complete the Marlton outburst.

In the bottom of the third, C Art Collins cut the A's lead in half with a 3-run homer to center to make it 6-3. An inning later, the Marlins mounted a 2-out rally without benefit of a hit, leading to the "Gary Shears Pedialyte Special" Turning Point of The Game. After retiring the first two batters, Anselmo worked Mazzella a little too cautiously and walked him on five pitches. Paul Kohler was then grazed by a 1-1 pitch that was argued to no avail by the A's, even though Kohler didn't appear to make any attempt to move away from the inside pitch. Cleanup hitter John Hughes, who had already launched a homerun earlier in the day, then came to the plate as the tying run. With a 1-0 count, Annese went to his bullpen, making a rotating switch - bringing in Steve Paolini to pitch from shortstop, moving Marcus John to short and sending Anselmo out to right. The move paid off in aces, as Hughes grounded to third to end the Marlins' uprising.

The score would stay 6-3 until the seventh, when the Amazins' picked up a pair of runs to put the game away. Terry Annese led off with a single to center and two batters later Phil Anselmo doubled to put runners on second and third. Marcus John then collected his third hit of the game, driving in both runners to make the score 8-3. Meanwhile, Paolini cruised home for the A's, retiring the last six Marlins to notch his first save in green and black.

NOTES: Ferry (4-0) went the distance in Game 1 to collect his fourth win of the season. The righthander went 7 innings, allowed five runs, one earned, on nine hits, walked one and struck out three. Terry Annese's 3-for-4 day raises his batting average to .538, good enough for second in the SJMSBL. Annese's five RBIs gives him 11 on the season, tops in the league to date. His 3-run homer in Game 1 was his first in nearly 11 years, dating back to a September 26, 1993, game-winning opposite field 2-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning - giving the then-D.C. A's of the DCMABL a 12-10 win over the top-seeded Arlington Indians in a quarterfinals playoff game played at Fairfax (VA) High School. Bob Karas and Marcus John added three hits and three RBIs apiece in the twin bill, while Rich McNee and Rich Hudgins each had a pair of hits. In the nightcap, Phil Anselmo went 3-for-3 with two runs scored, and was awarded the victory on the hill. Anselmo (3-1), went the first 3 2/3, allowingthree earned runs on six hits, walking five, striking out four and hitting a batter. Steve Paolini closed the ballgame to collect his first save, going 3 1/3 innings while allowing no runs on one hit, walking none and striking out two. Rich Mazzella, went 1-for-6 with an RBI single and 3 strikeouts in his first action against his old ballclub. On the hill, Mazzella (0-1), went the distance in the nightcap, allowing eight runs, on 14 hits, walking three and striking out five - the last of which was against old pal Pery "The Factor" Shusterman. Ed Hall, the Factor's former "Three-Headed-Monster" partner, went 1-for-6 with an RBI on the day. Today's doubleheader sweep moves the A's to an 8-2 record, the first time they have been six games over .500 since August 5, 2001, when the A's defeated the Willingboro Knights, 8-1, in Game 1 of a doubleheader played at Cherokee High School. Oddly enough, Ken Ferry got the win in that contest, and Ferry, Ed Hall and Rich Mazzella each collected two hits apiece as the Amazins' moved to a 9-3 record before dropping the nightcap to the Knights, 4-1. NEXT WEEK the Amazins' take back to the road for their first regular season meeting with the expansion Glassboro Blaze - the two clubs met in a Spring scrimmage at Rotary Field back in March, with the A's prevailing, 6-3.

GAME 1: June 13, 2004

1 2 3 4


6 7 8 9 R H E

Marlins (2-6) 0 1 0 0 4 0 0 x x 5 9 0
Athletics (7-2) 0 0 4 0 2 3 x x x 9


Link to "Schedules" for Complete Game Recap & Stats
WP: Ferry (4-0) LP: Hughes (1-3) SV: None 2B: Karas (M), Paolini (M); HR: Hughes (W), Annese (M); SB: Shears (M), Whitney 2 (W), Collins (W); SF: Hughes (W); HBP: (by Hughes) Hubert (M)

GAME 2: June 13, 2004

1 2 3 4


6 7 8 9 R H E

Athletics (8-2) 0 0 6 0 0 0 2 x x 8 14 1
Marlins (2-7) 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 x x 3


Link to "Schedules" for Complete Game Recap & Stats
WP: Anselmo (3-1) LP: Mazzella (0-1) SV: None 2B: Anselmo (M), Whitney (W); HR: Collins (W); S: Annese; HBP: (by Anselmo) Kohler (W)

Billy the Kid Goes Yard
Hazel's Dinger, 4 RBI Leads Comeback

JUNE 20 -
The A's resolve was put to the test today, as the Amazins' allowed an early three run lead slip away before responding with a flourish to defeat the Glassboro Blaze, 15-7, in a ballgame played at the Glassboro Baseball Complex. With today's win, Marlton, along with the Camco Mudcats and Riverside Pirates, became the first teams to clinch a SJMSBL playoff spot this season.

With Marlton trailing the surprising Blaze, 7-3, EH Bill Hazel capped off a three-run sixth inning rally with a towering two-run homer to left that cut the lead to one. The Amazins' would overwhelm their Gloucester County hosts from there - exploding with a nine-run outburst over the final two innings to give Ken Ferry his fifth win of the year in relief.

Marlton (9-2) jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead just three batters into the game. CF Todd Camp led off the game with a single off of Blaze starter Jeff McShane. The fleet footed Camp then stole the first of his five bases on the day and moved to third on a single to center by 2B Gary Shears. After Shears stole second, both runners scored on EH Bill Hazel's 2-run single down the leftfield line.

Marcus John would work his way in and out of trouble in the early innings, but pitched well enough to keep the Blaze (2-8) off the board through four innings. In the first, LF Chris Jones was hit by a pitch to lead off. He stole second and Pat Crowe followed with a walk. However, the potential rally fizzled when Jones was thrown out at third trying to advance on a passed ball and John got the next two batters to ground out. In the third, Glassboro loaded the bases with one out on a single, an infield error and a walk. John met the challenge by retiring Crowe on a infield pop up and Pat Quinn on a somewhat contraversial ground ball to second, that clearly bounded off his foot but was not called by the men in blue.

The A's extended their lead to 3-0 in the top of the fifth. EH Terry Annese led off with a drive to left-center field that eluded a retreating Chris Jones and shorthopped the wall for a double. The run would come around to score on a pair of ground balls to the right side by C George Rogers and RF Ed Miller.

Unfortunately, the roof would collapse on John in the home fifth. A dropped infield popup, a basehit and a hit batsman ratcheted the pressure cooker up a notch - loading the bases with nobody out. John then lost the plate and walked Chris Jones and Pat Crowe to force in a pair of runs and make the score 3-2. Manager Terry Annese went to his pen and brought in Phil Anselmo, hoping to utilize the righthander's heavy sinker and possibly get a double play ball that would help preserve the A's 1-run lead. The righthander did exactly what the doctor ordered, enducing a pair of groundballs, but the A's defense would ultimately let the Blaze off the hook. First Quinn hit a sharp ground ball to 1B Rich McNee, who made a pretty backhand grab and threw a strike to an awaiting Rogers at the plate for the force play. Dan Jones then hit a ground ball to second that was booted, plating Chris Jones to tie the game at 3-3. Eric Engstrom followed with a single to right to give the Blaze the lead and Ken Baldwin hit a ground ball that third that went right through the wickets, scoring Quinn to make it 5-3. Before the dust would clear, two more runs would score on a walk and a fielder's choice and Glassboro emerged with a confident 7-3 advantage, after five innings.

On the road and down by four runs, previous encarnations of the A's ballclub may have wilted, but this season the Amazins' have time and time again maintained a quiet confidence that won't be denied regardless of the score. Veteran Todd Camp led off the A's comeback in the visitors' sixth with a walk off a tiring McShane. Camp then stole second and third, and scored when Shears reached on an infield error - setting the stage for Hazel's dramatic 2-run homerun that cut the Glassboro lead down to 7-6.

Meanwhile, Anslemo retired the Blaze without incident in the sixth, but immediately ran into trouble in the seventh after Dan Jones led off with a single and designated runner Pat Quinn stole second base with nobody out. Terry Annese wasted no time and went to his ace, Ken Ferry, to snuff out the rally, retiring Eric Engstrom on a ground ball to third and striking out Ken Baldwin and Tim McGuire to end the inning.

Still trailing 7-6 off of reliever Pat Crowe in the eighth, Camp again led off with a walk and stole second and third. Following a strikeout, Camp scored after Crowe lost the plate and walked Hazel, Rich McNee and Bob Karas in succession. Larry Hubert and Ken Ferry each plated runs with a pair of RBI singles and Steve Paolini made it 10-7 with a run-scoring fielder's choice.

Marlton put the game on ice with a 5-run ninth inning, highlighted by a run-scoring single from Bob Karas and a 2-run single from Bash-Brother-In-Law Larry Hubert.

NOTES: With today's victory, the A's moved to an all-time best 9-2 record, good enough for a 1 1/2 game lead in the Liberty Division and in the process clinched both an above-.500 record for the second time in club history as well as the A's third playoff berth in six seasons of existence. With five games left, the Amazins' Magic Number (number of A's wins and/or Millville losses) to clinch the ballclub's first division title is down to five. Bill Hazel led the offense with a single, homerun, two runs scored and four RBIs. Larry Hubert went 2-for-5 with three RBIs and Bob Karas reached base four times, collecting a single, double, two walks, a run scored and two RBIs in five plate appearances. Todd Camp raced up the stolen base leader chart, going 1-for-2 with three walks, four runs scored and five stolen bases. Terry Annese had a single and double with a run scored in three at bats. The Marlton skipper was on the short end of a questionable ejection in the seventh, as the field umpire charged towards the A's bench following his seventh missed call of the day and ordered Annese from the A's dugout for what amounted to an arms crossed smirk. The highly flammable A's manager surprisingly only put up a somewhat mild argument (about a 2 on the Earl Weaver/Lou Pinella Scale) and has appealed the ejection to the IUA and the league. Ken Ferry (5-0) pitched the final three innings to collect the win, allowing no runs on two hits, striking out five. Marcus John got a no decision over the first four innings-plus, allowing four runs, one earned, on four hits, walking five and striking out two. Phil Anselmo went two innings-plus, allowing three unearned runs on two hits, walking two and striking out two. For the Blaze, Jeff McShane went the first seven and left with lead, allowing six runs, five earned on eight hits, walking six and striking out five. Pat Crowe (0-1) blew the save opportunity and took the loss, allowing four runs on two hits in one inning of work, walking four and striking out none. Pat Quinn finished up in the ninth, allowing five runs on two hits, walking four, striking out one and hitting a batter. NEXT WEEK the Amazins travel up Rt 295 for a showdown with the Bordentown Patriots, who knocked the A's out of the 2003 playoffs last August with a 7-3 third round tournament win.

June 20, 2004

1 2 3 4


6 7 8 9 R H E

Athletics (9-2) 2 0 0 0 1 3 0 4 5 15 12 4
Blaze (2-8) 0 0 0 0 7 0 0 0 0 7


Link to "Schedules" for Complete Game Recap & Stats
WP: Ferry (5-0) LP: Crowe (0-1) SV: None 2B: Karas (M), Annese (M), Crowe (G); HR: Hazel (M); SB: Camp 5 (M), Shears (M), Shusterman (M), Anselmo (M), CJones (G), Quinn (G); HBP: (by John) CJones (G), Friebis (G); (by Quinn) Shusterman (M)

The Amazins Came up a Trunk Short Today Against Bordentown
Pats 2-Out Lightning Stops Shorthanded A's, 12-5

JUNE 27 -
The Amazin's, playing without five regulars, looked unfazed early on, jumping out to quick 5-1 lead on the hometown Bordentown Patriots. But the A's fortune quicked melted into a distant mirage, as a pesky Patriot lineup and some sloppy A's defense resulted in eleven unanswered Bordentown runs and a 12-5 defeat for the Good Guys in Black today at Gilder Field.

The A's (9-3) went right to work in the top of the first, as CF Todd Camp and 2B Gary Shears walked and EH Bill Hazel, C Rich McNee and LF Rich Hudgins each had run scoring singles to make it 3-0. 1B Larry Hubert then followed with an RBI fielder's choice to extend the lead to four, and it seemed like the Amazin's were on their way to a good day. Bordentown (6-4) would collect an unearned run in the bottom on the first off of starter Steve Paolini, but Shears drove in Paolini in the second on a fielder's choice to make it 5-1 after an inning and a half.

The house would fall in on the A's from there. With two outs and nobody on in the home third, Paolini hit Bordentown's Nick Sbarro on a 2-strike pitch. After a walk to RF Pat Redwood, LF Rob Montalbano hit a ground ball to second that was misplayed by Shears for an error, scoring Sbarro to make it 5-2. Back-to-back singles from 3B Mark Hoppe and CF Craig Owens cut the lead to 5-4 before SS Kurt Appleby grounded out to end the inning. The Pats shortstop would get his revenge in the next inning, however.

With two outs an nobody on in the home fourth, Patriot lightning would strike again as C Jason Latini stroked a single to put the tying run on base. 2B Ray O'Connor, running for Latini with two outs, stole second base and was wild pitched to third. After EH Jim Gummel walked to put runners at the corners, Appleby, running for the Pats ace lefthander, attempted to steal second. Rich McNee's throw was right on the money, but it deflected off the runner and Ken Ferry's glove, kicking aimlessly into right-centerfield. O'Connor scored easily to tie the game while the Amazin's kicked the ball around the outfield further, allowing Appleby to pop right up and sprint around third and all the way home ahead of Todd Camp's throw, giving the Pats the lead at 6-5, after four innings.

Paolini worked a quick fifth inning, but the Pats would use the longball to put the game away in the sixth. With one out and Owens on first following a leadoff single to right, 1B Troy Dilemme won an eight-pitch battle with Paolini, launching a two-run homer over the mini monster in right, making the score 8-5 - effectively ending the A's chances to win this one. Latini's two out double and Gummel's RBI single made it 9-5 and Bordentown tacked on three more window dressing runs in the seventh and eighth off Marlton relievers Bill Hazel and George Rogers to close out the scoring. Meanwhile, Marlton, who showed such early offensive success off the Pats' pitching, could do nothing with Bordentown hurlers Keith Trout, Tom Walls and Mark Hoppe over the final six innings, scratching out just two hits in that span.

NOTES: The Marlton offense suffered dearly playing without the services of Bob Karas, leading the league in on base percentage at a .647 clip, and Terry Annese, who led the league in hitting at .558 coming into the game. The A's also played without the offense of Marcus John (.446 OBA, 8 SB), Jay Rabinowitz (.429 BA) and Phil Anselmo (.500 OBA), each of whom also took away three much needed arms from the A's bullpen in their collective absence. Todd Camp continued his base stealing surge, collecting three more today to give him 9 on the year. He trails Appleby, whose fourth inning theft was his league-leading 12th on the season. Annese, continuing to nurse a strained groin suffered a week earlier in Glassboro, did not start but grounded into a double play as a pinch hitter in the seventh. Steve Paolini (0-2) took the loss for Marlton, allowing nine runs (four earned) over six innings work, on 10 hits, walking three and striking out seven. Keith Trout went the first five innings to collect the win, while Tom Walls and Mark Hoppe held the A's scoreless the rest of the way, with Hoppe picking up his first save of the season.

Cooperstown Phil
Cooperstown Phil Collects the "W"
A's Rout Shorthanded Blaze, 15-3 - Magic Number Down to 1

JULY 11 -
The Marlton A's know all about the highs and lows of being an expansion team, having suffered on wrong end of their share of lopsided games over the early days of the ballclub. The fortunate shoe was on the other foot today, as Pat Quinn's shorthanded Glassboro Blaze fell to the A's, 15-3, in a ballgame played today at Cherokee High School. More importantly, today's win, combined with Millville's 5-4 defeat against the U-City Grays, reduces Marlton's Magic Number for clinching their first ever division title down to one - with the A's travelling down to face the Mudkats in Millville next Sunday.

With only eight players, the Blaze jumped on Marlton starter Phil Anselmo (4-1) for three hits and a run for an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. However, the A's offense went right to work on Blaze starter Pat Crowe (0-2) and a rather curious Glassboro defense - that included three infielders with no second baseman and a full outfield. A leadoff walk to Todd Camp and singles from Marcus John and Bill Hazel plated two quick runs to take the lead away for good, at 2-1. An out later, Rich McNee, Larry Hubert and Ken Ferry each drove in a run to make the score 5-1 after an inning.

Marlton made it 6-1 in the second on Marcus John's HBP with the bases loaded, and added four more runs in the third, led by RBI singles from Ed Miller and Pery Shusterman. After the Blaze plated a run to make it 10-2 in the top of the fourth, Rich McNee's third single of the day drove in two in the bottom of the inning. The Blaze finally reverted to the more traditional two man outfield with a full infield but it was too late, as Ed Miller's 2-run single made the score 14-2, after five.

Marcus John relieved Anselmo and threw a scoreless sixth before allowing an unearned run in the seventh - making the score 14-3 and keeping the game alive - for the moment. The A's would finally put this one away however in the bottom of the inning, as with two outs and two on, Gary Shears' ground ball to second went right through the wickets - scoring Rich McNee from second base with the 15th and game ending run.

NOTES: Phil Anselmo was the benefactor of the A's offensive outburst, allowing two earned runs on five hits over five innings - walking two and striking out two. Marcus John went the final two innings, allowing an unearned run on two hits, walking one and striking out one. 1B Rich McNee went 3-for-3 with a walk, three runs scored and three RBIs. Marcus John was 2-for-2 with a walk, an RBI, a stolen base and two runs scored. EH Ed Miller had two hits and three RBIs while EH Pery Shusterman and 3B Ken Ferry each collected two hits and an RBI. Terry Annese again did not start due to an sore left groin, suffered while swinging at a pitch down against the Blaze back in Glassboro on June 20th. He pinch hit in the third and weakly grounding out twice on the day.

The Amazin's Fell a Run Short Today
Horner Outshines Paolini, A's, in a Thriller, 2-1

July 25 -
Marlton native Ed Horner returned to the Cherokee High School mound a man on a mission - right the ship for his struggling Delran Cardinals and get the team back on track for the playoffs. In his wake stood Steve Paolini and a Marlton A's team that was looking for an pound of respect against a former "A" level rival. Pitching and defense would rule on this day, where hits were rare and aces sharp as a classic pitchers' duel quickly developed. At the end of the day, the A's would indeed earn their opponents' respect, but it was Horner and the Cards coming out on top, 2-1, in an absolute must game for Tom Hunter's ballclub.

Marlton (10-4), jumped out on top in the bottom of first with an unearned run off of Horner - as 2B Gary Shears drew a 1-out walk, moved to second on an infield error and scored when EH Bob Karas' 2-out slicing drive to left deflected of the glove of Cards' LF Ken Ruff. Paolini cruised through the first two innings before Delran SS Chris Connors collected a 1-out infield hit and stole second base. After EH Mke Pewor struck out, 2B Jim Cullinan flared a ball into short centerfield that plated the speedy Connors to tie the ballgame at one and one.

Marlton would threaten in the bottom of the frame but the rally fizzled with some bad luck from the men in blue. EH Marcus John led off with a walk and moved to second on a passed ball. Todd Camp then struck out after failing to move the runner to third for the first out. John, tried to steal third and although he clearly beat the flailing air swept tag of 3B Craig Cirillo, the speedster from Pittsburgh was called out on the play. As (bad) luck would have it, 2B Gary Shears followed with a ground ball to the right side that would have easily given the Amazin's the lead, but all went for naught and the game remained tied, 1-1.

Paolini (0-3) blazed through the fourth and allowed just a harmless two-out walk in the fifth. Meanwhile, the A's put two men in the fourth before Horner (3-1), struck out EH Rich Hudgins to end that threat and in the fifth, Ken Ferry was thrown out at second after a leadoff single, when he unwisely attempted to advance after the relay throw back to the infield was briefly misplayed.

That brought us to the sixth, and the Cards (7-7) would use a dose of fundamental baseball to grab the lead. Connors led off with soft single to right center and once again stole second to put the go ahead run in scoring position with nobody out. After Connors moved to third on a ground out, Cullinan lifted a fly ball to left that was just deep enough to score the speedy shortstop ahead of LF Jay Rabinowitz' throw home, giving Delran a 2-1 advantage.

The Amazin's looked for a moment to strike right back in the bottom of the inning, as Todd Camp drew a 1-out walk, stole second and would have scored easily on C Rich McNee's 2-out drive to right center - but a streaking Frank Chandler raced back to make the catch and end the threat.

Horner remained sharp into the final innings, allowing just a 1-out single to Bob Karas in the seventh before recording a 1-2-3 eighth. Finally, in the bottom of the ninth, Marcus John drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on Todd Camp's sacrfice bunt. But the rally would die right there as Gary Shears bounced back to Horner for the second out and Rich McNee roped a two hopper towards the middle of the diamond that Chris Connors' corralled on his glove side and threw on to first for the final out of a well played, but yet disappointing ballgame for the home club.

NOTES: Today's game took approximately two hours and twenty minutes to play, as both clubs combined for just seven hits total. With the defeat, the A's would have the bubbly on ice for at least one more week, as Millville defeated Mt. Holly to keep its' Liberty Division title hopes alive going into next Saturday's showdown between the clubs. Delran's victory puts a little distance between them and the Delco Astros for the fourth and final Atlantic Division playoff spot. The two clubs meet on the final week of the regular season. Winning pitcher Ed Horner went the distance for Delran, allowing just an unearned run on two hits, walking six and striking out eight. Steve Paolini takes another hardluck defeat for the Good Guys in Black, hurling seven strong innings while allowing two earned runs on four hits, walking just one while striking out seven. Ken Ferry came out the pen for the A's and held the Cards' down in the eighth and ninth, alllowing just a harmless single while striking out three. Marcus John reached base twice on a pair of walks while Bob Karas reached base all three times he came to the plate, on an outfield error, a walk and a single. Todd Camp stole his tenth base of the season in the sixth inning.

Defensive Lapses Cost Amazins' as 'Kats Stay Alive, 7-5
McNee's Long HR Wasted

JULY 31 -
It was all uphill after a first inning dropped flyball led to three unearned runs for hometown Millville Mudkats, who would hold on for a 7-5 victory over the Marlton A's in a ballgame played today at Millville Babe Ruth Field.

Ken Ferry (5-1) started for Marlton and struggled to find his rhythm on what was an awkward Millville pitching mound. The righthander never did get his power game going, but nevertheless allowed just two earned runs over eight innings work. In the first, After allowing a pair of 1-out first inning hits, Ferry struck out Jason Hulitt and got Hiram Ortiz to sky a lazy flyball to rightfield that appeared to end the inning. However, Bob Karas misjudged the play and the ball deflected off his glove, allowing both runners to score. Millville starter Dave Andrews followed with a single to shallow center that plated Ortiz to make it 3-0, MudKats, after one.

Marlton would strike back in the second, plating a pair of runs on a Larry Hubert groundout and a Marcus John single to make it 3-2. Ferry continued to struggle in the home third - allowing three straight 1-out singles and a pair of walks as the Kats stretched the lead back to 5-2.

With one out in the fourth, C Rich McNee made it 5-3, launching his league-leading fourth homerun of the year - a bomb to dead center field off of Andrews, that easily cleared the mini-monster fence and landed halfway up the hill outside the ballpark.

The A's cut the lead back to one in the top of the fifth, as with one out Terry Annese singled and designated runner Marcus John moved to second on a ground out and scored on an Ed Miller single to right center. However, the Amazin's would give the run right back in the bottom of the frame, as an infield error by SS Steve Paolini allowed Hulitt to reach base leading off. Hulitt then stole second, moved to third on a groundout and scored on a sacrifice fly to centerfield.

In the seventh, the A's put together singles from McNee and EH Rich Hudgins, but the 2-out threat fizzled when 1B Larry Hubert popped out to second to end the inning. With the score still 6-4 in the eighth, Marcus John reached on an infield error leading off and Annese rifled his second hit of the day to put two men on with nobody out. After 3B George Rogers executed a perfect sacrifice bunt to move the runners up, Ed Miller lifted a sacrifice fly to right. John scored easily on the play to make it 6-5, however designated runner Hubert was thrown out at the plate trying to score the tying run after the throw from the outfield to third base was midhandled.

Ferry, meanwhile, continued to gut his way through, striking out eight Mudkats over the first seven innings. In the bottom of the eighth, he looked to pull still another Houdini, as the a pair of doubles put runners on second and third with nobody out. After a ground out to third with the infield in and an intentional walk loaded the bases, Ferry got Andrews to pop to third for the second out. The Great Escape looked complete when Jody Chain hit a groundball to short, however Paolini rushed the play and the ball deflected off his glove as an insurance run crossed the plate.

The A's would get the tying run to the plate in the ninth, as EH Bill Hazel singled to lead off, but one out later he would doubled off on a Todd Camp liner to short that ended the ballgame.

Camp's Late Inning Heroics Deliver A's, 5-3

Todd Camp's RBI double broke a ninth inning tie, as the Marlton A's went on to defeat the U-City Grays, 5-3, in a ballgame played today at the University of Pennsylvania. With the win, the Amazins' clinched the Liberty Division title and along with it a first round bye in the SJMSBL Playoff Tournament.

Four batters into the game the Amazins' took a quick 2-0 lead, as Camp led off with a walk off of Grays starter Dan Jenkins (0-1), which was followed by consecutive singles from RF Marcus John, 2B Gary Shears and C Rich McNee.

Meanwhile, Steve Paolini took the hill for Marlton and easily worked through the first three innings without allowing a hit. In the home fourth, Jenkins broke the seal with a basehit to left and moved to second on a errant pickoff throw from Paolini. After moving to third on a passed ball, he scored on a ground out to first. as the A's lead was cut to 2-1.

The Amazins' got the run right back in the fifth, as 1B Larry Hubert led off with a walk and EH Ed Miller singled to put two men on with nobody out. After 3B George Rogers moved up the runners with a perfectly placed sacrifice bunt, EH Phil Anselmo lifted a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Hubert to make it 3-1.

Paolini cruised through the fifth, sixth and seventh, allowing just two base runners - on a walk and an infield error. He looked to be in control after retiring the first two batters of the eighth, but a walk to 2B Walt Johnson and a long double by Jenkins cut the lead to one, and ended the righthander's day in the process. Ken Ferry (6-1) came on for the four-out save opportunity, but hung a curve ball to 1B Stan Wilson, who lifted a single to center, scoring Jenkins to tie the game at 3-3.

That brought us to the ninth, where the A's wasted no time getting the go-ahead run on base, as pinch hitter Bill Hazel led off with a single and stole second base. EH Pery Shusterman moved him to third with a clutch two-strike sacrifice bunt, setting the stage for Camp's heroics. With the infield in, the speedy centerfielder ripped a changeup down the leftfield line for a double, as Hazel trotted home with the go-ahead run. Camp promptly stole third for his team leading 13th of the season, and scored an insurance run when the throw to third went down the leftfield line. Ferry breezed through the bottom of the ninth, getting LF Russell Robinson on a combacker and striking out 3B Kevin Clark and C Greg Weneck to nail down the A's first ever division title.

NOTES: Gary Shears and Rich McNee each collected two hits and an RBI, while Todd Camp had a walk, a double, a stolen base and two runs scored. Marcus John had two hits, stolen base and run scored. Steve Paolini pitched brilliantly but once again came away without a win. The Italian Rocket went 7 2/3 innings, allowing three runs, two earned, on just two hits, walking two and striking out seven. Ken Ferry collected his sixth win of the season, allowing just a single over an inning and a third while striking out two. As a result of clinching the Liberty Division, the A's get a First Round bye in the SJMSBL Double Elimination Championship Tournament and will await the winner of next weekend's game between the Millville Mudkats and the Deptford Twins/Sewell Sharks qualifier.

Happy Holidays From the Marlton Athletics!!



Top 10 Amazin' A's Moments of 2004

By Gary Shears

With an 11-5 record that culminated in a division championship, 2004 represented the most successful season in the six-year history of the Marlton Athletics Baseball Club. To celebrate this year's stepping stone of success, we assembled our crack team of knuckleheads to sort through the many memorable moments of this past season and have emerged from our cave with the Top 10 Amazin' A’s Moments of 2004, "as picked by the show's producers" (for those not in the know you have to say that last bit with a Brooklyn, New York accent - in homage to the late, great Howard Cosell)........and without further ado, here they are:

10. “Dumb and Dumber”: During the A’s/Blaze game in Glassboro, Umpire 119 blew several calls that a blind man could have made. One was so bad it led to the ejection of A’s manager Terry Annese for an "intimidating" arms-folded sigh.

9. “Hoagie Gate II”: First Baseman Larry Hubert becomes the first baseball player in the history of the sport to smuggle food between games of a doubleheader onto the field and utilize the first base bag as his personal China set.

8. “Bad Boy”: This is our 2004 A's Mastercard moment: after being ejected from a game in Glassboro by Umpire #119 (see #10), Sarge sulks on the curb after getting tossed - priceless. To his credit, the Skipper ran the ballclub from across the parking lot and phoned in his strategies to his base coaches. He was later brought a folding chair by Blaze OF Chris Jones to make the experience more bearable.

7. “Morning Sickness”: Tobacco chewing second baseman Gary Shears decorates the first base coach’s box after swallowing his chaw while running out an infield single. Shears quits tobacco shortly thereafter.

6. “Coulda Been a Contenda”: After a long hot and humid game against the shorthanded Blaze that ended in a 12-run mercy rule, A’s ace Ken Ferry recommends coaching techniques, personnel management and to shove a bat up the opposing manager's rear end for incessant moaning and complaining. Following a minor rumble cooler heads prevail and Ken wins citizen of the year award.

5. “Old School”: On the eve of the 2004 season, Todd Camp and his lovely agent-wife Carol pull the Georgia Peach out of retirement and agree to a multi-year deal with A’s ownership over hot wings and beers. Camp goes on to hit .444 and lead the team in steals for the 4th straight season.

4. “Duel at Dawn”: Steve Paolini and Cardinals ace Ed Horner square off in a classic pitchers' duel that would have garnered more support except for that the Cardinals landed on top (barely). Nevertheless, the jaw-dropping performance of Paolini results in immediate whispers amongst the league's upper echelon that the A’s got game.

3. “Summer Catch”: Todd Camp head long diving catch ends a desparate Deptford Twins seventh inning rally and provides a highlight reel moment for the archives. The win caps a doubleheader sweep and gives hurler Marcus John his first MSBL win in the process.

2. “THE PLAY”: With two outs and a man on in the seventh inning of a 2-2 tie with the Astros, centerfielder Jay Rabinowitz brilliantly races on his back hand to cut down a one-hop gapper that looks off the bat certain to score the go ahead run. He immediately spins, throws and hits shortstop Steve Paolini with a bullet. Pao in turn rifles a seed to catcher Rich McNee, who sells the “no throw” tag to nail the runner trying to score all the way from first base. It is easily the best play of the year and arguably the best play in team history.

1. “Liberty Division Champs”: A’s rally to break a 3-3 tie in the ninth on Todd Camp's RBI double to defeat the U-City Grays, 5-3, at UPenn to clinch the club's first-ever division title.

Honorable mentions:
•        McNee's moonshot versus MudKats in Millville.
•        Ferry goes 10 brilliant innings versus the Astros while allowing only 1 unearned run.
•        Hazel blasts versus Blaze sparking A’s comeback in Glassboro.
•        Back-to-Back Jacks by McNee and Hudgins versus Grays on Opening Day.
•        Shears falls asleep at second and is tagged out while yawning.


Patrolling the A's Outfield in '05?
JAN 5 - Could it be that the already crowded A's outfield mix of Camp, Rabinowitz, John, Jobson, et al., may just be increased by one very big addition?

ESPN's Peter Gammons reports that the Marlton A's have been secretly negotiating with Houston Astros' free agent Carlos Beltran, to patrol centerfield for the Amazin's in 2005. "The A's have made an rather aggressive offer that Carlos is seriously considering," acknowledged a reliable source close to the negotiations. "Carlos, Todd (Camp) and Ray (Jobson) would have to work out who plays center."

Previous reports over the weekend have been confirmed that A's Owner/GM Terry Annese met with Beltran in Puerto Rico and on Monday presented a 6-year, $105M offer to Super Agent Scott Boras for consideration. "Carlos and his family have made inquiries about housing in the Marlton area were impressed with the quality of the Lenape Regional School District." While the A's offer for the 28-year-old All-Star currently tops the Astros' offer of 6-years, $92M, it is unknown whether Houston will attempt to up the ante in either years or money.

More on this story as it happens.......

Coop Should Sue for a Lack of Support In This One

Marlton starter Phil Anselmo was rocked for six runs over three innings and the A's managed just two hits in a 12-0 whitewashing by the Delco Devil Rays - in a ballgame played today at Cherokee High School that featured a majority of the A's normal starters on the bench or playing in secondary positions.

Anselmo (0-1), having come off several solid outings for the club's midweek team was tabbed as the game starter by Manager Terry Annese. However, the sinkerballer was abandoned by his defense early on, as four infield errors led to three Delco unearned runs over the first two innings. The D-Rays would knock Anselmo out without retiring a batter in the third after three straight singles scored a run and chased the righthander in favor of Pat Hennigan. Henny got out of the mess but not before allowing run-scoring singles to Dan Shannon and John Johnson that made the score 6-0, Delco.

The D-Rays added single unearned runs in the fourth and fifth off of Hennigan and put the game away in the seventh with four more runs (two earned) against Marcus John for the final margin of victory.

Meanwhile, the shuffled up A's lineup could nothing with soft throwing veteran Jim DeCorso, who replaced the injured Johnny Gonzalez after the first inning and kept the A's baffled with his offspeed stuff over the next five innings before Adrian Gonzalez pitched the seventh to close things out.

NOTES: The A's made a team record nine errors (OUCH!) on the day, contributing to seven unearned runs. Marlton rested several starters, including catchers Rich McNee and Bill Hazel and starting pitchers Ken Ferry and Steve Paolini. The offense managed a paltry two hits, a season low, as EH Ken Ferry doubled with one out in the sixth and PH Pery Shusterman singled with two outs in the seventh. The D-Rays Dan Shannon and Mike Harris' each matched the A's offense with two hits apiece. Delco leftfielder John Johnson made the catch of the day robbing EH Bill Hazel with headlong backhanded diving catch towards the leftfield line leading off the Marlton sixth. NEXT GAME: With today's loss and Riverside's win over the South Jersey Cubs, Marlton finishes tied for second place with the Pirates at 9-9. However the Pirates will gain the #5 seed in the upcoming playoff tournament based upon their head-to-head sweep of the Amazins' in mid-July. The Amazins' will be the #9 seed and will take on the National Division champion Deptford Twins in a First Round playoff game on the road next Sunday.

- The Skipper Collects #'s 100, 101 and 102 in Loss to Cards -

JULY 30 -
In a sloppy yet thrilling ballgame, the Marlton A's battled Frank Chandler and the Delran Cardinals to a near draw for eight-plus innings - only to see the visiting club put the game away with a pair of ninth inning runs to defeat the Amazins', 7-4, in a ballgame played under the Friday Night Lights at Cinnaminson Memorial Field yesterday.

The Cards (9-6) jumped on Marlton starter Steve Paolini for a pair of early runs as Chandler doubled with two outs in the first and came home on C Randy McNair's RBI single. In the visitors' second, SS Craig Cirillo doubled with one out and scored on Bill McHugh's RBI single to make it 2-0. The A's (8-8) battled back to take the lead off of Delran starter Ed Horner in the third. With one out, EH Terry Annese and LF Ray Jobson singled and Marlton got on the scoreboard when CF Todd Camp reached on an infield error and C Rich McNee's two-run double gave the Amazins' their first lead with a to make the score 3-2.

Cirillo helped tie the ballgame in the fourth, launching a long one-out triple to center before scoring the tying run on McHugh's second RBI single of the evening. The game went back-and-forth from there - first with the A's grabbing a one run lead in the home fifth as EH Bill Hazel walked, stole second and scored on an infield error, then with the Cards tying it again in the sixth when Chandler singled, stole second and scored on McNair's RBI double.

In the bottom of the sixth it looked like the MIBs would grab the lead right back again. With one out 1B Larry Hubert reached on an error and after Horner struck out Marcus John, Annese collected his third hit of the day to bring up LF Ray Jobson with two men on. Jobson, who in his previous at bat with two outs in the fourth inning had ripped a one hop laser shot right at second baseman Jim Cullinan to end a potential uprising, this time hit what appeared off the bat to be a sure gap splitter that would easily clear the bases with the speedy John running for Annese at first. However, Frank Chandler shaded the left handed Jobson to pull and denied the Amazins' with his defense, tracking down the hard line drive a few steps from the warning track in deep right-center field.

The score still tied, Cirillo would atone for his earlier miscue by garnering a walk off of Paolini to start the Cards' seventh. One out later the Cardinal shortstop stole second and advanced to third when the throw from A's catcher Rich McNee sailed high and into centerfield. Cullinan immediately delivered the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly to left to make it 5-4, Delran.

The Amazins' would keep pounding on Horner's door in the home seventh and eighth, but were turned aside on both occasions. In the seventh, Hazel singled with two outs and advanced to second when Horner's pick off throw off deflected away from 1B John DiIanni. After SS Ken Ferry was intentionally walked, EH Pat Hennigan walked to load the bases - however, 2B Gary Shears went down looking to end the inning. In the eighth, with one out Hubert and John singled to put the tying run in scoring position. After Annese rolled one to the right side to move the runners along to second and third, the hard luck Jobson came within an eyelash of beating out a ground ball to second that was initially bobbled by Cullinan.

Meanwhile, Ken Ferry came on to relieve Paolini and retired the side in the eighth around a pair of walks - however he would not be so lucky in the Cardinals' ninth. Tom Milsop singled to lead off the frame and moved to second on a walk to Cirillo. McHugh bounced to shortstop Hennigan, who threw to third to get the first out, but Ferry's control seemed to escape his for good as Cullinan walked, Scott Ramage singled in a run and EH Tom Hunter walked to force in another run before getting the final two outs of the inning.

The score now 7-4, the A's would not go down quietly, immediately bringing the tying run to the plate after Camp led off with a walk and McNee reached on an infield error. After Hazel struck out for the first out, it appeared for just a millisecond that Ferry may have tied the game with one swing, launching a towing shot into the Cinnaminson night. But like all the previous A's near misses on this frustrating evening, a retreating Milsop tracked it down just steps from the rightfield fence for out number two, and this exciting contest came to a close one batter later when Hennigan skied to left to end the ballgame.

NOTES: The A's left a team record 19 runners on base tonight, including a mind-boggling twelve in scoring position. Both clubs collected eleven hits apiece and the Cards defense contributed to the clogged basepaths with six errors on the evening. Terry Annese led the A's offense with three hits, including his 100th Marlton A's regular season hit in seven seasons with the ballclub. Marcus John went 2-for-4, but no other A's player had more than one hit - although Bill Hazel reached base four times including a single and two walks. Steve Paolini (2-5) took the hardluck loss once again, allowing five runs, four earned, on ten hits over seven innings work, striking out six and walking one. Ken Ferry was unusually wild in his two innings, allowing two runs, one earned on just one hit, striking out two and walking five. The Cards' Frank Chandler was a one-man wrecking crew, goting 3-for-3 with two singles, a double, two runs scored, two stolen bases and an intentional walk. Randy McNair, Tom Milsop, Bill McHugh and Scott Ramage each collected two hits apiece. Winning pitcher Ed Horner went the distance for Delran, allowing two earned runs on eleven hits, striking out seven and walking five. NEXT GAME: Although the A's have already clinched a playoff spot that guarantees the ballclub to finish in no less than third place in the division, the A's will have an opportunity this Sunday to regroup and reassess their chances at moving past the Riverside Pirates up to the second spot, as they will take on the Camco Mudcats in another American Division battle, taking place at Belmawr Rec Field.

The MIB's are Playoff Bound For a 3rd Straight Season

JULY 31 -
Powered by an 8-run fifth inning, the Amazins' opened up a tight 2-1 contest against Camco starter Brandon Christy and cruised from there to 13-1 victory over the Mudcats today at Belmawr Rec Field.

With the A's holding a one-run lead entering the fifth, Ed Miller and Terry Annese both singled to lead off the inning. After George Rogers sacrificed the runners over to second and third, Phil Anselmo battled back from an 0-2 hole to lift a soft single to right center, plating Miller to make it 3-1. That started the merry-go-round, as Marcus John, Steve Paolini and Todd Camp each singled, and after Rich McNee dumped a two-run double down the rightfield line, the lead was suddenly 7-1, Amazins'. Brian Henson took over for Christy at that point and was greeted by a two-run single by LF Ray Jobson that made it 9-1. After Ken Ferry reached on an infield error, 2B Gary Shears lifted a sacrifice fly to center to drive in Jobson, before Miller, who led off the inning with a base hit, popped to third to end the frame. When the dust finally cleared the MIBs had plated eight runs on eight hits, and took an insurmountable 10-1 advantage into the bottom of the fifth inning.

The A's (9-8) put the game away with three runs in the top of the seventh, as McNee singled in a pair and Ferry launched a long RBI triple to right to make it 13-1. In the bottom of the frame, Camco (8-8) attempted to grab run back (which would have kept the game going) after Christy doubled leading off and designated runner Chris Vance moved to third on a grounder to second. However, after Bill Jentsch popped to short, Vance tried a delayed steal of home with RF Rick Prewitt at the plate, but Ferry wasn't biting, throwing home to McNee who easily tagged out Vance to end the ballgame.

The A's got on the scoreboard first in this one, plating a pair of runs in the second on consecutive singles from Ferry, Shears and Miller, as well as a RBI fielder's choice by George Rogers that was throw away by 'Cats second baseman Anthony Alcott. Camco answered back with a run in the bottom of the frame when Alcott walked, Vance hit into a force play, stole second and scored on Christy's RBI single.

NOTES: Ken Ferry rebounded somewhat from his shaky performance to go the distance to collect his sixth win, allowing just a second inning run on six hits over seven innings work. However, the righthander at times appeared to be operating still without his best stuff, striking out just one while walking an uncharacteristic seven batters on the day.   SS Steve Paolini led the offense with three hits in four at bats while scoring a pair of runs. Marcus John, Rich McNee, Ken Ferry and Ed Miller had two hits apiece, while McNee added four RBIs and Jobson collected a pair to contribute to the MIBs sixteen-hit attack. NEXT GAME: With the Riverside Pirates (8-9) having surprisingly lost three straight games, the A's (9-8) find themselves alone in second place in the Colonial Division with one game to play. The Amazins' can clinch second with a win next Sunday at home against the Delco D-Rays or if Riverside loses their home game to the South Jersey Cubs. However, with the difference between the two spots not very significant in their playoff path, it is expected that Marlton Manager Terry Annese will nevertheless take the opportunity to rest many of his starters in the regular season finale.

MJ Continues Hot Streak With 4-for-4 , 3 runs

JULY 24 -
Leftfielder Marcus John went 4-for-4 and scored three runs, including the game winner, as a shorthanded Marlton A's squad rallied to gain a 5-4 walk-off win over the Deptford Twins in action earlier today at Cherokee High School.

With the game tied, 4-4, John lead off the bottom of the ninth with his fourth hit of the day, a single to right-center and immediately stole second to get into scoring position. 2B Gary Shears moved the runner to third with a perfectly place sacrifice bunt to the right side and CF Ray Jobson won it two pitches later with a basehit up the middle and through the drawn in infield, invoking a spontaneous celebration as the bench poured out of the dugout and pounded John as he crossed home plate to celebrate the victory.

Marlton (8-7), playing without regulars Todd Camp, Steve Paolini and Ed Miller, looked early on like they would roll through the National Division leading Twins (8-7), as the good guys jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after three innings. In the first, John led off the home first with a booming triple to right center and scored one batter later on Shears' sacrifice fly. In the third, EH Terry Annese singled and scored on a Marcus John RBI double, and Shears drove in the A's third run with an RBI single of his own.

Ken Ferry started for the A's and rolled through the early going - allowing just one hit while striking out three over the first three innings. However, in the fourth a one out hit batsman led to a Twins run as 1B John Slinka followed by drilling an 0-2 fastball to the left-centerfield fence to score the runner all the way from first base to make the score 3-1.

In the home sixth, the A's extended the lead to 4-1, as RF Phil Anselmo led off with a walk, moved to third on a Marcus John single to right and scored on a ground ball to shortstop from Shears. Meanwhile, Ken Ferry rolled through the fifth and sixth without allowing a hit, but a one-out walk would lead to trouble in the Twins' seventh. Slinka drew the base-on-balls and moved to second one out later on Steve Porrini's single to center before John Sperrazza looped a flyball double down the rightfield line that scored both runners to cut the lead to one, at 4-3. The game would be tied a moment later, as Sperrazza scored when SS Pat Hennigan could not corral Van Nelson's grounder up the middle. Ferry got out of the jam but getting Rob Ferarro on a infield popup to Shears, but the damage was done.

Both teams threatened in the eighth inning, as Steve Vedro led off the Twins' half inning by reaching on an infield error by Shears and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, but Ferry got Ron Macaldi to bounce to short and struck out Tom Colletti to strand Vedro at third. In the A's eighth, Larry Hubert led off with a walk and moved to second on a George Rogers' sacrifice, but was erased after being gunned down on a close play at third trying to cross over on Pery Shusterman's ground ball up the middle. Phil Anselmo followed base hit but the rally fizzled when Annese drilled a line drive right at the leftfielder for the third out, setting the stage for the A's ninth inning heroics.

NOTES: Marcus John's four hits were a personal best and continued the Pittsburgh native's late season surge, as he has now hit .438 (7-for-16) over his last six games to raise his batting average from .191 to .297 over that span. A's starter Ken Ferry went the distance in gaining his fourth win of the season - allowing four runs, three earned on five hit while walking two and striking out seven. Gary Shears drive in three runs with one hit in two at bats, as well as a sacrifice fly and a sacrifice bunt. NEXT WEEK: The Amazins' take on the Delran Cards in a makeup game this Friday evening at Cinnaminson Memorial Park starting at 7:15pm, before traveling to Belmawr to take on the Camco Mudcats in a regularly scheduled game next Sunday.   

DOUBLE 0-0-0-0-0-0-0-MAZIN'

JUNE 26 -
The Amazin's jumped on Millville starter Dave Andrews for four first inning runs and never looked back, rolling to a doubleheader shutout sweep of the Mudkats, by scores of 9-0 and 4-0, in action today at Rotary Field.

Little would they know at the time, Millville would put together its best scoring chance of the day in the top of the first inning, loading the bases with one out on a pair of singles and a walk. But Game 1 starter Ken Ferry (4-2) would escape unharmed by getting C Jody Chain to popup to catcher Bill Hazel and P Dave Andrews to popup to second baseman Gary Shears to end the inning.

The bottom of the frame saw the first six Marlton batters of the day reach base, as CF Todd Camp's RBI single and Rich McNee's 2-run double got the A's on the board with a fourth run would score on a double play. The A's added three more in the third on McNee's sacrifice fly and RBI singles from Hazel and Ferry, before tacking on two more in the sixth on Camp's second RBI single of the day and Hazel's sacrifice fly.

Meanwhile, Ferry was simply brilliant. The MIB's early cushion gave the righthander more than enough support, going the distance while allowing just five hits, walking one and striking out nine. Dave Andrews' fourth inning leadoff single would be the last baserunner Ferry would allow on the day as the Marlton ace would retire the final twelve MudKats in order to end with a flourish.

Ferry's masterpiece set the stage for Steve Paolini to take the reins in Game Two, and for once the sequel was better than the original. The A's handed Paolini (2-3) a first inning 2-0 lead and kept the Marlton Express rolling - picking up on Ferry's lead and doing him one better as he retired the first thirteen MudKats to face him. SS Dave Pabon ended the streak with a one-out walk in the fifth, but Paolini retired the next two hitters to complete nine straight no-hit innings for the A's on the day. The Amazins' put the game away in the top of the sixth, as 3B George Rogers collected an bases loaded RBI single and Paolini capped the scoring with a 2-run single to make it 5-0. Millville catcher Jody Chain would end Paolini's no-no with a leadoff single in the sixth and the righthander would settle for a 3-hit shutout to complete the sweep. On the day, Paolini's line was errily identical to Ferry's: seven innings, no runs, three hits, walking one and striking out nine.

NOTES: Todd Camp (3-for-6, 2 RBI, 3 runs, 3 SB) and Ken Ferry (3-for-5, RBI) led the offense. Rich McNee added two hits and drove in three in the opener but saw his team leading 11-game hitting streak come to an end as he went 0-for-2 with a walk in the nightcap. Bill Hazel also drove in three with a hit, walk, sacrifice fly and a run scoring ground out in the doubleheader.


JULY 10 -
Ken Ferry extended his masterful pitching run over eight-plus innings of shutout ball, only to have a ninth inning unearned run spoil the party and deal the Good Guys in Black a crushing 1-0 walk-off defeat to the Riverside Pirates in the opening game of two played at Riverside AA Field today. In the nightcap, the Bucs turned on the juice to complete the sweep, blitzing A's starter Steve Paolini for nine runs on nine hits in a Game 2 rout, 10-2, dropping the Amazins' to an astonishing 2-7 record coming off a bye week the past two seasons.   

Both teams played brilliantly in Game 1, with the A's turning several early inning Riverside scoring chances aside while the Bucs returned the favor late in the contest. The Bucs' winning rally commenced on one of Ferry's few mistakes of the day, a walk to catcher Rick Haley to start the home ninth. After Scott Ellis' soft dribbler to Ferry moved the runner to second, Mike Tuscano hit a routine ground ball that A's third baseman George Rogers fielded cleanly, checked the runner and threw on to first for the second out. As Rogers released the throw, Haley took a riverboat gamble and attempted to cross over to third. The move paid off in aces, as Larry Hubert's throw back across the diamond sailed wide of third and down the left field line, allowing the Haley to score unabated to end the ballgame.

Prior to their game-winning rally, the Bucs' best chance to score came in the fourth inning, as the home club loaded the bases with one out on a Rick Loveland leadoff single and a pair of walks to Tom Burbage and Joe Dorety. But Ferry got Ryan Kakowski to bounce a two hopper to second baseman Gary Shears, who started a 4-6-3 twin killing to end the threat. The A's best chances to score came in the eighth and ninth innings off of Dorety, who was pitching in relief of starter Burbage. In the eighth Ray Jobson lead off with a singled and moved to second on Pat Henningan's sacrificed - but was stranded there after Dorety struck out Todd Camp and got Rich McNee on a pop-up to first. With one out in the A's ninth, Ken Ferry singled and stole second but was also stranded when Larry Hubert struck out and Shears grounded to first.

The A's offense could not solve soft-tossing lefthander Tom Burbage, who pumped in first strike after first strike all day long. Burbage allowed a pair of singles over the first six innings of Game 1 before giving way to hard-throwing righthander Joe Dorety (3-0), who danced in and out of trouble over the final two innings to earn the victory. Ferry (4-3), took the hardluck defeat, going 8 2/3 innings, allowing an unearned run on five hits, walking four and striking out four.

The nightcap began promising as a pair of doubles from Bill Hazel and Ferry in the home second gave the A's their first run of the day and a 1-0 lead. But Paolini proved mortal on this day, unable to find that extra gear and the Pirates made him pay in the third, pounding out five hits sandwhiched around a hit batsman to grab a 4-1 lead they would never relinquish. After retiring the side in the fourth, Paolini's day ended as a leadoff walk set the stage for a five-run fifth, paced by Dorety's two-run single and Kakowski's RBI double. Bill Hazel came on to clean up and allowed an unearned run on one hit the rest of the way.
NOTES: Ken Ferry continued his hot hitting, collecting three hits in five at bats in the doubleheader, including driving in both of Marlton's Game 2 runs with a double and a sacrifice fly. Ray Jobson had a pair of hits and a stolen base in the opener while Gary Shears and Todd Camp added two hits apiece in the nightcap. Paolini (2-4), while clearly struggling all day long, was certainly not helped by four Marlton infield errors during the fateful third and sixth innings. The righthander went 4 1/3 innings allowing nine runs, three earned, on nine hits, walking two, striking out one and hitting two batters. Bill Hazel allowed an unearned run over 2 2/3 innings, giving up one hit walking two and striking out two. Today's doubleheader loss puts the Amazins' back at the .500 mark at 7-7, headed into next week's battle with their American Division rivals the Delran Cardinals. More importantly, the Bucs' sweep gives them the tiebreaker and a leg up on the #2 spot in the Colonial Division, should the clubs finish even in the final standings.


JUNE 19 -
Woodbury has been a friendly destination for the Amazin's over the years, with the Good Guys in Black having gone 3-0 as a visitor and 5-1 overall since 2001. For four-plus innings, history appeared ready to follow suit as the A's jumped out to an early 3-0 lead with co-ace Steve Paolini on the hill. However, Mike Solmen's Marlin ballclub rallied for eight unanswered runs over the fifth and sixth innings, surging past the Amazins' en route to 9-4 victory today at Woodbury High School.   

Four batters into the game it looked good for the MIBs, as CF Ray Jobson doubled to lead off the game and LF Marcus John reached on an infield single and immediately stole second. EH Pat Hennigan plated Jobson with an RBI groundout and C Rich McNee launched a sacrifice fly to quickly make it 2-0, A's. In the third, McNee launched a 2-out double and scored on EH Bill Hazel's RBI single, extending the lead to 3-0. Meanwhile, Paolini was cruising through the Marlin lineup, having retired eleven straight batters over the first four innings.

Things would abruptly change in the home fifth as a lead off infield error followed by a Dan Brown double and a single from Drew Wixted plated a pair runs and cut the lead to 3-2. Paolini would escape further damage after retiring the side on two ground balls and a strike out, but things would collapse on the righthander an inning later.

In the Marlins' sixth, C Mike Solmen led off with a walk, followed by a Ken Bradshaw single and a sacrifice bunt which moved the runners along to second and third with one out. CF Jason Whitney tied the game a three with a sacrifice fly to center and things got crazy from there. 3B Dave Ceccanecchio stuck out his bat on a 2-2 pitch and dropped an opposite field double down the left line to give the Marlins (5-5) their first lead of the day, 4-3. Dan Datz followed with what seemed to be an inning ending pop up to short center, but Jobson and SS Ken Ferry collided as the ball dropped. Ceccanecchio scored on the play as Paolini and the A's were soberly looking down the barrel at nine miles of bad road. Basehits from Brown and Wixted followed to plate Datz and after an John Hughes walk to load the bases, 2B Art Collins capped the rally with a 2-run single to center that numbingly made the score 8-3. Ken Ferry came on to stop the bleeding but the damage was already deadly, six runs on five hits with two walks and one costly error.

The A's (5-5) would have a pair of brief uprisings in the eighth and ninth, even scoring a window dressing run off of doubles from Jobson and Hennigan in the top of the ninth, but McNee and Hazel each flew out to end the last gasp threat and the Good Guys saw their winning streak end at three.

NOTES: Ray Jobson had a bit of breakout day from the leadoff spot, driving a pair of doubles, collecting a walk, a stolen base and scoring two runs. Pat Henningan reached twice with a walk and an RBI-double and Rich McNee extended his hitting streak to 10 straight games with his fourth inning double. Steve Paolini (1-3) pitched well at times, but never appeared to get a good feel on his location, stating afterward that he could not control his off-speed pitches at all on this cool, moist morning. The righthander went 5 2/3 innings, allowing eight runs, three earned on seven hits, walking one, striking out five and hitting a batter. Ken Ferry went the final 2 2/3, allowing 1 earned run on two hits, walking three and striking out one. NEXT WEEK: The Millville Mudkats come to town for the first of two doubleheaders against fellow Colonial Division rivals over the next few weeks. Millville (5-4), currently sits one half game ahead of the A's in the race for the second spot in the division, behind undefeated Bordentown (9-0). The teams will clash at Rotary Field in a doubleheader for the only time this regular season at the site of the MIBs heartbreaking 10-9 playoff defeat last August. Following the July 4th holiday, the A's travel to Riverside to take on the Pirates (4-4), also in a doubleheader that will finish off the division schedule and set both clubs up for a final playoff push.

Kenny Shuts Down the Senators

JUNE 5 -
The Marlton Athletics handed a first inning three-run lead to starter Ken Ferry, who, in the way that only he can do, never looked back and put the game square on his right shoulder - cooling off a hot-hitting Washington Township offense en route to a 3-0 upset win for the Good Guys today in action out at Cherokee High School.

Nobody knew at the time, but the only offense of the day would take place in the bottom of the first inning. A's LF Ray Jobson, newly installed in the leadoff spot, started things off with an infield single and moved to second on a wild pitch from Sens manager and starter Mark Berryann (0-1). SS Steve Paolini and CF Todd Camp both followed with walks to load the bases for the hot-hitting C Rich McNee. Big Mac delivered the first of his two hits, a line drive RBI single to left that plated Jobson for the game's first run. EH Bill Hazel followed with a laser shot of his own to left that brough home Paolini to make it 2-0. Berryann then got ahead of 1B Larry Hubert, 1-2, but the Legend battled back to draw a bases loaded walk to drive in Camp with the third run of the inning. As Camp crossed home plate, Berryann gave himself the hook without having retired a batter and summoned Senator ace Bruce Shaw to fireman duty with orders to qwelch the bases loaded-nobody out jam. Shaw was up for the task, striking out the next three batters to end the inning - but the damage was done and Ferry would assure A's Nation that the first inning lead would stand up.

After a leadoff single from CF Gary Barbara in the second, Ferry (3-2) settled in to retire the next seven Senators in a row - including six consecutive strikeouts along the way. The A's seemingly mounted a rally against Shaw in the home third, but Marlton baserunning would get in the way of runs on the scoreboard. Todd Camp started things off with a one-out walk. Manager Terry Annese's decision to have the A's speedster steal to get into scoring position backfired on the first pitch to McNee, as Bruce Stowell rifled a throw down to second baseman John Trotter, who easily tagged out Camp for the second out on the inning. To make things hurt just that much more, both McNee and Hazel responded with singles to left that under normal circumstances would have easily pushed the A's centerfielder around to score. Hubert seemingly redeemed the inning with his own basehit to right, but designated runner Steve Paolini was gunned down at home to end the inning without the A's scoring.

The Senators (6-2) put their best threat of the day together in the top of the fifth, loading the bases with a one-out Pete Conlin single, a two-out infield error and a Berryann tomahawk single to center. However, Ferry buckled down against his mound opponent Shaw, who flew out to left to end the inning unscathed. The A's (5-4) took two more shots at Shaw in the fourth and fifth, putting a pair of runners on in each inning only to have the crafty Sens' ace step up to snuff out each threat.

The last hurrah for Washington Township came in the top of the seventh, as Al Stowell led off with a walk and advanced to second one out later when Tom Kalick reached on an infield throwing error. However, Ferry got Trotter to fly out to left and struck out Berryann to end the inning. Ferry would not allow another baserunner, retiring the final eight Senators in a row to end the ballgame with a flourish.

NOTES: Today's victory has special importance on many fronts. The shutout was Ferry's third in his four and a half seasons as the Marlton ace and his 20th career victory overall, both team records. The righthander went nine innings, allowed no runs on five hits, walking one and striking out nine. The win marks the club's first against an upper division club in five seasons playing in the multi-tiered SJMSBL. The Amazin's previously came close with a pair of one-run defeats over the past year, against the Delran Cardinals (2-1) in late 2004 and against the South Jersey Yankees (10-9) in Week 2 this season. Finally, the win moves the A's record to 5-4, keeping the ballclub right in the middle of what's shaping up to be a three-team battle for the second Colonial Division seed with rivals Riverside (4-3) and Millville (5-3).

The MIBs managed just eight hits on the day but got them when it counted most, sandwiching three hits around three walks during their three-run first inning rally. Rich McNee and Bill Hazel each collected a pair of singles and an RBI to lead the offense. Larry Hubert had a single and a bases-loaded walk, while Todd Camp contributed a single and two walks and Steve Paolini had a pair of walks and a sacrifice bunt. Coming into today's game, Washington Township had outscored their opponents 27-8 over their last three games. Sens starter Mark Berryann did not retire a batter, allowing three runs on three hits and three walks in taking the loss. Bruce Shaw kept the A's off the scoreboard the rest of the way although the righthander was touched up for eight hits and three walks in eight innings work. He also collected six strikeouts. No Senator player reached base more than once. NEXT GAME: The A's get the week off for the All-Star break, as Todd Camp represents the ballclub back up in Cooperstown for the first time since 1999. The Amazin's return to action on June 19th, taking on the improved Woodbury Marlins down at Woodbury YMCA Field in a 9:00am start.


Big Mac's 4-for-6 Day Goes to Waste

MAY 15 -
The Marlton A's offensive drought continued with the Amazins' tallying just a pair of runs behind the excellent pitching of Steve Paolini and Ken Ferry, as the Good Guys dropped a doubleheader to the Bordentown Patriots, by scores of 3-1 and 4-1, in action today at Cherokee High School.

In Game 1, Bordentown (5-0) jumped out to an early 3-0 lead with a run in the first and two in the second off of Paolini (0-2) - before the righthander settled in to shut down the Pats the rest of the way. However, the A's (2-3) could not crack Mark Hoppe, who shut down the Amazins' until the home sixth, when an infield error, a Ken Ferry ground rule double and an Ed Miller groundout produced the only A's run of the game, as the Pats held on for a 3-1 win. Hoppe (1-0) went the distance and allowed just four hits while striking out three. Paolini went seven innings, allowing three earned runs on nine hits, walking three and striking out seven.   

In Game 2, Bordentown's Jim Gummel and Marlton's Ken Ferry locked horns until the Pats (6-0) got on the board first with an unearned run in the second, as RF Kurt Appleby reached on an infield error, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a 2B Jeff Perelli's RBI single. The A's (2-4) fought back to tie the game with a run in the fifth on SS Pat Henningan's leadoff single, one-out singles from 1B Larry Hubert and 2B Gary Shears and an RBI fielder's choice from LF Ed Miller. Bordentown would grab the lead to stay in the bottom of the frame, as Perelli singled with one out and four consecutive two-out singles from Dave Schneider, Dave Kessler, Dickie Mercantini and Ray Vetter plated three big runs that set the final margin of 4-1. Ferry (1-2) went the distance, allowing three earned runs on seven hits, walking four and striking out six. Gummel (3-0) pitched seven innings, allowing one run on seven hits, walking one and striking out two.

Notes: Since their 22-4 win over Glassboro on April 24th, the Marlton offense has stumbled badly, scoring just three runs over the last 23 innings. A's pitchers have allowed just six earned runs over that same span, posting a stingy 2.57 ERA despite three consecutive defeats. A's catcher Rich McNee led today's offensive effort, collecting four hits in six at bats on the day while first baseman Larry Hubert and shortstop Pat Hennigan each had a pair of hits in the doubleheader. Second baseman Jeff Perelli collected four hits in the doubleheader for Bordentown.


Puddy Goes the Distance

MAY 27 - The Marlton Athletics and Gloucester County Diamond Jaxx recently returned home from a successful trip to Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, New York, playing a doubleheader at the home of National Baseball Hall of Fame this past May 27th. The A's and D-Jaxx did the South Jersey MSBL proud, as both clubs displayed boundless heart and skill in representing the league to the many baseball fans from around the country who were in attendance. At the end of the day, it was the D-Jaxx taking a pair of games, by scores of 12-4 and 9-6. In all, six South Jersey MSBL teams were represented, as the rosters for the A's and D-Jaxx also included players from the Delran Cardinals, Glassboro Blaze, South Jersey Cubs and the Marlton Red Sox.

Phil Anselmo and Marcus John both pitched well for the Amazins' but both took hard luck losses. An exhausted 9-man A's squad was ultimately done in by poor defense and the youth and inexperience of their (much) younger opponents. The roster also included A's regulars Gary Shears, Terry Annese and Larry Hubert, as well as guest appearances from Cardinals' shortstop Craig Cirillo, Glassboro catcher Pat Quinn and South Jersey Cubs' third baseman Todd Odasz and outfielder Ralph Caridad.

Highlights included Cooperstown folk hero Phil Anselmo going deep for the second year in a row with a blast off the top of the fence - only to collect his second double in as many tries. Todd Odasz and Craig Cirillo made some fantastic plays on the left side of the infield, including a diving stop by Cirillo after which he threw the runner out from his knees. Terry Annese made several sparkling picks on some nasty throws in the dirt and earned the first ever A's standing ovation from the packed grandstand full of several hundred young spectators, who watched the skipper make a head-long diving catch of a foul popup during the first inning of Game 2. Larry Hubert almost duplicated the feat but his headlong dive for a sinking flyball to centerfield ended just short of the mark as the ball popped out of his glove as he hit the ground. Marcus John and Gary Shears made a pair of spectacular acrobatic slides at the plate. Marcus would go the distance in Game 2 on the hill and Cooperstown Phil pitched into the sixth before tiring, giving way to the birth of a legend, as Larry Hubert trotted in from leftfield to hurl 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to finish out Game 1.

Todd's bat remains hot: 4-for-6, 2R, RBI, SB (8)

MAY 22 -
Marlton broke out of its three-game hitting slump early on with four runs in the bottom of the first inning and never looked back, taking the front end of today's doubleheader against the Cinnaminson Indians, 9-2. Righthander Steve Paolini pitched brilliantly to notch his first ever Marlton A's win, allowing just one hit over five innings work. Ken Ferry completed the sweep, shutting down the Tribe over five innings in the nightcap as the Amazins' pulled back to .500 with a 10-5 victory in Game 2.

The A's (4-4) broke open a 4-1 score in the opener with three runs in the fifth and two in the sixth, as Paolini (1-2) gave way to Pat Hennigan, who allowed a run on one hit while walking three over the final two innings.

We should check the record books to be sure, but it seems pretty certain that the Amazins' must have set a futility record in the top of the first inning of Game 2. Marcus John and Ray Jobson led off the game with a pair of walks and on a 1-0 pitch to SS Pat Hennigan, Manager Terry Annese put the runners in motion, only to see Hennigan hit a line drive right at Indians' 2B Rich Parker, who easily turned the unassisted triple play - tagging a retreating Jobson, who was already only about five feet away from second base for out number two. He then completed the play by tagging John, who unsuccessfully tried to sneak back to second base on the play. Marlton would waste little time overcoming the miscue, grabbing a 3-0 lead in the second inning, paced by an RBI single from EH Terry Annese and a 2-run single from 3B George Rogers. The A's would bust things open in the middle innings, collecting a run in the fourth and six more in the fifth to make the score 10-1. Phil Anselmo and Marcus John came on for Ferry, hurling an inning apiece to close things out. Ferry (2-2) went five innings, allowing an earned run on five hits, walking one and striking out six. Anselmo allowed three runs, one earned, on two hits and a walk in one inning of work, while John pitched the seventh, allowing an earned run on two hits while striking out two.

NOTES: Todd Camp led the A's offense with 4-for-6, two runs scored, and RBI and his team leading 8th stolen base of the season, while catcher Rich McNee stayed hot with a 3-for-6 afternoon that included, a double, triple, two runs scored and three RBIs. Bill Hazel and Marcus John each collected two hits and two RBIs on the day, Hazel added two runs scored and three stolen bases, while John walked, scored a run and stole a base. After six seasons of never hitting into a triple play, the Marlton A's have now hit into two over the first six weeks of the 2005 season. The first came on Opening Day in Sewell, as the Sharks pulled off the unconventional 4-3-6-2 tri-killing during the seventh inning of the A's 6-4 win.


Eddie Miller and George Rogers Led the A's Comeback Bid
Hazel's RBI Hit, Sarge's SF Dump Sharkies in 8th - Ferry K's 10 in CG Win

APRIL 10 -
George Rogers and Ed Miller collected two hits apiece and Rogers added two RBIs to help the Amazins' overcome an early 4-run deficit, while Bill Hazel's RBI single and Terry Annese's bases loaded sacrifice fly paced a three-run eighth inning to complete the comeback - as the A's notched a 6-4 Opening Day win over the Sewell Sharks in a ball game played today at Clearview High School in Mullica Hill.

With the A's trailing 4-3 in the top of the eighth, CF Todd Camp worked out a leadoff walk of of Sewell reliever Tom Bennett and immediately stole his second base of the game to get into scoring position. After Camp moved to third on a wild pitch, LF Ray Jobson worked an 11-pitch at bat against Bennett before finally ripping a two hopper towards the first base bag. Sharks' 1B Steve Euler snagged the hard hit ball and immediately threw home to nail Camp, running on contact, at the plate. Jobson, who reached first on the fielder's choice, followed with a stolen base of his own and 1B/C Rich McNee was walked to put two men on with one out. After both runners moved up on a passed ball, C/EH Bill Hazel singled past a drawn in infield to drive in Jobson from third with the tying run and EH Marcus John followed with a walk to load the bases. After missing on three earlier attempts, the Good Guys in Black grabbed their first lead of the day as EH Terry Annese lifted a 1-0 pitch to center for a sacrifice fly, scoring McNee to make the score 5-4, A's. 2B Gary Shears concluded the rally by driving in Hazel with an RBI single to give Marlton an insurance run, however John was thrown out trying to score on a bang-bang play that ended the inning.

Ken Ferry completed the comeback win by retiring the Sharks in order in the bottom half of the eighth, as the ball game ended due to time limit. On the day, Ferry (1-0), went eight innings and allowed four runs, two earned, on six hits, walked three and struck out ten. The righthander clearly got stronger as the game went along, retiring the final twelve Sharks in a row, with Mike Silvanio's leadoff single in the fifth being the last Sewell runner to reach base on the day.

Ferry and ageless wonder Bill Haines locked up in an early pitcher's duel as both teams were retired without incident over the first two innings. In the home third, CF Mark Euler led off with a bunt single and moved to second on an infield single by C Pete Abbonizio. After a passed ball, Ferry retired the next two batters on a pair of infield pop ups before his mound opponent Haines lifted a soft drive just over the head of third baseman George Rogers for a base hit - plating Euler with the game's first run. SS Bill Hornung followed with a slow roller towards short that Steve Paolini played on the run, but he was unable to gun down the swift running Hornung, scoring Abbonizio to make it 2-0, Sharks.

In the Sewell fourth, Steve Euler led off with an base hit and moved to second on a walk to LF Dickie Salmon. Frank Rizzo followed with a sacrfice bunt towards the third base side that Ferry fielded cleanly, but his throw sailed wide of first and down the line, scoring both runners to make the score 4-0, as Rizzo ended up on second base. Ferry then walked RF Bill Lynch, but escaped further damage after Mark Euler hit into a fielder's choice, Rizzo was gunned down trying to score on a loose ball and Abbonizio struck out to end the uprising.

Marlton began its comeback in the fifth. Gary Shears drilled a leadoff single over the head of a retreating Mark Euler, but the leader of 3-Nation was gunned down trying to stretch the play into a double. Steve Paolini followed with a walk and RF Ed Miller launched a long drive off the rightfield fence that was played in promptly by Lynch to hold Miller to a long single. After both runners moved up on a passed ball, George Rogers lifted a single to right center that scored Paolini and Miller to get the A's right back in the ball game at 4-2. One out later, Todd Camp worked out a walk and Ray Jobson ripped a ball just inside the first base bag for a single, as Rogers trotted home with the third A's run of the inning. A tiring Haines escaped the jam by retiring Rich McNee on a hard hit grounder to third that ended the inning with the Sewell lead cut to a single run.

The Good Guys in Black went right after the laboring Haines in the sixth, with C Bill Hazel leading off the frame with a hit by pitch and Marcus John drawing a walk to put two men on and nobody out. That was all for the 47-year-old righthander and Manager Rob Boyton turned the game over to righty Tom Bennett to get out of the jam. EH Terry Annese moved the runners along with a sacrifice bunt, however the strategy blew up after Bennett struck out Shears looking and got Phil Anselmo swinging to end the threat.

Things got even crazier in the A's seventh. Ed Miller singled to right leading off the inning and pinch runner Bob Karas advanced to second after George Rogers lifted a sacrifice bunt into the air towards the third base line that Doug Hopper made a head long dive for, but he was unable to hold on as the ball deflected off his glove and into foul territory. Rogers was credited with a single on the play and both runners quickly moved up on a passed ball, putting the tying and go ahead runs into scoring position with nobody out. Although Boyton surprisingly elected to play the infield in - the plan paid off in aces, as Anselmo hit a low one-hop liner to second and Boyton threw to first for the first out as Karas held at third. However, Rogers broke for third on Boyton's throw, creating a rundown situation as both runners advanced towards the third base bag. Rogers quickly reversed direction but was thrown out going back to second for out number two, as Karas seemingly was allowed to trot home unabated with the tying run. However, about 6 feet from home plate the baseball gods reared its ugly head as the third base line jumped up and tripped Karas to the ground. Hornung immediately threw over to Abbonizio, who tagged out Karas to complete the your typical 4-3-5-6-2 triple play to end the inning with the Sharks' lead intact.

NOTES: Todd Camp extended his alltime club lead in stolen bases, going 1-for-2 with a pair of walks and two base thefts.   Camp was also involved in the games most controverial play at the plate in the eighth, as the Rabbit tried to score on Ray Jobson's hard hit grounder to first. He appeared to easily slide under the tag of Pete Abbonizio but was nevertheless called out by the home plate umpire, prompting a mild uprising from Camp and Manager Terry Annese. George Rogers went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored, while Ed Miller also went 2-for-3 with a run scored. Gary Shears went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles and an RBI and Marcus John reached base three times in four plate appearances, including a single and two walks. Steve Paolini reached base twice with a pair of walks. Next week: The Amazins' travel down to Overbrook HS to take on the defending SJMSBL Champion South Jersey Yankees, in what should be a formidable challenge for the MIBs as they seek to move their record to 2-0 on the young season.

April 10, 2005

1 2 3 4


6 7 8 9 R H E

Athletics (1-0) 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 3 x 6 11 4
Sharks (0-1) 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 x 4


Link to "Schedules" for Complete Game Recap & Stats
WP: Ferry (1-0) LP: Bennett (0-1) SV: None

SB: Camp 2 (M), Jobson (M), MEuler (S); HBP: (by Haines) Hazel (M)

Frank Taylor
The Amazins' rallied to take a 4-3 lead on Frank Taylor in the 7th
Amazin' Comeback Wasted as Bombers Rebound in 9th
Defensive Lapses Prove Fatal

APRIL 17 -
The hallmark to any successful baseball team often comes down to pitching, defense and hitting in the clutch. In today's battle at Overbrook High School against the defending SJMSBL champion South Jersey Yankees, the Men in Black parlayed two of these traits to a near upset of collossal proportions. But it was the missing third crucial ingredient - defense, which proved to be fatal at the end of the day.

Trailing 3-0 and 6-4, the Amazins' twice rallied in the late innings to take the lead, battling Yankee lefthander Frank Taylor to a near standstill in the process. After a stunning five-run rally in the top of the ninth gave the A's a 9-6 lead, the Good Guys got to within one strike away from victory on three straight hitters - only to see it all go down in flames as the Bombers pulled out a two-out 4-run ninth inning rally of their own to gain a 10-9 victory.

With the score, 6-4, Yankees, EH Ed Miller led off the top of the ninth with a ground ball off of reliever John Fekete (1-1) that just passed the outreached glove of shortstop Carl Prushinski for a hit. Pinch hitter Phil Anselmo walked on a 3-2 pitch to put the tying runs on base with nobody out. George Rogers moved the runners along with a beautiful sacrifice bunt to the right side and reached base after 1B Joe Lynn bobbled Fekete's throw to first. Centerfielder Todd Camp tied the game at six after lacing a 2-2 pitch down the third base line to drive in Miller and Anselmo. After leftfielder Ray Jobson sacrificed the runners along to second and third, the Bombers walked catcher Rich McNee intentionally to load the bases. The plan backfired as EH Bill Hazel walked on a 3-2 pitch to force in the go-ahead run and one out later, EH Terry Annese drilled a 2-run single to left to expand the A's lead to 9-6.

With a three run lead and ace righty Ken Ferry (1-1) on the hill against the bottom half of the Yankee lineup, on paper things looked pretty solid for the Amazins. But games aren't played on paper and this day the hometown Bombers would have the final say to an absolutely unpredictable finish to the ballgame. EH John Johnson led off the ninth with a double to right-center and after a strikeout of Joe Lynn, RF Mike Johnston walked to bring up Prushinski as the tying run. The Yankee shortstop laced a hard drive to right that a retreating Anselmo corralled with a leaping catch for the second out as the runners moved up. Catcher Shawn O'neil then lifted a harmless pop-up to the right side that looked for all the world like it would end the ballgame. However, the ball deflected away from second baseman Marcus John's outstretched glove, scoring Johnson and keeping the rally alive. 2B John Chadwick and 3B Matt Rieger followed with two very controversial bases-loaded walks, as both hitters drew the count to 3-2 on several very close pitches that seemed to most eyes to be strikes, but were called balls to no avail. The score now 9-8, Ferry dug in against leadoff hitter Anthony Juliana, who fell behind the count 1-and-2 before another close pitch went the wrong way for ball two. Juliana then swung at a 2-2 fastball on the outside half of the plate and drove the ball into left-centerfield gap that landed beyond the outstretched gloves of a fleeing Camp and Jobson, plating O'neil with the tying run and Chadwick with the game-winner - as the Yankees celebrated at home plate.

The Athletics came into the day with something to prove, to the defending champs and to themselves. However, the Marlton defense gave starter Steve Paolini no such reprieve, as a pair of infield errors hand delivered a pair of first inning unearned runs to give the Bombers an early 2-0 advantage.

After retiring the Yanks in the second and third without incident, Paolini got a pitch up to Derek Forchic, who launched a double to right-center leading off the fourth inning. Forchic moved to third on a fly ball to right by Dave Keen and scored on John Johnson's ground ball to second, expanding the Yankee lead to 3-0. Meanwhile, Bomber lefthander Frank Taylor came out determined to send the Amazins home with a whimper, retiring the first twelve batters in dominating fashion. However, the tide would soon turn the A's way.

Starting the Marlton fifth, Ray Jobson finally broke through against his former teammate, lifting a 0-2 pitch to short center for the first A's baserunner of the day. Rich McNee followed with a bouncer over the head of third baseman Matt Reiger and advanced to second when the throw into failed to beat a sliding Jobson at third. Bill Hazel collected the first of several clutch Amazin' hits on the day, singling to deep short, driving home Jobson as McNee held at second. After Taylor got second baseman Marcus John swinging for the first out of the inning, EH Terry Annese singled to right to load the bases. Just when it seemed that the rally was on in full force, Taylor made the big pitch and got EH Gary Shears to hit a topper right in front of home plate that O'neil pounced on, tagged the plate and threw onto first to end the uprising.

Meanwhile, Paolini danced in and out trouble in the home fifth, allowing a leadoff walk and a single but mixed in three ground balls to keep the Yanks off the board. The Bombers were on the attack again in the sixth, as EH Lenny Ward reached on a one out infield error and Forchic singled to bring up cleanup hitter Dave Keen. However, the Yankee skipper hit a grounder to ex-Yankee George Rogers, who stepped on third and threw onto first for 5-5-3 double play to end the threat with the score remaining at 3-1.

After being retiring 1-2-3 in the sixth, the Amazins' attacked Taylor in the seventh inning to quickly tie the game. With one out, CF Todd Camp and Jobson collected back-to-back singles to put the tying runs on base. After the runners moved up on a Camp stolen base and a wild pitch, Taylor and McNee engaged in an epic 14-pitch battle that concluded with McNee popping up to first baseman Joe Lynn for the second out. However, the at bat proved fatal to any hopes of a now visibly tiring Taylor pitching beyond the seventh. The damage would show two pitches later - as Bill Hazel launched a long triple to left that tied the game at three. Taylor successfully got the next batter, Marcus John, to chase an 0-1 pitch in the dirt - however, when the ball got away from O'neil, Hazel sprinted home and the A's suddenly had themselves a 4-3 lead before Taylor got out of the jam.

In the home seventh, Paolini put the lead into immediate jeopardy by issuing a leadoff walk to Johnson and sent him to second after a pickoff throw sailed wide of first baseman Larry Hubert and out of play. After Lynn struck out, Mike Johnston lifted a flyball to left-center that seemed destined to be out number two. However, Camp and Jobson got their signals crossed and the ball deflected away from the near-colliding duo, scoring Johnson to tie the game once again.

Paolini would tire in the eighth, as a leadoff hitbatsman of John Chadwick spelled the end of the line and righthander Ken Ferry came on in relief. After a sacrifice bunt by Reiger moved the runner to second, it appeared that the A's would get of the jam, as Ferry struck out Anthony Juliana and induced Ward to hit a ground ball to second. But second baseman John bobbled the ball, allowing Ward just enough time to reach base. Meanwhile, Chadwick never stopped running and gave the Yanks the lead after beating Hubert's relay throw to the plate. Forchic then launched a long double to the rightfield wall that plated Ward to make it 6-4 - setting the stage for the dramatic ninth inning.

NOTES: Todd Camp, Ray Jobson and Terry Annese each collected two singles a piece and were in the heart of the A's late inning rallies. Camp scored twice, drove in two and stole a base, while Jobson scored twice and Annese drove in a pair. However, Bill Hazel struck the biggest blow of the day for the Amazins', launching a game-tying 2-run triple and driving in solo runs with an infield single and a bases loaded walk. Steve Paolini pitched well but got a no decision, allowing five runs, one earned, on six hits, walking three, striking out three and hitting a batter. Ken Ferry took the hardluck loss, going 1 2/3 innings, allowing five runs, one earned, on three hits, walking three and striking out three. For the Yanks, CF Derek Forchic went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and Lenny Ward an Anthony Juliana collected two hits apiece. Bombers' starter Frank Taylor went seven innings and allowed four earned runs on seven hits, striking out nine and walking none. John Fekete picked up the win, although he allowed five runs, four earned, on four hits over two innings work, walking two and strking out one. From the interesting fact file: In seven seasons of existence, the Marlton A's are 4-3 on Opening Day, but 0-7 in game twos. The MIBs came into today's game having never defeated the Yankees in three previous regular season games. In the clubs' last meeting on June 29, 2003, only a Todd Camp ninth-inning infield single prevented Bomber lefthander Frank Taylor's no-hit bid in an 8-0 Yankee win. NEXT WEEK the Amazins' seek to rebound against the Glassboro Blaze in the home opener next Sunday at Cherokee High School.


MAY 7 -
The A's Steve Paolini and Diamond Jaxx' Jeff Weiner each went the distance in a good old fashioned pitchers' duel played Saturday evening at South Delsea Drive Park. At the end of the night it was Weiner's left arm and a trio of Marlton defensive miscues that made the difference as the Good Guys in Black dropped a 5-1 decision to the Gloucester County Diamond Jaxx.

The Amazins' (2-2) got on the board early in their first prime time appearance in nearly four years, as RF Marcus John led off the second inning with a walk, stole second and scored on a two-out opposite field single from EH Pat Hennigan. The D-Jaxx struck back to grab the lead with two unearned runs in the home third. A leadoff throwing error came back to roost as it allowed the hot-hitting Santos Pagan to bat with two outs and the bases loaded. The Jaxx' shortstop came through in aces, drilling an 0-1 pitch off the right field fence for a double that drove in his league-leading 13th and 14th RBIs of the young season.

Gloucester County (4-0) completed the scoring in the fifth inning, taking advantage of more help from the Marlton defense. With two outs and runners on first and third, Paolini faced Pagan once again. Pitching carefully with a base open, Paolini got the upper hand as Pagan popped up a 2-0 pitch to the right side of the infield that looked to end the inning. However, evoking memories of the Yankee meltdown three weeks earlier, Paolini and 1B Larry Hubert crossed up their communication as the pop up deflected off Paolini's outstretched glove and dropped in, scoring the runner from third to make it 3-1, Jaxx. Pagan immediately stole second and another run scored when Rich McNee's throw to second sailed into centerfield. A Victor Sanchez RBI single completed the scoring, giving the D-Jaxx a 4-run cushion at 5-1.

Meanwhile, Weiner sailed through the middle innings, pounding his fastball on a generous outside corner - en route to retiring 14-of-16 batters before Rich McNee led off the eighth inning with a double to deep left. The A's mounted up one final threat when EH Bill Hazel followed McNee with a walk, and after a Marcus John strike out EH Terry Annese walked to load the bases and bring up 2B Gary Shears to the plate as the tying run. Shears drew the count to 2-2 before drilling a hard ground ball up the middle that a ranging Pagan tracked down to his left, tagged the bag and threw onto first to thwart the rally. Weiner would allow a walk to Ken Ferry in the ninth, but would get George Rogers swinging to close things out with a flourish.

NOTES: The A's last prime time game took place on August 12, 2001, a 20-16 defeat to the Woodbury Marlins played under the lights at Vincentown Memorial Field. In tonight's ballgame, Weiner and Paolini combined for 22 strikeouts as both hurlers dominated the game throughout. Jeff Weiner (3-0) went nine innings, allowed one earned run on three hits, struck out fourteen and walked six. Steve Paolini (0-1) went eight innings, allowing five runs, none earned, on ten hits, struck out eight and walked two. The A's managed just three hits, led by C Rich McNee's 2-for-3 with a double, while EH Pat Hennigan had a single and drove in the Amazins' only run. EH Terry Annese reached base twice with a pair of walks in three plate appearances. SS Santos Pagan led the D-Jaxx offense with a single, double and two RBIs while EH Danny Leon went 3-for-3 with two runs scored. NEXT WEEK: The Amazins' look to bounce back against their old rivals, the undefeated Bordentown Patriots, who travel to Marlton for a doubleheader at Cherokee High School starting at 9:00am.

Marc Mows Down The Blaze
John Notches First Win as Amazins' Burn Blaze, 22-4

APRIL 24 -
The Marlton Athletics scored in every inning, banging out 17 hits to back up the pitching of Marcus John and two relievers - as the Good Guys pasted a 22-4 rout on the Glassboro Blaze, in a ballgame played today at Cherokee High School.

Marlton (2-1) jumped out to an early 3-0 lead on starter Pat Quinn (0-1), only to have the Blaze (0-3) come right back in the top of the second inning to tie the game on Dan Jones' 3-run double. The MIBs took the lead for good in the home second with RBI singles from George Rogers and Todd Camp, and hit the gas to put the game away early off of three Blaze relievers - scoring two runs in the third inning, five in the fourth and eight more runs in the fifth. The A's wrapped up their scoring with two final runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Meanwhile, Marcus John (1-0), settled down after a rough second inning to scatter five hits over five innings work, collecting the win while allowing three earned runs, walking four and striking out four. Pat Hennigan made his A's debut with a 1-2-3 sixth inning and Bill Hazel finished up allowing a run on one hit, while walking one and striking out two.

NOTES: The Amazins' 22 runs is second highest output in team history, only bested by a 25-16 win over the Cherry Hill Yankees on July 18, 1999. The A's offense scattered 17 hits throughout the lineup - led by C George Rogers' 3-for-4 day with three runs scored, two stolen bases and two RBIs.   LF Ray Jobson and 2B Gary Shears collected two hits and three RBIs apiece; EH Ken Ferry and CF Todd Camp each had two hits and two RBIs while Camp added two stolen bases. Phil Anselmo collected a single, a stolen base, scored two runs and drove in three. NEXT WEEK: The Athletics travel to Glassboro to take on the undefeated Gloucester County Diamond Jaxx in a 'A-B' inter-division battle under the lights this Saturday night starting at 7:30pm.

Ferry's Welcome a Daughter
Jay Puts the Cleats Away (for now)

The Marlton A's made it official this past Sunday, signing outfielder Ray Jobson to a contract to play for the Amazin's in 2005. The former South Jersey Yankee trades in his pinstripes for A's black and green, and should add a crucial tablesetting left-handed bat to an already formidable lineup, providing speed and offensive cover for fellow speedster Todd Camp at the top of the order, while setting things up for boppers Rich McNee, Bill Hazel and Bob Karas.

Manager Terry Annese has indicated that both Camp and the 29-year old Jobson will likely see action in center as well as leftfield throughout the season. Longtime A's centerfielder Camp has given his blessing to bringing on the dynamic Jobson to eventually assume the centerfield mantle.

In other A's news, Pitcher Ken Ferry and wife Joann have seen their family increase by one, as son Connor has been joined in the Ferry household by daughter Jessica Lynn, who was born on Valentine's Day, February 14th. Young Jessica weighed in at 6 lbs. 9 ozs. and measured 20". Congratulations to Ken and Joann!!

Also on the baby front, veteran OF/IF Jay Rabinowitz has requested that the ballclub place him on the Player Inactive List, as he and wife Marnie tend to the newest family addition, daughter Brooke Emily, who was born this past November 8th. Of course we all wish Jay and the family well, however as Brooke joins mom and older sister Carley to outrank our buddy Jay around the house, 3-to-1, the hope is he'll smell the green grass of the ballfield and hopefully return to active duty sometime soon.

Late Tribe Rally Nips A's, 5-4

MARCH 26 - With a spring chill in the air, the A's bats went silent after a 4-run first inning and the home club Cinnaminson Indians (1-0) kept pecking away, eventually grabbing a 5-4 advantage in the eighth, en route to the 1-run win over the Good Guys in Black, in this second of three scheduled spring training contests for Marlton (1-1). In the A's ninth, Todd Camp singled and stole second and third to get the tying run 90 feet away - but was left stranded as the next three hitters went down in order to end the ballgame.

NOTES: The Amazin's conclude their spring training schedule next Sunday with an exhibition contest against their American Division rivals, the Delran Cardinals, scheduled for a 9:30am start at Rotary Field.


Here Come the MIBs
MARCH 30 - The good news is that the Marlton Athletics Baseball Club enters the 2005 season fresh off of their second consecutive playoff appearance and first ever Liberty Division championship. The bad news is that our Good Guys in Black were swept out of the playoffs for the second straight year, and have now lost a total of five straight playoff contests dating back to the magical 2001 season.

Unlike the extreme makeover of the 2004 edition, the 2005 A's will have an awe of familiarity, with just a single player change from the roster that went 11-5 a year ago. The Amazin's will need that advantage as they are certain to face a bigger challenge to achieving a third straight playoff nod with the ballclub moving up to play in the South Jersey MSBL's Colonial Division this season.

INFIELD: Larry Hubert will continue to man the first base bag and is backed up by a host of others, including Rich McNee, George Rogers and utility men Terry Annese and Pery Shusterman. Gary Shears gets the opening nod at second, with Marcus John, Annese and Shusterman expecting to see some time there as well. 2004 mid-season acquisition Steve Paolini and veteran Ken Ferry anchor the hole at shortstop when not on the hill with George Rogers and Marcus John handling the hot corner duties.

CATCHER: The deepest and most talented trio of catchers in the league returns for an encore in 2005, with Rich McNee and Bill Hazel sharing the majority of the workload and veteran George Rogers sliding back behind the dish on occasion when not playing the infield. In addition, Marcus John will once again serve as the emergency catcher.

OUTFIELD: The only roster change from the end of 2004, Ray Jobson takes the Yankee Express over to Marlton, replacing fellow former Bomber Jay Rabinowitz - who was placed on the Inactive List in the preseason. Leftfielder Jobson provides the whole package of offensive pop, gold glove defense and speed from the left side and should settle into a tablesetter spot in front of sluggers McNee and Hazel. Todd Camp returns for a seventh season in centerfield, but could expect to cede the role to Jobson on occasion. The combination of Ed Miller, Phil Anselmo Rich Hudgins and Bob Karas should see time in the starting right field spot as well to backing up both Camp and Jobson. Expect all four at the EH spot as well, with Larry Hubert and George Rogers providing some reserve depth in the outfield as needed.

PITCHING: The most stable position returning from last season, the Amazin's pitching staff is anchored by seventh year ace Ken Ferry, who in 2004 posted his best numbers since 2001. Second year man Steve Paolini benefits from a full off season of arm conditioning and should continue to establish himself among the league's best. Marcus John and Phil Anselmo, both of whom took giant leaps forward in 2004, should continue to excel in getting the lion's share of the remaining innings. Ray Jobson and Larry Hubert could see some lefty-on-lefty situations and Bill Hazel will assume the set up and occasional closer role.

OFFENSE: Jobson should assume the #2 spot behind Camp, providing an unprecedented speed threat at the top while knocking '04 #2 man Shears back in the order where he should get more RBI opportunities. Marcus John's improved bat and speed could earn him a spot in the top three as well, allowing the 2004 All-Star MVP's powerful righthanded bat to settle in at the cleanup spot. The power bats of Hazel, Karas and Ferry should fill out the middle of the order, followed by a mix and match of John (if not at the top), Shears, Annese, Miller, Hudgins and Hubert. Finally, Paolini, Rogers, Shusterman and Anselmo should all get their share of ABs in the lower half of what should be a very dynamic lineup.

PREDICTIONS: The A's will need to step up their game to earn a third consecutive SJMSBL playoff berth - playing in the highly competitive Colonial Division in 2005. The old standards of pitching and defense should once again be the key to success. The pitching staff returns intact and needs to at least maintain form from '04 and should show continued progress from John, Anselmo and Hazel. A full season addition of Paolini gives the Amazins' two top quality starters and should ease Manager Annese's dilemma of overusing Ferry as was the case last year. No matter how good the pitching, the A's infield defense needs to be consistent to give the club any shot of success. The offense should excel with the speed and power of Jobson at the top of the order and a return to the cavernous dimensions of Cherokee HS could result a rise in extra basehits and less reliance on the long ball. If all falls right and the offense continues to do the little things that win ballgames, the MIB's high side should be right there with the Pats and Bucs to challenge for the division. Anything short of battling the Indians and Mudkats for a playoff spot should be considered a disappointment.

Amazin's Show Expansion Cubbies the Ropes

MARCH 13 - The Marlton A's concluded their group workouts with the SJMSBL's newest expansion team, the South Jersey Cubs, this past Sunday with an outdoor practice and a 3-inning simulated game today at Rotary Field. The Cubs players have been shadowing the A's over the past few weeks during Marlton's initial indoor workouts of the preseason.

The Cubs, managed by Steve Blatstein, were born this past month as Marlton A's fall season players John Kovach, Aaron Buser, Todd Odasz and Mike Stepanski were transferred onto the Cubs' initial roster. They were soon joined by new manager Blatstein, Ralph Caridad and Bill Strain, as well as several new faces which have been added to the roster this past week. The Cubs will play in the SJMSBL National Division this season.

Amazin's Dump Blaze In '05 Spring Debut
Marcus leaves the Blaze with a lasting impression in today's 14-2 spring win
Four A's Hurlers Combine to 2-Hit Glassboro

MARCH 19 -
The Marlton A's opened up their 2005 spring training schedule with a 14-2 victory over the Glassboro Blaze, in a ballgame played Saturday at Rotary Field.

The A's jumped on Glassboro to grab the early lead just two batters into the game, as Todd Camp walked and Ray Jobson launched the first homerun of the spring into the trees in right. Marcus John followed with a single, stole second and scored on a pair of ground balls to the right side to make it 3-0. Marlton opened up a 4-2 game with three runs in the fifth paced by Pery Shusterman's 2-run single and pulled away with six more in the sixth and one in the seventh.

NOTES: Marcus John went 3-for-4, reaching base all five times at bat while scoring four runs and collecting a stolen base. In his A's debut, Ray Jobson added two hits, including a first inning 2-run homer while driving in three. Pery Shusterman went 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Former Marlton A's players Rich Mazzella and Ed Hall went a combined 0-for-4 with two walks in their debut for the Blaze.

A's starter Phil Anselmo collected the win, hurling no-hit ball over the first two innings while walking four and striking out three. Marcus John followed, going 2 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on one hit while striking out one and walking three, before giving way to Ray Jobson, who allowed a walk in 1/3 of an inning. Ken Ferry finished up throwing scoreless ball over the final two innings, allowing a hit and walk while striking out four.

March 19, 2005

1 2 3 4


6 7 R H E

Blaze (0-1) 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 2 2 4
Athletics (1-0) 3 0 0 1 3 6 1 14


Link to "Schedules" for Complete Game Recap & Stats
WP: Anslemo (1-0) LP: McShane (0-1) SV: None 2B: Hazel (M); HR: Jobson (M); SB: Camp 2 (M), John (M), CJones (G); HBP: (by McShane) Hazel (M), (by Crowe) Hazel (M), (by Quinn) Ferry (M)


MARCH 14, 2004: Signed SS/3B Hector Colon. Traded the rights to IF/P John Zagame to the Burlco Red Sox for future considerations.

FEBRUARY 22, 2004: Signed C/IF Rich McNee.

FEBRUARY 20, 2004: Announced that IF/P John Zagame and RHP Ed Van Horn have been invited to Spring Training.

FEBRUARY 15, 2004: Placed C/OF Bill Hazel on the 60-day Disabled List (back). Placed DH/OF Keith Wood on the Inactive List.

JANUARY 31, 2004: Signed OF/IF/P Jay Rabinowitz.

JANUARY 27, 2004: Placed OF Zack Edelman on the Inactive List.

JANUARY 17, 2004: Signed 1B/P Larry Hubert, C George Rogers and IF Rich Hudgins.

JANUARY 9, 2004: Announced that 1B/P Larry Hubert has been invited to Spring Training.

JANUARY 2, 2004: Announced that IF Rich Dickinson has been placed on revocable waivers for the purpose of moving up to the Over-38 Division - starting in the 2004 Season. Placed OF/C Todd Camp, OF/1B/P Barry Annese and SS/OF/P Gary Giese on the Voluntary Retired/Inactive List.

DECEMBER 14, 2003: Signed IF Gary Shears.

DECEMBER 3, 2003: Released 1B/P Rich Mazzella and IF/OF Ed Hall.

NOVEMBER 30, 2003: Invited the following players to A's 2003 Winter Workouts: IFs Gary Shears and Rich Hudgins, P Henry Williams, OF/IF/P Jay Rabinowitz and C/IF George Rogers. Announced that all the above players as well as 1B/DH Keith Boswick have been invited to 2004 Spring Training.

NOVEMBER 30, 2003: Invited free agent OF Jason Whitney to A's 2003 Winter Workouts.

OCTOBER 30, 2003: Placed 1B/P Rich Mazzella and IF/OF Ed Hall on irrevocable waivers for the purpose of granting their releases.