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 June 8, 2008
Righthander Frank Houser picked a win and save as the 18+ Marlton Athletics
 swept a doubleheader from the Washington Township Senators, by scores of 4-1 and 10-9, this past Sunday at Deptford High School.





Houser Collects Win, Save to Bookend Sweep
Merget, Maas Reach Base 4 times as Amazins' Dump Sens

JUNE 8 - Throughout the long and winding season,  your typical baseball club is presented with an endless number of twists and turns and opportunities.  What direction a team takes often can dictate their path either towards a playoff berth or to an early start to watching football.


On a day where both ballclubs had to battle through 5+ hours of near-oppressive 96 degree afternoon heat, 18+ Marlton Athletics' righthander Frank Houser came on in relief in the sixth and final inning of Game 2 to douse the fire on a bases-loaded, one-out Washington Township Senator rally - retiring the final two batters to preserve a 10-9 victory for the shorthanded Amazins', this past Sunday afternoon at Deptford High School.


The Game 2 win followed an impressive 4-1 opening game victory,  giving the A's their second franchise doubleheader sweep over a Washington Township Senators club in as many weeks - following last Sunday's 25+ A's double whitewash of the Sens up at Cherokee High School.  However, making this week's effort all that more astonishing was not only that the Amazins' were able to overcome the loss of injured starting pitcher Gabe Mastrangelo, Jr., just five batters into the second game, but that Houser battled to deliver a 120+ pitch complete game winning effort in the opener - pitching in the same torrid conditions. 

  GM 1: Deptford HS
      1 2 3  4 5 6  7 8 9   R  H  E  

  Marlton A's (4-3)      1 0 1  1 1 0  0 x x   4  7  2  
  Wash. Twp Sens (0-7)   1 0 0  0 0 0  0 x x   1  5  2
  WP: Houser (3-1);  LP: Serra (0-2);  SV: (None)       
  2B: MSchumin (WT);    SH: Miller (M);                 
  HBP (by Serra): Shellum (M)                           

In the opener, Frank Houser and Dustin Serra matched up in a well-balanced pitchers duel.  The Amazins' jumped out to a 1-0 advantage in the first after 2B Mike Merget walked, moved to second on  a sacrifice bunt from 3B Todd Miller and came around to score on after singles from SS JT Maas and 1B Pat Castaneda.  The Sens tied it in the bottom of after 3B Doug Lutz reached on a 2-base error, stole third and scored on the first of 1B Tony Frese's three basehits in Game 1.

After a scoreless second, the A's posted a 3-way picket fence of solo runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings.  With one out in the third, EH Gabe Mastrangelo, Sr. walked, stole second and scored on an RBI single from Miller.  Maas reached on an error to lead off the fourth, DR Miller stole second and scored two outs later on CF Gabe Mastrangelo Jr.'s RBI single.  In the fifth, LF Chris Saia led off with a single, stole second and scored after EH Rick Gordan battled Serra in an 8-pitch at bat before stroking an RBI single to right to make the score 4-1.


Meanwhile, Houser (3-1) fought through the heat and a tight strike zone from the men in blue to dance himself in and out of difficulty throughout the middle innings. 


With one out in the third, Lutz walked and Frese singled before Houser retired the next two batters on a strikeout and a fly ball to left.   After a 1-2-3 fourth, Houser walked Justin Farlow and Frank Izzi, Jr. to lead off the fifth, but escaped by striking out Mike Arcani and Ethan Witte - sandwiched around A's catcher Rick Shellum gunning down Farlow trying to steal third for the second out.


The Sens once again put Lutz and Frese on base with a pair of  one-out singles in the sixth.  However, Houser buckled down to retire 2B Greg Matusewitch on a ground ball to third and struck out Rob Schumin to end the threat. 


In the seventh, the A's hard-throwing righthander retired the first two batters, striking out EH Joe LeDonne and getting Serra to fly to right. However, Mike Schumin kept the game alive for Township, albeit temporarily, driving a double to left center, before Farlow struck out to end a hard fought, 122-pitch, 4-1 win for Houser and the A's.

  GM 2: Deptford HS
      1 2 3  4 5 6  7 8 9   R  H  E  

  Wash. Twp Sens (0-8)   3 0 1  2 1 2  x x x   9  5  2  
  Marlton A's (5-3)      2 3 5  0 0 x  x x x  10  8  1
  WP: Castaneda (2-0);  LP: Frese (0-3);  SV: Houser (1)
  2B: Frese (WT), Saia (M);  HBP (by Castaneda): Lutz   
  (WT), LaDonne (WT); 
(by Frese): Mastrangelo Jr.       

Game two did not start off well for the Amazins'.  Starter Gabe Mastrangelo, Jr. allowed a run on two singles and a walk before having to depart with a right forearm injury just two outs in the top of the first inning.  Pat Castaneda took over on short notice to get the final out of the first, but not before C Dustin Serra's 2-run single made it 3-0, Sens, as the A's came to bat.


The three-run deficit would not last long for Marlton (5-3), which battled back for a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame. Mike Merget led off with a walk and stole second ahead of a Todd Miller walk. After a double steal and a walk to Castaneda loaded the bases, Frank Houser drove in a run with a ground out and C Rick Shellum singled in another to make it 3-2, after one.


After Castaneda (2-0) worked  out of a two-on, nobody out jam in the second, the A's took the lead for good in the bottom of the inning. CF Chris Saia led off with a walk, moved to second on a ground out and scored on 1B Terry Annese's RBI single to tie the game at two.  After Merget walked, SS JT Maas doubled home two more runs to give Marlton a 5-3 lead.


The Senators bounced back in the third as Lutz led off with a  hit by a pitch and P Tony Frese doubled him home to cut the lead to 5-4.  However, the A's would bat around in a five-run third that featured an RBI double from Saia RBI singles from Annese and Merget that extended the Marlton advantage to six runs,  at 10-4.


The gritty Sens shut down the Marlton offense the rest of the way.  Meanwhile they slowly clawed their way back into contention, scoring two runs in the fourth and another in the fifth, all off a tiring Castaneda, to cut the A's lead to 10-7. 


A spent Castaneda was lifted after the fifth in favor of Bill Brant. However, the plucky Sens went right after the righthander from Pine Hill, loading the bases with one out on a single and two walks. The tying run now on first, Game 1 starter Frank Houser was summoned from leftfield to try and get the final two outs. After going 2-2 on EH Bruce Schumin, Houser induced a potential game-ending double play grounder to second baseman Mike Merget.  After Merget flipped the ball to shortstop JT Maas to record the second out, incoming runner Ethan Witte's hard, but clean, take-out slide caused a off-balance return throw from Maas that short-hopped to first and could not be handled by Annese; instead bounding out of play as two runs crossed the plate to make it 10-9. However, Houser recovered to get the next batter, leadoff man Ty Brunett to bounce to third baseman Miller to end the ballgame and preserve the doubleheader sweep.


AMAZIN' NOTES:  Game 1 starter Frank Houser anchored a hard fought 122-pitch performance to deliver the opener, going 7 innings and allowing just an unearned run on five hits while striking out eleven and walking six.  Sens righthander Dustin Serra pitched well in defeat, going the distance while allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits, striking out 11 and walking two and hitting a batter.


In the nightcap, an early injury forced the A's to use four hurlers to lock down the sweep.  Gabe Mastrangelo, Jr. started but lasted just five batters before departing with an apparent arm injury.  Mastrangelo allowed three runs (all earned) on two hits over two-thirds of an inning while walking one.   Pat Castaneda (2-0) came on in emergency relief and would eventually earn the victory,  allowing four runs (all earned) on six hits over four-and-a-third innings,  walking six while striking out six and hitting two batters.  Bill Brant started the sixth but struggled in allowing two runs (one earned) on one hit over a third of an inning, while issuing two walks and recording a strikeout.   Finally, Frank Houser retired the only two batters he faced in Game 2 to record his first save of the season.


On the offensive side of the ball, Mike Merget singled, walked three times and scored three times in six plate appearances on the day.  JT Maas singled, doubled, reached on an error, walked, scored once and drove in a pair of runs in the doubleheader.  In Game 1, Castaneda went 2-for-3 while driving in one.  In the nightcap, Terry Annese went 2-for-2 with 2 RBIs while Chris Saia, walked, doubled, scored two runs and drove in one. 





Offense comes to life as 18s Crush Woodchucks, 23-7

  Giangulio Field 
       1 2 3  4 5 6  7 8 9   R  H  E 
  Marlton A's (3-3)      6 1 2  4 5 5  0 x x  23 16  3  
  Voor. W'chucks (0-6)   2 0 2  0 1 0  2 x x   7  6  4
  WP: Castaneda (1-0);  LP: Simone (0-3);  SV: (None)   
Miller, Castaneda (M), Poitivent (M), Merget (M), 
  Leib (V);   HBP (by Simone): Mastrangelo Jr.,         
 (by Bennigan): Houser, Merget                         

JUNE 1 -  Catcher Rick Shellum and leftfielder Chris Poitivent had four hits apiece to lead the Marlton A's 18+  ballclub out of its offensive slumber in a big way,  as the Baby Amazins' posted a dominating 23-7 victory over the winless Voorhees Woodchucks today at Giangulio Field


Marlton (3-3) jumped out to a quick lead with a 6-spot in the first and would never look back.  The first four batters reached on two walks and a pair of infield errors, plating a run to get the A's on the scoreboard.  Poitivent  and Shellum then followed with back-to-back RBI singles to give the Amazins' a 3-0 lead.  After Bill Brandt popped out for the first out of the game,  Gabe Mastrangelo, Jr. drove in a fourth run with a bases loaded hit-by-pitch and two batters later Rich Gordan made it 6-0 with a two-run single.

After the 'Chucks got a pair of runs back off Mastrangelo in the bottom of the first to make it 6-2, the A's posted a single run in the second and two more in the third,  to extend the A's lead to 9-2.   

Voorhees scored twice in the bottom of the third inning, but the Amazins' responded by pounding out four more runs in the top of the fourth, including back-to-back doubles from first baseman Pat Castenada and Poitivent, as well as another RBI single from Shellum that made the score 13-4.
Marlton put the Woodchucks away for good with a pair of 5-run outbursts in the fifth and sixth, during which the A's sent a total of 18 men to bat and was highlighted by a Shellum 3-run double.  Voorhees would pick up a harmless run off of winning pitcher Pat Castenada (1-0) in the home fifth and two more off reliever Bill Brandt in the seventh to provide the final margin of 23-7.

AMAZIN' NOTES:  Rick Shellum and Chris Poitivent paced the A's offense, as each went 4-for-5 with three singles and a double.  Shellum drove in a team high 5 RBIs with two runs scored while Poitivent droved in a pair  and scored three times.   JT Maas and Pat Castenada each had two hits and 2 RBIs, with Maas adding two walks and a pair of runs scored, while Castenada reached on an error and scored three times.  On the bump, Gabe Mastrangelo, Jr. started for the Amazins' and gave up two earned runs in two innings, allowing two hits, while striking out three and walking four.  Pat Castenada (1-0) was awarded the victory, going the middle three innings - allowing three earned runs on two hits, walking five and striking out five.  Gabe Mastrangelo, Sr. pitched the sixth, striking out two without allowing a hit or walk and Bill Brandt finished things up in the seventh, allowing two runs on two hits, walking two and striking out two.

GM's Nephew Heading To Iona Next Fall

MAY 26 - Senior first baseman (and one-time Marlton Athletics' bat boy) Michael Chiaravalloti is in the process of completing a record-setting season for his Bloomfield Bengals' ballclub, which currently sits at a 21-6 record after Tuesday's  9-5 victory over North Bergen in the North Section 1, Group 4 State Semifinals. 

Chiaravalloti helped pace the Bengals offense with a 3-for-4 effort that included  his 11th homerun of the 2008 season.  This Friday, Bloomfield takes on the winner of Memorial (West New York) and Livingston in the North Section 1 State Championship Game.

His very proud uncle, A's GM Terry Annese, is also happy to announce that this coming fall Mike is headed to Iona College in New Rochelle, New York, on a (Division I) baseball scholarship.    In addition to playing flawless defense - courtesy of his godfather, former A's 1B Barry Annese,  'Chev' leads the Bengals this season with an impressive .475 batting average that includes 11 homeruns and 46 RBIs.

Congrats Michael!





18s Drop Rain-Shortened Slopfest to Mavs, 4-0

  Gilder Field    
       1 2 3  4 5 6  7 8 9   R  H  E 
  Marlton A's (2-3)      0 0 0  0 0 x  x x x   0  4  3  
  Bordentown Mavs (5-0)  2 0 2  0 x x  x x x   4  6  1
  WP: Perischetti (3-0);  LP: Houser (2-1);  SV: (None) 
  2B: Sokolowski (B);  HBP(by Perischetti): Krankowski  


MAY 18 - Well at least the pregame infield-outfield was dry. 

Playing in rainy, at times near-monsoon conditions from the middle of the first inning forward,   the 18+ Marlton A's (2-3) dropped an otherwise forgetful contest to the undefeated Bordentown Mavericks, 4-0, today up at Gilder Field.

Bordentown (5-0)  immediately took advantage of the sloppy conditions in the home first, as A's starter Frank Houser (2-1) walked a pair and allowed a single, a run-scoring wild pitch and an RBI groundout to give the Mavs a first inning 2-0 lead.

The Mavs added to their lead in the third when LF Pone reached on an leadoff infield single in a driving rain.  After 3B Czajka sacrificed Pone to second, he would come around to score on SS Sokolowski's RBI double.  Perschetti followed with an RBI single of his own to make it 4-0, after three wet, muddy, sloppy innings. 

Meanwhile it was evident Mavericks starter Perischetti (3-0) put on his mudflaps as he retired the first 11 Marlton batters to face him - at times with the assistance of the tall, wet Gilder turf that immediately stopped any infield ground ball right in its tracks.   The A's did not do much hitting of their own on this sloppy day, with newcomer Ron Krankowski being the first batter to reach base safely on a two-out hit-by-pitch from Perischetti.  2B Mike Merget and 3B Todd Miller would follow with a walk and an infield single to load the bases, respectively, but SS JT Maas grounded out to end the threat.

Houser would depart the hill after three innings with an minor injury in favor of righthander Krankowski - who provided a highlight on this gloomy afternoon,  striking out the side in his A's debut while closing out the bottom of the fourth. 

In the top of the fifth, the Amazins' mounted a mild uprising, as 1B Pat Castenada singled and moved to second on a wild pitch, falling in the mud as he tried to stop his momentum going around second. Houser then singled to put two men on with nobody out.  However, after DH Chris Poitivent flew out to right, C Rick Shellum lined to short and Casteneda was doubled off for what turned out to be a game-ending double play - as the umpires walked off the field with the ballgame now official.