Manny’s, Teddy Bear to host playoff openers
Manny’s TV & Appliance Center and Teddy Bear Pools both earned top-four seeds and will host their opening-round series of the Tri-County League men’s amateur baseball playoffs beginning tonight.
The playoffs seeds, along with all regular season awards, were announced during the league’s annual meeting Sunday night at the Tigers Athletic Club in Chicopee.
Manny’s (16-4-1) earned the second seed and will host the seventh-seeded Chicopee Falls Tigers in a best-of-three quarterfinal series. Game 1 will be played tonight at 7:30 at Veterans Memorial Field in Greenfield, while Game 2 is scheduled for Tuesday night at 7 at Szot Park in Chicopee. Gam,e 3m, if necessary, will be back at Vets Field on Wednesday at 7:30.
Teddy Bear (13-0) gabbed the fourth seed and will take on fifth-seeded Easthampton Savings Bank (11-8-1). The operer is set for today 5:45 p.m. at Valiton Field in South Deerfield, Game 2 will be Tuesday at Daley Field in Easthampton at 5:45, and Game 3 (if necessary) will be at Valiton Field at 5:45.
Any postponed games will be played the following night, and each semifinal series will begin on the first available date after each of the matchups has been set, depending on field availability.
Both local squads placed two players on the All-League Team. Manny’s selections were Bryan Adamski (utility) and Dusty Mones (pitcher), while Tom Malooly (catcher) and Joey Larson (pitcher) were Teddy Bear’s picks.
Peoples Bank’s Ryan Franczek was named both the league Most Valuable Player and batting champion, while teammate Joe Popielarczyk was named Pitcher of the Year. Chris Starcun of Easthampton was the College Player of the Year.
Teddy Bear 10, Dream Bats 1 — Teddy Bear Pools clinched the fourth seed in the TCL tournament and home field advantage in the first round with a 10-1 victory over Dream Bats in its TCL regular season finale Saturday at Valiton Field in South Deerfield.
Teddy Bear, which ended the season 13-8 overall, scored in every inning but the second and gave starting and winning pitcher Jon Atkins plenty of support in his complete-game victory. Atkins scattered seven hits and one walk over seven inning and allowed just one run in the fifth inning when Josh Fredette hit an RBI double. Atkins struck out four.
Offensively, Kyle Platner had two hits and three RBIs for Teddy Bear, while Zach Bartak added two hits and two RBIs. Casey Blanchard and Brad Bean each doubled, and Tom Malooly singled, tripled and drove in a run.
Jake Smith suffered the loss, striking out five and walking seven.
After starting the season 2-5 overall, Teddy Bear has gone 11-3 in its final 14 games and first-year coach Dan Abrahamson said that with so many new players on the roster this season, the players are starting to gel.
“I think everyone knew each other but they really never played together,” he explained. “It took a while for the chemistry to really click, but once it did, we just started playing smart baseball. We hit the ball when we needed to, we played solid defensively, we were playing a good all-around game. I knew this team had the ability to be very good in this league coming into the season, and once we really played all aspects of the game well, I don’t think there is a team in this league that we can’t beat.”