Men’s softball: Late Nite defeats Bombers, 9-8

Late Nite earned its second consecutive Bob Wikman Over-35 Softball League title, with a 9-8 win. Team members (front row l-r) are: Karl Babikian, Rich O’Connor, Jim McGrath, Jody Matejka, Owen Lockwood and Tim Powell; (second row) Mark Berardi, Kevin Osvay, Dustin Galemba, Phil Halligan, Dylan O’Connor, Glenn Katz, Mike Cochrane, Chuck Uhrich, Frank Kozak and Darryl MacPherson. Missing from photo is Dennis Kochi.

Late Nite earned its second consecutive Bob Wikman Over-35 Softball League title, with a 9-8 win. Team members (front row l-r) are: Karl Babikian, Rich O’Connor, Jim McGrath, Jody Matejka, Owen Lockwood and Tim Powell; (second row) Mark Berardi, Kevin Osvay, Dustin Galemba, Phil Halligan, Dylan O’Connor, Glenn Katz, Mike Cochrane, Chuck Uhrich, Frank Kozak and Darryl MacPherson. Missing from photo is Dennis Kochi.

Top-seeded Late Nite defeated the second-seeded Bombers 9-8 in an exciting, back-and-forth game at Tom Haydon Field on Sept. 29 to capture its second consecutive Fairfield Parks and Recreation’s Bob Wikman Over-35 Softball League championship.

Late Nite finished the regular season 15-1 and went 4-0 in the postseason.

The Bombers scored a run in the top of the first in the championship game, but Late Nite responded with four runs in the bottom half, courtesy of five straight two-out singles.

The Bombers answered with a four-run inning of their own in the second to retake a one-run lead, and they added three in the fifth.

Late Nite trailed 8-4 but their bats — nocturnal creatures of a different sort — came alive late. The defending champs erupted for five runs in the fifth. With one out and the bases loaded, a hustling Phil Halligan grounded to the pitcher and narrowly beat out a potential inning-ending double play, allowing Jody Matejka to score what turned out to be the winning run.

Jim McGrath, who walked no one and retired the side in order in the last two innings, was the winning pitcher. He snared a hard-hit line drive to get the all-important first out in the final inning.

Two outs later, Late Nite had sealed and delivered back-to-back titles. Mission accomplished.

Late Nite finished with 16 hits and the Bombers nearly matched them with 15, but twice left the bases loaded.

Right fielder Tim Powell and third baseman Frank Kozak each went 3 for 3 with two RBIs to lead the Late Nite offense. Matejka, the catcher, was 2 for 3 with two RBIs, and outfielders Dylan O’Connor and Glenn Katz had two hits apiece.

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