A's Bow Out in 5 Games in Semifinals
The Al Thomas Club faced a grueling stretch of eight games in eleven days as the season wound down, and they needed to win at least six of those games to stay in the hunt for first place. The mission was accomplished and then some, as the A’s won all eight games and overtook rivals South Boston and the McKay Club to seize the division title in the fierce Carl Yastrzemski division of the Dan Tarpey Conference of the Yawkey Baseball League.
The surge landed the A’s a number-three seed in the 2010 playoffs, and they opened with the South Boston Saints in a best-of-five series. In game one, Ryan Stoller tossed a complete game 5-hitter as the Thomas Club won 4-1 behind contributions up and down the lineup. The A’s dropped game two, but came back in style in the third contest, putting up seven runs in the top of the first on route to a 9-4 victory. League batting champion Steve Lambert led the offense with 3 hits, a walk and a stolen base, while James Katsiroubas and John Kostas each collected two hits.
Game four proved to be a classic, as the A’s held a slim 1-0 lead going into the bottom of the 4th inning, when the wheels fell off the wagon. Five walks and a few base hits gave Southy what appeared to be a commanding 5-1 lead. The Saint’s pitcher, Steve Hueston, was mowing down the Al Thomas Club on two days rest, having thrown a complete game to beat them in game two. But showing the same fierce resiliency it had all season long, the green & white scored a run in the 5th, then started a rally with two outs in the top of the 7th as Kostas (double) and Lambert (triple) drove in runs to get it closer and Katsiroubas singled in the tying run.
Katzy then took the mound in relief in the 7th after two solid innings of relief by Matt Quigg and proceeded to throw seven shutout innings as the A’s came up with three runs in the 13th inning to take the game and the series!
As heavy underdogs against the two-time defending champion West Roxbury team, the Al Thomas Club marched into game one of the semifinals and used a 6-run 5th inning to earn a 6-3 win. After rbi singles by Will Clang, Lambert and Katsiroubas, Chris McDonough launched a 3-run bomb to right field to close out the scoring. Mitch Monke threw a complete game, scattering five hits. Once again, excellent defense led the way for the A’s.
The Bluefish tied the series at one game apiece, but the Thomas Club came back in game three for a 7-2 win. Will Clang scattered 8 hits on route to a complete game 7-2 victory to put Al Thomas up 2-1 in the best-of-five series.
Steve Lambert had three hits, a stolen base and 2 rbi's while Chris McDonough (rbi double) and John Kostas (2-run triple) each had 2 hits to pace the offense.
West Roxbury went on to take games four and five and win the series to advance to the finals. It was a disappointing finish, but the Al Thomas Club had a great season and many bright spots on which to build for the future.