Men's Rec softball: Citrus/Jaques Irrigation wins championship

Citrus/Jaques Irrigation defeated the Mud Dogs, 13-2, to win the Men’s Recreation League Softball League championship at Washington Field on Wednesday night.

CJI captured the city title out of the No. 3 seed in the field of 28 teams. The Mud Dogs were seeded first after posting a 13-1 regular season record.

CJI took a 6-2 lead into the top of the sixth inning and put together a seven-run rally in the sixth.

The Mud Dogs needed to score two runs in the home half of the frame to extend the game, but could only manage a Tom Behrendt single off winning pitcher Jeff Ucci.

Citrus-Jaques Irrigation took a 1-0 lead in its first at bat, as R.J. Berlingo doubled and scored on Eddie Blotney’s groundout.

Standout defense from both teams marked the next three innings.

Mud Dogs’ pitcher Scott Furtado started a double play, turned by Anthony Lazzara, after Ed Supple had opened the second with a single.

The Mud Dogs took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the inning.

Jeff Lutian, Behrendt and Furtado strung together singles and Lutian scored on Brian Hildebrandt’s run-producing grounder.

IN CJI’s third, Mud Dog Lutian at first robbed Will Cornwall of a base hit to his left.

CJI showed its prowess in the third when Mike Picarazzi went to his right to steal a hit away from Chris Peloso. Cornwall then caught a stinging liner by George Anastasiou to strand Lazzaro, who had tripled.

Anastasiou was a standout all game for the Mud Dogs from his third base position, twice throwing out runners while still on the ground.

Cornwall helped leave two runner aboard in the home fourth with a diving stop to his left that resulted in an inning-ending force play.

CJI scored five runs on six hits in the fifth to take a 6-2 lead.

Sean Fitzpatrick had a pinch-hit single with the bases loaded to tie the game.

Cornwall, Berlingo, Blotney and Picarazzi added RBIs, before Bryan Doran left runners on the corners with a tumbling catch on Mike Shannon’s liner to left.

The Mud Dogs could never cut into the deficit, despite hits by Doran and Dave Burrows in the fifth and Behrendt's base hit in the sixth.

CJI sent 11 batters to the plate and scored seven times in the sixth, despite getting a pair of runners thrown out at the plate.

George Wynus opened with a single and scored when Supple blasted a two-bagger to the fence in left field.

J.J. Carney and Jaques (RBI) followed with singles and Ucci reached on a fielder’s choice that didn’t produce an out.

Cornwall singled in two runs to make it 10-2, before Lutian made a great throw from second base to get Ucci at the plate.

Blotney singled home two more runs to take the score to 12-2.

Picarazzi singled and Blotney scored CJI’s 13th run on Shawn Hoggatt’s long double to center field.

A fine relay from Behrendt to Hildebrandt erased Piccirillo at home.

Shannon walked to place runners on the corners, but Doran tracked down a fly ball by Wynus to end the inning.

Citrus/Jaques Irrigation team members are R.J. Berlingo, Chris Roberto, Eddie Blotney, Sean Fitzpatrick, Mike Picarazzi , Will Cornwall, Jeff Ucci, Jeff Jaques, Shawn Hoggatt, Mike Shannon, George Wynus, J.J. Carney and Ed Supple.

Mud Dog team members are Dave Burrows, Chris Peloso, Bryan Doran, Anthony Lazzara, George Anastasiou, Jeff Lutian, Ben Grace, Brian Hildebrandt, Scott Furtado and Tom Behrendt.