King’s Court rules Daniel S. Wasson Memorial playoffs

King’s Court Softball scored three runs in the first inning and never trailed in a 14-9 victory over Space Craft in the Daniel S. Wasson Memorial Men’s Playoff final on Aug. 21.

Seeded third, King’s Court led 10-3 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning at Washington Field. Space Craft, the top seed, struck for five runs — powered by run-scoring singles from Anthony Carlino, Ed Frawley and Jake Grabell.

But, King’s Court (9-6) countered with a four spot in the top of the seventh, keyed by a two-run single from Adam Bajko and Jeff Campbell’s RBI single.

Space Craft (12-3) mustered one run in the home half of the frame on Chris Lipford’s RBI single, before King’s Court pitcher Marc Mitchell rolled a pair of grounders to seal the championship.

Mitchell had four hits to help his cause, while Dan Ruggerio added three hits and four RBIs. Campbell and Mike Piroh chipped in with two hits apiece for King’s Court Softball.

In the top of the first, King’s Court plated their first runs after Lipford, Space Craft’s pitcher, put two outs in the book. Pete Rodrigues ignited the rally with a ringing triple off of the fence in right-center field. After Roy Wiliams walked, Mitchell, Mike Kimberly and Piroh all hit RBI singles.

Space Craft pulled back a run in the bottom of frame, when Grabell led off with a single to center and scored on Brian Sweeney’s sacrifice fly.

Ruggerio’s RBI single in the top of second made it 4-1 King’s Court, before Jay Williston drove in a run for Space Craft after his ball was misplayed in the home half of the inning.

Sweeney singled and scored in bottom of the third, narrowing Space Craft’s gap to 4-3.

Ruggerio’s two-run single keyed a three-run outburst for King’s Court, as it increased its cushion to 7-3.

Mitchell, backed by a stellar five-man infield — a tactic deployed by both teams — blanked Space Craft in the fourth and fifth innings.

Lipford started Space Craft’s sixth-inning uprising with a one-out single, with Jake Cianciullo and Carlino following suit. Williston drew a walk to keep the line moving, before Frawley and Grabell added their run-scoring hits.

That made it a two-run game, but Bajko and Campbell produced timely hits to provide King’s Court with some insurance runs heading into the bottom of the seventh.

Kimberly in left field took a potential home run away from Sweeney, making a running catch that carried him over the fence in left-center field for the first out.

After Lipford’s RBI single made it 14-9, Mitchell retired Cianciullo on a grounder to second base and Carlino on grounder back to the mound.

King’s Court’s path to the final started with a 23-8 victory over Candido Electric/Stonebridge in the quarterfinals on Aug. 14.

Prior to facing Space Craft in the final, King’s Court defeated second-seeded One-Hit Wonders. Space Craft toppled 88 Stitch Softball in the second semifinal.