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Graig Nettles Division

Regular Season 2018

Recent Graig Nettles Division News

Slinging It

07/30/2018, 12:15pm EDT
By Rob Gray

Slingers bats break loose in the middle innings to secure an easy 13-5 championship victory of Gobblers!

            In an unexpected matchup, second seeded Slingers took on fourth seed Gobblers, who just snuck their way into the playoffs, for the Tony Perez Division Championship.  Slingers went an impressive 6-2-1 in the regular season to just narrowly miss out on the top seed, and Gobblers won 4 of their final 6 games to get into the playoffs with a bit of help.  Both teams rode a couple of impressive first round wins into the matchup.  They may not have been the “best” team this season by rank, but there was no shortage of talent and they had certainly turned it on when it mattered most.  The two hottest teams in the league were putting their potent offenses and stout defenses on full display.

            The two championship contenders had one regular season matchup early on in the season.  Slingers owned that one by a convincing score of 15-8.  However, these were two very different teams this time around.  As mentioned, the teams weren’t short on star power either.  For Slingers, Greg Prestipino led the league in hits (28) and ranked 4th in batting average (.651), Jesse Daunno tied for 4th in hits (22), Ryan Hall finished 4th in RBI’s (19), Lauren Canonico tied for 3rd among women in batting average (.375), and Jason Orr ranked 1st in wins (6), 2nd in ERA (4.05), and 1st in WHIP (1.42).  As for Gobblers, Nick Stahlman ranked 3rd in hits (23), tied for 2nd in wins (5), 3rd in ERA (5.22), and 2nd in WHIP (1.90).  Nick Robbins finished 5th in homeruns (7).  How do the teams stack up as a whole?



Total (Rank)


Total (Rank)

Runs Scored

113 (2nd)

99 (5th)


160 (1st)

151 (4th)


53 (1st)

15 (13th)


15 (tied 5th)

28 (1st)

Team Batting Average

.440 (1st)

.393 (6th)

Runs Allowed

69 (7th)

97 (15th)

Walks Allowed

19 (6th)

37 (tied 14)


1.57 (1st)

2.18 (6th)

Run Differential

+44 (2nd)

+2 (tied 8th)

Gobblers hold their own, but the numbers are outright impressive up and down the board for Slingers.  They rank at or near the top of just about every team stat category.  There’s a reason why they are in (and usually win) the championship game every season.

            This one got off to a slow start as Gobblers hung around early.  Neither team scored in the 1st or 3rd innings while both teams matched runs in the 2nd.  Marc Pepin tripled in Alan Kopeloff, who led off the inning with a single, but Gobblers couldn’t capitalize with a man on third and only one out.  Slingers evened the score back up when Jen Benensky hit into a productive, RBI fielder’s choice, scoring Joe Rockhill who singled earlier in the inning.  Things started to take a drastic turn in the 4th inning.  Gobblers scored 1 run in the top of the frame on a Nick Robbins solo shot.  In the bottom of the inning, Slingers’ bats were beginning to wake up.  They’d score 3 runs on an RBI walk for Ryan Hall and a 2 RBI double off the bat of Greg Prestipino.  Gobblers would get the next two batters out to limit the damage, but this wouldn’t last long.  Slingers followed this up with 2 more runs in the 5th, 1 in the 6th, and 6 in the 7th.  The big blows came off the bats of Rockhill, Hall, and Prestipino, whose trio of homeruns combined for 5 RBI’s.  Rockhill also added a sac fly, James Amadeo contributed 2 RBI’s on a single and a fielder’s choice, and Jesse Daunno smacked an RBI double to round out the scoring.  Meanwhile, Gobblers were only able to muster up two runs in the same timeframe.  This came in the form of another solo blast off the bat of Robbins and an RBI single by Pepin.  Tim Klein added a solo homerun in the top of the 8th to bring the deficit to 13-5, but this would complete the scoring.  Slingers slammed the door shut on Gobblers and secured their 4th Championship!

            This was a close one early, but it was only a matter of time before Slingers, possibly the best offense across the league, broke loose.  It was a tough task for Gobblers, who were missing their best all-around player in pitcher and hit machine Nick Stahlman, but I’m not sure it would have impacted the outcome with the way Slingers was swinging the bats and playing the field.  Slingers made some excellent defensive stops in key situations and saw offensive contributions up and down the lineup.  Every single batter reached base at least once, and 8 of the 10 batters recorded multiple hits with a 9th reaching base multiple times including walks.  As a team, they batted an impressive .467 on the game while holding Gobblers to just a .289 average.  For Slingers, Joe Rockhill and Katie Burns each recorded 3 hits in the game.  However, MVP honors would have to go to Greg Prestipino, who’s 3 hits were also complimented by his game high 4 RBI’s.  Add in some great defensive play and it’s a pretty clear choice.  The loss came despite the efforts of Nick Robbins and Marc Pepin, who both went 2 for 4 at the plate and contributed 2 RBI’s apiece.

            Congratulations to both teams on a pair of great seasons, an excellent playoff run, and a hard-fought championship battle.  One of the best, if not the best, all around teams in our league in Slingers proved to be just too much for the streaking Gobblers.  Slingers flashed the leather in the field and slugged at the plate in their decisive championship victory.  Congratulations to the 2018 Fall Tony Perez Division Champions Slingers!!!  We look forward to seeing you both back next season.  Round two?

Houdini's Tavern

07/29/2018, 9:45am EDT
By Rob Gray

Mills Tavern works their magic to consistently wiggle out of trouble and topple Louise & Jerry’s for their first A Division Championship!

       HOBOKEN, NJ -- As one might hope, the two best teams in our league faced off for the A Division championship.  Those teams were Louise & Jerry’s and Mills Tavern.  Louise & Jerry’s held the top seed with their impressive 7-2 regular season record and came into the game winning 6 of their last 7 contests.  Mills Tavern finished at 5-3-1, good enough for second in the division, and had won 3 of their last 4 games heading into the championship matchup.  The two teams met twice in the regular season, with Louise & Jerry’s holding a distinct advantage.  They’d sweep the season series of their division rival and outscored their opponent a combined 20-6.

            This game certainly was not short of star power.  On Louise & Jerry’s side, Jude Bracken ranked 1st in homeruns (9) and 3rd in RBI’s (22), Mike Brizzolara ranked 5th in RBI’s (16), and pitcher Anthony Romano finished tied for 2nd in wins (5), 1st in ERA (3.72), and 4th in WHIP (2.12).  On the opposing side for Mills Tavern, Alex Bially finished 2nd in the league in hits (25), Rob Lennon was tied for 4th in hits (22), tied for 2nd in homreruns (8), and ranked 1st in RBI’s (26), Jen Benesky ranked 2nd among women in batting average (.433), and pitcher Jim Pilla tied for 2nd in wins (5) and finished 3rd in WHIP (1.97).  Just how close were these teams as a whole?


Louise & Jerry’s

Total (Rank)

Mills Tavern

Total (Rank)

Runs Scored

105 (3rd)

114 (1st)


155 (2nd)

152 (3rd)


30 (5th)

41 (3rd)


26 (2nd)

22 (3rd)

Team Batting Average

.407 (2nd)

.398 (3rd)

Runs Allowed

64 (10th)

85 (11th)

Walks Allowed

43 (16th)

11 (2nd)


2.05 (4th)

2.07 (5th)

Run Differential

+41 (3rd)

+29 (4th)


It doesn’t get much closer than that!  This set us up for one heck of a championship battle between one perennial powerhouse in Louise & Jerry’s and another team hoping to achieve that status in Mills Tavern.

            Mills Tavern came out of the gate firing in this one.  Alex Bially led off the game with a single with Jen Benensky following suit two batters later.  Dave Wasserman was able to work an RBI walk before Dan Lyons came to the plate with two outs.  Lyons delivered and smacked a 2 RBI single to finish the scoring in the inning.  The defense held down the fort and worked a 1-2-3 first inning behind pitcher Jim Pilla.  Mills Tavern put another runner on in the second but couldn’t plate a run.  Louise & Jerry’s, as expected, began to answer back in the bottom of the second.  Jude Bracken led the inning off with a solo blast to cut the deficit to 3-1.  They’d put two more runners on base but could not capitalize.  This would become a common theme throughout the night.  Feeding off of the strong defensive play, Rob Lennon led the inning off with a walk before Wasserman delivered again.  This time, it was a 2-run homer to extend the lead to 5-1.  Louise & Jerry’s would stop the damage there and hold their opponent to another 0 runs in the fourth, but they could not gain any more ground.  They again saw two runners on base in the bottom of the third and fourth innings but could not find that big hit.  After two quick outs in the top of the fifth, Jen Benensky drew a big walk to set up guess who?  Wasserman would come to the plate and smack another long ball to bring his RBI total to 5 on the night, extending the lead to 7-1 in the process.  Things were getting a bit anxious for Louise & Jerry’s but this was a championship caliber team with one of the most potent offenses in the league and a lot of game left.

            Chris “Cutty” Lyons led off the bottom of the fifth with a single and would later score on a two out RBI single off the bat of Rob Delfino.  They finally got a much needed hit with a runner in scoring position and Jude Bracken followed with a single to set the offense up again.  However, the two baserunners would be stranded again and the deficit was 7-2.  Louise & Jerry’s would work a scoreless top of the sixth and gave themselves a chance to get back into this game.  A leadoff single from Ted Serro (reaching second on a fielding error) and another reach on error set up the offense with runners at the corners and no outs.  Surely this was the start of the big inning they had been waiting for.  Pilla and the Mills Tavern defense would have something to say about this.  They’d work their magic and Houdini their way out of this one as well.  Pilla showed off the cat-like reflexes and made a great catch on a comeback liner off the bat of Mike Martinez.  That one was ticketed for centerfield and an RBI.  The next at bat resulted in an around the horn 5-4-3 double play that left Louise & Jerry’s stunned.  Smelling blood in the water, Mills Tavern struck again in the top of the seventh.  A one out single by Bially was followed by a two-run blast off the bat of Lennon.  The lead was 9-2.  Mike Brizzolara of Louise & Jerry’s stepped up to the plate and belted a pinch hit homer to start off the bottom of the seventh.  However, Pilla would induce a pair of fly outs in the heart of the order to escape further trouble.  No one on either side would score in the eighth and this was a 9-3 game heading into the final frame.

            Mills Tavern felt the championship in hand but knew there was still work to be done.  They’d work walks for 3 of the first 5 batters in the inning to bring that man up again with bases loaded and two outs.  Consider it a victory for Louise & Jerry’s that Wasserman would “only” hit an RBI single before they’d escape the inning.  It was now a 10-3 game and their backs were completely against the wall, but the reigning champs weren’t going to go down without a fight.  A leadoff single was exactly what Louise & Jerry’s needed but they would follow with a fly out and a fielder’s choice to leave themselves to their final out.  Erika Lesher would keep the ball rolling with her single and Delfino came through with another clutch RBI single.  This set up a 3-run homerun by Bracken, his second of the game, to make this one interesting.  The lead was 10-7 and Louise & Jerry’s just needed baserunners.  They would not get them.  Pilla and the Mills Tavern defense stopped the bleeding and shut the door, clinching their first A Division championship!

            Mills Tavern won the game with some excellent offensive performances and an incredible defensive effort.  Louise & Jerry’s put two runners on base in 5 of the first 6 innings.  The Mills Tavern defense stranded every single one of those runners.  It would not be until the bottom of the ninth, when this one was well in hand, that Louise & Jerry’s would be able to come through and capitalize in this type of situation.  Mills Tavern also saw great production out of the top half of their lineup.  Their first four batters (Alex Bially, Rob Lennon, Jen Benensky, and Dave Wasserman) combined for 8 of 15 from the plate with 5 walks, 3 homeruns, and 8 RBI’s.  Dan Lyons was no slouch in the six spot either, with his huge hit in the first inning and a 2 for 4 effort overall.  He also made a number of excellent plays in the field at third base, gutting it out after an injury sidelined him a few weeks prior to the start of the playoffs.  However, player of the game honors has to go to Wasserman, who was dealing with his own injury and went 4 for 4 at the plate including 2 homeruns, a walk, 3 runs, and a game high 6 RBI’s.  He also played a great game at shortstop to solidify the defense.  Don't get this one twisted though; it was a complete effort from top to bottom.  Even those that may have struggle at the plate contributed in a big way in the field, including Jim Pilla's feat on the mound and Alicia Mattiello, who played an excellent game at second base.  The loss came despite the efforts of 3-4 hitters Rob Delfino and Jude Bracken, who combined for 6 of 10 with 3 runs, 6 RBI’s, and 2 homeruns for Louise & Jerry’s.

            Congratulations to two excellent teams on two incredible seasons and hard fought battle for the crown.  Unfortunately, there could only be one winner among these two very deserving teams.  That honor would go to Mills Tavern!  Congratulations to the 2018 Spring Graig Nettles Division Champions!!!  Anyone else sensing a rivalry brewing?  See you both next season!

Fall 2018 Team Registration

07/05/2018, 11:15am EDT
By Staff

Registration is open for Fall Ball!

Hope everyone had a fantastic 4th of July!  Just wanted to refresh this article with some additional info, including updated ABL Fall League registration deadlines and league start dates for Softball, Flag Football, Basketball and Bar Shuffleboard

MEN'S & COED FALL SOFTBALL LEAGUE starts the week of August 19th. Team registration deadline is August 12th. Games in Bergen, Hudson, Passaic, Essex, Monmouth, Ocean. Register here

MEN'S FALL FLAG FOOTBALL LEAGUE starts the week of September 10th. Team registration deadline is September 1st.  Games in Hoboken. Register here

MEN'S FALL BASKETBALL LEAGUE starts the week of September 18th. Individual & Team registration deadline is September 10th. Games in Jersey City. Register here

FALL BAR SHUFFLEBOARD LEAGUE starts the week of September 27th. Team registration deadline is September 20th. Games in Hoboken/NYC. Register here

For details and info, or to reserve a spot in one of our Fall leagues, just complete the online registration.

***Free Agents - we are only accepting Individual Registrations for our Fall Hoops League - if you are flying solo and want to play Fall Softball, Flag Football, or Shuffle, just post up your info on our Free Agent Database at - maybe you'll get picked up by a team in need of your skills!

Fall Ball will be here before you know it - be sure to lock in your spot NOW to guarantee your spot. We'll see you out there!

  • Walk It Off

  • 05/31/2018, 7:30pm EDT , By Rob Gray
  • A late rally and a run walked in earns Hudson River Crossfit the shocking victory over 10th & Willow.
  • Read More