After losing the first game Monday, the Arthritics stepped up and managed to win game two of the Chautauqua men’s softball league playoff series Wednesday at Sharpe Field.
With the Pounders securing a big win in game one, the Arthritics came back to take an 11-2 win in the second game.
While the Arthritics played well offensively, clocking big hits and strategic runs, it was on the defense where they shined. Despite some big hits, the Pounders couldn’t overcome the Arthritics’ outfielders. Brandon Keogh, Arthritics outfielder, had multiple catches throughout the game, running across the field, or even to the fence.
Other major defensive plays included a catch in the outfield, which was thrown for an out on second base, then thrown to first for a near three-out play, but the runner made it safely to first.
Keogh impressed Arthritics captain Mike O’Brien with his strong game in the outfield.
“We definitely got guys that can hit, but we’re at our best defensively,” O’Brien said.
As the 2019 season comes to a close, the Arthritics are in an interesting spot since some players, including O’Brien, are headed home. This doesn’t seem to faze the team at all; O’Brien said even without him, the momentum and skill the team currently has will carry them through to the championship game.
“Hopefully we’ll have a good line-up of guys, and hopefully it will be as good a game as this one,” O’Brien said. “We played really well, we hit around a few times and the whole field was played fantastic.”
This is a new system, however, as in previous years teams only needed to win one playoff game to reach the championship, but Chautauqua softball commissioner Mark Altschuler amended that this year.
“We used to only play one-game playoffs,” Altschuler said. “Having a three-game series where you need to win at least two (games) makes it way more fun and exciting for everyone.”
The third and final game of the series, which was set for Friday evening, was postponed and will take place at 6:30 p.m. Monday, August 5 at Sharpe Field.