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Manager: Kevin Kantner
MVP: Allan Valunas
Sportsmanship/Hustle: Bill Lewis
Outstanding Pitcher: Shawn Seidel & Randy Strausser
Defensive Player of the Year: Todd Schlegel
Each year the Berkshire 28-Over Sox start the season with a few goals: have fun and enjoy playing (since we’re so old!), and represent the Berkshire organization with good sportsmanship and winning games, including the league championship. In the 3 years since manager Kevin Kantner took over the team, their regular season league record is 45-13, including a 13-5 record this season. Winning games and having fun have not been the issues these past few seasons, but winning them when it counts has been.
The 2005 team was lead offensively by Allan Valunas (.478, 18 runs, 16 RBI), Bob Tranquillo (.380, 10 Runs, 19 RBI), Todd Schlegel (.405, 13, 11), Kevin Kantner (.333, 15, 17), Brad Burg (.333, 17 runs) and Barry Carl (.295, 12 RBI). Others contributing offensively were Mike Stern (.692 in 6 games), Brian Schlegel (.450, 11 RBI in 7 games); and “rookies” Shawn Seidel (.360, 10 runs – 10 games), and Jerry Freiwald (.345, 9 runs – 13 games). Dan Clouser (.333) and Bill Lewis (.300) also pitched in as did Bobby Rhoads. The team again averaged over 8 runs per game (8.2 this season vs. 8.5 last year) in league play.
Randy Strausser (3-0, 1.00 ERA, 32K), Shawn Seidel (4-1, 1.85, 42K) and Barry Carl (3-1, 1 SV, 2.51, 32) led the Sox pitching staff, with additional wins chipped in from Brian Schlegel and Chris Ninfo during the regular season. This was after another starting pitcher, “rookie” Mike Strechay, was lost for the season before it started with an elbow injury during a preseason game.
Although starting out strong with a 10-1 record and cruising in first place in the league standings, the team went 3-4 down the stretch, earning them a disappointing 4th seed in the Berks County Senior Baseball League playoffs (double elimination). After winning their opening round playoff game 6-3 against the Udder Choice Rangers, they lost 5-0 to eventual and 3-time defending league champion Hamburg Astros. However, they had beaten Hamburg in both meetings during the regular season.
They recovered to beat the Sinking Spring Angels 5-3 in an elimination game, but their championship goal and season would end the next weekend with a loss to the eventual league runner-up Yankees 5-4. The loss was especially irritating, as all five runs scored were unearned in the first inning, after the Sox had taken a 3-0 lead in the top of the first.
To wrap up for 2005, it was another fun, competitive and rewarding season; with another disappointing end the team will look to avenge next season.
For 2006, the goal remains the same – the BCSBL Championship.