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Manager: Kevin Kantner
MVP: Scott Emerich
Sportsmanship/Hustle: Jerry Freiwald
Outstanding Pitcher: Mike Strechay
Defensive Player of the Year: Shawn Seidel
Unlike their younger Quad County Optimist Baseball League counterparts, the Berkshire 28-Over Red Sox once again were unable to capture the elusive Berks County Senior Baseball League championship they’ve been stalking. The team finished the regular season 15-5 and tied for third overall. But not putting together a winning streak during the playoffs once again kept them from their championship dream.
The 2006 team began the season without 2005 team MVP Allan Valunas and 3-time team MVP Brian Schlegel. However, the Sox returned most of their potent starting line-up from last season. Bob Tranquillo, Todd Schlegel, Kevin Kantner, Brad Burg, Barry Carl, Mike Stern, Shawn Seidel, Jerry Freiwald, Bill Lewis, and Bobby Rhoads returned and averaged just less than 7 runs per game of offense (down from over 8 runs the last two seasons).
New additions Mike Strechay, Moses Rivera, Bill Martin and returning former Red Sox players Jeff Hartenstine, Scott Emerich and Troy Gaston also played roles big and small in all aspects of the team – offense, defense and pitching.
Mike Strechay was voted by the league members as the “Pitcher of the Year” for his outstanding year on the mound. He was 6-1 with 54 K’s in 43 innings and gave up only 3 earned runs during the regular season. Mike was able to anchor a pitching staff which started the year as the strength of the team, but due to injury and other factors had them scrambling by season’s end. Barry Carl, Scott Emerich, Jeff Hartenstine and Bob Tranquillo each “pitched” in during the season.
The Sox entered the playoffs as the 4th seed, and lost a heart-breaking opener 4-3 to Reamstown which tumbled them into the loser’s bracket. After a 5-4 win over the Angels, they were eliminated in the Quarterfinal round of the playoffs after losing to the Phillies 3-1. A first year franchise, Sam’s Goosehouse Mets defeated the Hamburg Astros to claim their first league title.
Overall, it was another fun, competitive and rewarding season.