YORKTOWN, N.Y. -The two-time defending champion Westchester Mets and first place Shrub Oak Pirates clashed for the championship of the Walker Lewis Division in Westchester-Putnam Men's Senior Baseball League action on Sunday.
The teams split a doubleheader to open their best-of-three final series.
The Mets won, 14-4, in the first game before the Pirates, two outs from another elimination, came from behind to win the night cap, 4-3.
Mets' starter Doug FitzMorris took command in the first game, limiting the Pirates while his teammates backed him with run support and fielding excellence.
Matt Olli started for the hosts and kept his mates in the contest until the final inning.
The Mets opened a 1-0 lead in the first when Bill Casey hit a leadoff single and was driven home by Ed Volpe .
After knotting the score in their half, the Pirates moved ahead in the second with two runs via hits by John Boro , Rod Tomassio and Rob Fernandez .
The Mets rallied for five in the third on consecutive hits by Mike McCarthy , Tim Seckerson and Volpe (plus heads-up running by John Juliano ).
In the home third, Mets' left fielder Chris Meyers made a catch that turned into an inning ending double play.
In the sixth, the Pirates closed the gap to 6-4. Len Galati singled, stole and scored on Joe Kesselmark's hit.
The Pirates loaded the bases with two out and Tomassio lifted a fly ball toward the left field line, but Meyers came up with another highlight-reel catch to end the threat.
In the 7th inning, Tom Mullen belted a 3-RBI triple to cap an 8-run outburst by the Mets in which McCarthy and Dan Harrigan also had RBI hits.
Facing elimination for a third year in a row, the Pirates turned to Boro to stop the Mets and extend the final series.
He pitched a complete game, and would deliver the Pirates' biggest hit of the season.
The Mets jumped to an early lead in the second game when Casey led off with a double and scored on Seckerson's RBI shot.
Meanwhile, right-hander, Bob Martarano , was making easy work of the Pirates batters, blanking the hosts through five innings. In that frame, Tomassio blasted a triple to deep left and scored on a base hit by Steve DiNucci .
The Mets moved ahead, 3-1, with two in the 6th, Volpe (who also did heavy duty, catching both games) and Mullen driving in the runs.
Ted Lawrence led off the Pirate seventh with a sharp line drive single. Kesselmark forced him, Jerry Stroud drew a base on balls and a clutch single by Olli loaded the bases with one out.
Next up, Boro connected, driving the ball high and far to deep center field. Two runners scored to tie the game, 3-3.
Tomassio's sac fly to left put the Pirates ahead, 4-3, Olli dashing home to score the go-ahead run.
The date, time and place of the decisive third game are yet to be determined.