MEDFORD (AP) Oct. 19. The Ed Sox were sent home early from the Boston Ski and Sports Club playoffs, after dropping a hard-fought 17 to 11 contest to the Mad Dawgz at Tufts Park, bringing to a close a remarkable inaugural season.

The Ed Sox took an early, first-inning three-run lead. But the Ed Sox were unable to put down the Mad Dawgz, who rallied rabidly in their next at-bat and then scored in all but one of the next five innings. Still, the Ed Sox kept it close, showing tempting flashes of offensive and defensive ability that could make the Ed Sox pennant contenders next year.

"I think, given the enthusiasm we displayed, next year we're going to be a formidable foe," said Ed Mason, skipper of the Ed Sox, in a post-game press conference. "I'm awfully proud of how we battled. We had one of the league's most difficult schedules, if not the most difficult one, this fall. But we hung tough."

The Ed Sox finished the regular season 0 and 6, but played teams with a combined record of 21 and 15. Eight of those 15 losses belonged to two teams.

The team's losing record on the field did not overshadow its winning ways off the diamond, Mason added. "Our six-game regular-season streak of drinking after games was unrivaled," the skipper said. "And I couldn't have asked to spend this much time with such a good group."

The Ed Sox raced out to a quick first-inning lead, scoring runs on hits by Michael Keefe, Ted Young, Brad Zollner and Mason. John Calabresi went deep in his final at-bat, hitting his first of many doubles to come. David Olson and Teresa Wu were robbed of hits after making their most solid contact of the season, and showed speed down the first-base line sure to make the defense respect them next season.

The game also featured the fine pitching of Donna Barry, who scouts predict will be an All-Star next year in her sophomore season. Other defensive kudos went to Linda Mason at the second-sack, Mary Ellen Mullaney, who held down home plate and nearly made a lunging grab of a foul ball for an out, and (Proud) Mary McGuire, who played hurt at first. Paul Luevano played a flawless game at third-base, his first time playing the hot corner. Zollner, meantime, made the grab of the season, a sliding catch of a sinking fly-ball into center field.

The Ed Sox missed the contributions of those who were unable to play the finale: Kevin Castle, Carole Fisher, Sam Longley, Deirdre, Peter Ryan, and Arnold Salvati.

"They were all important parts of the team this year," Mason said. "Clearly, their absence was felt Sunday. But I hope they'll be back next year."

However, the Associated Press has learned that Castle may be the first of several Ed Sox to jump ship before the spring. Contract negotations between the team and its first-string catcher, who spent the season on the injured-reserve list, and the team have broken down.

"If he doesn't play he doesn't get paid," said an agitated Mason. "I don't care if he is the pride of Troy."