MEDFORD     The Ed Sox ended up on the short end of a hard fought battle with Suburban Sluggers, losing 12 to 6 at Medford's Tufts Park.

Both teams had to scratch for runs in this defensive showdown, in which the lead changed hands four times and which had the Ed Sox ahead after four-and-a-half innings. But it was won by Suburban Sluggers with an seven-run offensive burst in their final at bat.

"If this game is any indication of our potential, we'll be sipping champagne out of my cleats come playoff time," said Ed Sox player-manager-mogul Ed Mason.

The Ed Sox took a quick 3 to 0 lead in the first inning, as third baseman/pitcher Michael Keefe led off with a single, followed by singles from Deirdre and Skipper Mason. They scored on productive outs by center fielder Tim Farrell and pitcher/first baseman Donna Barry, and singles by shortstop Ted Young and catcher/second baseman Teresa Wu.

The Ed Sox benefited from strong pitching with the return of ace Donna Barry and Number Two Keefe.

There also were flashes of strong defense. Second baseman Linda Mason combined on a controversial double-play in the first inning. With a runner on first and no outs, second baseman Linda Mason snared a bullet headed for right field, turned and fired a strike to Ed Mason at first base. The runner was called out for a hard slide into the first baseman's leg.

The Ed Sox and Suburban Sluggers played a tied game until the fourth, when Suburban Sluggers scored after the Ed Sox changed up its defense, moving Ed Mason to third, Keefe to pitcher and Barry to first.

But the Ed Sox answered in the fifth when Deirdre and Ed Mason singled. Deirdre scored on a Farrell double, allowing Mason to take third. Mason scored on a Ted Young single, giving the Ed Sox a 5 to 4 lead.

And then the wheels fell off. The Ed Sox, the oldest team in the Fall Frostbite League with an average drinking age of 46, had a sloppy bottom of the fifth when Suburban sluggers scored seven runs to take a lead they would not surrender. The Ed Sox ended the bleeding when Farrell made a spectacular, diving catch of a sinking line drive.

The Ed Sox rallied in their final at bat, scoring one run on a single by Linda Mason, a sacrifice by right fielder and catcher Carolann Hynes, and a slashing single to right by Salvati. but it was not enough.

The Ed Sox next play a double-header Oct. 10 at Medford's Tufts Park, as they face off against the Royals and Green Monsters. Game 1 starts at 1.30, the second game at 3. Please come and show your support!