Wait 'Til Next Year

CHARLESTOWN (AP) - The Ed Sox magical quest for a championship ended Sunday, when they were eliminated from the Boston Ski and Sports Club Fall Frostbite League playoffs with a heart-breaking 25 to 16 loss to Team Airborne. The Ed Sox sprinted out to a quick lead, but succumbed to Team Airborne's relentless hitting attack and frigid, wet conditions.

"Today's loss was awful disappointing but I'm very proud of this team," Ed Sox manager Ed Mason said. "This team showed a lot of heart and played very hard against a stronger team that already had beat it earlier in the season. Wipe away one bad inning and we have a win."

The Ed Sox scored early and often against Team Airborne in the first inning, sending nine batters to the plate, as third baseman Michael Keefe, right fielder Ted Young, center fielder Tim Farrell and left fielder Arnold Salvati scored runs on hits by pitcher Donna Barry, outfielder/pitcher Paul Luevano and shortstop Tom Atwood. Airborne answered with two runs of their own, but the Ed Sox tacked responded with a run as second baseman Deirdre Manning singled and scored on a Young single.

Trouble came in the third inning, though, when the visiting Ed Sox went down one-two-three and in their half of the inning Airborne scored five runs, taking an 8 to 6 lead.

Airborne scored on a combination of well-placed singles and patience at the plate, drawing walks from Barry and driving up the Ed Sox's ace's pitch count.

The Ed Sox again were scoreless in the fourth, but Airborne scored six more off of Luevano.

The Ed Sox got back into the groove in the fifth, when they scored five runs, as catcher Teresa Wu, Manning, Keefe, shortfielder Tammy Atwood and Farrell crossed the plate. Luevano and Linda Mason would score in the sixth on hits by Tom Atwood and Wu.

In their last at bat, the Ed Sox mounted a furious ralley, as Keefe and Young would score on hits by Salvati and Tammy Atwood. But the Ed Sox could not come back from what one point was a 15-run deficit.

The loss raised questions about the future of manager Ed Mason, who has compiled a 3 and 15 record in his three years at the helm, as well as whether the team will resign several high-priced players set to become free agents after the Fall Frostbite season ends Oct. 31.

"I thought we made some good additions in the offseason, and spent a lot of money on free agents," said Ed Sox general manager Patrick McGroyn. "But I'm willing to do whatever it takes to put a championship-caliber team on the field."

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Ed Sox Notes:

The Ed Sox dropped a double-header Oct. 17. The first game went to the Royals 9 to 2, while the second game was a loss to the Indies 17 to 6..... Game Two featured a nifty catch of a line drive by short-fielder Mary Ellen Mullaney.... The double-header was the second straight for the Ed Sox..... In the loss to the Indies, the bottom half of the order was particularly productive. Linda Mason, Mullaney, Sarnow, and Wu had at least one hit each ... Against the Indies, Manning led all Ed Sox by reaching safely in all three at bats, and tied Salvati by scoring twice. She accomplished this while sick.... Luevano debuted as a leadoff hitter and reached safely twice and scored once.... The Ed Sox used four pitchers in the double-header: Barry, Luevano, Sarnow and "Dancing Arnold" Salvati.... Tom Atwood was limited to stints at first-base by a hamstring injury.

Playoff Notes.... Rookies Dan Stachurski and Carolann Hynes and Mullaney were not at the playoff with Team Airborne..... Sarnow discovered in the playoff against Team Airborne that she actually is a left-handed batter. Still, she hit safely in her last three games....