Keefe pitches complete-game victory; Saves dog from choking

NEWTON - (EP) The Ed Sox throttled the Fighting Sandcrabs, 19-6, to notch their first win of the season.

The Ed Sox pounded out a season-high 26 hits in five innings, and left only eight runners on, building a 17-run lead going into the final frame. Spot-starter Michael Keefe, who came out of the bullpen to secure his first win since last season, worked quickly and efficiently. The crafty right-hander worked out of jams in the first and third innings, only being hit hard on two occasions when he surrendered harmless ground-rule doubles. He also was supported by some of the strongest defense of the season, with nearly every Ed Sox contributing a put-out or an assist.

"This was our finest game since I've been manager," said Skipper Ed Mason. "This was a complete effort. Pitching, defense and solid hitting."

The Ed Sox played hard from start to finish, perhaps sensing that Mason's job was in jeopardy. In his fourth season as manager, Mason has yet to bring the Ed Sox a coveted Frostbite League championship. Indeed, league sources say that general manager Flinty McDuff is disappointed that the Ed Sox, 3 and 3 last year, will fail to have a winning season, and is looking for a reason to fire Mason.

Still, the win also kept the Ed Sox' slim playoff hopes alive. With a 1-4 record with one game to go, the Ed Sox are on the bubble -- the eighth-best team with eight playoff spots available. If the Ed Sox tie for the final slot, a tie-breaking procedure that Skipper Mason doesn't pretend to comprehend commences.

The Ed Sox pulled off their first win despite being kept from the field for weeks due to rain. Keefe, pitching on one month's rest, showed little sign of rust, though. He walked the first Sandcrab, then he retired the side without giving up a run.

The right-hander, who emigrated from Troy and who is rumored to actually be 45, helped himself at the plate. He led off with a double, advanced on a sacrifice by Deirdre Manning, and scored on a single by Dan Stachurski.

The Ed Sox got the bats going in the second inning, plating four runs on six hits. Ted Young belly-flopped into second with a double, advanced to third on a sacrifice by Paul Luevano, and scored on a sacrifice by Teresa Wu.

The Ed Sox piled on with successive hits by Tom Atwood, Mason, Linda Mason, Jay DeMarzo and Keefe. The Ed Sox would score three in the third, four in the fourth and seven in the fifth.

Everyone got into the act: Keefe hit safely in all four at-bats, and scored three runs. Young had was 3-for-3 with three runs scored. Mason had three hits and three runs. Linda Mason went 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Manning was 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Dan Stachurski was was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three runs batted in. Tom Atwood went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two rbi. DeMarzo was 3-for-3 with two runs scored and 3 rbi. Tim Farrell was 2-for-4 with a run scored and an rbi. Luevano stroked a double in three at-bats.

Wu, while hitless, advanced runners each time up and twice knocked in her sweetie.

The Ed Sox also played near error-free ball, helped by strong defensive performances by Tammy Atwood at second base, Stachurski at shortstop, DeMarzo at third, and Manning in short field. And Keefe pounced from the mound for several assists.

Keefe's sharp reflexes didn't dull after the game. He caught Finnegan Atwood about to swallow a piece of wood with a nail in it, pried open the dog's powerful jaws while Tammy Atwood removed the deadly sliver. "I was hungry, and it seemed like a good idea at the time," Finnegan Atwood said. "Thankfully, Mike sees everything."

The Ed Sox wrap up the regular season at noon at Smith Field in Brighton. Directions can be found at www. bssc.com. The game promises to have playoff implications and lots of tension.

Ed Sox Notes: Outfielder Sam Longley was placed on the 60-day disabled list with a back injury, and is not expected to return this season. ....Utility infielder/pitcher Hannah Sarnow was given her unconditional release, so that she may hook on with a Japanese League team. .... Ed Sox Skipper Ed Mason does not recommend the Iguana Cantina in Waltham. .... Ted Young and Teresa Wu will be left off the playoff roster for the first round, should the team make it -- the couple travel to Iceland for their honeymoon. They will be activated should the Ed Sox advance. ....