Tag Archive | "Sag Harbor Liquors"

Third Title in Four Years for Liquors

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By Benito Vila

It started ugly for T&S Mott last Thursday and didn’t get any better as the game went on, Sag Harbor Liquors coming away with a 14-4 win to take the 2010 Sag Harbor Mens’ FastPitch Softball League championship.

The league trophy left Mashashimuet Park the property of Billy Schmitz, Jeremy Karl, Kelly Fox, Jeff Hand, Andy Tuthill, Alex Tekulsky, Brian Anderson, Carl Johnson, Eddie Palomo, Yummi DePetris and Chris Schiaffino for the third time in four years, that group taking part in each Liquors title.

Newcomers Cory Samot and Joe Sullivan were part of the festivities for the first time, with Henry Meyer coming back to help topple Mott, the 2009 champion, after a few seasons away from the field.

Collectively the Liquors team pounded out 10 home runs in the three-game sweep, roping three in game one, three in game two and four in the finale.

But those long hits were not the only reason Liquors came away with the series, the defense behind ace Kelly Fox committing just one error in game two and none in game three to keep Mott from mounting any kind of charge.

While Liquors needed one clutch two-out hit after another to take game one 13-11, that near-flawless defense made the 12-1 game two final and the game three clincher easier than anyone would have ever expected.

Oops & Ouch

A Garrett Lowe single and a Sean Mott walk put two runners on for the Mott team in the top of the first on Thursday. A fielder’s choice and pop out ended that rally two batters later, Mott taking the field eager to keep Liquors from scoring.

That’s not how it worked out. Liquors’ first swing turned into a two-base error, and a single and a stolen base put runners at second and third with no one out.

A long fly to deep right by Joe Sullivan became a two-run sacrifice fly, Chris Schiaffino tagging up from second and sliding under the relay to the plate to give Liquors an early 2-0 lead.

With a walk and a Jared Schiavoni single, Mott managed to get two on in the top of the second with no one out, but a force out from the outfield and a 6-4-3 double play quickly ended the threat.

Liquors Takes It

Coming back in to hit, Liquors all but put the game away, singles by Cory Samot and Jeff Hand putting pressure on Mott and a line drive into the right field corner by Brian Anderson clearing the bases.

An errant relay brought in Anderson and the rout was on, back-to-back home runs by Schiaffino and Sullivan one out later making the score 7-0 Liquors.

Mott didn’t go quietly though, Mike Lyons and Sean Mott ripping long home runs in the top of the third, Liquors holding on 7-3. That Mott rally did little to change the outcome, a two-out hit by DePetris in the bottom of the third bringing in two runs and putting Liquors up 9-3.

In the fourth, a George Hoglund single, a wild pitch and a Mike Semkus single moved Mott a run closer.

The game stayed 9-4 until Liquors exploded for five runs in the bottom of the sixth, Schiaffino and Tuthill hammering shots over the fence to close out the scoring.


Liquors’ offense booming, Fox’ pitching was once again easy to overlook.

Although Mott reached her for 10 hits Thursday, she induced 13 outs in the air, six ground ball outs and struck out two to keep Mott from making much of their at-bats.

That determined game three followed up a dazzling game two where Fox scattered seven hits and never faced more than five batters in any single inning.

Still, by catching everything hit towards center in the series, and nailing two timely home runs in game one and one each in games two and three, Joe Sullivan also delivered an MVP effort.

Though no such award is given, the contributions of Schiaffino, Tekulsky, Meyer, Hand and Tuthill, both at bat and in the field, could fuel an MVP debate all through the winter.

But what cannot be argued is Liquors’ dominance of the league, the team collecting regular season and post-season titles this year and making the finals 13 times in the last 16 years.

The Mott team coming away dispirited, its reliable pitching and defense ripped apart and its bats kept quiet, the off-season begins with Liquors being the one to beat.

Whalers and Schmitz Score in HarborFest

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Sag Harbor celebrated its maritime history over the weekend with a three-day festival including whaleboat races, a tug-o-war, clam shucking and clam chowder contests, plus an arts and crafts fair and farmer’s market on Long Wharf, historic walking tours and food and wine tastings among dozens of events.

The annual whaleboat races saw many familiar faces manning the oars and tillers. Like Bret Favre, who apparently refuses to retire, veteran rower Roy Schoen flew in from Colorado on Friday afternoon to compete over the weekend, forming a new team, the No Name Leftover Misfits HarborFest Extravaganza, or Misfits for short. (Organizers were relieved when the team lost in the final round for fear the tremendous cost of engraving their name on the coveted Whalers Cup trophy would bankrupt the organization.) But it was the two teams that saw little or no changes who emerged as champions this year, Team Whalers defending as men’s champions, and Sag Harbor Liquors upsetting John K. Ott and defending champions Bridgehampton Equipment Repair in the women’s championship.

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The three teams in that final women’s race were the same three that faced each other last year. In 2008, Bridgehampton Equipment rowed to victory after Liquors and Ott tangled up in the final leg. This year it was Liquors, with Heidi Schmitz, Hilary Schmitz, Hayley Schmitz and Jessica Eberhart in the boat who rowed easily on while Ott and Bridgehampton stalled together just past the first mark. Lisa Becker was with the Schmitz girls in the boat on Saturday.

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In the men’s final, John K. Ott earned its spot by first rowing a race-off to get into the semi-finals, then defeating favored Corner Bar to make the finals. But Team Whalers, with Ray Pettigrew, Bill Martin, Sean Beyel and Shannon Tice, who have won the cup 13 times since 1993, was too strong and successfully defended again, after clearing the Misfits and Ott before the first marker and never giving up the lead.

This year also featured the second annual whaleboat races for the Firefighters Cup. Four teams competed with the defending champions from Sag Harbor’s Gazelle Hose Company repeating, with Robert Bori, Howard North, Michael D’Angelo and Kelly Bailey on board.

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In other contests at the wharf over the weekend, Denise O’Malley successfully defended as Shucker of the Year in the clam shucking contest — a title she shared last year with Monica Miller. And in the clam chowder contest, the public voted The New Paradise Café as having the best New England-style chowder, and Clams on Wheels had the best Manhattan-style.

Mott Takes Trophy in a Walk Off

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By Benito Vila

Having the last at-bat finally made a difference for the home team last Thursday, T&S Mott rallying from three runs down in the bottom of the seventh to defeat Sag Harbor Liquors 8-7 in Mashashimuet Park and walk off with the 2009 Sag Harbor Mens’ Fastpitch League championship. The title is Mott’s first since 2005, the team also taking the league trophy home in 2001, 2002, and 2003.

Back-to-back losses to Liquors in the finals in 2007 and last year motivated Mott throughout the season, even though Liquors took this year’s regular season match-ups two games to one. Team manager Tim Mott said afterwards, “Going in, we knew if we could limit our mistakes in the field, we had a chance to win. We just had to keep from giving them at-bats they didn’t deserve; their line-up is too good for that.”

In each of the regular season games and the first three playoff games, the “visiting” team came away with the win. That left Mott up, two games to one, victories in game one and three giving them a slim advantage.

That also made Mott, the home team Thursday, more intent to get off to a good start. And the team responded in the field, recording a one-two-three first inning behind pitcher Bob Burden. In the second, shortstop Mike Semkus made a diving stop up the middle, turning a sure RBI single into an inning-ending force out.

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Liquors Leads, Mott Comes Back

Liquors broke through in the top of the third, a two-out single by Alex Tekulsky and a double by Chris Schiaffino knocking in the game’s first run. Liquors’ lead was short lived, Mott scoring four times in the bottom of the third to move ahead 4-1.

The Mott rally was sparked by newcomer Tyler Gilbride, who legged out a double on a line drive into right center. Liquors’ ace Kelly Fox induced a pair of pop-ups to put pressure back on Mott, Semkus came through with an RBI single to tie the score.

Keith Schulmann followed Semkus with a triple to put Mott up 2-1 and Sean Mott followed Schulmann with a line-drive home run to give his team some breathing room. Conferring with her infield, Fox carefully walked Mike Labrozzi, who had homered three times in the series, and retired Fred Marienfeld on a grounder to end the inning

Despite yielding a pair of two-out hits, Burden kept Liquors off the board in the top of the fourth. Fox did the same in the bottom of the frame, a strikeout and a pop-up leaving Mott runners at first and third. Both pitchers were stingy again in the fifth, Liquors going one-two-three and Mott making nothing of a two-out walk.

Liquors Ties, Then Goes Ahead

In the sixth, Liquors tied the score, a lead-off single by Schiaffino and a Joe Sullivan triple rousing the visitors’ side. A sacrifice fly by Andy Tuthill made the score 4-3, but Liquors wasn’t done, Jeremy Karl ripping a single, advancing on a passed ball and scoring on a single by Brendan Fennell.

The game now 4-4, Burden induced an infield pop-up for the second out, but Fennell moved Liquors closer to the lead in taking third on a wild pitch. The pressure on, Burden induced another pop-up to get out of the inning.

Fox saw her infield put a runner on with one out in the bottom of the sixth and then turn a bunt into a double play to cut short a Mott comeback. The first out of the double play came at first, third baseman Brian Anderson cleanly fielding the bunt and throwing to Fennell at first. Fennell fired the ball back across the infield to Schiaffino, who had moved over from shortstop to cover third, keeping Mott from making a move.

The play enlivened Liquors’ side even more, momentum swinging rapidly to the visitors when Carl Johnson reached on an error and Eddie Palomo put Liquors up 5-4 with a double to left. Tekulsky cracked a sharp single to score Palomo and moved to third on a groundout and a passed ball. A walk to Sullivan, left runners at first and third with one out and brought Tuthill up to hit.

Known as “King Tut” for his long ball hitting, Liquors’ dugout exploded with expectation. With Burden working carefully, Tuthill had little to hit. Suddenly finding a pitch in his zone, Tuthill lined a shot into right field that was snagged, but Tekulsky alertly tagged and scored to put Liquors up 7-4.

Sullivan took second on the throw home, leaving Liquors with a runner in scoring position with two outs for the fifth time in the game. Once again the Mott defense made the play it needed, second baseman Mike Daniels leaping to snare a Karl liner to end Liquors’ rally.

Mott Makes it 7-7

Gilbride led off the Mott seventh, his bench egging him to get on any way he could. With two hits in the game, Gilbride patiently waited on Fox to throw strikes and found himself at first, drawing a walk on five pitches.

Brendan Mott, another newcomer, stepped in to pinch hit and let Liquors know there was still a lot of game left, lining a home run to right center to cut the lead to one.

Liquors’ side suddenly quiet, Fox battled back inducing an infield groundout. Little could anyone have imagined that would be Liquors last out of the season, Semkus using an excuse-me swing to lift a ball softly over the second baseman and Schulmann quickly tying the score with yet another triple.

The go-ahead run at third, long ball threats Sean Mott and Labrozzi due up, Liquors’ infield conferred with Fox. The meeting broke up with Mott and Labrozzi being waved on, by way of intentional walks, setting up a force play at the plate or a home-to-first double play and bringing Marienfeld to the plate.

The Happy Walk-Off

Marienfeld, the Mott first baseman, had hit a productive fifth for much of season, but was one-for-13 in the series and came up determined to make good. Fox came after him immediately and his quick bat responded, lining a single between short and third to bring in Schulmann and set off the Mott celebration.

In enjoying the moment, Marienfeld said, “After Tuesday, when Mike hit his home runs, I knew they might do something like that. I knew I’d get a chance to come through.”

Burden, who in coming away with the win will soon find his team on the trophy for the fourteenth time in 20 years, added, “This team showed a lot of heart all year. It made the season and the series. Even though it didn’t come easy, everyone kept doing what they had to do. The way everything worked out, we’ll be joking about Semkus’ swing and patting Fred on the back for a long time.”

Men’s Fastpitch: Liquors Hoped to Hang On

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By Benito Vila

Baseball and softball are unique in that the home team always has a chance to win, the last at-bat favoring the game’s host. That peculiar rule has meant little though in the match-ups between T&S Mott and Sag Harbor Liquors this season.

The regular season games saw Liquors leave the park with wins the two times they were the visitors, Mott getting a win the only time they were. With the two teams playing for the championship of the Sag Harbor Mens’ Fastpitch League this week, the trend has continued.

Mott, coming in as the lower seed and sitting in the visitors’ dugout, took game one last Thursday, 5-4. Liquors ran around the bases freely in game two Monday, outscoring Mott 15-1, the home team humbled in falling behind 14-0 in the fourth.

Game three Tuesday saw both teams play scoreless ball for the first two innings, before Mott went up 3-0 in the top of the third. A six-run Mott fourth and a seven-run fifth, left Liquors down 16-0 and looking at a “mercy rule” loss.

Coming up with three runs in the bottom of the fifth, Liquors kept the game going, but Mott managed to push across two more in the top of the sixth to end the contest with the score 18-5. The win gives Mott a two-games-to-one advantage in the best-of-five series.

Tonight, Liquors takes the visitors’ dugout looking to force a game five on Monday. Mott meanwhile is hoping to get a win for the home team and walk out of the park with its first title since 2005.

First pitch tonight is set for 7:15 p.m. with the same time scheduled for Monday, should that game be needed. With the way the games have gone, both teams will be on their way to the park Monday, Mott as the visitor and Liquors, the defending champs, as the host.

Thursday’s 5-4 final

A four-run Mott sixth proved to be difference in game one, Sean Mott driving in Mike Semkus, who reached on a walk, and Keith Schulmann, who had doubled to move Semkus to third. Mike Labrozzi followed Mott with a home run to make the score 5-3 Mott.

Liquors rallied for a run in the sixth. Jeremy Karl leading off with a single, advancing to second on a fly ball and scoring on an infield error. Mott pitcher Bob Burden induced three fly balls in the sixth and three more in the seventh to close out the win.

Burden scattered eight hits in all Thursday, three coming in Liquors’ first at-bat, Chris Schiaffino, Joe Sullivan and Karl combining for two runs and an early lead. Liquors’ ace Kelly Fox kept Mott scoreless until the fourth, Sean Mott knocking a pitch out to make it a 2-1 game.

Liquors added a run in the home fifth, Eddie Palomo leading off with a double and Schiaffino doubling him home.

Monday’s 15-1 blowout

Fox was on her game Monday, matching her seven-hit, three strikeout performance in game one. But yielding only one extra-base hit, and that coming in the sixth when the score was already 14-0, Fox and the defense behind her limited Mott to no more than five batters in any inning.

That was not the case for the Liquors line-up, which pounded out 21 hits, batting around once and sending eight men to the plate twice. Five runs in the third, five more in the fourth and four in the fifth made it a one-sided game.

The biggest blasts for Liquors came off the bats of Andy Tukelsky and Jeff Hand in the third, both hitting balls over the fence to build a 5-0 lead. In the fourth, hits by Sullivan, Karl and Hand and heads-up baserunning by Andy Tuthill made the most of a pair of walks, leaving Mott to wonder when it would all end. Billy Schmitz singled to cap the two-out five-run rally that left Liquors up 10-0.

A bases-clearing double by Tuthill and an RBI single by Karl in the fifth made the score 14-0, Mott suddenly finding itself a run away from a “mercy-rule” loss. Up against that unwanted ending, Burden pitched around a pair of singles and a walk in the top of the sixth to keep the game going.

In the bottom of the inning, Mott pushed across a run on a Schulmann double and a Fred Marienfeld single to finally make a mark in the scorebook. It turned out Mott needed that run, Karl leading off the seventh with a home run to finish out the scoring at 15-1.

Tuesday’s 18-3 finish

The dugouts had their effect again Tuesday, the visitors, Mott, banging out 24 hits to Liquors’ seven in taking the series lead. Singles by Tyler Gilbride, Semkus and Schulmann to lead off the Mott third brought in two runs, with a Labrozzi double scoring a third.

Singles by Garrett Lowe, Gilbride, Semkus and Schulmann sparked a six-run rally in the fourth, Labrozzi ripping a two-run homer to close out the scoring. The same batters came up again in the fifth and tallied seven runs, this time Semkus and Schulmann knocking back-to-back doubles, setting up an RBI single by Sean Mott and another rally-ending shot by Labrozzi.

Not willing to go down without making some noise, a Palomo walk and a Yummy DePetris single started a Liquors comeback in the fifth, singles by Tukelsky, Sullivan and Tuthill scoring three. Despite that effort, Mott walked off in the top of the sixth, Lowe driving in Mark Locascio and pinch-runner Brendan Mott.

Men’s Fast Pitch: Post Season Teams and Seeds Set

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By Benito Vila

Mathematics makes a difference in softball. Like baseball, it’s called a game of inches for the tiny margins between safe and out, fair and foul.

But there’s more than just spatial geometry involved. Batting averages, runs scored, RBIs, errors, walks, wins and losses all provide a paradise for the statistically inclined.

And at each season’s close, there are “magic numbers”: the number of wins and losses needed to secure playoff spots for some and eliminate others. With four teams vying for two spots going into the last week of play, the calculations of who was in or out were mind-boggling.

As always happens though, things were worked out on the field. Last night Sag Harbor Liquors (15-2) locked up the one seed, thrashing T&S Mott 13-2. Home runs by Jeff Hand and Brian Anderson gave Liquors a 6-0 lead in the second and three late-game misplays in right allowed Liquors to coast to the regular season title. The loss leaves Mott (14-3) as the two seed.

On Wednesday, Southampton Publick House swept a doubleheader from Decker’s Scrubs, securing the three seed for the pubsters and making the Scrubs the four seed. Losses by Pilinko Plumbing and Heating on Monday and Beyel Plumbing and Heating on Tuesday eliminated those teams and added some drama to Decker and Publick House twin bill.

But Publick House put up big numbers, taking game one, 16-0, and game two, 26-11, to gain the head-to-head tie-breaker over Decker and take the higher seed. Publick House pitcher Kristen Bartoldos said she was “on her game” in shutting out the Scrubs on five hits.

Three home runs by Bruce Sanders made her night easier. Sanders came on to pitch in the second game and saw C.J. Shank and Brant Reiner each hammer two over the fence in another run-away win.

The playoff semi-finals are scheduled to start Monday in Mashashimuet Park, Liquors hosting Decker at 7 p.m. and Mott taking on Publick House late. Those games switch for Tuesday, Monday’s late teams coming in early and the early teams late. After an off-day Wednesday, next Thursday will see either game three of the semis or game one of the best-of-five finals.

Standings and This Weeks’ Re-cap

The final standings had Liquors’ 15-2 finish putting them on top, Mott at 14-3 in second. Publick House was third at 9-9 with Decker fourth at 9-8, with Publick House’s owning the head-to-head tie-breaker pushing them ahead. Beyel, at 7-11, Pilinko, at 5-12, and the Sag Harbor Hysterical Society, at 2-16, are already looking to next year.

With rain once again interfering with the schedule last Thursday, games with playoff implications were re-scheduled first this week. That set up a match-up between Beyel and Decker early on Monday that Beyel took 29-16, the umpire suggesting a blocked punt had something to do with outcome.

Sean Beyel credited the win to good team play, saying, “Everybody contributed. It wasn’t just one guy. It was hits and walks up and down the order.” Every run was needed, especially after a two-run homer by the Scrubs’ Cory Cass and a grand slam from Frank Romeo made the score 24-16 in the sixth. Only fine defensive plays by Ike Birdsall in right and Noah Feinberg at second kept Decker from coming all the way back.

In the top of the seventh, a three-run shot by Chris Gregory and a line drive dinger by Vic Fehrm bought Beyel some breathing room. Two more “web gems” by Craig Berkoski at short and Jon Loren in center in the bottom of the seventh finally gave Beyel pitcher Mike D’Angelo the win.

Elimination Games

In the late game Monday, Publick House outscored Pilinko 22-7. A 12-run third proved to be too much for Pilinko, the loss eliminating them from the playoffs. Two-run homers by Publick House’s catcher Shank and first baseman Scott Green set off the rally, breaking open a 6-5 game. Shank ended the rout with a walk-off home run in the sixth.

Beyel saw its post-season dream dashed Tuesday in a 19-4 loss to Liquors. A pair of two-run homers by Brian Anderson and a grand slam from Andy Tuthill gave Liquors 9-4 lead going into the seventh, before a 10-run barrage ended the game.

Publick House’s 14-5 loss to Mott in the late game Tuesday mattered little to the standings but made last night’s Decker-Publick House match-up much more meaningful. In getting the win, pitcher Bob Burden scattered 10 hits while Mott made the most of their 16. Keith Schulmann, Brendan Mott and Mike Lyons all legged out triples for Mott. A single by Sean Mott gave his team a 4-3 lead in the fifth and set off a five-run rally. 

More Math

The most statistically improbable game occurred in last Wednesday’s early game, Liquors hammering the Hysterical Society 33-1. Liquors’ Joe Sullivan went six-for-six with five home runs and a double, knocking in an astounding 16 runs.

In the late game, Beyel built an early 10-3 lead over Publick House only to see it slip away. Publick House scored four in the bottom of the seventh to take the game, 13-12, with Logan Kirby tying the score with a two-out single to center and Danny Rowe driving in the go-ahead run.

Liquors Win It All For Travis

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The celebration at Mashashimuet Park ensued immediately after Liquor’s pitcher Kelly Fox forced Tim Mott to fly out, giving Liquors their second consecutive championship. But it wasn’t the championship trophy that the team huddled around. Instead it was an old jersey bearing number 11, worn by late teammate and friend Travis Field. The 20-year old member of the Springs Fire Department died in a car accident in mid-May in Wading River. The jersey hung on the fence in front of the team’s dugout every game this season.
Brian Anderson stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning on Tuesday night representing the go ahead run. Liquors trailed Mott 8-7 and legendary pitcher Bob Burden was on the mound. Anderson connected and the bright yellow softball took flight. The Liquors dugout erupted and the ball just kept going and going. Anderson’s RBI-home run gave Liquors the lead and the championship.
All season long Anderson had been playing with Fields’ number drawn on the back of his red t-shirt with a black Sharpie. Above the number were the letters R-I-P. Anderson and Field had been friends since pre-school at the Neighborhood House in Springs. After the game he said thought he had a little help with the home run.
“That ball had wings.”
Anderson said the season, the championship, all of it, was dedicated to Field. He said before the season even started, the whole team knew it would end up this way. He called Field the “heart and soul of the team.”
In the stands sat Field’s family, just like they had been all season long. Only his mother was absent because she had to work. After the game each Liquors players hugged the neck of Field’s father, brother and little sister. Anderson gave the game ball, the ball that that had wings, to Field’s father, Chris.
“It’s a fulfillment of the entire season,” said Chris. “I know Travis is looking down on us and he’s proud of the whole team.”
He said the team picture from last year’s championship, Travis included, is still hanging in his room in their house in East Hampton. He plans to hang this year’s picture beside it.
The entire team surrounded Field’s little sister, 14-year-old Kady, after the game. They hugged her neck and she cried and said thank you.
“[Travis] always wanted us to come to his games,” she said. “But we’d always be like, aw, we’re tired. But this year, we had to come all of them.
It looked as if the best of five series, a rematch of last years championship was going to be pushed to a fourth game early Tuesday. Mott jumped out to an 8-2 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth. Liquors though, had other plans. They mounted a five-run inning led by the bat of Alex Tekulsky who started things off with a solo blast. It was base hit after base hit after that, until Billy Schmitz hit what should have been a two-RBI stand-up triple. Instead, Schmitz motored home to get the in the park homerun which set the stage for Anderson, and for Field.

Liquors pretty much dominated the Sag Harbor Men’s Modified Fast Pitch Softball League this year. They had the biggest bats and the league’s best pitcher in Kelly Fox. Last year Fox played for the now defunct Krauss Rock Stars, who wore khaki t-shirts. “I never thought I’d be wearing red,” she said after the game on Tuesday.
They finished the season with only two losses. And they had something no other team had, the number 11 stenciled on all of their shirtsleeves.

Top photo: Travis Field’s jersey hung on Liquors’ dugout all season long in tribute.

Bottom Photo: Sag Harbor Liquors with Travis Field’s family on the right.

Bayles photos