It's Monday, and you know what that means. It's time for the Sports Buzz, the fastest three minutes in Brookline sports coming your way right now:
Well, turning in a solid effort in all phases of the game, the Brookline American Legion baseball team kept its playoff hopes alive with a stunning 4-3 win over host Westwood in District 6 play.
"This game was huge for us because it keeps us right in the thick of things for the last playoff spot," said Brookline head coach Patrick Moore, whose squad improved to 6-10.
With the score tied at 1-1, Post 11 broke loose for three runs in the top of the seventh. Alex Rozek led off with a double and Eric Dumas followed with a sacrifice bunt, as Rozek scooted to third. Then, Alex Moses-Gardner launched a deep double to right, scoring Rozek.
Moses-Gardner scored when Andrew Colgan (2 for 4) reached on an error, and Colgan eventually came across on a Jon Gold (2 for 3) groundout.
Westwood rallied to make it 4-3 in the bottom half, and with two outs had the tying run on third and the winning run on second with its cleanup hitter at the plate. But the drama ended when Colgan picked a screaming one-hopper at third and threw to first for the final out.
Adam Blumberg was again the ace on the hill. Blumberg tossed a complete game, winning for the second time in as many starts. He struck four and walked three.
In the following game, Brookline again stayed in contention for the playoffs with a 7-5 victory over host Franklin.
"Awesome game," Moore said, after his squad improved to 7-10, while Franklin fell to 8-8 in the District 6 West Division.
Colgan went the distance on the hill, striking out seven, while allowing four earned runs.
"That was huge for us, because our pitching staff has been getting run down, so we needed seven, and he gave us seven in a real gutsy effort," Moore said.
First baseman Jon Gold led the offense, driving in four runs, while going 2 for 4 with a double. Rozek went 2 for 2 with a triple, RBI, and two runs scored, while Dumas had three hits in four tries, including a double, while also crossing twice.
Dumas also played a terrific game at shortstop and threw out a runner at the plate.
Heading into last Friday's last regular season tilt against visiting Walpole, Brookline was in a tangle for the fifth and last playoff spot in the West Division.
"As things start to fall into place around the league, it's not really in our hands if we're going to make the playoffs, given the fact that other teams have not played all their games yet," Moore said. "However, I told the kids by winning these last three games this week, [it] would put us in the best possible position we could be in.
"It's important that we focus on what we can control, and that’s playing our best baseball and not worrying about what other teams are doing."
Well, what started out as a simple reach out to introduce local veterans to the game of golf has become a weekly staple of the Robert T. Lynch Municipal Golf Course summer schedule.
Every Thursday starting at 1:00 p.m., PGA professionals Brian Bain and Larry Colletti take to the golf course, in partnership with the VA Hospital on the VFW Parkway in West Roxbury, to give local heroes free golf lessons.
“With the veterans we thought it would be a way to give back and help some of them when they get back here and get back into society,” said Bain. “That’s what it’s all about.”
Bain said he usually has a group of six to eight veterans from all over the area show up on a weekly basis and work on the fundamentals of the game. The pros will go over everything from holding the club correctly to chipping the ball on a side hill lie.
Colletti, who is a Vietnam veteran, said he would like to extend free lessons to soldiers who are just returning from service and he would like to see more veterans becoming involved with the weekly program.
On a recent Thursday, Colletti and Bain welcomed six veterans to take the skills they have worked on over the past year to the golf course. The group broke up into teams, and although there were bragging rights up for grabs, this was a chance to get out and enjoy the sunshine.
“It helps relieve my stress and it helps me a great deal,” said Ken Carson, who served in the National Guard in the beginning of the decade. “If I’m having a bad day I just go to the driving range and golf forces you to relax to hit the ball. That helps so much.”
Because of the free lessons, Carson said it would be hard to get him off the golf course when the weather breaks in New England. During the winter months, Carson said he practiced putting indoors and in heated driving ranges to keep his new passions strong.
“I always joke with my friends that I went to the VA for treatment and I came back with an addiction,” Carson, 48, said with a laugh. “That addiction is golf. I’ve been loving it so far.”
Tom Layman contributed to this report.