The Pro Jersey Maulers, Fortunato Brothers, and the Churchville Pirates recorded big wins last week in the Maryland Semi-Pro Baseball League.
The Maulers won in a rout Wednesday, and Fortunato Brothers took a one-run decision Monday against the league's perennial power, Johnies.
The Pirates defeated hard-hitting Aberdeen McDonald's, 7-2, Thursday.
For six innings Wednesday night at Thomas Run Park, the game between the Maulers and Little Ceasars was close.
In the seventh inning, however, it turned into a rout.
After entering the seventh with the score tied, 6-6, Pro Jersey sent 13 men to the plate and scored 11 runs to lead, 17-6, before umpires used the league's "mercy" rule to halt the game.
After getting eight hits through the first six innings, the Maulers pumped out seven in the last inning alone.
"We just exploded," said Maulers manager Ken Breeden, whose team improved its record to 13-20. "I think our guys just started to realize we didn't want to lose this game."
After Little Ceasars (8-25) scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game, the Maulers' slugfest began.
Chad Zimmerman led off with an infield single, and went to second on a passed ball. Paul Ganz then gave Pro Jersey the lead with a two-run home run to straightaway left field, making the score 8-6.
"We knew it would just take a couple hits to get us going," said Ganz, who had three hits and four RBI. "After they tied it back up, we just decided it was now or never."
Ganz's blast opened the floodgates, as the Maulers put 10 straight batters on base on five hits, two walks and three Little Ceasars errors.
Chip Bartlett led Pro Jersey with four hits, followed by Brian Street and Ganz with three, and Bret Springer with two. Rob Mayse had four hits to lead Little Ceasars.
Meanwhile, Fortunato Brothers was doing some hitting of its own last week.
After losing the first game of a four-game series to Cecil Johnies before the All-Star break, Fortunato came back Monday to pull out a 10-9 win at Johnies Field in North East, Cecil County.
Mike Cannaliato had two hits and four RBI to lead Fortunato (21-14), as Johnies lost for only the second time in 35 games this season.
"It was a great big win," said Fortunato manager Tom Walter. "In order for us to prove we're a contender, we had to beat Johnies. In the past, we knew we could play with this team but we haven't had the killer instinct. This game, everybody was sky high every pitch."
Trailing, 7-6, Fortunato scored four times to take the lead in the top sixth.
MA Cannaliato knocked home the first run on an RBI single up the
middle, Jim Ross followed with a two-run single, and Terry Haggerty later took a bases-loaded walk to finish off the scoring.
Johnies rallied with two runs in the seventh before Fortunato hurler Anthony Dubolino shut the door.
"I just stood in the corner of the dugout. I couldn't even see the batters," said Walter. "I'll tell you, it was a Malox moment."
Thursday's game was the first between the Churchville Pirates and Aberdeen McDonald's this season.
The Pirates (14-19) held a 5-2 lead in the top of the fourth inning, but Aberdeen (23-12) threatened to close the gap with some timely hitting.
Chuck Leftridge, Scott Ordakowski and Sean Lam hit consecutive singles to load the bases at the start of that inning.
The next batter, Jim McDonnell, hit a hard grounder to Pirate third baseman Dwight Showalter, who turned a quick double play with second baseman Eric Santana and first baseman T.J. Fairweather to thwart the rally.
The Pirates led in the fifth, 7-2, thanks to a solo home run from Gene Miller and an RBI single from Fairweather that scored Gontasz. But Aberdeen threatened, as Chris DeMartino and Ron Maranto singled to start the inning.
However, pitcher Bruce Davison (4-2) again forced the next batter, Ed Devan, to hit into a close double play to end the rally.
"The double play balls really bailed me out of jams," said Davison, who also is the team's coach.
"The guys relaxed tonight and they really came through. The first game is especially important to win. It's good for the confidence of our team."
Aberdeen took the lead in the top of the third inning, 2-0. Maranto tripled to score leadoff batter DeMartino and Devan singled in Maranto for the team's only RBI.
The Pirates, who went through the first two innings getting just one hit, countered in the bottom of the third, exploding for six hits and five runs off pitcher Brian Long (5-3).
Runs were driven in by Eric Santana, Kenny Gontasz, Fairweather (two) and Mitch Temple. Each team had 10 hits for the game.
The Pirates, who started the season 0-8, have won nine of their past 10 games. They will end the season with a three-game series against Aberdeen.