Veterans return to help new-look Betts regain Rec softball title

Several Betts players were well-rested on their way to regaining the Richard T. Betts Rec Modified Softball League title on Wednesday at Betts Park.

While the majority of the new roster – since the last time Betts won the league in 2009 – has evolved into a youth movement, players like Kyle Papalia, pitcher Tyler Leichtenberger, Preston McMeans, Collin Fantaskey, Tyler Fantaskey and T.J. Latimer had returned to college before Wednesday’s playoffs semifinals.

Rather than forfeit, the veteran contingent of pitcher Rick Eaton, Jason Rafalski, Don Cummings, Andy Hanks and Jeff Berdine picked up the slack, helping Betts defeat City Ice, 12-2, in the semis and Fralick Chiropractic, 13-8, in the championship.

Betts led al the way in the semifinal, scoring three in the first inning when Jeff Eaton led off with a triple, Rafalski singled him home, and Brandon Scott tripled and scored on a sac fly. Darren Cummings’ two-run home run in the fifth helped build the lead. Singles by Casey Moyer and Don Cummings led to an RBI double by Hanks to score Moyer.

Chris Danielson and Rafalski each doubled in the sixth before Andrew Morrison’s two-run homer. Darren Cummings went deep again to lead the new guard.

Rafalski was 3-for-3 for Betts.

Fralick defeated Crescent Inn, 12-4, to advance to play Betts in the final.

Singles by Jeff Eaton, Rafalski and Morrison helped Betts break a 1-1 tie in the third of the championship game.

In the fifth, Rick Eaton went deep to spark Betts. Danielson singled, then Jeff Eaton doubled him home for the 4-2 lead, and Morrison went deep again.

After Don Cummings singled in the sixth, Hanks also went deep for an 8-4 lead. Rick Eaton doubledand his son, Jeff, singled him home. Rafalski doubled Jeff Eaton home and Betts took a big lead.

After Fralick scored three to make it 10-7, Betts put an exclamation point on the title with another home run, a two-run shot by Darren Cummings, and a solo blast by Don Cummings.

Jeff Eaton and Morrison had three hits each in the win, and Rafalski, Don Cummings and Rick Eaton two each for the champs.

It was Betts first Rec title since 2009, and they had won 14 straight at that point, and 20 of 21 championships.