The 2006 Roughriders won 14 of their first 17 games, allowing the team to maintain first place in the standings for most
of the summer. A late season swoon, however, in which they lost three of the final five games, dropped them to second place overall
and threatened an early exit from the playoffs. But the team would rebound to play some of its best baseball of the season,
sweeping their first two series versus West Deptford and Hardenberg and securing a berth in the finals, the team's first appearance there
since 1993. The championship series would match the Roughriders versus the team that overtook them for first place in the last week of the
regular season, Conlin Baseball...
Roughriders One Victory From Title
(reprinted from the Courier-Post,
August 9, 2006)
By Kevin Callahan Courier-Post
BELLMAWR - The Roughriders are one win away from doubling their number of championships.
The Roughriders, which won its only league title in 1993, took the first game of the Tri-County
League best-of-three championship series 7-5 over defending champion Conlin Baseball Tuesday
night at the Bellmawr Recreation Center. The second game will be played at 7 tonight.
"This is huge, we have the advantage now going into (Game 2)," said Brian Spicer, who has played
for the Roughriders the last five years. "We've come close (to a championship) a couple of
Spicer, a right-hander, threw into the seventh inning and got two outs before being replaced
when Conlin Baseball scored two runs. But then, lefty Ryan Smith came in and got the final out
to keep Roughriders in position to close out the series tonight and stay unbeaten in postseason.
"We've won all our playoff games so far," Spicer said. "We hope to sweep."
The Roughriders (21-6-1) jumped on Conlin with four runs in the first inning. Dan Severino led
off the game with a walk. Mike Carlino singled and Dave Vadurro walked to load the bases. Then,
Jim Nastasi drew a walk to knock in the first run. The big hit was delivered by Steve Wyland
when the left-handed hitter singled to left. The ball was misplayed and all three runners scored
for a quick 4-0 lead.
The Roughriders added three runs in the third inning.
"This is my first year, it is exciting," said Brian Reagle, a former Sterling standout who
played his freshman year last season at Richard Stockton. "It is big when you can come out and
get the first game."
Conlin Baseball promises not to go down easy. The defending champs proved that in the seventh
inning when they rallied for two runs and had the bases loaded with two outs. That's when
Spicer was replaced by Smith, who got the final out.
(reprinted from the Courier-Post,
August 10, 2006)
By Chuck Gormley Courier-Post
BELLMAWR - With seven titles in the past 10 years, defending Tri-County
League champion Conlin Baseball wasn't about to go down quietly in Wednesday night's title game.
Neither was Roughriders pitcher Mike Cummings.
With the game on the line and the go-ahead run at the plate, Cummings, a 21-year-old right-hander
from Sicklerville, was confronted on the mound by Roughriders manager Bill Kohut in the seventh
and final inning.
"He told me to settle down and asked me if I was all right," Cummings said. "I was struggling,
but I told him I was fine and I was going to win this thing."
Sure enough, Cummings got out of the jam by forcing Nick Sbarra into a game-ending double play
to give Roughriders a 3-1 win and their first Tri-County championship since 1993.
"We knew when they picked him up they'd be the team to beat," said Pete Conlin, a designated
hitter for Conlin Baseball who at 37 was the oldest player on the field. "We were right."
Cummings allowed one run on six hits for the complete-game victory as Roughriders finished
their season with a 22-6-1 record and a perfect playoff run. Cummings also won the tournament
semifinal with a 2-1 gem.
Cummings played high school baseball at Timber Creek, where he was a member of the school's
first graduating class in 2003. He pitched two seasons for Gloucester County College, winning a
national title as a sophomore last season. This fall, he's headed to Rowan University, where he
hopes to add another title.
The game began with the searing sound of a circular saw on a back porch beyond the right field
fence and for the next two hours Cummings buzzed through the Conlin lineup.
The Roughriders opened the scoring with a run in the first inning when Dave Vadurro singled
home Ian Wallace. Conlin starting pitcher James Malko thought he was out of the inning with an
0-2 breaking ball that appeared to catch the outside corner. Two pitches later Vadurro muscled
a 1-2 pitch into left field for an RBI.
Thanks to some strong pitching and excellent defense, the score stayed that way through four
innings, with Conlin center fielder Joe Madilli gunning down Mike Carlino at the plate after a
single by Jim Nastasi.
The Roughriders grabbed insurance runs in the fifth inning, when Brian Regale, who struck out
in each of his first two at-bats, lofted a sacrifice fly to left field to score Carlino, and in
the sixth on a Dan Severino triple and an Ian Wallace sacrifice fly.