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VEGAS' BOSTON FANS CELEBRATE SERIES VICTORY

Cheers!    Photo by Launce Rake
Cheers! Photo by Launce Rake
Clam chowder   Photo by Launce Rake
Clam chowder Photo by Launce Rake
Will Wood, No. 15    Photo by Launce Rake
Will Wood, No. 15 Photo by Launce Rake
Red Sox win! Photo by Launce Rake
Red Sox win! Photo by Launce Rake


"I'll have some chowder."
"You have to say it right."
Wednesday night, anyway, it was chow-DUH at Hammer & Ales and the bar's World Series party. Expat Bostonians and those who have never set foot in New England, but love the Bay State's sports teams, crowded into the bar down on West Russell Road to root for the Red Sox.
About 40 people, many wearing Red Sox jerseys, bit their nails, cheered their runs and groaned when the St. Louis Cardinals managed to get on base. Nine innings of baseball, from Boston, and clam chowder and stadium-style hot dogs were on the menu.
Kelly Thomas, a Las Vegas contractor working in sustainable construction and a former Nevada Assembly member, is active with New England Sports Nation, a local group devoted to Boston sports franchises, and put out a Facebook post Wednesday calling for Red Sox fans to gather at Hammer & Ales. So gather they did.
Chris Sarret, the bar owner, says he fell in love with Boston and its teams when he lived their for a spell in 2004. "The town was just electric" with its love for sports of all kinds, but especially the Red Sox, the team's home at Fenway Park, and the Green Monster looming over batters in left field. Sarret said he made the chowder, the special for the day, based on a recipe he gleaned from a Boston tavern.
Sarret's explanation of his Boston connection was cut short.
"We scored one!" said Laura Crofts, who appeared to be the one and only St. Louis supporter in the bar. Crofts said she's from Idaho and reflexively supports the furthest-west team in the competition; she doesn't care for the East Coast domination of too many sports.
Red Sox pitcher John Lackey run into trouble in the top of the seventh. Despite the run, Sox manager John Farrell kept Lackey in, a decision that seemed to please the Boston partisans at Hammer & Ales. But then Lackey gave up a double and a walk, and his time was over.
The crowd at the bar gave the pitcher cheers and applause as he left the mound with the Sox leading 6-1.
Will Wood was cheering along with the others. Wood, a stagehand-electrician on the Strip, relocated to Las Vegas after a stint in college in Massachusetts. He brought his love for the Sox with him.
He helped organize the New England sports meet-up in Las Vegas, and noted that there are not a lot of pure Boston bars in which to congregate. About 100 people are in the meet-up group, he said, and Hammer & Ales is now one of their favorite spots.
The bar used to be known simply as the Hammer, but got a makeover earlier this year in the reality television show Bar Rescue. The bar once had a stripper pole; now it has a good menu and 24 beers on tap.
Meghann Lasousa, wearing a Red Sox jersey, was there watching the game with a couple of girlfriends. "My family's from Boston," she said, although Lasousa was born here in Las Vegas. Lasousa is a special-education teacher here but she still believes in Boston teams.
Through the eighth inning, the bar crowd held its breath as the Red Sox maintained its lead over St. Louis. The top of the ninth gave the Cardinals one last chance, but runs were hard to steal from the Boston pitching staff.
The last out brought a celebration, champagne, a few more rounds of beers. What's up next for the Boston partisans? "New England Patriots!," said more than one fan.