There was no sign of rust from any of the adult co-ed softball teams after the Memorial Day weekend lay-off. Monday night’s games were exciting and well played, with timely hitting and some great glove work in the field.
The opening game pitted the always-entertaining Hooligans against the Paddy Whackers. The Hoolies, looking resplendent in their new jerseys and caps, came out swinging and posted two runs in the first inning. Unfortunately for the Hooligans, that was the last time they led
in the game. The Whackers, living up to their moniker, “whacked” Hooligan pitcher Dan “Don’t Call Me Bill” Bruckner for five runs in the bottom half of the first inning. They piled three more runs on in their second at bat to make it 8 to 2 after two. The often down, but never out, Hoolies came rampaging back with five runs in the top of the third frame to turn a potential rout into a one run game, 8 to 7 in favor of the Whackers. Both teams displayed some impressive “glove work” in the field, with Hooligan leftfielder Jeff “Grace” Malnar rumbling, stumbling, and tumbling his way to a couple of “look what I found in my glove” catches on the warning track, while Whacker shortstop Austin “Nothing Gets By Me” Boone was turning nifty “rally killing” double play of his own. The Whackers were able to push another score across the plate in the third inning, and then three more in the fourth, to carry a five run lead into the final inning. It turned out that they needed every one of those five runs. The Hooligans staged a rally with their final at bat, but were only able to come up with four runs. The final outcome was Whackers 12, Hooligans 11. The Paddy Whackers now sport a 2 and 1 record, while the winless Hooligans are at 0 and 4.
The seven o’clock game between last year’s champs, the Stonebridge Farmers, and perennial powerhouse the Blue Mountain Stone Quarry Workers was not quite such a nail bitter. The depleted Farmers (missing starting pitcher Tim “Mighty” Oakes and outfielder “Coyote Joe” Kuckla) managed to get an early lead against BMS (no easy feat) by scoring a single run in the opening half of the first inning. However, as they usually do, the Quarry Workers showed no mercy, and wasted no time getting the lead. They clobbered the Farmers for five runs in their half of the first, three more runs in the second, another five in the third, and added seven more runs in the fourth just for good measure. The Farmers, who felt like they had been pelted by softball sized hail, managed to eke out four more runs during the course of the came and make it a fifteen run game. The final score was Farmers 5, Blue Mountain Stone 20. The two teams are now at polar opposites in the standings. Blue Mountain Stone is undefeated at 4 – 0, while the yet to win Farmers are 0 – 3.
The third match up of the evening was two different games all rolled into one. Three runs were scored over the first two innings, twenty-three runs scored over the last three innings. The Natural Disasters and Shake N’ Bake were definitely entertaining. The Bakers kept a lid on the Disaster offense for two innings, completely shutting them down and holding them scoreless. Meanwhile, the SNB offense managed to tally a meager three runs of their own. However, the Disasters lit up the scoreboard in the third inning. Sending fourteen batters to the plate and scoring an avalanche of runs, nine! The Bakers chipped away at the six run lead, with a lone score in their half of the third. The Disasters managed to score a deuce in the top half of the fourth, and then it was time for the Bakers to explode. Shake N’ Bake erupted for a seven run rally, and tied the score at 11 to 11 with one inning to go. Disaster team captain Chris “Don’t Fail Me Now” Cope held a brief, but emotional “team meeting” in the dugout during the change over, and begged his charges to “stay focused.” It paid off. The Disaster hitters plinked and plunked their way to three runs, and then Cope and the defense stifled a mini rally, and squeezed out a 14 to 12 nail-biter. The Disasters improved their mark to 2 -1, while the Bakers fell to 2 – 2.
The late game on the schedule featured Fast Signs taking on the Chamber Rockers. This one had all the markings of a run-scoring extravaganza. Fast Signs got off to a fast start, blasting Rockers pitcher Bob “Bombs Away” Jones for a half dozen runs in their first at bat. The Rockers, hardly fazed by the barrage, nearly doubled the Sign Makers output with an impressive eleven runs in the bottom of the first. Chamber leftfielder Steve “Dirty Shirt” Elsberry set the tone by scoring twice in the inning with headfirst slides into home, ala Pete Rose. Impressive pitching and some slick fielding were the order of the evening the rest of the way. Fast Signs righted the ship, and held the Chamber to only two more runs the rest of the outing (one of which was yet another head first slide into home by Mr. Steve “Bloody Elbows” Elsberry). With the lid more or less securely in place on the defensive side of the ball, the Sign Makers began to paint a comeback on the Rockers. With a single run in the second, third, and fourth inning and two more in the top half of the fifth, the score now stood at Fast Signs 11, Chamber Rockers 12. Oh but beware of the dreaded “insurance” run. The Rockers managed to score one final time as the clock neared 10 p.m. Then it was time for the Chamber to play a little defense. Fast Signs peppered Jones for a couple of hits and a score, but then the left side of the infield, shortstop Mark “The Human Vacuum” Walker and third baseman Taka “The Blade” Sueyoshi, put an end to any hopes of a come from behind victory. The Chamber and Fast Signs now both have 2 – 2 records.