By Dave Hoffenberg
First Stop had a chance for the number one seed but lost their final regular season game to Rock Warriors. These two will meet in the first round of the playoffs. Sushi Yoshi fought in his final regular season game against Chasin’ Tail. CT started in a fury, beating his command while scoring nine runs. It was 15-0 before Sushi could get on the board with three points in third. CT went scoreless the next two innings due to Sushi’s big defense that turned a double play in each inning. They also added three points to make it 15-6 to avoid Mercy. CT got one in the sixth and two in the seventh to extend their 18-6 lead. Sushi scared CT in the final set as they beat their order, scoring five runs, but it wasn’t enough and they went down 18-11 to go winless this season. CT pitcher Chris “Poppa” Booska delivered four “Cold Beer K’s” in the game.
The playoffs began last Wednesday with a match between Sushi Yoshi and Rivershed Sluggers which is up for “Game of the Year”. RS pitcher Ronzoni Hacker was on the run to start the game as he delivered back-to-back “CBKs,” including one looking for Tall Phil Kluge. Sushi managed to get a run on the board. RS responded with three runs including two on a base clearance double by Brando Remick. The round ended with a “CBK” from DJ Dave Hoffenberg. Sushi got another run in the second but also suffered two more CBKs, including another looking for Kluge. They lost 1-2-3 in the third with another “CBK” from Ronzoni. A series of doubles led to three runs in the third for a 6-2 RS lead. Sushi’s Nieko Young scored her second point of the game in the fourth, but her team experienced two more “CBKs” from Ronzoni. Captain Joey Gaspar and Jack Hopey descended to search. RS Jimbo Cassineri showed off his jumping ability by netting a web gem snow cone catch for the third out. The great Tom Gilligan made two points for RS to extend the 8-3 lead. They had a chance for more with loaded bases, but Tyler Radil and Dan Sesko flew out to end the threat. RS turned a sweet double play, from first back to second, to keep Sushi scoreless in the fifth. They added four in their at-bats after DJ Dave, Jared Hall, Joe “Krugzz” Kruglak and Nate Mispel all got on base and scored. Once again, Sushi avoided mercy dropping just nine points.
This feat was their wake-up call. Young and Gaspar both drove in two runs and scored as part of a five-run inning for Sushi. They left runners in the corners after Hopey fell looking again and Lizzy Grenier got her first “CBK,” but they trailed just 12-8. Radil scored an important point for RS in the sixth but DJ Dave’s “CBK” and Luke Carey’s pop up left two goals to keep it 13-8. Kluge started the seventh with a much needed single. He and another scored an Addison Schaub hit.
The next two batters retired 13-11. Young stayed warm and perfect with his fourth hit of the game, this one scoring Schaub. Pitcher Madison Martin hit it with a left single. Sushi was one race away from completing an incredible comeback and securing his first-ever win. RS was one withdrawal away from not suffering the second biggest meltdown of the season. The latter happened as Hopey went down looking to end the game with consecutive “CBKs”. It was Sushi’s best game of the season. You could see the embossed look on the RS. Ronzoni had a record-breaking night, delivering ten “CBKs,” six of which occurred after the batter saw the ball bounce for the third strike.
RS had to face the number one seed Chasin’ Tail immediately. They started strong with four runs, three of which came on a huge outburst from Radil for his first homer of the season. A series of RS errors led to a 5-4 CT lead. Ronzoni stayed hot with a “CBK” looking for JoJo Holland and scored in the second to tie the game 5-5. Dakota Booska broke that tie with a sack fly. The third saw Brando with his first-ever “CBK” look, as part of a scoreless inning. Patrick Bowen threw one over the fence for a 7-5 lead. RS lost 1-2-3 in the fourth to stay icy. CT scored five runs in the fourth with three of those RBIs by Booska and Ricky Robair. DJ Dave hit his second single of the match but was part of a double play and another scoreless inning. CT sealed the mercy win 16-5 after a fifth four-run that included a long homer by Holland.
Regular season standings:
1) Pursue the 9-3 tail
2) Rock Warrior 9-3
3) First stop 8-4
4) River Basin Sluggers 3-8
5) Sushi Yoshi 0-11
August 10 – Library Field on River Road (losers elimination games)
5:50 p.m. Rock Warriors/First Stop vs. Sushi Yoshi;
7 p.m. Winner vs. Rivershed Sluggers
August 15 – Library Field on River Road (playoffs)
5:50 p.m. Loser’s Bracket Elimination Game;
7:00 p.m. First league game (best of three)
August 17 – Library Field on River Road
5:50 p.m. second league game;
7:00 p.m. third league game (if necessary).