It was a cloudy morning on Sunday, September 12, 2021 when the first place Sand Crabs faced off against the 4th place Orioles, in the last week of the regular season for the 45+ division of the MABL of Southern Wisconsin. Today we would take a page from Ernie Banks, and play two. One a do-over from a previously rained out game, and the other the last scheduled match-up between the two foes.
A win by the Sand Crabs would clinch first place, but two wins by the Orioles would put them in position to watch the Crawfords/Rangers game at 3 PM as they would overtake the Craws with a sweep of the Sand Crabs and a Crawfords loss. Needless to say, this was a pivotal match, and a pivotal day in the land of MABL in Madison. The fan was on the edge of her seat.
Randy Gaber toed the rubber for the home Sand Crabs, while Steve Waugh was on the bump for the visiting O’s. Both pitchers went the distance for their respective squad.
The Orioles chirped first and chirped loudly as their leadoff hitter Mike J homered to start the game. The O’s got two more in the first to go up 3 nil. The Crabs threatened in the first, but made that threat a reality in the second when they scored 5 after Brian Buol led off with a HBP. He, along with 4 of his friends, scored on hits by first and second baseman Michael Kauffman, Center Fielder Jason Himebauch, Shortstop Catcher Chris McGill, and Gaber.
The orange birds tallied in the top of the first when SS Mike J singled, stole second and scored when one of his teammates clubbed a single. It may have been second baseman/centerfielder Pancho Sanchez, or possibly Nate Venkus, but someone knocked him in to bring the score to 5-4 Crabs.
The Crabs grabbed another in the 3rd on a single by Heimbach, who promptly stole second and scored on a single by Randy Olivares, the Crabs skipper, left fielder, and part-time second baseman, not to mention a scratch golfer. Or a golfer who scratches. You choose. 6-4 Crabs.
The Orioles were kept in check by Gaber the rest of the way, but the Crabs tagged Waugh for 4 more in the 6th. The first game ended 10-4 Crabs, and first place was sewn up, as was third place.
The second game had little to no meaning, but both teams played as if it did, because that is what we do in the MABL of Southern Wisconsin. We come to play. We could stay home and knit, but we don’t. We play baseball.
The Orioles struck first, plating 3 in the first and 3 in the third off Crabs starter Mike Wallace. The Crabs took a while to roar back but scored 2 in the 5th and 7 more in the 6th to go up 9-6. Relief Pitcher Troy Galston silenced the birds in the 4th and 5th, and Steve Hill relieved Galston in the 6th and 7th, making things interesting in the 7th by allowing solid singles by Alfredo, Waugh, and Sanchez, scoring one to make it 9-7. The last two batters popped up to Hill to bring the game to a close.
It was a fun day at the ballpark for all involved, and the Crabs re-hydrated at the local watering hole known as Slice’s. By the way, they are out of Schlitz.
|September 12, 2021||10:00 am||45+ Division||2021|
|East Madison Little League|
|East Madison Little League, Eken Park, Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin, United States|
|Plate Ump||Field Ump|
|Allen, Jason||Cass, Jeff|