Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
I don’t know, man, but I do know this: Any way the wind blows, a spine-shiverer was played Sunday at 3 PM at EMLL in the 45+ division of MABL, baby. The 3rd place Rangers met the first place Sand Crabs in another grudge match. What was the grudge, you ask? No one remembers, but it sure sounds cool.
The visiting Rangers sent the venerable Dan Hendrickson to the mound, to fight against the Crabs starter, the esteemed Randy Gaber. Prepare yourselves, this was no landslide. No escape from reality for either squad.
The Rangers came to play, leaping all over the Crabs in the top of the first, like an 80’s teenager on a date watching Friday Night Videos, scoring 5, highlighted by some lowlight defense by the Sandies and 5 consecutive hits by the Walker, Texas crew. Shawn Finnel led this barrage with a double. In their half of the first, the Crabs squeaked back for one on a single by catcher Chris McGill, who later scored on a double by Crabs second baseman Troy Galston.
Gaber hushed the Rangers in the second through the fifth, like a catholic school teacher with a metal-edged ruler. In the meantime, the Crabs clawed back into the mess, needing no sympathy, and throwing nothing away. Mamma, oooooh. They grabbed 4 in the second with singles by CF Steve Hill, utility superior Jim Pliner (who is part Bohemian FYI), skipper and extraordinary gentleman Randy Olivares, and some timely reaching on errors on well-struck balls by OF Barry Davis and “The Kid” OF Dewey Walz. In the third the Clawed Crusaders went ahead 6-5 on a sac-fly by team Adonis (third baseman Jake Kas), who allowed Gaber to stroll home on his titanic fly ball.
The Sand Crabs tallied another in the 5th, when SS Mike Schoonveld knocked in Walz who had singled.
The Rangers took umbrage to losing their lead in the top of the 6th, against Crabs reliever Mike Wallace, scoring 3 and re-taking the lead 8-7. One of these runs was scored when Hill mistook his glove for a manhole cover and clanked a single to center by Hendrickson into a run scored by Jason Witt. The Crabs snuck in one more in the bottom half when Galston singled and advanced on a Kas single. Galston later scored on a wild pitch to tie things at 8-8.
The Rangers scored 3 in the 7th and one in the top of the 8th whilst the Crabs bats went silent…..until the bottom of the 8th, when the thunderbolts and lightning became very, very frightening, me. The leader of this monstrosity was not Galileo, but rather Schoonveld, a poor boy from a poor family who hit one right outta here with a 300 foot blast “over” the 300 foot fence in dead center field to bring the Crafty Crustaceans to within two. This bullet dinger scored McGill who had walked, and brought in relief pitching for the Rangers. Next up, Galston walked. Kas was struck by a pitch. Wallace walked. OF Jason Himebauch looked at many pitches and decided they were not to his liking. He also walked, leading to 3B Tim “Mackles” McInernay coming to the plate, far from a little silhouetto of a man. Mackles hit a Scaramouch grounder back to reliever Pete Olsen….but wait, there’s more! On his swing, he inadvertently struck the glove of the Rangers catcher, Dale Doebert. This was promptly ruled as catchers interference by plate umpire Michael Kaufmann, and Kas lumbered home with the tying run. Pliner dug in next, for what would become an historic….or not….base on balls. 13-12 Sand Crabs as Wallace gleefully skipped home with the winning run. Whew! I am tired just summarizing this one! Mama mia!
Leaders for the Rangers were Doebert, with a 3 for 3 day, and Olsen, Mike Knieriem, Jason Witt, Finnel, Hendrickson, Paul Yurkovich, and Gene “no more bubble gum for you” Rice with 2 hits apiece.
The Crabs were led by Schoonveld with 3 hits, and his 3rd round-tripper, and Gaber, Galson, Pliner and Walz who each had 2.
The defense for the salty denizens was led by McGill, who threw out 4 of 6 would-be base stealers, a record only surpassed by the security guard at Bases-R-Us, a store no longer in existence.
Crab thirsts were quenched at Slice’s after the game, and by the way….they still have Schlitz. We’ve matured. This is evidenced by the fact that we also went straight home.
|August 21, 2022||3:00 pm||45+ Division||2022|
|East Madison Little League|
|East Madison Little League, Eken Park, Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin, United States|
|Plate Ump||Field Ump|
|Cass, Jeff||Kauffman, Mike|