It was hot AF when the 1st place Sand Crabs faced off against the second place Rangers in the 45+ division of the MABL of southern Wisconsin on Sunday, July 23, 2023. It was one of those days that was so hot, with no breeze, and it made it feel like you were wearing a diaper even though most of us weren’t. Starting on the mound for the home Sand Crabs was Mike Wallace, pitching to Lil Slugger, Chris McGill behind the dish. The Rangers started Lou Rodriguez, their prized rookie, and his battery mate was Charlie Hustle, a.k.a. Dale Dobert. The Rangers were set down by Wallace in the first, and then Crabs lead off hitter. Steve Hill was plunked. He tried to pretend it didn’t hurt, but sources say it did, and he cried a little on the way to first. He eventually scored what would amount to the winning run, on a double by Randy Gaber. When he reached the dugout, he said it was worth it, although he was still crying a little bit. The Crabs got a total of three in the first, two more in the third, and two more in the eighth. That would be the scoring for the day for both squads, as the Rangers were not able to get a runner past second base, due to some fairly stellar defense by the Sand Crabs and some excellent pitching by Wallace and relief pitcher Randy Gaber. Leaders at the plate for the Rangers were Chris Gustaf, who went 2 for 3 with a couple of stolen bases, and Shawn Finnell, Mike Knieriem, and Chris Witt got the remaining 3 hits for the Rangers. The Crabbers amassed 14 hits, led by Tom Scalisi and Bernie Albright, with three each, Scalisi hitting a double and Albright, throwing in a triple for good measure, and making it to third without straining his hamstring, for which the Crab bench was ecstatic. Hill, birthday boy Dewey Walz, and Jason Himebauch added two hits each for the Crabs squad. Wallace went six innings, allowing no runs and only two hits. He walked one and struck out one while also hitting one batter. Gaber pitched 3 in relief, allowing no runs, three hits, and no walks for a three inning save. Greg O’Donnell was the SPOG for the second straight game, due to some seriously excellent grilling of brats during a post game picnic which was enjoyed by all, despite copious trumpeting flatulence from a teammate who shall remain nameless….for a price…..
Both teams are back in action next week, at EMLL, the Rangers taking on the Orioles at noon, and the Crabs going up against the Crawfords at 3pm. Tickets are still available on the MABL website, or just show up and say the magic word and you’ll be allowed entry. Next week’s magic word is snorchelbinzer. Commit it to memory.