It was a beautiful day for a ball game at East Madison “Stadium”, when the Sand Crabs squared off against the Orioles in the second round of the 45+ MABL of Southern Wisconsin playoffs. ?Playoffs?
The visiting Orangebirds won the play-in game last week by besting the Mighty Rangers, and with their fierce beaks they were ready to peck out the eyes of the stalwart Sand Crabs.
Hurling the pearl for the Crabs was staff ace Randy Gaber, received by rookie of the year candidate Chris McGill, deftly filling in for the injured Brian Buol, who was still on a rehab assignment in Albuquerque.
The O’s went down 1,2,3 in the first, then again in the 3rd and 4th. The Oriole hitters did not go quietly though, with more line-outs than the sound board at a WHAM! concert. More liners than the Suez Canal, more screamers than a haunted house on halloween, you get the picture; their lineup is formidable! They had no less than 8 line drive outs, and equally as many hard hit ground balls.
The Crabs were up to the challenge this day, my friends. The poised pincers packed powerful punches at the plate, pounding pitchers for 22 hits and 19 runs, all while playing particularly polished defense.
Gaber went 7, facing 4 batters more than the minimum. He allowed 5 hits, one walk and hit one batter. Closer Mike Wallace finished the last 2 innings, allowing 3 runs, 2 of them earned on 2 hits, while striking out one. He also plunked a batter, when his backdoor slider came in through the front door, when his brushback pitch became a back brush pitch, when he painted the back instead of painting the black. You get the picture.
McGill led the Crabs at the dish, with a 4 for 4 performance, also gunning down a would-be base thief. SS Mike Schoonveld tied a record with 4 putouts and 5 assists, while wearing the fanciest of cleats. He also knocked in 3 runs, as did CF Jason Himebauch and 3B Tim “Mackles” McInernay, with the latter two toting the group moniker of The Sauk City Kiddies. 2B Troy Galston picked up 3 hits as well but had to leave the game early due to injury. Get well soon, kid. We need ya.
The final memorable moments were contributed by RF Jim Pliner and 1B Ward Paxton. Pliner made an amazing catch of a sinking liner down the RF line, all while nimbly leaping over his imaginary friend from his childhood. Paxton was struck in the ribs by an 85 MPH fastball, and the capacity crowd of 8 collectively gasped when the ball deflected off his svelte midsection all of the way to the centerfield wall. When reached for comment, the ball said “Ouch”.
The Orioles were led at the plate by pitcher and utility man Steve Waugh, who had two hits, with Jason Pace, Henry Salas, Paul O, and Andy Hess and Jesse Miller each slamming singles.
The Crabs are back in action next Sunday in the championship game versus the Crawfords at noon at EMLL. Crowds are expected to be in double digits. The Crabs quenched their collective thirsts at Slices, then went straight home. By the way, they are out of Schlitz.
|September 26, 2021||12:00 pm||45+ Division||2021|
|East Madison Little League|
|East Madison Little League, Eken Park, Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin, United States|
|Plate Ump||Field Ump|
|Cass, Jeff||Ryan Ritacca|