“When freedom rings, answer the call”
by Than Acuff
“We’re a .500 team that could beat anybody…sometimes.” That is a somewhat embellished third hand quote of what team manager Jim Schmidt said about his team, the Avalanche. And that’s how I roll, sometimes, as a sports reporter, embellished third hand quotes.
That said, things were looking good, then bad, then good, then bad again for the Avalanche when they headed into their game against the Talk of the Town Tuesday night.
The good news, the Avalanche got Sam Robards back into the line up. Robards spent the better part of the season in the Bronx leagues before returning to the Crested Butte fold.
The bad news, they were playing the Talk of the Town, a team that spent the past several years playing comp league only to drop to the one available league this season.
The good news, they were playing them at Pitsker, a field that handcuffs the most powerful teams in the league due to the single wall bat rule. We’ll call it single wall emasculation.
The bad news, the Avalanche was missing their top two women players in Adrienne Edmunds and Rebecca Ofsterdahl for the game.
As a result, the Avalanche fell to the Talk of the Town, but it was close, frustratingly close, reinforcing the idea that the Avalanche is “a .500 team that could beat anybody… sometimes.”
The upset was there for the taking too, and not to get too fruity with it, but there was even a rainbow that coincided with a late game surge from the Avalanche but alas (yeah I said alas), it just wasn’t meant to be.
Things were looking good for the Avalanche early. The Talk put two on the board to open the game as Molly Keating tripled and scored on a base hit from Dave McGuire and McGuire scored two batters later, but that was it.
Nolan Blunck opened things up for the Avalanche with a lead off single, reached third on a base hit from Sam Reaman and then scored when Gabi Prochaska tapped a RBI single.
Hold on a minute! I can’t go on without a little Trumping.
Stop what you’re doing, go to the internet and look up the video of the USA Freedom Kids from a Trump stop in Florida.
Somewhat different, but not that different, than videos of kids singing praise of North Korean leaders such as Kim Jong Un. I think my favorite part is…
“Enemies of freedom
Face the music
Come on, boys—take ‘em down!
President Donald Trump knows how
To make America great
Deal from strength or get crushed every time…”
Sorry, had to pause for some internet research and that’s what I found. The parent/manager of the USA Freedom Kids is now suing Donald Trump for some reason, but truth be told, that parent/manager should be sued for the performance.
The Talk added another run to their small lead in the top of the second and the Avalanche took the opportunity to strike. Mark Reaman and Mike Montano connected for back-to-back singles and Robards followed with a RBI double. Ron Chlipala backed up the effort with another RBI and the game was tied up 3-3.
The Talk looked to put the game out of reach in the top of the third inning with a succession of base hits and aggressive base running. Rob Vandervoort led off with a single and then reached third on an error-assisted single by Keating. McGuire flared an opposite field RBI single to shallow right, and Kelly McGuire punched a hit down the third base line only to be denied by a backhand grab by Blunck at third—the kid can’t jump but he sure is quick side-to-side.
Blunck’s play was just a brief interruption though as the Talk bats remained hot. Ali McGuire singled, Erik Ervin knocked a RBI single and Lauren Alkire capped the quick rally with a two RBI error-assisted triple for an 8-3 Talk lead.
No, this is my favorite part…
“We’re the red, white and blue
Fiercely free, that’s who
Our colors don’t run no sirree…”
The rainbow emerged and the tides turned as the Avalanche held the Talk to just three base hits and no runs the next three innings. Meanwhile, inspired by the efforts of Maggie Dethloff, Blunck and Sam Reaman, the Avalanche pulled back into the game in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Blunck singled and then scored on a double by Maggie Dethloff running the bases like his life depended on it. Sam took a page from Blunck’s book as he stepped to the plate and turned a dropped line drive to right field into a two run inside the park home run by running like his life depended on it.
Down 8-7 heading into the seventh inning, the Avalanche defense, and some classic Ronco pitching, held the Talk hitless setting them up for the comeback upset win only to fall shy as the Talk defense sealed the gates for the 8-7 win.
“Oh say can you see
It’s not so easy
But we have to stand up tall and answer freedom’s call.”