Wednesday, April 24, 2019
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Whetstoners erupt to blast the Brew Crew

“With AC/DC playing we’re doing all right”

by Than Acuff

I think I must have caught the Brew Crew on a bad night because there’s definitely more to them than I saw Tuesday night as they fumbled and stumbled their way to a 23-11 loss to the Whetstoners at Gothic field.

Not to take anything away from the Whetstoners. It was a pleasure to see the Whetstoners playing like their old selves, hitting, running and scoring, not to mention some quality defense.

But as one Whetstoner player admitted prior to the game, they’re having an up and down season, rollercoaster ride of sorts, that included the lowest-scoring softball game ever played in Crested Butte in the 20 years that I’ve been covering it.

Turns out the Whetstoners edged out a 2-1 win over the Talk of the Town at Pitsker field. Granted, the single-walled bat rule and tight confines of Pitsker lend itself to low-scoring games, but 2-1? You’ve really got to try not to score to end up with that few runs.

Or both teams played tremendous defense but…

On the other side of the diamond stood the Brew Crew. They were a force in the regular season last year before crumbling in the playoffs. Heading into Tuesday’s game they had a record of 4-2, scoring 111 runs through six games and confidence was high with music blaring. Rob Houston even pointed out, “With AC/DC playing, we’re doing all right.”

At which point his teammate added, “And we’ve already shot-gunned a beer.”

Mmmmm, shot-gunning beers. That was a slippery slope. It was senior prom night and I was a freshman who snuck into the after-party when an upperclassman, Brent Mahon I think it was, cornered me and explained that I either shot-gunned a beer (Milwaukee’s Best to be precise) with him or he’d kick my ass.

I did, he didn’t kick my ass and then seeing how easy it was, I shot-gunned several more beers that night, too many perhaps, and lo’ and behold, Brent was there later on helping me as I emptied my insides all over the home’s flower beds.

I think that’s what people call a frenemy.

Speaking of drinking too much, here’s a new drinking game that might liven up the World Cup for some of you fledgling soccer fans.

Every time someone ends up rolling around on the ground with an apparent injury, take a drink.

If they stretch it into two or more rolls in apparent excruciating pain, take a drink for each roll.

Take a drink for every time the “magic spray” is used.

And, if the stretcher comes out but the player doesn’t leave on it, finish your drink.

One thing to watch out for, if you’re watching a game with a Latin American team or most European teams, you’re going to end up drunk with a capital D because those guys like to flop.

Well, there wasn’t too much drinking and certainly no flopping during the Whetstoners’ win.

The Brew Crew struck first, obviously fueled by AC/DC and shot-gunned beers, as Motown Morgan Patterson, Krystal Pistol Ramsey and Tyler Williams opened with three doubles in a row to score two runs. Rob Houston added in another RBI double, Andrea Rybarz singled and Ian Baird golfed a three-run shot to centerfield for a 6-0 Brew Crew lead.

The Whetstoners remained flaccid at the plate but got a rise out of their defense as they held the Brew Crew hitless in the bottom of the second inning and capitalized off of the opportunity before them.

Kind of like when I was 14 and walking down the streets of Washington, D.C. and a guy in front of me was smoking a joint and tossed the roach to the ground. I capitalized on the opportunity and picked it up, finished it off and walked immediately into McDonald’s to capitalize on the Happy Meal deal and crushed it in no time. Still stands out as one of the best meals, not just Happy Meals but meals period, that I’ve ever had.

Alex Mattes-Ritz drove the first stoner in with a single, Chris Rocky Durante connected for a two-RBI double, Big Air Barb Peters pushed another run in with a single and Lawson Yow, Meghan Dougherty and Sean Feese jumped in with additional run-scoring hits to push the Whetstoners on top 7-6.

Continued tight defense by the Whetstoners led to continued success at the plate as Fitzgerald, arguably one of the most potent lead-off hitters in the league, opened the top of the fourth with another single and Duarte and Yow each drove in more runs with doubles.

Another round of solid defense from the Whetstoners, highlighted by a running grab by Haysley Rolph in right field, handcuffed the Brew Crew hitters and then the entire Whetstoner team unleashed on the Brew Crew in the top of the fifth with a nine-run, two-out rally.

Mattes-Ritz provided the initial blast with a three-run dinger. Peters, Yow and Dougherty connected for successive RBI hits and Feese and Liz Wigginton capped it all with additional RBI base hits for a 19-6 Whetstoners lead.

Mattes-Ritz tacked on a second solo shot in the sixth, this time over the “big net,” before the Brew Crew looked like they were about to pull off a massive comeback late in the game.

Singles from Rybarz, Baird, and Jill Pitt loaded the bases for Chris Wiig and he pushed two runners home with a double to left field. Gerry Heal followed with a two-RBI hit to right field and the Crew was cooking. That is, until a line drive to Mattes-Ritz at third caught Crew runners on the move and he made the grab and tossed to first base for a Brew Crew soul-crushing and inning-ending double play.

Yow and Feese tacked on three more runs with RBI hits and the Whetstoners looked destined for 30 runs had it not been for the lone defensive highlight for the Brew Crew. With two on and one out, Wigginton knocked a grounder and the Crew turned a 6-5-3 double play to put an end to things.

Ramsey provided one last run for the Brew Crew in the bottom of the seventh inning, but the Whetstoners retired the next three batters in a row to finish off their 23-11 win in fine form.

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