Monday, November 18, 2019

Staff Infections pummel Backcountry Cannabis

“I’m horny, town hall”

By Than Acuff

Graham crackers for the kids, quarters for the candy machine, a warm smile for everyone with an inquiry regarding town and, “back in the day,” a surprise grab in a crowded bar from her and the unofficial Crested Butte welcoming committee.

She always struck me as unabashedly honest but sublimely coy.

There are “locals” and then there are locals, and Diner was and always will be a local. Day in and day out, she walked from her home over on Butte Avenue to town hall to take her place as the first face you would see when walking into the building. She had an amazing ability to offer condolences when you walked in with a stack of parking tickets but would gently hold your feet to the fire on paying the associated fines. She was more than the “receptionist” for town hall. She was the gatekeeper, and would gently remind anyone new to town, or new to the system, of how things worked here in Crested Butte.

The list of town staff she worked with is a who’s who of Crested Butte lore: Bill Crank, LC Adams, Bob Browne, John Hess, Bob Gillie and Jerry Deverell, to name a few. Then there are the legions of Town Council members she saw enter into the fold hoping to make a difference.

She was obviously more than her job. She was a mom, a wife, a friend. She was a local. Diner was one of a kind, one of our kind and will be sorely missed.

While a heavy segue into this week’s softball coverage, I felt it was a necessary one, and there is some overlap as the town staff softball team, the Staff Infections, faced Backcountry Cannabis Company (BCC) Wednesday, July 3 at Pitsker Field.

BCC showed up notoriously late-ish for the game and suspiciously at ease with the impending contest. Let’s just say they have a very, very casual approach to athletic contests, and that’s more than okay.

And at least they showed up, because the talk around the Wednesday softball league is that, “jobs and sh** is causing a large rate of attrition in the Wednesday league.”

Regardless, Staff Infections scored early and eventually often, with a boost coming from officer Joe Dukeman. Dukeman spent his youth playing baseball internationally including, if memory serves, a trip to the Little League World Series. He arrived in town in the 1990s with his baseball years behind him, only to mash the ball in the local softball leagues, at one point winning the home run derby. He took some time off from softball but appears to be back in action now, at least part-time, and helped pace the Staff Infections to a 2-0 lead in the first inning with a RBI double down the third base line.

BCC did score in the bottom of the second inning when Doug Conant hustled for an infield single and then hustled to score off a triple from Reggie Parks but a RBI single from Joey Carpenter had the Staff Infections back up by two.

BCC was surging in the bottom of the third inning though, as Shane McDermott led off with a triple and scored. Erin Geye looked to keep the train rolling as she crushed a ball deep to left field, only to be denied by a leaping grab from Melissa Peterson, quashing the BCC rise.

After the first three innings of tit-for-tat softball, Staff Infections turned it up a notch or two to begin the process of dismantling BCC to the point of excess.

Dukeman opened up the first assault in the top of the fourth inning stretching and getting dirty for a double and then scoring on a single from Kyle Thomas. A base hit and a walk then loaded the bases for Andrew Crowley and he delivered with a three-RBI triple and a 7-2 Staff Infections lead.

Crowley then went to work on the mound, fanning two of three BCC batters, causing one teammate to comment, “The soulless wonder destroys another batter” and Staff Infections tacked on eight more runs in the top of the fifth inning.

Lynelle Sanford Samford Stanford started it off with a RBI triple. Heather Culley drove in another run with a single, Thomas, Kat Cooke and Chris Keoh all followed with RBI base hits and Crowley closed it with a RBI triple for a total of 10 base hits when all was said and done, putting the Staff Infections on top 15-2.

They added five more runs in the top of the sixth inning and then the salt in the wound came when both Carpenter and Stanford connected for inside the park home runs for a 22-4 Staff Infections advantage.

BCC did show some signs of life amidst the pummeling. Regina Meckes came up with a brilliant play in centerfield and Geye and Carl David Rickey connected for base hits to score some BCC runs. Brittany Perkins singled and scored off a hit from Conant, and Parks proved his table tennis skills transfer to softball with another RBI base hit—but, in the end, BCC showed up too late for the party, falling 22-8.

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