Sunday, July 12, 2020

Talk of the Town blinds Third Eye

“I got beer and I got ice, I just happened to get more beer than ice”

by Than Acuff

Say whaaaaaat? It’s playoff season? Boy, did the winter and snowmaggedon in June really throw me off. It’s thrown everyone off and may have thrown a couple of recent homeowners off as well. A lot of for sale signs on recently built homes that were lived in for all of about a year before the owners decided maybe Crested Butte was a great place to visit, but not to live.

As my friend Andy Bamberg used to say, “I’m not here for a long time, just a good time.”

But hey, it’s summa.

The late arrival of summer seems to have little effect on local softball leagues and the Tuesday/Thursday league just wrapped up its regular season on Tuesday, July 23 as teams are searching for the right mix heading into the post-season.

While Elevate, Pitas Meatsticks, Psycho Rocks and the Brew Crew (Kochevar’s) all seem to be in control of the league as of now, a couple of teams, most notably the Talk of the Town and Third Eye, could always play the role of the spoiler and find themselves in the midst of a title run.

The two teams squared off Tuesday night at Gothic Field and proved they both have what it takes. It just so happened that the Talk of the Town had a bit more of what it takes as they edged out a 16-13 win over Third Eye.

The game came down to errors, no surprise there, and really who committed the fewest of them. I kept loose records of the number of errors and I estimate Third Eye had more than the Talk of the Town and therefore, the Talk of the Town won. The Talk also played some banger defense when needed, especially one hotshot second basewoman, Mariko Kusaka.

They opened with a couple of runs as Robbie Vandervoort and Kusaka both singled and scored on a double from Erik Ervin down the third base line.

Third Eye answered, scoring three runs as Rebecca Ofsterdahl pushed Sam Reaman home with a double and Jack Collins clipped a “weird area” double. Ben Reaman cracked a RBI double and Rachel Miller poked a RBI single but the Talk defense turned a couple of big plays in the mix of runs as Vandervoort made a leaping grab at short and threw to second for a double play and Kusaka made a diving grab to rob Dom Piccaro of a RBI base hit and end the inning.

A couple of Third Eye errors then led to a couple of Talk runs as Kate “Irish Red” Killian connected for an error-assisted double and Kat Hassebroek power-bunted an error-assisted RBI single for a 4-3 Talk lead.

Third Eye had the Talk on the ropes in the bottom of the second inning as a string of base hits had the bases loaded with no outs. But a pop out and another highlight from Kusaka at second stemmed the Third Eye tide. Collins still came through with a towering grand slam home run but the Talk defense turned the third out to hold Third Eye at bay.

The Talk came back with some firepower of their own (apparently that’s a reflexive pronoun) started off by a solo home run from Ervin. Courtney Bock tapped a RBI single and Vandervoort remained red hot at the plate flaring a two RBI double to right field. Kusaka and the Talk then took advantage of a defensive miscue to score two more runs and push out ahead 11-7.

Ben Reaman matched Ervin with his own solo shot to open the bottom of the third inning and Third Eye climbed back into the game thanks to cagey running from Piccaro and a RBI hit from Brooke Hallweaver.

The Talk eventually pulled ahead 14-10 by the fifth inning but an inside the park home run from Piccaro and a RBI double from Sam kept Third Eye well within striking distance.

They made a solid defensive stand in the top of the sixth that looked to spurn additional fireworks from Third Eye, but it didn’t, as their bats remained erratic.

The Talk tacked on a couple of insurance runs as Hassebroek and Brian Kunes each pushed runs across the plate and Third Eye managed just one more run to fall 16-13, only to have to take the field again and face Psycho Rocks. How it ended up I don’t know—all I know is Psycho Rocks spent their time during the first game closing out the regular season in style with a BBQ and plenty variety of boozes, including a water jug of “loose juice,” which was a mix of Svedka vodka and Arnie Palmer, aka a John Daly.

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