Saturday, August 8, 2020

Pitas Meatsticks slugs its way to semifinals


by Than Acuff

Imagine my excitement when a fax, yup a fax, came into the Crested Butte News last week explaining that I was to receive $9,820,000 in death benefits.

I know what you may be thinking, but it’s not like that. It’s not an email from a prince in Nigeria or anything like that. Those are scams. Everyone knows that. Besides, as I said, this came via fax.

It turns out that a guy, Alan Acuff, worked for “Energy Company of Canada” and died nine years ago and since no one has claimed his death benefits, I get them because… we have the same last name?

So, with that fax sitting on my desk in front of me from David Cook of Carlyle Partners Barrister & Solicitors in Alberta, Canada alerting me to my financial windfall, I got one thing to say about softball coverage, eat a bag of dirt (EABOD), ‘cause I’m out.

Hell, I’ll buy the league. Hell, I’ll buy a 10,000-square-foot home in the area. Better yet, I’ll buy some land in the area, build a 10,000-square-foot house, using “green” building materials for that coveted LEED certification, and not live in it. I’ll buy a house in town too and not live there either.

Suck it everyone, I’m King in here.

Wait… whaaaaaatttt?

Mr. Cook requests 10 percent of the money for charitable organizations?

Sure, take 15 percent, what do I care? My math tells me I still get, ummmm, a sh** ton (again I scored 690 on the math SAT 33 years ago, no thanks to the Indian whiz kid sitting next to me and the gullible test proctor, I assure you).

Hold on a second, after that charitable donation Mr. Cook and I then split the rest? Ok, I’m still in for… divide by two, carry the four… half of a sh** ton. That’ll still get me at least one house I won’t live in. I guess I won’t have custom handmade furniture made from the last 15 Slovakian Black Elm trees left on the planet, though.

Oh well, we all need to make sacrifices for a better tomorrow, I guess.

At any rate, all I have to do is send some information and I’m in. So, for the remainder of the playoffs, a monkey will provide softball coverage. At least he’s got opposable thumbs, which is key cause that’s what I hit the space bar with. The rest is all index finger magik—I mean magic.

Ok, non-softball players can stop reading now and softball players can start.

But, just in case it doesn’t pan out as hoped, Tuesday/Thursday playoff action was somewhat one-sided but not without some highlights. Kochevar’s Brew Crew fell victim to a scorching hot Elevate team in the early game and is headed to the loser’s bracket. Then Third Eye and Pitas Meatsticks squared off in the second game that Tuesday evening at Gothic field to determine who would join Elevate in the semifinals and who would join Kochevar’s in the loser’s bracket.

Based on the headline, we all know the answer. Dammit, had I gone to journalism school I might have learned the art of writing a leading headline and perhaps not given away the outcome.

But I didn’t so I didn’t.

Nevertheless, let’s get to the subtleties of the win and where it turned from a back-and-forth middleweight slugfest into an easy win for Pitas.

Things looked bad and then good for Third Eye early on. The bad was when Sam Reaman stepped to the plate to start the game and took a look at where he might want to hit the ball and said, “That’s a fu**ing scary infield” and proceeded to ground out.

The good came with the next several hitters as Pitas errors led to base hits including a two RBI double by Slater Weil.

Then the slugfest started as the two teams traded off shots through the next four innings, taking turns in the lead.

Pitas scored four in the bottom of the first inning as Heather Duryea and Callie Jo Aspinwall knocked in runs with base hits and Rhett Yarbrough cranked a two-run home run for a 4-2 lead.

Third Eye came right back as Rachel Miller and Heather Featherman connected for base hits and scored when Reaman figured out that one way to solve the “scary infield” of the Meatsticks was to jack a three-run shot over the right center fence for a 5-4 Third Eye lead.

Pitas then pulled back in the lead in the bottom of the second inning as Cody Sexe doubled and scored on a single by Scott Sanders and Drew Stichter crushed a two-run, one-kidney home run.

Weil and Ben Reaman then tied the game up with a couple of solo shots for Third Eye but Pitas returned the favor, and then some, in the bottom of the third inning as Heather Cooper stroked a RBI single, Sexe jacked a three-run dinger to center and Sanders tacked on a solo shot for a 12-7 Pitas lead.

The only good news for Third Eye, it was still early in the game and Pitas had hit their four home run max. Third Eye pulled back into the game once again as Featherman singled to left, Sam drove a RBI single and then Ben knocked his second home run of the night to pull Third Eye to within one.

Unfortunately, they too maxed out on home runs, which meant that the teams could now trade off one home run each the rest of the game, which they did.

Roland Mason and Emily Crooks connected to drive in some more Pitas runs and Yarbrough, or Yard-brough that night, then connected for his second home run, a three-run shot over right for a 17-11 Pitas lead.

But it wasn’t over just yet as the Pitas home run then opened the door for another Third Eye round tripper. Dazed and bloodied, Third Eye scratched its way back into the game as a couple of walks put runners on and Mikey Weil joined in the sluggery with a three-run shot to pull Third Eye back to within three heading into the bottom of the fifth.

Pitas then officially took control of the game when Heather Duryea and Thomas McLean each knocked in runs, Aspinwall tapped a powerbunt single and Mason exerted the power of the pen, as the current county commissioner showed no mercy to his constituents, driving a three-run home run to straightaway center. Sexe added in a two RBI double and Maddie “Hannibal” Letcher (okay, that’s a stretch) popped a RBI single to center to put Pitas on top for good 25-14.

In the end, Ben had the last say on the long ball as he clobbered a two-run shot in the top of the seventh but that had no effect on the outcome as Pitas secured their spot in the semifinals with the 25-16 win and will face Elevate. Meanwhile, Third Eye heads down to the loser’s bracket to battle Kochevar’s for a shot back into the big show.

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