“Bobo, Broadhead, Warstic!”
“Oh Nelly Furtado!”
by Than Acuff
Psycho Rocks and Pitas Meatsticks are THE rivalry of local softball and the two teams squared off in a doubleheader Tuesday night at Gothic Field. It’s really more of a frivalry, friendly rivalry, which can sometimes edge so very close to not so friendly.
The first game was rather civil though as Psycho Rocks rolled to a 17-7 win. Then again I was halfway down the first base line so while I could hear plenty of chatter from Psycho Rocks, it seemed more about just being fired up than heckling. All the while Pitas appeared somewhat disinterested in getting into it, or the game, as they were not their usual selves for six and a half innings. But, truth be told, Psycho Rocks certainly brought their A-game, both at the plate and in the field.
They opened things up early taking a 5-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Eli Fiddler punched a RBI single up the middle. Claire Bartholomew singled to then load the bases and Ben Hayes pushed two more runners across with a single. Ben “Warstic” Jenkins drew a walk to score another run and Drew Grigsby closed it out with another RBI single.
Roland Mason looked to wake up his teammates as he connected for a two RBI single but the Psycho Rocks turned a double play to stop Pitas in their tracks.
Pitas defense clamped down as well to set themselves up for their usual 10-run inning but cagey pitching by Grigsby kept the Pitas hitters confused. Meanwhile, Psycho Rocks tacked on two more runs as Bartholomew tapped a sac hit RBI and Hayes connected for a solo inside the park home run (ITPHR) for a 7-2 lead.
Which is no lead really against Pitas but, once again, the Psycho defense came through. Pitas opened the bottom of the third inning with base hits from Frank Magri and Thomas McLean to bring the top of the order to the plate but when Dakota Wiggins charged in on a line drive by Scott Sanders to make the grab, he caught the runners moving and threw to second base for another inning-ending double play.
Sanders pulled off some defensive heroics of his own in the top of the fourth and the game was eerily quiet for a bit but Psycho Rocks was obviously on a mission in that first game.
They ramped things back up in the top of the fifth and sixth innings as Fiddler pushed a two-run ITPHR to deep right for a 9-2 Psycho lead. Bryan Densmore tried to wake his Pitas teammates up with a solo shot but it was all for naught and Psycho slowly but surely continued to add to their lead as Hayes popped another solo ITPHR followed by a solo shot from Jenkins as his family honked their approval from the field side seats in their truck. And while Jason Keener dinked a RBI double to shallow center for a 12-3 Psycho Rocks lead, no lead is safe against Pitas.
Except this time and Psycho Rocks finally sealed the deal in the top of the seventh. Bartholomew got things going again with a RBI single and it was Hayes’ crushing three-run shot off the roof of Town Hall that ostensibly put the game away.
That said, Pitas did finally show some signs of life, at the plate at least, connecting for seven of their 12 total hits of the game to score four runs but Psycho finished off what they had started for the 17-7 win.
The two would take the field again for the second game of the doubleheader but, as was pointed out this week, the Crested Butte News just turned 20 years old so I have been covering local softball for 20-plus years, so I went home.
Stop the presses, this just in. Psycho Rocks won the second game 17-7 as well to take both ends of the doubleheader and take sole possession of first place.