Under Kochevars rally for upset win over KBUT in rec league play

Never count out the crew from Kochevars

In this week’s coverage of the comp league I thought I saw Mikey Weil pull off the best play of the year in the Tongue and Groovers game against the Airheads (see “Tongue and Groovers lick Airheads 16-7”).
That is until I witnessed what Under Kochevar outfielder Travis Leavy did Tuesday night at Gothic Field.
In an effort to make sure every team gets ink during the regular season, I headed down to Gothic Field to catch the Under Kochevars take on KBUT in rec league play.
On paper, it wasn’t looking pretty with KBUT on top of the rec league standings and the Under Kochevars second from last place. In a nutshell, it was the makings for a blow out. But, anything can happen in rec league.
Like I said, the Under Kochevars are one game away from last place in rec league. The ability is there, just not all of the time. Thus, the name, I suppose.
Player/manager Brendan Waldron put it this way before the game: “Either we’re cold or we’re hot.”
Tuesday night they were hot, as they defeated KBUT 10-5 to get one foot out of the cellar.
It was a dubious start for the Kochevars crew. The first three batters all swung at the first pitch and were retired one-two-three.
Their defense was equally shaky, giving up extra bases to KBUT hitters with errors as KBUT took a 3-0 lead.
Jimmy Hensley offered up the first Under Kochevars run in the top of the second inning, turning a misplayed fly ball into an inside-the-park home run.
Following Hensley’s sprint around the bases, Waldron ordered up immediate medical attention to his player calling out, “Get him a PBR—stat!”
Love those Under Kochevars.
KBUT scored again when Kelly Jensen doubled to center and scored on a single from Rich Driscoll and it was time to put down the pen as KBUT was gearing up to blow the game wide open.
But Cis Berry came up big, all four foot 11 inches of her, at second base. With runners on the move, Berry scooped up a ground ball and made a leaping toss to first base, to beat the runner and end the inning.
Nerves calmed for the Under Kochevars hitters by the top of the third and patience at the plate and hustle on the base path paid off.
Berry walked, Christine Hawk power-bunted a single and Jason Luttner singled to load the bases.
Crystal Staggs roped a RBI single to left field and a grounder from Brian Turner scored another Under Kochevars run.
They tied it up 4-4 with another base hit but KBUT’s Guy Ciulla cracked a triple and scored in the bottom of the third to stay on top 5-4.
Again the Under Kochevar defense came up big as Travis Lyle robbed Grant McFarren of an extra base hit with a grab in deep left center and followed with a second grab on a hit by Jensen to end the inning.
Both teams struggled at the plate in the fourth inning but the Under Kochevars rallied once again in the top of the fifth with a three-run outburst.
Two walks put ducks on the pond for Turner, who then delivered slicing a two-RBI double to left field.
Ellen Osterling drove in the third run with a single and the Under Kochevars were up 7-5. In fact, had it not been for the effort of KBUT outfielder Carson Hoff, it could have been worse—Hoff made two huge catches in centerfield with the bases loaded to hold the Kochevars runners on base.
But, as I mentioned above, it was Leavy who stole the show.
With one runner on and the Kochevars outfield playing deep, a fly ball from McFarren was destined to fall for a base-hit RBI. Leavy got a read on it, charged on it and dove for it, getting his glove under the ball at the very last moment.
The impact with the ground popped the ball out of his glove immediately, but Leavy stayed with it to make a second effort barehanded grab. Leavy then fired the ball to his cutoff man, who tossed over to first base for the double play and the indisputable play of the year.
Kochevars tacked on two more runs in the top of the sixth, thanks to a two-RBI single from Turner, and Berry added a tenth run to the Kochevars total with a RBI double in the top of the seventh inning for a 10-5 Kochevars lead.
The Kochevars defense did the rest of the work in the bottom of the seventh as Luttner and Berry pulled down line drives and Turner scooped a come-backer to flip to first base to end the game.

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