“Cheap bourbon whiskey and pearl snap shirts are two things that stay the same”
by Than Acuff
Talk about staying the same. What a run for one of the youngest 60-year-olds in town. Dave McGuire started playing softball in Crested Butte in 1981 and is now in his 41st year of play. That is some serious commitment, is commendable, worthy of commentary and borderline incredulous really. And the guy keeps on going so I’m giving a big Sports Barrel shout-out to the man known as Mac as he and the Talk of the Town held off a slow but consistent comeback by the Whetstoners at Gothic Field Tuesday night to hang on for the win.
But before we go there, how about the new flower boxes in town? Flower boxes have been taking out drunken bikers, a lot of whom were trying to get home from the Talk of the Town, for years and now there are more of them. I’m not saying they’re bad or good, I’m just saying they’re out there. You loadies would be wise to watch yourselves cause there are times when they almost jump right out at you and take you down.
Speaking of jumping, the Talk jumped all over the Whetstoners through the first three innings of the game opening with three runs in the top of the first inning off an RBI double from Mike Spradillac and a two-run inside-the-park home run by Chase Sprayberry.
The Whetstoners answered right back in the bottom of the first inning as Alex Mattes-Ritz doubled and scored on a single by Barb Winter. Barb Peters then followed with a single and Zach Matthias stepped to plate with “Barbs on the pond” to single and score one Barb pulling the Whetstoners within one.
The Talk tacked on five more runs as Mac led off with a single and scored when Robbie Vandervoort stroked a double. Spradillac drove two more Talk runs in with a double and Sprayberry cleared the bases with a two-run shot over the left field netting for an 8-2 lead.
The Whetstoners had an answer once again though when Ashley “Olfactory” Huse led off with a single and Tickled Pink (that’s the name he gave me) doubled. Meghan Dougherty and Mattes-Ritz combined for two hits to score two runs and Kelly Jensen came out of retirement to pop bunt in another run but the Talk turned a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning and harsh the Stoners buzz.
The Talk then looked to, and ultimately did, put the game out of reach as they rattled off six more runs in the top of the third inning. Vandervoort and Kelly McGuire connected for RBI base hits to get the rally going and Spradillac, Jacqui Florig and Sprayberry followed with continued RBI base hits for a 14-5 talk of the Town lead.
But that would be it for the Talk as they failed to score a single other run connecting for a paltry three base hits the rest of the game.
Meanwhile the Whetstoners crept back in the same way “creeper weed” does. Seems harmless at first and then hangs on. So I’ve heard.
The Barbwich of Winter, Jensen and Peters combined to drive in three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and when Peters cracked a two RBI single to center and Brad Wigginton pushed home another Stoner with a base hit in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Whetstoners had pulled to within three with one inning to play.
The Talk remained hopeless at the plate in the top of the seventh and the stage was set for the Whetstoners to complete the comeback, only they didn’t. Instead, they managed just one run off hits from Dougherty, Winter and Jensen in their final at bat and fell short 14-12.