Kochevar’s takes down Talk of the Town in barroom brawl

RIP Bill Walton

By Than Acuff 

I could go into Bill Walton’s impact on the NBA but that’s already been covered extensively online. So, what I will go into is Bill Walton’s impact on Grateful Dead shows. In case you didn’t know, Walton was quite the Dead Head, quite a big Dead Head both in spirit and in person standing 6’11”. One time, I found the perfect spot at the Greek Theatre during the first set and here comes Bill Walton through the crowd only to stop, right in front of me. 

 “You gotta be kidding me?!” I said.

 “Sorry, I’ll move in a sec.”

He did, but not until the set closing Bertha was done.

Then, one time at the LA Forum, there was this big empty space on the floor near the stage. I told my friend we should go down there but upon closer inspection, the open space on the floor was a vacuum behind you know who, 6’11” Bill Walton.

That’s right, welcome back to softball season and judging by the opening game and some roster turmoil, I’m thinking we got quite the season ahead of us.

For starters, Drew Stichter informed me he was not playing softball this season, but you know who is? Both Sam Lumb and Dave McGuire who have close to 100 years of local softball between them.

We also have two FNTs with the newly formed Aces playing in the Tuesday/Thursday league and the Zuni Renegades new to the Wednesday league. Though I’m sure both teams are made up of players from other teams. In fact, I know they are so not necessarily new to Crested Butte softball.

The opening game of the 2024 season was a veritable barroom brawl as the Talk of the Town faced Kochevar’s at Gothic Field Tuesday, May 28 with the Talk threatening a late game comeback before Kochevar’s shut the door.

Kochevar’s went up 4-0 early as singles from Andrew Arnold, Hunter Lucas and Spencer Nowell scored one run and then John Duffy stepped up to look at the first pitch and then smash the second one to straightway centerfield for a 4-0 lead.

An RBI single by Erik Ervin put the Talk on the scoreboard but Arnold knocked a two-run shot in response for a 6-1 Kochevars’ lead after two innings of play.

The Talk did swing back in the top of the third as Pete Basile doubled and scored off a single from Nick Catmur. Ryan “the House is in the…House” Houseman then drove in another Talk run and Robbie Vandervoort tied the game up 6-6 with one swing of his bat for a three-run home run.

The home run derby continued in the bottom of the third inning as dingers from Duffy, Prawit Durgan and Arnold knocked in six runs for Kochevar’s with an RBI triple from Nowell putting Kochevar’s out front 13-6.

Ervin joined the slugfest with a solo shot for the Talk, but Kochevar’s tacked on an additional three runs in the bottom of the fourth for a 16-7 lead.

Then, it was Talk time as they rattled off seven runs in the top of the fifth. Singles by Catmur and Kelly McGuire set up Houseman for an RBI double. Jacqui Florig knocked two more runs home with a single, Ervin drove a two RBI double off the fence and Basile returned to the plate to knock a two RBI triple to pull the Talk within two runs heading into the sixth inning.

The Talk defense held Kochevar’s scoreless in the bottom of the fifth and were primed to then take the lead in the top of the sixth, but they didn’t and instead were held hitless. At which point Kochevar’s sealed the deal scoring five more runs in the bottom of the sixth and giving up just two in the top of the seventh for the 21-16 win.

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