Burford Slo-Pitch: A two-tiered league

Burford Slo-Pitch: A two-tiered league

Burford Slo-Pitch: A two-tiered league

Burford Slo-Pitch: A two-tiered league

By Jesse Ferguson

As mentioned last week, the major game of consequence from a rain-out week (June 22) was Tota Farms and Ackland’s as this game would go a long way to decide fourth, fifth, and sixth place. The games from June 22 were played August 27th, in a rare Monday night affair.

League-lifer Rob Lowes clarified what president Jon Chambers said last week and explained the league used to play on Monday nights, so it is not the first Monday for games in league history.

And tonight, for the early games, there was just the one game– on Diamond A. Whoever was set to play on Diamond B decided not to show (but both teams didn’t show, making it seem like it was decided. However, no one told the umpire who showed up ready to work. Instead, he appointed himself “crew chief” of the game on Diamond A).
If it was Davis Fuels who didn’t show up, it’s understandable because they have hardly shown up all year. And last week they were barely going through the motions.

Why they didn’t move the marquee between Ackland’s and Tota’s from Diamond A to Diamond B, where it would’ve allowed the teams to swing away without worry of exceeding the homerun limit, no one is really sure. If the reason why is that the league was determined to stick to the schedule, it was petty.

Ackland’s Ray Magda stands in to hit (submitted photo)

Both team stalled out of the gate, making three consecutive outs in the first. Ackland’s was first on the board. Dave Zylstra scored first on Ray Magda’s homerun, his first of two on the night. Magda (above), apparently felt less weight on his back then he does when being watched by the Gemmell crew (Melissa, Sam, Mary, and Rose), who were notably absent tonight.

Lowes used his first at-bat to smack a three-run homerun. This way, he didn’t have to use a substitute runner for him.

Tota’s Corey Paternak is back! A steady player for Tota Farms, Muirs and New Kids on the Block for the past decade or more, he opted to try golf this summer instead. But this July at the Foo Fighters concert in Toronto, he was interviewed and said he missed of the game. So a few phone calls were made and PRESTO, voila Paterak.

Back again! Corey’s back. Tell a friend (clip by That One Ghost Named Asdfghjkl of Eminem’s song “Without Me” of UMG Aftermath).

Anyhow, Paterak’s first at bat tonight was unremarkable. His fielding was perhaps rusty too as he ran in only to jump to make the catch a couple of times. Then, from right field, he threw the ball not to the cutoff man, who was right infront of him in shallow rightfield, but all the way to the first baseman. This is not textbook, but not real relevant to the game… just shows his rust.

His second at-bat was far more memorable as he blasted a shot down the left field line that started foul but caught a gust of wind and stayed fair for a three-run shot!

The fourth inning was a statement inning for Tota’s. They went nine batters deep. Levi Smith also hit a grand slam for Tota’s as they took the lead 11-5.

Then there was a weird play as Ackland’s popped up the ball into shallow rightfield. Smith saw the first baseman scurry into shallow rightfield to shag the popfly. Meanwhile, Smith snuck behind the runner to cover first who ventured off the bag thinking the first-baseman was out of position. The first-baseman threw it to Smith for a rare doubleplay.

“That’s textbook,” said Tota’s Rob Lowes (below), coming off the field. “What textbook though, I don’t know.”

Rob Lowes checks his 4BRANT account while waiting for his chance to bat
Submitted photo

Ackland answered in the seventh inning with a HUGE outburst. Jordan Taylor had a clutch hit, scoring runners.
Ackland’s was out of homeruns but that rule is exempt when at tenth batter, where Ryan Nechelput delivered a monster grand slam.
I said it was a huge inning, right? How’s nine runs? That might be some kind of record…

Tota’s Farms seemed to lose steam tonight– despite playing at the smaller Diamond A and having enough players tonight (with one sub too). Perhaps the team wasn’t rested up enough for the Monday game and they used up all their effort early. They peaked too early. Or some line about loads…
Actually, they scored 11 runs (a load) in the first four innings, then none in the final five (totally blowing it).

Ackland’s prevails 19-11. In the victory, German Hans scored a game-high four times. The nine-spot in the seventh certainly helped.

 

The League is pleased to announce that the early game on Diamond B was the only one not played. Number one Cement Heads faced Burford Auto on Diamond B for the late game.
The top-seeded Cement Heads flexed their muscle, winning by a dime, 26-16.

The Cement Heads use their de facto bench, the stands, as their bench… instead of their bench. Submitted photo

Third and fourth placed squads matched up on Diamond A and that was Bre Haul and #Crunchers, irrespectively. If Bre Haul loses, they will need to defeat those first-place Cement Heads on Wednesday to grab the fourth seed and avoid one of the stalwarts in the first round of the tournament.

Bre Haul threw out Josh Seitz on the mound keeping the Bre Haul pitcher position in the family (from father Kevin). He hadn’t pitched in a long time though and was rusty too, walking the first batter. It was a tough ten-batter first yielding six runs, but then he settled down.

Bre Haul was impressive in the field. The centerfielder made a running grab at top flight. Then Ed Allgood teamed up with second-baseman on a barehand doubleplay! However, inexplicably, Chad Box just dropped the ball at first, ruining the highlight of the night.

Then as Bre Haul got runners on, #Crunchers pitcher pitched one right off the front edge of the board for a strike. Box yelled at umpire Jeff McKay that the ball was on the way up, but McKay remained steady with his call (he was correct after all).

Bre Haulian, Chad DeBlock, still reeling from an earlier striekout, announced: “You owe us one now.”

It turned out to be a good thing though for Bre Haul as that batter– Todd Brezinski– hit a grand slam! With his family in the stands, it captured a special moment.

Despite the grand slam, Bre Haul was quick to point out that McKay (featured image, second from left) was responsible for doing this to the #Crunchers.

The elder Seitz– Kevin– took over at first for the ailing Box. He first complained about his lack of action at first, then Seitz (below, at-bat) moved up right on the base line, likening his positioning to the infamous Randy Allgood, former Bre Haul All-Star.

The next pitch was a spite linedrive off the bat of Mike Heeney RIGHT AT FIRST! Calmly, Seitz snagged it out of the air for the out. It felt like it was preordained…

“Nice snatch!” his wife Sue would’ve yelled.

By then, the #Crunchers had a nine-run inning (the fifth), so that supposed record by Ackland’s I eluded to above is at the least a co-record).

They pulled ahead by quite a few and Bre Haul almost conceded fourth place to Ackland’s with the loss. What this means is that Bre Haul is confident Tota Farms will lose on Wednesday to Bon Lane. If they do lose to Bon Lane, Bre Haul faces Ackland first round of the Year-Ender Bender © .If they do not lose, then Bre Haul will likely face these #Crunchers in the first-round.

With the victory, the #Crunchers still have a shot to grab first-place! However, they will need both Tota and Bre Haul to upset Bon Lane and the Cement Heads respectively. Stranger things have happened, but I’m not sure this is a likely scenario.

Yes, fighting it out for the number one seed Wednesday is Bon Lane (at 6:45 when they play Tota Farms), the Cement Heads (also at 6:45 playing Bre Haul), and the #Crunchers (who get Ackland’s late). Conversely, simultaneously, Tota Farms, Bre Haul, and Ackland’s fight it out for fourth place.

Effectively, the league’s Tier 1 is playing the league’s Tier 2 on Wednesday night! The outcomes will decide both tiers, as well as the seeding for the Year-Ender Bender © .

For last week’s article, click here.
For a look at the schedule and scores, click here.
For an update on the standings, click here.
For my other articles on 4BRANT, click here.

Jesse Ferguson

I'm Jesse, from right here in Brantford! Sports are my passion 🙂 I have a degree in journalism from Laurier and I think I have a gift to write... so let me share it with you!

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