Burford Slo-Pitch: Strange days are here
By Jesse Ferguson
Not to necessarily quote Matthew Good Band with the title, but the night of August 15th was a strange night in the Burford Men’s League Slo-Pitch league. I’ll explain the oddities…
First of all, the #Crunchers took on Tota’s Farms in an early game while Bon Lane matched up against Ackland’s. This game was strange for a number of reasons. First of all, Tota’s mainstay Rob Lowes was nowhere to be found at gametime (but he was available postgame).
Next oddity, as Tota’s Levi Smith explained: “Well to start the game, I think we went nine-up and nine-down.”
The gamesheet confirms this total of runs (zero), but actually, Tota’s went three-up, three-down in the fourth inning as well!
This isn’t quite an oddity, but it was unfortunate that Tota’s was trying to compete with the powerful #Crunchers team with one less fielder than is allowed because they didn’t have enough players.
Meanwhile, Shane Mazurek watched the game from the bleachers saying he wants to play. If only he expressed such, they may have found a green jersey for him (Clint Brown’s uniform has been collecting dust this year).
Regardless, the #Crunchers took it to Tota’s systematically.
After two innings there was no energy, said umpire Jeff McKay after the game, especially speaking to the Tota side.
But then, Chris smoked a homerun for the #Crunchers to cash in multiple runs. And the #Crunchers had 16 runs by the fifth inning.
Smith then hit a homerun to get Tota finally on the board! Their bench let out a sarcastic cheer.
And this would be the start of a long ascent for Tota’s, if they were to make a comeback.
Both teams ran out of homers fairly early in the contest (in the smaller Diamond A, teams are limited to just five homeruns they are eligible to hit), so teams would have to adjust their launch angles lower to keep the ball in the park.
However, Tota battled back throughout the game, never saying die. And while they waited half of the game to score, Tota’s scored an incredible 14 runs in the sixth and seventh inning combined! Both are oddities in slo-pitch.
In the seventh, Donny Giles scored his third run of the game, and this one, somehow, was all tied up! Tota stormed all the way back to tie things up at 18! And to boot, they did so with only nine players!
With the bottom of the ninth remaining, all the #Crunchers had to do was score one measly run to collect the win. Yet, the former ION Solutions had no solution in the bottom of the ninth and Smith pitched a scoreless final three frames!
The #Crunchers relent their big early lead for a single point tie. Ties are odd enough when there are so many runs scored. But what a strange game… and unbelievably, a team fielding just nine players doesn’t lose.
The #Crunchers really blew this one. They stopped hitting in the last third of the game and they let a squad with just nine players take a point from them. Tota’s Farms have to look at this result as a win, considering the massive comeback with their limited amount of players.
The #Crunchers stats are unavailable as Crunchers’ Bill VanBlyderveen pulled a switcheroo on the gamesheet. I specifically asked for his team’s gamesheet because Tota’s was too shorthanded to record when they were in the field. But instead, he walked to my car and proceeded to give me the Tota gamesheet. Thanks to this strange act, the numbers for the Number Crunchers and player stats are unknown.
Meanwhile over on Diamond B, Ackland’s Insurance put 13 runs on Bon Lane. This is a very beatable total, but Bon Lane could only muster up four runs. Somehow, just FOUR! Strange again.
The Bushwacker fall from grace prolongs. They have lost four of five games. Yet, they sit only one game back of first-place Cement Heads.
Ackland fan Gary Zylstra explained the game: “Yeah, Ackland’s smoked them. They (Bon Lane) didn’t get hardly any runs.”
He wasn’t being sarcastic, either. Four is a strange total, especially on Diamond B.
In the late games, Bre Haul took on Burford Auto on Diamond B and the number one Cement Heads took on Davis Fuels. The closer game by the standings would be Bre Haul and Auto, but the Cement Heads being in first earned coverage.
Davis, like Tota just before, was attempting to patrol the outfield with just three fielders. Nevertheless, Davis’ John Keczan made one great play at the fence in leftfield. But his bat was not so great. I’m not sure a player has ever grounded out twice to the catcher– especially on two swings– but Keczan pulled off this strange feat tonight. Mike Kipp put him out on two consecutive at-bats. On the first oddity, Keczan didn’t even run… believing it was foul. It was not.
This was not the only case of uninspired play by the Davis Fuels team. A strikeout looking is a strange event, and we won’t disclose the Davis’ player who did this… but he did marry into the family.
Eventually, Davis Fuels looked to just be going through the motions as their play was admitting mercy. “Well this isn’t fun,” commented a Davis player between innings. And it didn’t look like it.
They were showing about as little hustle as some of the Blue Jays running out groundballs. That’s to say, no hustle.
Whatever the score ended up (21-4 for the Cement Heads over Davis), it was deserved.
All the meanwhile, simultaneously, Bre Haul edged Auto 25-19.
The league plays on a rare Friday night this week! So that would be tonight! Ackland’s takes on those number one Cement Heads in the game of the day, Tota’s Farms gets Burford Auto, while the #Crunchers take on Bre Haul in an interesting game, and lastly Bon Lane tries to right their sails against Davis Fuels.
For the last Slo-Pitch 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.