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In the historic, first-ever February games in the 47 year history of the Temple Shalom Softball League, the Circus came to town as the Clowns opened the season against the Garber Grasshoppers. Due to several pratfalls, the Jesters quickly fell behind the Garberians 8-1 before storming back to grab an 11-10 lead going in the bottom of the seventh. Clownish hitting leaders were Sean "Fashion Plate" Greeley with 4 hits, Sheldon "Steamboat" Fulton with 3 RBI and a Clown Alley of batsmen tied with 2 runs scored. Unfortunately, some bonus hijinx in the field resulted in the Grasshoppers hopping past the Sad Clowns, 12-11.
The Clowns packed up their belongings in a bindle and trudged over to Field 4 for the nightcap against the Cova Marauders. A nearly flawless defense, led by rookie shortstop Joe "Volcano" Calvano's brilliant play at short, made the three runs in the first and second innings hold up as the Clowns won a laugher 7-2 for their first victory of the young year. Super Sub Heath "not Blake" Jones led the team with 3 hits and 3 RBI. Bottom of the order sparkplug Chris"py Kreme" Peterson led the team with 2 runs scored.
Clowns Offensive Impact POW: Jeff Radanof - 4 for 5 with a BB, 2 RBI and 2 runs scored
Clowns Defensive Impact POW: Joe Calvano - flawless fielding at short in both games
GAME 1 - FIELD 1 ISOTOPES – 8 VS IRONPIGS - 21
The anticipated Spring 2021 season kicked off for the little Piggies against the Andrew William’s led Isotopes. The best player in the league, Mr. Williams, had his team ready to roll in the top of the first inning. One hit after another saw the Isotopes take a 4-0 lead.
In the bottom of one, Adam “Schodaddy” Schor started the offense with a single, immediately followed by a Spencer “BroMANZer” single pushing Schor to 3rd base. Matt "Brumbledore" showed off his magic wand by blasting a no doubter Grand Slam to tie the game at 4 a piece. Greg Aymond, Jeff “Wild Thing” Roberts, Tony “Stretch” Lowery, Ronn Forniglia, and Brinkman all singled in the inning, coupled with walks from John “JZ” Zielinski and Brandon “Cbass” Alford.
Brumley stayed hot in the 3rd inning as he blasted another ball over the fence, but the real fireworks came with the bases loaded. Ronn “I bleed Ironpigs red” smashed a ball to the fence to clear the bases for, an amazing to watch, stumbling 3 run single. The floodgates were open as the score ballooned to an Oinkers advantage of 19-4.
The Isotopes never quit as they put up runs to stave off the run rule led by an Andrew Williams 694 ft homer. Matt Ruckel made his Shalom league debut as a Pitcher only, and struggled to settle his nerves a bit, as can happen to us all, the first couple of innings, but found his groove as he held the Pigs to only 4 hits and 1 run after the 3rd inning. Isotopes flashed some leather led by Mr Edgerton at second base robbed Cbass of a bases loaded hit in the 5thinning.
While the Pigs were victorious, don’t sleep on the Isotopes. Tons of talent all over the field, the Piggies just had some luck with getting to play this team before they have gelled.
GAME 2 – FIELD 4 IRONPIGS – 11 VS PIRATES - 13
Feeling good after a dub in the books, the Piggies played, my preseason favorite, Pirates. Pigs grabbed a quick 2 run lead thanks to BroMANZer’s single and Brum Brum’s double, but ended the first down 3-2.
Cbass, Schor and Manz created another 3 runs for the Piggies, but the pesky Pirates defense countered and created two 5-4-3 double plays thanks in part to the Zachary San Roman, Lance Gandy and Brian Strull combo, stifling any big inning for the Pigs. Kevin Gandy was dealing and cooled off the redhot bats of the Bacon Boys.
By the 6th inning the Pirates started to pull away, but our 10,11,12 rounders would not let the Pigs go quietly into that good night. Lowery singled, Ronn singled, Brink had an RBI single (yes, Brinkman), Cbass an RBI double, and Adam “Who's your Schodaddy”tied the game at 11 with a two run dinger over RCF.
This game was back and forth, and saw great play from both teams in the OF and INF. Mike Anders did a great job filling in for the ailing Paul Rakofsky, but the Pirates Cody Strull was simply unstoppable as he walked off the Pigs with a moonshot HR to LCF for a final score of 13-11. Congrats to the Pirates, and heck of a job Cody!! Lock down D and the game winning homer!!
8 AM: Isotopes, Grasshoppers, Mariners, Red Sox
910 : Pirates, Red Sox, Grasshoppers, Tacos
1020: Iron Pigs, Rangers, Bats, Astros
1130: Rangers, Brewers, Iron Pigs, Bats
Last week: 11-5
We are going to do things a little differently this year on what has become known as the POW/ROW. We will take a page from the NHL and after each game they have the 3 stars of the game.
What was formerly known as the POW will be called the 3 Impact Players of the Week and 3 will be named. Those 3 players do NOT have to be on a team that swept. They can be from any team that finished with a 2-0 record, 1-1 record or an 0-2 record.
The same will be done for the rookies. 3 Impact Rookies of the Week.
Week 1 Impact Players of the week
1. Ryan Driggers, 5 for 7, 2B, 2 Triples, 2 HRs, 7 RBI
16 total bases, 10 total runs accounted for
2. Dalton Fallaw, 5 for 6, 2 HRs, 2B, 4R, 8RBI, BB
12 total bases, 10 total runs accounted for
3. Jon Kilburn, 4 for 6, 3HRs, 4R, 7RBI
13 total bases, 8 total runs accounted for
Impact Rookies of the week
1. Luke Morgan, 6 for 7, 3 doubles, HR, 5R, 6RBI
12 total bases, 10 total runs accounted for
2. Brian Babbitt, 6 for 7, 3 Doubles, 4R, 4RBI
9 total bases, 8 total runs accounted for
3. Chris Stutz, 4 for 6, 2HRs, 3R, 6RBI
10 Total bases, 7 total runs accounted for
Great week by all and on to week 2
Our squad thought this was just practice games, so we are just giving everyone a head start. At least Johnny "Jorts" Burke is already in mid season form. There will be better days ahead when our new trash cans show up next week.
Game 1 vs. Dyer's Tacos
By far the best jersey matchup of the day. LOTS of horizontal stripes going on and it was AWESOME. The Tacos came out smokin with their new rookie phenom Luke Moran and claimed an early lead. We battled back to take a 4-3 lead in the 3rd inning only to see them answer with the six spot. Burke settled in after that and held them scoreless for the next two innings, but the bats offered little help. 10-8 was the final score.
Game 2 vs. Miller's Mariners
The M's started quick to put us in an early 4-0 hole. However, Burke worked his magic and got some solid defense behind him to hold them scoreless in 4 of the next 5 innings to keep us in the game. The bats struggled again, but Alfredo Sardi and Burke kept us alive. Sardi started the 4-run third inning with a two-run inside the park homer and was followed by back to back triples from Justin Reed and the captain. Ben Enlow's sac fly capped the scoring and tied the score at 6. That is where it would stay for 3 innings as both pitchers went to work. We had the stage set in the bottom of the 7th for a walk off win, but Miller worked his way out of a 1 out jam with the winning run on third. The game moved to extras and one pitch. The M's had the top of their order up and capped a 4 run inning with a blast from rookie Pete Salazar. We made a rally to make it interesting but couldn't complete the comeback. Great effort but came up short. Final score 10-6.
POW Candidate: Johnny "Jorts" Burke- 5 for 6, Double, RBI and fantastic pitching both games. Deserved better than he got.
Alfredo Sardi- 4 for 7, HR, 3B, 2 RBI
Ian Contreras 2 for 4, 2B, RBI
"Better to win ugly, than to lose pretty" that was the story of Sundays Pirate Sweep. The Rangers opened the door a couple of times and to hungry Buccos said Thank You very much. A 6-4 win to start the season was very nice. Defense and wind was key to the victory holding the mighty Rangers to just 4 runs.
In the night cap vs the Iron Pigs, it took a Cody Strull walk off 2 run homer to put the game away 13-11. Jimie Simione went 3-3 with a double to give the Pirates the lead late only to have the Pigs tie the game in the 6th. In the bottom of the 7th, Zach San Roman got on to set the stage for Cody's heroics.
Skipper Bob, making his first Sunday appearance in a year, was very pleased with the outcomes. it felt like he finally got out of jail. Also, The Skip was very moved by the trophy presentation and having the honor of the trophy named after him. he appreciated all the guys coming up to him and saying hello.
Until next week, Shiver Me Timbers and Be Well and Safe.
TACOS - 10
Astros - 8
The Spring 2021 Shalom season started on a humid and wet February morning, less than two weeks after the polar vortex and temperatures in the single digits. New captain Keg Dyer welcomed his eleven other TACOS to the team, then sent his squad out onto the diamond to kick off his debut season against Eusay’s Astros. The TACOS offense got off to a good start with homers by Shalom veteran Kevin Knox, and Shalom rookie Luke Morgan. The rest of the lineup was steady and produced just enough runs to get the job done. On the defensive side of things, Jon Banta was his usual steady self on the mound, holding the loaded Astros lineup to only eight runs. In the field, the middle infield tandem of Luke Morgan and veteran Steve Johnson seamlessly turned double plays as if they’ve been teammates for years. The outfield was steady, with Matt Shwarts making the defensive play of the game with a spectacular catch at the fence (I would be remiss if I failed to mention the other awesome defensive play of the game made by Mississippi State enthusiast Clint Hathcock in left field). The true highlight of this game was watching Alicia Shwarts make history by being one of the first of two women to participate in the Temple Shalom Softball League!
Luke Morgan – 3 for 3 / HR / 3 RBIs
Kevin Knox - 1 for 2 / HR / 3 RBIs
TACOS - 15
Brewers - 14
Game two will go down in Shalom history as the first two women to play in the league (Alicia Shwarts and Spring 2020 Shalom Champion Captain Brooke Prim) faced off against each other as Dyer’s TACOS took on Prim’s Brewers. This was a very well-played game both offensively and defensively. The TACOS offense found its rhythm and put up a healthy 15 runs, with multiple hits for almost the entire lineup. Matt ‘clean shavin’ Shwarts hit his first fence bomb of the season, Cuddles Haas somehow hit a legit triple and down the RIGHT FIELD line to boot, rookie Luke Morgan had three more hits, Cesar Garza went three for three, and Alicia Shwarts got the first two hits of her Shalom career. Once again, the venerable Jon Banta kept a powerful Brewers offense fairly in check, although the ball that Brad Earls hit just landed on Mars next to the Perseverance rover. He also was stellar on defense and made the key play of the game in the bottom of the 7th, by getting the game-tying run Michael Barth in a pickle between third and home. This critical play produced the second out of the inning and allowed the TACOS to hang on for the one run, come from behind victory.
Matt Shwarts – 2 for 4 / HR / 3 RBIs
Luke Morgan - 3 for 4 / 3 RBIs
Cuddles Haas – 4 for 4 / 2 RBIs
Cesar Garza – 3 for 3 / 2 RBIs
Alicia Shwarts – 2 for 3
TACOS Impact Player of the Week - Cuddles Haas – 6 for 6 / Triple / BB / 3 RBIs
TACOS Impact Rookie of the Week – Luke Morgan – 6 for 7 / HR / 3 Doubles / 6 RBIs
Guess who’s back?! Back again! What happens when the Bats return and this guy is an official Co-Captain again?! You get the return of The Batcave Chronicles! Get ready for some bat-tastic humor, some sports talk, and a side of justice! #letsgo #batsignalsup
Game 1: The Batmen vs The Colt .45’s
The Bats came out dawning our new batsuits for Game 1 and I have to say, they look pretty heroic. Thanks again to Kobz for all the hard work. The Colt .45’s came out guns blazin’, but thankfully these batsuits are bulletproof! The speediest bats had plenty of room to dodge and sneak attack the villains with Erik Clausen, Dylan Buhrow, and Dalton Fallaw leading the charge. The POW! to their Ka! came with the heavy hitting punches of Nick Barr, Ariel Rodriguez, Baby J, Freddy Barraez, and Doug Kramer. The final swift kick of justice comes from Jim Finley, Omar Gonzalez, Steve Enda, and Daniel Buhrow.
Colts took an early 2-0 lead, but Ariel came back with a 2RBI single to bring in Dylan and Dalton in the bottom of the 1st. Ariel would come back in the 3rd with a 2RBI homerun to retake the lead. Dalton would later seal the deal with a 3RBI homerun in the bottom of the 5th. The Bats just had to hold off the firepower of the Colts in the 6th to get the swift victory and serve up some justice.
Final Score: Bats 9 - Colt .45’s 6
Game 2: The Batmen vs The Red Sox of Boston
This was a close one for the Bat team and good almost did not prevail. Thankfully this team never gave up and trusted each other to get the job done and prevent the citizens of Shalom from witnessing a disaster. The Red Sox Gang put up 3 early, but the Bats came right back with 5 of our own. The chess match continued as the cold front came through and winds made the pitching staff adjust their approach. Dalton hit his second HR of the day in the bottom of the 5th that I am pretty sure has still not landed as I am writing this article. That...or the Joker took it! The Red Sox Gang came back to take a 15-13 lead in the top of the 6th. Daniel Buhrow lead off for the Bats in the bottom of the 6th and BOOMed! his first hit back up the middle. Clausen would precede to walk and Dylan Buhrow would load up the bases with a single. Dalton coming up and ropes a double to bring in Daniel and Erik with Dylan now on third. Ariel hits, Dylan comes home, throw home looks great but just comes off the hand of the catcher for the walk off run!!
Final Score: Bats 16 - Red Sox 15
Side Question: How many shirts do you think Kiminski has under his Red Sox jersey to make sure that it does not touch his skin.
Words from Commissioner Lawrence about the Batmen and their triumphs over evil: “I just flip the switch to the Bat Signal and trust that they will get the job done. They are no Lake Monsters...but they are just what this city needs!”
Ducks start the season in exciting fashion with two tightly contested losses
Game 1 - Red Sox 7, Ducks 6
Shalom rookie brothers were sensational in their league debut! Chris Cesario released the Quackin in his first at bat driving the ball well over the fence. He nearly started off his Shalom career with back to back bombs, if it weren’t for the talented (and tall) Tim Kaminsky robbing him at the fence. Brother Dominick Cesario worked in a triple and a 2 run single as well. This duo is going to be something to watch. The game was tight all the way through, and the Duck must tip their caps to the Red Sox outfielders, as Tim Kaminsky and Daryl Drake both made fantastic plays on two monster swings from Chris Cesario. A special shout out to Brandon Smallwood, who made a long run to snag the game clinching final out on what would have been a 2 run walk off hit by Mark Phares.
Game 2 - Ducks 15, Colt 45’s 20
The Ducks came out on fire in game 2, putting up 14 runs in the first inning. The Quackin was released three times in the inning by Dominick Cesario, Michael Thiele (who had 3 Ducks on the pond, hit a Grand Slam), and Jason “I’m not a 2nd round pick, Muck” Niswonger. Doug Wolff got in on the action, belting a 2 run double in the inning and Tony Martin reminded us how hard it can be to get him out by getting two hits in the inning and driving in two runs with the second at bat. Hauf’s Colt 45’s responded in kind, putting up a 13 run first inning of their own, giving us a 30 minute long 1st inning. Ultimately, the Ducks couldn’t quite capitalize in their final inning, and the Colt 45’s earned a tough win.
POW - Jason Niswonger 3-6, single, triple, HR, 4 DBI (Ducks Batted In) and 3 runs scored
ROW - Dominick Cesario 4-6, single, double, triple, HR, 3 DBI, 2 runs scored
Nick Croce, who is typically known for his big bat, had two very important and very timely hustle plays when the team needed it. Quacks to you sir!
Kendal Anthony, Doug Wolff, and Dorian Moore - The bottom of this talented roster (Duck Tails???) contributed heavily in both games going a combined 7 for 12, with 11th round steal Kendal Anthony going 3 for 4.
~ Coach D mUCK