By Dave Hoffenberg
KILLINGTON — The snow has finally cleared and that means it’s time for softball. Unfortunately, it wasn’t time for sunny skies as Mother Nature took two teams completely out and dampened the spirits of the others. But the rain did not stop the defending champion Clearly Moguls from beginning another quest for back-to-back titles, as they did in 2010-2011. That quest began with a rematch of last year’s title game against familiar foes who have a new name, The Team (formerly The Phat Italian).
The champs started out playing their usual brand of stout “D” and shut down The Team 1-2-3. Every one of C.M. infielders saw action in the top of the first as Dan Muller, Craig “Not so Fat” Brothers and Cam “Blame it on the Rain” Rainwater hit to short, third and second respectfully and everyone threw it to Jeremy “Jackie Blue” Livesey at first for the outs.
The Team could not match the stout “D”and Angel Shannon led off with a stand-up triple. Will “The Thrill” Burdick drove him in for the first run of the game and season. Brett “I’m Ready to Hit Bombs” Regimbald and Judd “Facebook Rookie” Washburn both scored to make it 3-0. Hunter Pike started his season with a “Cold Beer K,” delivered by Matt “Ajax” Anderson, the first of the season for both men.
The Team got on the scoreboard in the top of the second after Evan “I Do Hit Bombs” Anderson blasted a solo shot to right field. They had a chance for more but Rob Ranberg couldn’t get it done, stranding two on base. DJ Dave Hoffenberg hit the first pitch he saw for a long single but C.M. couldn’t get him home after Ajax welcomed Russ “First Time’s a Charm” Dalglish to the league with a “CBK” and got Neil Giberti to hit into a double play. Ron “Ronzoni” Hacker delivered his first “CBK” of the season, and it was to Isaiah Ellison. The rest of his teammates that inning failed to score.
In Brando Remick’s first at-bat of the season, he was robbed by Brothers, who had a diving web gem catch. Shannon and Burdick both scored after being driven in by Washburn who raised his RBI total to three and make it 5-1. Pike redeemed himself in the fifth inning with a blast to the fence in right and he sped around the bases for an inside-the-park home run.
The Team mounted a rally in the sixth with three runs to cut the lead 6-4. They had a chance for a lot more but Ellison popped out, leaving all the ducks on the pond. They had one more chance in the seventh but Regimbald made a spectacular play as he dove behind him to short left and fell while bobbling the ball but caught it for the big out to seal the win. Ajax was able to deliver two more “CBK’s” getting Shannon looking and 12 Pack Jack (a.k.a. Jackie Blue) with a foul out. Blue was hot otherwise with three hits.
In a rematch of last year’s semi-finals, C.M. met The Garlic McGraths but was only able to get two innings in after torrential thunderstorms halted play. C.M. built a 4-2 lead and this game will be continued on June 17.