By Dave Hoffenberg
Congrats once again to Clearly Moguls for winning their fifth title and third straight. The All-Star Game was held last week which means the 2016 season has officially come to a close. This game is fun because teams are randomly selected and teammates get to face each other for the first time.
The West Squad was represented by Clearly Moguls’ “Ronzoni” Hacker, Will “The Thrill” Burdick, “Jackie Blue” Livesey and Tucker Zink, Garlic McGraths’ Joe Montemurro, Killington Resort’s Nate Stoodley, the Outback Wolf Pack’s Forrest Baker and Chris George and free agent Mike Pelland. The East Squad was represented by Clearly Moguls’ Hunter Pike, Brando Remick, Angel Shannon, Tall Tom Gilligan, Russell “The Love Muscle” Dalglish and “DJ Dave” Hoffenberg, Garlic McGraths’ Jeremy “Cuddle Buddy” Prior, Killington Deli’s Nick “Cuddle Buddy” Melotti, umpire Jimmy Lewis and free agent “Chatty Cathy” O’Brien.
Prior took to the mound for the East and instantly got Ronzoni to ground out as he casually flipped the ball to Lewis for the first out. Burdick got a single and Stoodley knocked him home with a double to take a 1-0 lead. Just like last year, the league’s best all-time winning percentage pitcher Jackie Blue took the ball to start the game. The difference this time was his control. Last year he was shelled for seven first inning runs; this time he didn’t give up half that many all game. Pike led off with a double but tried stretching that to a triple, which was not a good move. That led to a 1-2-3 inning which included Prior being the first victim of the “PBR Shotgun K.”
Prior got some revenge in the next inning as he shut the West down 1-2-3 and delivered a “PBR Shotgun K” to Pelland. Runs were at a premium in this game. For such a high scoring season, this defensive battle was a surprise. Shannon led off the fourth and Jackie Blue contemplated using the Garlic McGraths’ “intentional walk” method but decided to face his long ball threat teammate. It was a good decision since Shannon grounded out to Burdick, who beat him to first for the out. Jackie Blue held the East scoreless with another 1-2-3 inning and delivered another “PBR Shotgun K,” this time to his “CBK” leading teammate, Dalglish.
Both hit machines were on the fritz but defense was not. Prior led the East to another 1-2-3 inning and shut down Ronzoni for the second straight time. This one was all Prior’s as he beat Ronzoni to first base for the out. Burdick and Jackie Blue both flew out. Lewis popped out to begin the East’s third inning but DJ Dave singled and beat the throw to first. Unfortunately he could not move from there as Melotti suffered a “PBR Shotgun K” and O’Brien flew out to left. It was the farthest ball hit by the East but still an out and still 1-0 West.
Both teams made some pitching changes and the East brought in middle relief pitcher Melotti. A couple of West players reached base but the stout “D” of the East kept them from going home. Burdick came in to relieve Jackie Blue and got the first batter, Pike, to pop out. But back-to-back singles by Prior and Remick and back-to-back nice looking sacs by Shannon and Gilligan finally put the East on the board and gave them a 2-1 lead.
The wheels came off the defensive wagon for the East in the fifth. They decided to switch the infield with the outfield and the new infield was not the defensive wall that Lewis and DJ Dave had up. Baker flew out but Jackie Blue’s double and Ronzoni’s single got the comeback ball rolling. Burdick knocked in Blue to tie the game but Ronzoni was thrown out at third. The East had a chance to keep it a tie but Chris George burned Pike for a two run inside-the-park fenceless home run. Zink knocked in Stoodley to pull away 5-2. Montemurro popped out to end the inning but the damage was done. The wind was taken out of the East’s sail and in their next at-bat, they only managed one hit.
The score remained the same in the sixth with both teams offensively challenged. DJ Dave was brought in to pitch the seventh. It was only his second appearance on the mound ever. He faced teammate and birthday buddy Burdick first and got him to ground out to second. Next up, George got a single and Stoodley a double. Stoodley came screaming back to the pitcher’s mound but the cat-like reflexes of DJ Dave got him out of harm’s way. It didn’t get an out, though, but he was able to deliver a “PBR Shotgun K” to Zink next for the second out. A costly error by the second baseman on a Montemurro hit ball led to a 7-2 West lead. DJ Dave delivered another “PBR Shotgun K” to Pelland to end the inning. The East had no answer and Jimmy Lewis ended the game with a big “PBR Shotgun K”. This is how the West was won 7-2. Jackie Blue got the win and was named All-Star Game MVP.
Awards were handed out to these individuals for their outstanding efforts this season.
Championship Series MVP: Brett Regimbald (7 runs scored, 5 RBI, 8 hits, 14 outs)
Championship Series Runner-Up MVP: Will Burdick (3 runs scored, 5 RBI, 7 hits, 7 outs)
Best Connection of the Championship: Ronzoni to Jackie Blue 9 outs)
Gold Glove: Zach Cook (Garlic McGraths)
Rookie of the Year: Tucker Zink (Clearly Moguls)
Best Sportsmanship: Chandler Burgess (Killington Resort)
Most Retirements in One Season: Will Burdick
Fan of the Year: Emily Anne Gorham
Fan Favorite Player: Josh “Purple Guy” Souza
Best Party: Outback Pizza
Photo by Robin Alberti
Softball player in the Killington softball league leaps for a catch.