On August 19, 2020

Playoffs begin, teams step up

By DJ Dave Hoffenberg

The defending champs have never finished with a losing record so they had to win both their games last week. They were also battling Karrtel for playoff seeding. First up was First Stop Board Barn and they didn’t want to be the first victim. Defend Title Fantastically (DTF) started out hot with four runs in the top of the first but Collin “Hungry Like The” Wolf blasted a three-run shot into the deep woods and scored to tie it up 4-4 in the bottom. DTF kept their foot on the gas in the second with five runs to regain the lead 9-4. FSBB did not and went down 1-2-3, including Forrest Baker hitting into a double-play. Josh “Burdick Buddy” Souza scored in the third to stretch the lead 10-4.

The rest of the game was a highlight reel for DTF and a low-light reel for FSBB. The fourth saw DTF score six with half coming off the biggest hit in DJ Dave Hoffenberg’s career, a base-clearing double. DJ Dave was 0-2 and desperately wanted to get a hit because his 90-year-old mother, Doris Hoffenberg, was in the stands. DTF also accomplished five runs in each of the last two innings. The fifth was highlighted by “Tall Tom” Gilligan’s three-run homer, his first at Barstow and Joey Massores three-run homer in the sixth. FSBB added three runs but fell 26-7 for their 11th straight loss.

Karrtel evened their record 6-6 with a big win against Chinese Gourmet. That victory put more pressure on DTF to win. Karrtel jumped out to a three run lead and CG went down 1-2-3. Karrtel matched the 1-2-3 and CG hit through their order, scoring nine including a big blast by Jordan “Little T” Toller. That fired up Karrtel who scored 14 runs over the next four innings, while CG could only muster five hits. Toller hit his second homer in the seventh but it wasn’t enough and CG fell 17-11.

In their last game of the regular season, FSBB took on Rock Warriors desperately hoping to not finish the season winless. That plan worked out for half the game when the lead went back and forth. Rock pulled away in the late innings to seal their fate and send FSBB to the record books for being one of only two win-less teams.

In the nightcap and last game of the regular season, Rock battled DTF. Rock was going for the season sweep and DTF to even their record and become the three seed. DTF started the game going down 1-2-3 including Nate Swahn’s inning-ending double play. Rock also went scoreless in the first, with Chad Lonergan hitting into a double-play and Captain Josh Stevens inning ending “Cold Beer K” looking. Both teams managed a few hits in the second and third but remained scoreless. Tommy “Big Dog” Bowen also hit into an inning-ending double play. DTF got on the board first with three in the fourth and had a chance for more, but Souza flew out to end the inning and strand the bases loaded. Stevens made up for the CBK with a solo shot to bring his team within two, 3-1 but Dave “Buddy” Bartlett joined him in the CBK department. DJ Dave led off the fifth with a single and eventually scored along with Brett Regimbald and Angel Shannon. They added three more off a “Tall Tom” homer to stretch their lead 9-1. The sixth saw DJ Dave get caught looking, his first CBK that way. Regimbald added a solo shot in the seventh and Rock added nothing to fall 10-1.

The playoffs started last Wednesday and miracles do happen. FSBB was saving their first win for when it mattered the most, playoffs. Let the record books show that Karrtel was the first victim. Karrtel could not manage a run. FSBB’s first win was a solid team effort.

FSBB’s reward was to face number one seed CG in the nightcap. The excitement from getting that first win spilled over to this game and they jumped out to a 4-0 lead. CG answered back with three to cut the deficit to one. Both teams could only manage one hit in the second but CG’s was a homer to tie the game 4-4. The Smith’s shined for FSBB in the third with Smith Donelan’s lead-off solo homer and Shawn Smith’s triple. Combine that with a Wolf hit and FSBB took a 7-4 lead. “Dyno-Mike” Davis Jr scored in the bottom to cut the deficit 7-5. Joe Doherty’s solo shot in the fifth and Davis scoring again tied the game 7-7. FSBB could only muster three hits the rest of the game leading to a 12-7 victory.

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