On September 2, 2020

Chittenden Softball League sees walkoffs… and reverse walkoffs in playoff competition

By DJ Dave Hoffenberg

In baseball and softball, players dream of winning with a walk-off. Definition: A walk-off occurs in softball when the home team takes the lead in the bottom of the seventh or extra innings. Because the visiting team will not get another turn at-bat, the game ends immediately, with the home team victorious. Last year DTF won the championship with a walk-off home run by Taylor Zink. This year they exited the playoffs with a reverse walk-off. More on that later…

CG vs DTF

In the semi-finals against Chinese Gourmet, DTF started hot, jumping out to a 5-0 lead after a half-inning. They had seven hits, one of which was a three run shot by Brett “The Hitman” Regimbald. Pitcher Ronzoni Hacker could not find the plate, walking the first three batters which led to CG getting two runs back. Both teams failed to score in the second inning but Ronzoni settled down, not walking anyone and getting Cody McCormack to suffer an inning ending “Cold Beer K.”

DTF added four in the third, off back-to-back homers from Judd Washburn and Nate Swahn. Ronzoni walked two more batters in the bottom, this time leading to three runs. CG had a chance for more with runners on the corners and no outs but Regimbald turned a double-play and then John Gatto grounded out to Ronzoni to keep it a 9-5 deficit.

Both teams got one hit in the fourth but it was CG’s that led to a run to cut the deficit to three. Regimbald doubled that in the fifth with another three run blast, this time you could hear his classic “Sharapova” grunt. CG got those right back in the bottom to keep the deficit at three, 12-9.

DTF had nothing going in the sixth but CG sure did. They batted through their order, scoring seven to take their first lead of the game, 16-12. The ball flew in the woods that inning with back-to-back solo homers from Jordan “Little T” Tolar and Joe Doherty and a three run bomb by Willie Goulette. Taylor showed his speed in the seventh with a one out inside-the-park home run. With two outs, Swahny hit  DTF’s fifth homer, a solo shot to cut the deficit to two. The league has a five home run limit per team and any home run after is an out. That is when home run number six came, a history making shot by Regimbald who did not want that hit because it sent No. 1 seed Chinese Gourmet off to immediately face No. 2 seed Rock Warriors in the best of three championship.

CG vs Rock

Both team started cold with no runs in the first. Geoff Bloomer started the scoring in the top of the second for CG with a two run shot and then Gatto scored for 3-0. Captain Josh Steven sent a solo shot over the fence and Warren Bombardier scored to cut the deficit 3-2 after two. Bloomer struck again in the third, with a three run blast to make it 6-2 and then Rock stranded runners on the corners. CG added five in the fourth to stretch their lead 11-2 with Doherty getting in the home run game. Rock got one back off a solo shot by Kevin Duprey. McCormack erased that with a RBI single in the fifth to put the lead back at nine, 12-3. Rock could not get anything going in their fifth, stranding two.

CG got shut down in the sixth and Rock out some hits together, leading to three runs and a 12-6 deficit going into the seventh inning. The game was called due to darkness and was completed on Wednesday, when CG picked up where they left off and scored four to go up 10. Rock got three back but fell in game one, 16-9.

The MVP of game one has to be left fielder Dalton Hotchkiss who robbed not one, but two home runs with his leaping grabs. It would have been a completely different ball game if those sailed deeper.

Next week read about who won the first ever Chittenden Championship.

Ronzoni Hacker winning his Iron Man Award.

Pandemic season ending awards

Best Sportsmanship: Dyno-Mike Davis Jr (Chinese Gourmet)

Best Second Year Player: Smith Donelan (First Stop Board Barn)

Best Win: FSBB over Karrtel (First Round Playoffs)

Best Substitute: Shawn Smith

Best LOL Feud: Josh Stevens vs Bailey Peters

Best Comeback: Chinese Gourmet over Rock Warriors (Down 10-1 in 7th, win 12-10 off two grand slams with one being a walk-off)

Softball Star: Dalton Hotchkiss (Robbing those two home runs in game one of Championship)

I’m a Big Boy Award: Warren “Big Daddy” Bombardier (Rock Warriors)

Great Team Mom: Megan Carter (Chinese Gourmet)

Special Helper aka Best Bookkeeper: Cassie Ciejko (Rock Warriors)

Queen of Softball/Best Fan: Leslie Walsh

Iron Man Award: Ronzoni Hacker (42 years playing and still going)

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