A men’s rec league softball game for the ages
SILVERTHORNE – Leave it to two teams in the middle of the standings to put on a great show for the fans.
Thursday, Arapahoe Cafe (7-6) and Endo’s Adrenaline (7-7) were not challenging Moose Jaw for the title of the A Division of the Men’s Softball League. The teams weren’t challenging Quandary Grill or Blue Tics for second or third place.
But both showed a bit of heart as they battled each other for bragging rights and a dose of momentum to take them into this weekend’s tournament. In the end, it was Endo’s that stole a 28-27 victory from the A-Cafe.
“It’s been a real .500 season for us. Ups and downs,” Endo’s skipper Gary Rodgers said.
This sort of inconsistency has been a part of the A-Cafe’s season as well.
“Some of us played in different places tonight (defensively),” pitcher Pete Castilla said after the loss. Win or lose, the game was exciting.
The A-Cafe opened up with a string of hits off Endo’s pitcher, Jud Joyce, who struggled to find his early form.
Three walks and seven hits put the A-Cafe ahead by 11 runs going into the bottom of the first inning. After two Endo’s runners crossed the plate, James’ running grab inches from the ground highlighted a defense that shut down the rally.
Once again, the A-Cafe kept the pressure on by adding four in the second. Endo’s matched the four runs to keep A-Cafe within striking distance. The Endo’s defense was a bit tighter in the third as Brent Pearson recorded all three outs from his left-center fielder position. A gallant snag on the run to his left prevented Scott Sharpe from touching extra bases.
After giving up a single, A-Cafe’s Castilla pulled down a line drive and forced a ground ball out to end the bottom of the third.
The bats went cold for both squads in the fourth, when each side managed one run, bringing the score to 20-7 after four full innings.
Endo’s won 18-8 in the previous encounter this season in June. Going into the fifth inning, A-Cafe looked poised to return the favor.
The Endo’s side, however, returned to the plate with new energy.
A two-run, bases-loaded double by Pearson was followed by another double by lead-off hitter Paul Dunkelman. Those hits sparked an 11-run rally that closed the gap to three heading into the sixth.
A-Cafe woke from its hitting slumber and filled the bases for James, who sent a sweet pitch over the right field fence for a grand slam.
Trailing 25-18, Endo’s came to bat in the bottom of the sixth and filled the bases. Scott’s single sent two across the plate and kept the one-out rally alive. Rodgers’ double tied the game at 25-25.
In the extra inning, designated hitter Craig stroked a single to right that brought two runners across for A-Cafe. The score was 27-25.
Endo’s sent the bottom of the order and promptly put runners on second and third. Consecutive walks to Dunkelman and Scott narrowed the game to a single run and loaded the bases for Rob Spence.
Spence smacked the first pitch to the gap in left-center as two runners, including the game-winner, crossed home plate.
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