Based on what has now happened for the 2nd straight year, teams in the Atlantic Stewardship Bank Inter-Church Softball League are going to want to avoid playing ALRC when their Outreach Committee selects what will now become now as “the annual hot dog game”. Last year, when this was done for the first time, ALRC defeated Repeat Champion Preakness 13-2. Coach Botbyl called the teams performance that day, “so complete, so dominant from start to finish, it might have been the best game we have ever played in team history”. Botbyl was in such awe of how well his team played that day, he has jokingly called them “magical hot dogs”. This year, the opponent was St Paul’s. And again, ALRC put forth quite an impressive performance, especially because they were missing a couple players, and the line-up and positions looked a little different than normal. Special congrats to one of the missing players, third baseman Brett Fritzsch, as he and his wife Elyse De Jong (Alison’s cousin) welcomed Haven Joy Fritzsch on July 5th.
Pastor Chris Jacobsen was the starting pitcher for ALRC, he pitched the full 7 innings for the 2nd time in 3 games and has now pitched in 3 straight games, while Scott Botbyl played ShortField again for the 3rd straight game. Botbyl says, “I’m 38, been playing for 16 years, and being at SF, making plays out there, it makes me feel young again”. St Paul’s had their best inning of the game though scoring 3 runs in the top of the first inning to take a quick early 3-0 lead. Perhaps this game would have played out differently for St Paul’s if not for a great play by Dave DeWaalMalefyt at 3rd base. With the bases loaded, Dave fielded a hard hit groundball, stepped on 3rd for an out, then fired home to Catcher Scott D’Alessandro who tagged the runner for a double play!! Coach Scott Botbyl said, “if that ball gets by Dave, it could have been a bases clearing double, and maybe they end up with 6 or 7 runs in that first inning instead”. ALRC answered right back in the bottom of the first inning to take the lead. Dan Bosgra hit a lead-off solo HR. Dave DeWaalMalefyt singled and recorded a stolen base. Scott Botbyl singled, stole a base, and then both players scored on a 2-RBI double by Nick Schroeder. Chris VanderWall’s RBI single scored Schroeder. Scott D’Alessandro’s RBI double scoring VanderWall capped off the 5-run inning.
With ALRC leading 5-3 after one inning, the preview may have come to mind for some players. Afterall, it was written that “last year’s game was the best game between these two teams, 6 lead changes, back and forth, a walk-off win for ALRC”. However, St Paul’s was sent down in order 1-2-3 in the top of the 2nd inning. ALRC scored 5 runs again in the bottom of the 2nd inning, as it seemed like they were not going to allow this game to have as many lead changes as last year. Dan Bosgra singled, stole a base, then scored on an RBI single by Dave DeWaalMalefyt. Jason Young hit a single. Scott Botbyl’s RBI single scored DeWaalMalefyt. Nick Schroeder’s RBI single scored Young. Chris VanderWall’s RBI double scored Botbyl. Scott D’Alessandro’s RBI single scoring Schroeder capped off the inning, giving ALRC a 10-3 lead after two innings.
St Paul’s scored a run in the top of the 3rd inning, which cut the ALRC lead to 10-4. The Green&White were then sent down in order 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 3rd inning. It’s the 9th time this season that ALRC has gone down in order in an inning.
In the top of the 4th inning, St Paul’s scored two runs, which cut the ALRC lead down to 10-6. That’s when the ALRC offense absolutely exploded. The Green&White scored 15 runs in the bottom of the 4th inning. Scott Botbyl started things off with a single. Brian Churco hit a double. Nick Schroeder’s 2-RBI double scored Botbyl and Churco. Chris VanderWall’s RBI double scored Schroeder. Scott D’Alessandro’s RBI single scored VanderWall. Joe Bosgra’s RBI double scored D’Alessandro. Pastor Chris Jacobsen’s RBI single scored Joe Bosgra. Dan Bosgra hit a single. Dave DeWaalMalefyt hit an RBI single scoring Jacobsen. After a DeWaalMalefyt stolen base, Jason Young’s RBI single scored Dan Bosgra. Brian Churco’s RBI single scored DeWaalMalefyt. Nick Schroeder hit a single. Chris VanderWall’s 2-RBI single scored both Young and Churco. Scott D’Alessandro’s RBI single scored Schroeder. Joe Bosgra capped off the monster inning with a 3-run HR! ALRC now held a commanding 25-6 lead.
St Paul’s was again sent down in order 1-2-3 in the top of the 5th inning. That’s the 9th time this season that the ALRC defense has retired the opponent in order in an inning. ALRC added some more runs in the bottom of the 5th inning. Dan Bosgra hit a lead-off single. Jason Young also hit a single. Scott Botbyl’s RBI sac fly scored Dan Bosgra on a scary play at the plate. When the Outfielder gunned the ball home, it hit Dan in the back of the shoulder/neck area, but he toughed it out and remained in the game. Brian Churco hit a 2-run HR!! Nick Schroeder singled before the inning ended. ALRC was now leading 28-6.
In the top of the 6th inning, St Paul’s registered only one hit and was unable to score. Dan Bosgra made an incredible sliding catch in CF to keep them off the scoreboard that inning. He came up limping, and Coach Botbyl said to his team afterwards, “what a tough performance by Dan Bosgra, upper body, then lower body, everyone was impressed with how hard Dan plays the game and how tough he was today”. In the bottom of the 6th inning, Scott D’Alessandro and Pastor Chris Jacobsen each recorded singles. Pastor Tom Larkin entered the game for Dan Bosgra and registered an RBI fielders choice that allowed Pastor Chris Jacobsen to score. Dave DeWaalMalefyt and Jason Young each hit singles before the inning ended. ALRC was now leading 29-6.
St Paul’s scored two runs in the top of the 7th inning, making the final score 29-8. During the preview, Coach Botbyl had mentioned that “the word greatness can be associated with 4 coaches in this league that he considers legends of the league”. They don’t gain that label by winning, but by how they conduct themselves on the field, and how they set the example as leaders for their players. Botbyl referenced that even though St Paul’s hasn’t enjoyed much success in the win column over their time, he has been extremely impressed with all their coaches during the years, especially because he believes that “a persons real character is revealed during difficult times, not easy ones”. Greg Iorio might fall under radar, but Botbyl calls him “one of the most talented players in the league”. According to the detailed stat books thru the years, Botbyl says, “we rarely get him out, ever”. That was the case yet again today, as Iorio stood out defensively and offensively, going 4 for 4, and falling just a HR short of the cycle. He does it all, he’s fun to watch, Botbyl feels that any player who takes the field with him, even those that came out for the hot dogs, got to see quite an impressive player and a great leader too. Botbyl even got an e-mail from Iorio “great to play against you and your team again today, please pass along our thanks to your church and your outreach committee for bringing in the fans, it’s always nice playing in front of a crowd and you all have something good going on there, thanks for the hot dogs as well and good luck in the playoffs”. Greatness and class right there, as even St Paul’s new coach Andrew Palladino said that the churches hot game was “awesome and happy to be a part of it”.
There were two players for ALRC that posted a PERFECT box score for the day, and they were:
Nick Schroeder – 5 for 5 (3 singles, 2 doubles, 4 Runs, 5 RBI’s)
Scott D’Alessandro – 5 for 5 (4 singles, double, 2 Runs, 4 RBI’s)
These two teams have never met in the playoffs. The Green & White are 8-1 all-time versus Saint Paul’s during the regular season. The only way these two teams would meet in the post-season for the first time ever this year is if somehow ALRC gets the 6th seed, and somehow on an odd tie-breaker 3-win St Paul’s ends up 11th.