This Game was originally scheduled for 5/13, but was postponed.
The 2016 Atlantic Stewardship Bank Inter-Church Softball League Season came to a close on a muddy infield, a soaking wet outfield, but despite the conditions from Mother Nature, these two teams were able to get their game completed. It rained for the first half of the game. It resulted in the two teams combining to score zero runs. It was scoreless during the early part of the game, which is no surprise for these two teams. Some of their final scores against each other thru the years have been 5-3, 5-4, 6-5, etc. Today’s game didn’t turn out to be low scoring at all. Once the rain stopped, the bats exploded. The two teams combined for 30 runs during the later part of the game. Coach Scott Botbyl said, “those playing conditions, an injury is more likely, so I think both teams were cautious, guys went up to the plate were swinging hard, but I don’t think running around the infield or outfield at full speed would have been very smart, both teams have playoff games on Monday, and both teams will ultimately want to play 3 games next week, so getting injured today would have likely meant missing the playoffs, and no one wants to miss the post-season”. Getting players healthy and ready for next week seemed to be the top priority for ALRC in this game. More than half the players for the Green&White were in their usual positions. That included Pastor Chris Jacobsen, who found himself on the mound pitching for a 4th straight game, and he went the distance, pitching all 7 innings for the 3rd time out of those 4 games. Botbyl says, “for the first decade, at some games, I would hold up the ball and ask who wants to pitch, but no one else did, but ever since Pastor Chris Jacobsen joined the team, he keeps saying he wants to pitch, so this gives me the opportunity to fill-in and move around for injured or missing players as necessary”. This game will certainly be memorable, as it was the first time Botbyl was at Catcher. “It was raining, muddy, wet, and I still had a blast, so I’m definitely going to want to do that again next year”. Putting the weather and positions aside for just a moment, another big storyline for these two teams is often Botbyl playing against his former team and how no team in the league has handed the Green&White more losses than UnityOne.
In the top of the first inning, ALRC was not able to score, as only Jason Young got a hit (triple). UnityOne also managed just one hit in the bottom of the first inning, so they were unable to score.
In the top of the 2nd inning, ALRC got singles from Brian Churco and Mike Cohen, but they were again not able to score. UnityOne again registered just one hit in the bottom of the 2nd inning, so they were unable to score.
In the top of the 3rd inning, ALRC was sent down in order 1-2-3. UnityOne’s CF Jonathan Everett seemed to be enjoying the wet outfield making several impressive sliding catches that inning. Botbyl said, “the water shooting off him, he was sliding so far, it was like he was on a slip and slide out there”. The rain stopped in the bottom of the 3rd inning and the UnityOne bats came alive with their best inning of the game! 10 runs in all, which marks the most runs UnityOne has ever scored in an inning in the entire 12-year history with the Green&White.
In the top of the 4th inning, ALRC got a single by Brett Fritzsch, but were still unable to score. UnityOne tacked on 4 more runs in the bottom of the 4th inning, giving them a commanding 14-0 lead.
In the top of the 5th inning, ALRC was sent down in order 1-2-3 for the 2nd time in the game. That also means that is now 11 times this season, the Green&White bats have gone down in order 1-2-3 in an inning this season. Coach Botbyl says, “eleven games, thats an average of one time per game, we will not be successful in the playoffs if we have 1-2-3 innings in the playoffs”. UnityOne got two hits in the bottom of the 5th inning, but were held scoreless. They were still in full control though, leading ALRC 14-0.
Luckily for ALRC, they were able to build some offensive momentum, finishing the game with 11 runs. It started with 4 runs in the top of the 6th inning. Of all people, it was SF Wayne Eicher getting things started with a lead-off single. Dave DeWaalMalefyt also hit a single. Jason Young hit an RBI double. Brett Fritzsch’s RBI sac fly scored DeWaalMalefyt. Brian Churco’s RBI triple scored Young. Joe Bosgra capped off the inning with an RBI single. With the score now 14-4, UnityOne seemed to know that the ALRC bats are streaky. When they are cold, they struggle mightily to score, but when the bats get going, ALRC seems to feed off one another, and have shown they are capable of scoring double digits in one inning. So, UnityOne was certain to add 5 more insurance runs in the bottom of the 6th inning to take a commanding 19-4 lead.
If UnityOne didn’t put the game away, things certainly would have been exciting in the top of the 7th inning, as ALRC had their best inning of the game, scoring 7 runs! This time it was Pastor Chris Jacobsen starting things off with a single. Wayne Eicher followed with another single. Dan Bosgra’s RBI single scored Jacobsen. Dave DeWaalMalefyt hit a single. Jason Young hit a bases clearing 3-RBI triple. Brett Fritzsch’s RBI single scored Young. Brian Churco hit a single. Joe Bosgra hit an RBI single. Scott Botbyl hit an RBI single. Pastor Chris Jacobsen hit a 2nd single in the same inning before it ended.
UnityOne gets the wet and muddy win 19-11. ALRC finishes the 2016 regular season with 6 wins and 5 losses.
It’s the 11th all-time loss for the Green&White to UnityOne. That is more than any other team in the league. Coach Scott Botbyl says, “I don’t ever mind losing to them, they are a class team, they represent their church, they are not a combo team designed to win, they play hard, they play with character, I’d rather lose to them, than win against some of the other teams in this league, they are a phenomenal group of guys, I have all the respect in the world for them, and I am grateful for how much I learned from each and every player on that team”.
No player posted a 1.000 AVG for the Green&White. The 3 best hitters for ALRC were Jason Young, Brett Fritzsch, and Brian Churco. They combined to go 8 for 11 (4 singles, double, 3 triples, 5 Runs, 7 RBI’s).
UnityOne is now 9-3 all-time versus the Green & White during the regular season. The two teams have met twice in the playoffs, with UnityOne winning both those games as well.