For the second consecutive year, both UnityTwo and ALRC played a close and fun game throughout. For the entire seven innings, you never felt that the game was over, as both sides knew that the game could easily change at anytime, especially with one big inning. UnityTwo entered this game with a record of 0-2. They played hard, and they played well seeking both their first win of the season, and also as they were looking to end a long losing streak against ALRC. As for the Green&White, they entered the game with a record of 1-1. ALRC played great in their Opening Day win over HeritageTwo, but played the complete opposite in their loss to HeritageOne. In the preview for this game, it was mentioned that ALRC had allowed 36 runs in their first two games, 17 against HeritageTwo and 19 against HeritageOne. Coach Scott Botbyl challenged his team in the preview saying, “It starts with getting back to playing our trademark softball, and that’s good defense”.
In the top of the first inning, the ALRC offense got off to a quick start. Dan Bosgra hit a lead-off double and then scored on an RBI single by Nick Schroeder. Scott D’Alessandro and Brian Churco also each hit a single. Scott Botbyl’s RBI sac fly scoring Schroeder, gave ALRC a fast 2-0 lead. The ALRC defense played well in the bottom of the first inning, holding UnityTwo to just one hit.
In the top of the 2nd inning, two more quick runs for the ALRC offense. Dave DeWaalMalefyt singled and then scored on a 2-run HR by Joe Bosgra. Mike Cohen and Wayne Eicher each hit singles, but they were left on the bases. ALRC was now leading 4-0. UnityTwo cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the 2nd inning, with a 2-run HR of their own. It was now 4-2 ALRC after two innings.
The Green&White had their best offensive inning of the game in the top of the 3rd inning. Nick Schroeder hit a lead-off single. Brett Fritzsch also hit a single. ALRC did the rest of their hitting with two outs. Scott Botbyl hit a single. Yrvy Gonzalez hit a 2-RBI double scoring Schroeder and Fritzsch. Dave DeWaalMalefyt hit a 2-RBI single scoring both Botbyl and Gonzalez. Chris Cohen registered a single before the inning ended. ALRC was now leading 8-2. The ALRC defense played well again in the 3rd inning, holding UnityTwo scoreless, allowing just one hit.
In the top of the 4th inning, the ALRC bats were sent down in order 1-2-3, for the second time this season. UnityTwo manufactured a run in the bottom of the 4th inning, which made it 8-3 ALRC after four innings.
ALRC increased their lead in the top of the 5th inning. Nick Schroeder hit a triple and then scored on an RBI sac fly by Scott D’Alessandro. Brett Fritzsch hit a two-out single and then scored on a 2-run HR by Brian Churco. Scott Botbyl and Yrvy Gonzalez each hit singles before the inning ended. ALRC was now ahead 11-3. In the bottom of the 5th inning, for the first time this season, the ALRC defense was finally able to send down the opposition in order 1-2-3.
Unfortunately for ALRC, they were also sent down in order 1-2-3 in the top of the 6th inning. It was the 3rd time this season, but the 2nd time in this game. Momentum clearly shifted, as UnityTwo had their best offensive inning of the game in the bottom of the 6th inning. Coach Scott Botbyl feels that “this is what happens in this league when you fail to put your opponent away, because the other teams have good players, and no team goes down easily in this league without a fight”. UnityTwo scored 5 runs, cutting the ALRC lead to 11-8.
In the top of the 7th inning, ALRC needed a spark, and they got it from the arrival of 12-year veteran Matt Ferri. “It’s the first time ever for this team not having Matt with us, so since this was the first game he was able to attend, guys were thrilled to see him, and of course, Ferri’s personality is that he has to be involved, he’s not going to just sit there like a fan, so he went right out and coached 3rd base”. Desperate for some insurance runs, Wayne Eicher hit a lead-off single. With 2 outs, Nick Schroder hit a single, moving Eicher to 2nd base. Scott D’Alessandro’s RBI hit allowed Eicher to score in exciting fashion, as to the surprise of no one, Coach Ferri was aggressive sending the runner. Botbyl admits “we had 4, 5, and 6 coming up, so I think everyone else holds Wayne at third, however, our next batter made out, so Wayne would have been left on the bases”. That seemed to validate that Ferri was correct for sending him. “Leave it up to Ferri to show up late in the game, and even make an impact on the outcome, even when he’s no longer playing”.
Leading 12-8 now in the bottom of the 7th inning, with Ferri watching, the ALRC defense sent down UnityTwo in order 1-2-3. It was the 2nd time in three innings that the Green&White did that. Botbyl says “the first 18 innings this season, we can’t do that once, and then Ferri comes and we do it twice in 3 innings, you just can’t make this stuff up sometimes”.
The ALRC Defense did indeed have their best game of the season. As for their offense, they scored more runs in their first game, than they have the past two games combined. Although, there were still two players for ALRC that finished the game with a 1.000 Average for their box score and they were Nick Schroeder and Scott Botbyl. These two combined to go 6 for 6 (5 singles, triple, 4 Runs, 2 RBI’s).
ALRC improves to 2-1 this season. Most importantly, for the 3rd consecutive year in a row, a great atmosphere for the entire game between these two teams.
UnityTwo won the first two regular season meetings in 2005 and 2006, but have now lost the past 11 games, making them 2-11 all-time versus the Green & White during the regular season. The two teams have met twice in the playoffs, with the Green & White winning both games, outscoring them 22-6.