Powerhouses Begin to Emerge in the ASL
Waterloo, Wheatsville, and C3 Presents remain undefeated
By Mike Crissey,
5:44PM, Mon. Apr. 20, 2009
Waterloo Records Pounds Out 27-26 Win Against Emo’s Lounge
This one was no mere “instant classic.” This was a clash of the titans: Mike Tyson vs. Razor Ruddock; the Monitor versus the Merrimack; the Incredible Hulk versus the Thing. Chris “It’s Clobberin’ Time” Anderson had a home run and a triple to drive in five runs, including what would be the game-winners as Waterloo Records beat Emo’s Lounge 27-26 on April 6. It was a seesaw slugfest with the highest combined runs scored in the short history of the Alternative Softball League.
Waterloo Records and Emo’s Lounge scored 17 runs in the eighth inning, including Jason “You Won’t Like Me When I’m Angry” Sabala (3-for-5, 3B, 5 RBI) smashing a towering two-run homer to right field that gave the Loungers a tenuous lead. This was the kind of game I had expected from these two ASL pioneers turned Southern Division rivals.
Both teams showed some punishing offense in the preseason. Waterloo bested the Nihilist Fucking Eagles of New Brohemia 27-11 with six doubles, six triples, and three homers. Meanwhile, Emo’s Lounge beat the Chronicle 23-22 with the help of a 6-run, ninth-inning rally and five doubles, two triples, and a homer.
Bobby “the Deuce” Leath (5-for-5, 5 runs) apparently lived up to his new nickname and homered twice in his return to Waterloo after a championship season with the Chronicle. Emo’s captain Guilty Dave (3-for-5, 5 RBI) legged out a 3-run home run for his shivering parents in the bleachers, while Jeff Schlamb (4-for-5, 2B, 4 RBI) had a solo homer to start the game. Bill Corsello went 4-for-5 with two doubles and two triples.
Trailing 15-20 in the top of the eighth inning, the Loungers went on a 10-run, two-out rally that gave every one of their 13 players a chance at the plate and Emo’s their first lead since Waterloo tied it at 9 in the fourth. Emo’s got two quick runs on Chad's double and Erin Pennington's single. After a fielder’s choice for the second out, Emo’s strung together seven straight safe hits – four singles, back-to-back triples by Kevin and Corsello and the homer by Sabala – to take the lead, 25-20.
Waterloo replied with seven runs with one out. Don Lamb drove in a pair of runs with a single and Patrick Floyd (4-for-5, 2B, 3 RBI) added another on a single. Duncan (5-for-5, 2B, 7 RBI) had a 2-run double to tie the game at 25 before Chris Anderson drove in the game-winners.
Emo’s threatened to snatch the game away from Waterloo in the ninth. Lucas Ninefingers led off the inning with a triple – he went 4-for-5 despite a sliced-open thumb – and scored on Guilty Dave’s single. But Waterloo closed out the inning with two fielder’s choices.
Waterloo Records (1-0) had the best record in the league last year (6-2) before fourth-place BookPeople got a little revenge with a 17-15 win to head to the championship. Emo’s Lounge, meanwhile, finished third with an even record (4-4) but lost to champs The Austin Chronicle 32-12, which had been the highest combined score in a game.
Waterloo Records and Emo’s Lounge split their games last season. Emo’s Lounge won the first meeting 11-9 (June 24, 2008) but lost the second game 24-17 in the third highest scoring game last season (Aug. 12, 2008).
Wheatsville Food Co-op Beats 'The Austin Chronicle' 14-11
Meanwhile, Wheatsville Food Co-op cobbled together a 14-11 win over the Chronicle for their second consecutive victory in the Battle of Nemeses on April 9 as part of an ASL Full-Moon Four-Way.
Trailing 7-6 in the bottom of the third inning, I led off with a triple – my only decent hit of the night – and my fellow SKUs followed up with six singles to drive in five runs. Wheatsville never trailed again in the game, which turned into a defensive battle.
The last four innings looked almost like the Major Leagues with just five runs scored between the two teams.
Every Wheatsville batter who had a hit knocked in at least one runner, except me. Ralf Hernandez went 4-for-4 with an RBI, while Nate Lineback batted 3-for-4 with two doubles and another RBI. Kevin “Dr. Krankenstein” Johnson went 2-for-3, including a two-run triple in the second inning.
Mike “Bark at the Moon” Bartnett went 3-for-4 with 4 RBIs and unintentionally batted one hit short of the cycle (he needed a single) for the Chronicle. Unintentionally, because he was tagged in the head by Wheatsville first baseman Jimmy Evans at home plate trying to leg out a homer as part of the Chronicle’s 3-run eighth inning.
Billy went 3-for-4 with two triples and an RBI and Fernie batted 3-for-4 with two RBIs for the Chronicle. Mike Bartnett and Kevin Johnson challenged each other all game, batting balls at the other in left field and forcing good throws.
In a pivotal play with no outs in the eighth, Bartnett slapped a sizzling shot down the third base line – not unlike his alternative homer in the third inning – and Wheatsville outfielder Kevin Johnson dove head-first for the ball but missed. Outfielder Nate Lineback scooped up the ball and rifled it to short stop Ralf Hernandez.
Bartnett likely only saw Wheatsville’s most diminutive player, Whitney Mangold, guarding the plate as he rounded third ignoring the stop sign from his third-base coach. Hernandez threw the ball home and Evans cut off the throw and got the tag.
Meanwhile, Chronicle second base(wo)man Shannon Stott and I continued our rivalry, which began with my alternative homer on an infield grounder that got away. I hit the ball at Shannon twice and she responded with three in my direction.
The Chronicle got as close as 11-13 in the top of the eighth inning, but Wheatsville added an insurance run on Trae Branham’s double in the eighth and allowed one hit in the ninth to end the game. The Chronicle missed Doug Freeman who broke his finger in the first inning and is likely out for six weeks.
C3 Presents Grounds the Nihilist Fucking Eagles of New Brohemia, 15-6
C3 Presents stunned the Nihilist Fucking Eagles of New Brohemia, scoring 11 runs in the first three innings while goose-egging the Eagles in six innings, to win 15-6, as part of an ASL Full-Moon Four-Way.
After New Brohemia led off the game with three runs, C3 Presents scored six runs in the first inning and five runs in the third to put the game out of reach.
Bryce Newguy went 2-for-2 with two doubles, a sacrifice fly, and four RBIs. Zach Attack (4-for-4), Steve Chandler (3-for-4), Brad Kaye (1-for-3, 3B), and Dirk Stahlnecker (3-for-3) batted in two runs a piece.
New Brohemia struggled at the plate, batting .413 as a team with three extra-base hits. The Eagles had some holes in their lineup with off games from Leroy (1-for-4), Swede (1-for-4), and Brian Campbell (1-for-4), who has played despite a reportedly broken wrist.
Jim “Pancakes” Turner went 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI, while Bree batted 2-for-3. Mark Twistworthy (1-for-3) had a two-run double in seventh inning for New Brohemia’s last runs.
Meanwhile, BookPeople (1-1) evened out their record with a 23-15 win over South By Southwest (1-1) and Waterloo Records remained undefeated with a 17-7 victory over the winless Brentwood Donkeys (0-2).
Waterloo Records Holds Off New Brohemia, 21-18
Waterloo Records stayed undefeated by clipping short a two-out ninth-inning rally by the the Nihilist Fucking Eagles of New Brohemia on April 14.
Rally caps on and chanting “Go Blue!”, New Brohemia clawed their way back from a 21-9 deficit with nine runs on 11 hits for their most explosive inning this season. And suddenly New Brohemia (0-3) doesn’t look as vulnerable, despite their winless record, while Waterloo (3-0) doesn’t look as unstoppable, despite their undefeated record.
Edmund LeStrange went 3-for-3 and drove in six runs, four of them with a grand-slam home run as part of Waterloo’s 7-run seventh inning. ASL rookie Charles Incharge was also flawless at the plate, batting 4-for-4 with four RBIs. Don Doubledee had a pair of doubles and drove in a pair of runs despite being hobbled by a sore hamstring.
Eric “The Swede” Seaholm went 3-for-4 with two home runs, one despite tripping between second and third base, a triple and four RBIs. Jim “Pancakes” Turner batted 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs, and Rye Bredd (4-for-4, 4 RBI) had a three-run homer as part of New Brohemia’s 5-run first.
The Eagles maintained their first lead of the season after the first-inning homers by Swede and Rye Bredd. New Brohemia held Waterloo to six hits until the fourth inning, when Waterloo tied the game and scored 14 unanswered runs over the next three frames.
Waterloo tied the game with six runs on Charles Incharge’s double, Duncan Yo-Yo’s single, and a double by Don Doubledee, who scored on an overthrown ball. Edmund hit a sacrifice fly to left field on a pop-up that Rye Bredd misjudged but still caught while falling backward.
Waterloo scored another six runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth for a 14-6 lead. New Brohemia trimmed the lead to five runs with Pancakes' three-run homer in the seventh. Waterloo put the game out of reach with seven runs in the seventh.
On Thursday night, I was too busy blogging about softball to watch C3 Presents remain undefeated by holding off South by Southwest for a 16-14 win in a back-and-forth ball game.
I kept up with the game on Twitter, which I had derided as a gee-whiz gewgaw. I wonder if the designers thought beer-league softball players would adopt this technology.
C3 Presents (3-0) struck quickly, scoring seven runs in the first three innings, while holding SXSW to one run. SXSW (1-2) then surged ahead with nine unanswered runs to take a 10-7 lead by the top of the seventh inning.
C3 scored four runs to take an 11-10 lead, but SXSW erased that with four runs in the top of the eighth for a 14-11 lead. C3 replied with five runs in the bottom of the eighth for the win.
The ASL will have another doubleheader on Thursday, April 23, with New Brohemia against the Brentwood Donkeys; and Wheatsville Food Co-op playing South by Southwest in an important divisional matchup.
You can keep up with all the games, trash talk, and follow your favorite teams and players through the league’s MySpace page at www.myspace.com/alternativesoftballleague.
Follow the ASL on Twitter at www.twitter.com/altsoftball.