The Austin Chronicle

Wheatsville Bags BookPeople

By Mike Crissey, April 23, 2009, 1:05pm, The Score

“I still love you, but I’m not in love with you.”

Those little 11 words strung together are as powerful as a slap in the face, a sucker punch, a stab in the heart. They can inspire all kinds of emotions from fragility to ferocity, from confusion to clarity, from revulsion to relief.

The Wheatsville Food Co-op and BookPeople softball game on Sunday lived up to its verbose title – The “I Still Love You but I’m Not in Love With You” Classic – with all the drama of two ex-somethings running into each other at the bar they both agreed was off-limits.

The scrappy Wheatsville SKUs (3-0) and I had a six-run, two-out rally in the ninth inning as part of a late-game offensive burst to beat our divisional frenemies 14-10 on a soggy – and for me, well-soused – Sunday morning.

More than a few BookPersons grew mustaches in my honor. I wore my BookPeople blue jersey (No. 57) from the “So Long Shawn Badgley Classic” of the former Unofficial Shadow League of Local Businesses.

Maybe we should have gone for bon mot: “Look What You’re Missin’, Mister!” Classic.

I tried to drown my sorrows with a shot of bourbon before every at bat and appear confident with my new team, hoping BookPeople (1-2) wouldn’t catch me staring into their dugout from time to time. (The Jeffs, sigh. The Brookses, swoon.)

I almost felt like I was cheating on People of Book. I was an orphan in the inaugural season of the Alternative Softball League because I couldn’t get a team together. The Filthy Animals took me in and raised me as their own.

Undaunted by two days of torrential rain, we finally played a game this year after two preseason rain outs.

Wheatsville enjoyed a brief lead in the third inning, but trailed for most of the game until we got the lead for good in the ninth.

Leading 10-8, BookPeople allowed a couple singles but also got two quick pop-ups and seemed to have the game in hand.

Wheatsville pitcher Trae Branham (4-for-4, 2 3B, 4 RBI) had his second triple of the game to drive in the tying runs, and catcher Beth Beutel (1-for-3, 2 RBI) drove him in with a single for the go-ahead run.

We scored three more runs with four consecutive singles for a comfortable 14-10 cushion. It was Wheatsville’s second comeback of the game.

Maybe my former teammates took pity on my new team and me, but we had twice as many hits (15) and almost four times as many runs (11) in the last four innings than in the first five (7 hits for 3 runs).

After BookPeople jumped to a 6-3 lead, Kevin “Dr. Krankenstein” Johnson had a three-run homer in the sixth inning to tie the game.

Trae Branham drove in a run with his first triple and scored on Beth Beutel’s sacrifice fly in the seventh for a two-run Wheatsville lead.

BookPeople took the lead again in the bottom of the inning with Brett Holomew hitting a triple with one out and coming home on a single by Jamie Reeves (2-for-3, 2 RBIs). Bryan Sansone knocked in Jamie with a double and Jim Brooks followed up with a 2-run homer for a 10-8 Filthy Animals’ lead.

Sansone went 2-for-2 with a double, a triple, a sacrifice fly and 3 RBIs, while Jim Brooks went 3-for-3 and also drove in three runs.

Alex had a great alternative homer-killing over-the-shoulder catch on Nate Lineback’s line drive to left field to keep the game scoreless in the eighth inning.

South By Southwest (1-2) will try to stop Wheatsville’s win streak in a game scheduled for Thursday, April 23, at 8pm on Krieg No. 10.

Meanwhile, Mike ‘the Monster” Bartnett homered twice and drove in six runs as The Austin Chronicle easily handled winless KOOP Radio 16-4 on Sunday night.

Bartnett had a two-run homer in the fifth and a three-run homer in the seventh to give the Chronicle (2-1) the only runs they would need to win the game.

Shawn “Goggles” Badgley went 4-for-5 with four doubles and four RBIs in his debut this season after he missed the Chronicle's first two games politicking for a mayoral candidate. Travis Rinehart (3-for-5, 2B, RBI) also homered for the Chronicle.

KOOP Radio (0-2) struggled offensively, batting .371 as a team and suffering from an automatic out for being one woman short. They managed only 13 hits against the 2008 ASL Champions.

KOOP kept it close through the first six innings – they trailed 4-7 after the sixth frame – before the Chronicle pulled away with a 7-run seventh inning, highlighted by Bartnett’s three-run shot and Travis Rinehart hitting a solo homer right after him.

Peter Heck (2-for-4) got KOOP started in the first inning with a double to drive in Jay Robillard who reached on a double of his own. In the fourth inning, David Youmans had a sacrifice fly to drive in a pair of runs. Mac EnCheeze (2-for-3) used some heads-up running in the fifth inning to score KOOP’s last run on shortstop Shawn Badgley’s bad throw to second baseman Shannon Stott.

The Chronicle has beaten KOOP Radio in each of their last three meetings dating to last season. The Chronicle held KOOP to 14 hits to win their first game 10-5 (July 13, 2008) and won the second game 9-6 (August 11, 2008).

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