Keeping Softball Alternative

Local creative types battle it out on the diamond

KOOP's David Pernell (Photo by Logan Youree)

We have served the dark will of cooperation for three decades. Skin as pale as soy milk in the moonlight … eyes blood-shot … showerless. The personal guard to Ronnie Earle’s refrigerator; the food-fighting elite. The deadliest softball force along all of Guadalupe … the Wheatsville SKUs. Wheatsville marched through the Alternative Softball League's northern division, defeating South by Southwest, BookPeople, and the 2008 Champions, The Austin Chronicle, on our way to a 4-0 record. All that stood in our way of divisional domination was KOOP Radio. The odds seemed stacked against KOOP. They were outnumbered. We had four women to their two (hobbling them with an automatic out). Our bleachers groaned under a screaming sea of green-clad berserkers; theirs were empty. We had won four games in a row, KOOP had dropped two.

A KOOP player prepares to smash it (Photo by Logan Youree)
But KOOP fought hard and rallied for 3 runs in the eighth inning to beat us 21-19 and grab their first win of the season on May 4.

Trailing 18-19 in the top of the eighth, Peter “Iceman” Heck (5-for-6, 4 runs, 2 2B, 2 RBIs) led off with his second double of the game and David Youmans hit him to third with a single.

After a line drive fly-out, David Pernell (3-for-5, 3 RBIs 2B, HR) hit a double off an outfielder’s glove to drive in the tying run. Ben Barthy followed him with another double for the game-winners.

KOOP held us to two hits in the final two frames to seal the game.

Wheatsville struck early, building a 7-1 lead in the second inning, but it was the largest lead of the game. KOOP Radio cut our lead to 7-6 in the third inning, setting up a seesaw battle where neither side led by more than two runs.

Trailing 10-12 in the fifth inning, KOOP surged ahead, scoring eight runs on nine hits, including doubles by Peter Heck, David Youmans, Long Le and David Pernell.

We chipped away at KOOP’s lead with four runs in the fifth and tied the game in the sixth before Kevin “Dr. Krankenstein” Johnson gave us a 19-18 lead with a two-out triple in the seventh inning.

Kevin Johnson batted 4-for-4 with a double and a triple and drove in three runs, while Carla “Rasquacha” Vargas and Miranda “MC2Tall” Robinson each went 3-for-4 and drove in three runs for Wheatsville.

Will Evans from Emo's Alternative Lounge (Photo by Logan Youree)

Meanwhile, The Austin Chronicle combined stingy defense and a late-game offensive burst to beat Emo’s Lounge 10-8 the same night.

The Chronicle had the lead for most of the game until Emo’s took a 6-5 lead in the seventh inning.

The unlucky Loungers looked like they may get their first win, but the Chronicle powered ahead with five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to take the lead for good.

Jeff Schlamb batted 3-for-4 with three doubles and three runs scored, and Kevin C. and Bill Corsello homered for Emo’s Lounge.

Michael King went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, a gentle reminder from one of the league’s founding graybeards that softball is not actually a youngster’s sport. Billy Jenkins batted 4-for-4 with a couple more RBIs and Jeff Carlyon batted 4-for-5 for the Chronicle.

New Bro's Rye Rye (l) and Twistworthy (Photo by Logan Youree)

Some of us had been waiting for this game since last season, since the Muntiny on Red River when Joe “Johio” Holzheimer left Emo’s Lounge for Transmission Entertainment and took some of the Loungers best players with him.

New Bro's Brian C. (Photo by Logan Youree)

Johio, a 2008 ASL All-Star, took a bounty with him: fellow 2008 All-Star and teammate Brian Campbell and workhorse pitcher Mark Twistworthy. He also scooped up All-Star Eric “the Swede” Seaholm from Waterloo Records. Some of the most able company of the ASL.

Johio seemed to be sitting pretty under the Tahitian-like sun in New Brohemia with his new crew of Nihilist Fucking Eagles.

Guilty Dave with Sabala in the background (Photo by Logan Youree)

Meanwhile, Guilty Dave and the remaining Lounge loyalists left last season determined to rebuild, “notwithstanding [their] miserable and almost hopeless situation” (as Captain William Bligh may have described it).

But neither squad had found safe haven this season. The Nihilist Eagles lost their first three games before beating the winless Brentwood Donkeys 15-5 in the Alternative Animal Cage Fight.

Emo’s Lounge was also winless with a 1-run loss to Waterloo Records, and a 2-run loss to The Austin Chronicle.

Both teams were hungry. Both teams were determined. Only one could win.

Eric “the Swede” Seaholm homered – and tripped over his own feet on the base paths – twice and Johio channeled Kirk Gibson and had a hobbling 3-run homer as New Brohemia beat Emo’s Lounge, 13-7, on May 11.

Emo’s had a 4-2 lead in the top of the fifth when Johio (2-for-3, 2B) smacked a deep line drive over the left center fielder’s head with two runners on. Despite a creaky knee, Johio limped his way around the diamond before the ball reached home.

To Johio’s credit, he did invoke Kirk Gibson before the game in some e-mails among team captains. Gibson is most well-known for hitting the game-winning pinch-hit home run in his only at bat during the 1988 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Oakland Athletics with a stomach virus and two bum legs.

The Dodgers won Game 1 5-4 on Gibson’s two-out, two-run homer in the ninth, on their way to win the World Series, 4-1.

Butcher Bear entertains the crowd (Photo by Logan Youree)

Johio was also cheered on by Butcher Bear, a roughly 6-foot tall baby blue plushy monster with a gaping maw full of sharpened felt teeth that allegedly can play a musical instrument or sing. He’s in a band named for him, Butcher Bear & Charlie. To get that kind of billing, you gotta be good, right?

Paul Somebody had a two-run homer in the sixth inning for Emo’s to tie the game at 6.

Eric “the Swede” Seaholm (3-for-4, 2 HR, 5 RBI) had a solo homer to spark New Brohemia’s 3-run seventh inning, which sealed the game, and hit a 3-run home run in the ninth.

Johio batted 2-for-3 with a double and five RBIs, while Brian Campbell batted 3-for-4 and added two RBIs for New Brohemia (2-3, 2-2).

Kevin C led Emo’s hitters, going 4-for-4 at the plate.

“Don’t fuck with David Pernell.”

That’s BookPeople manager Jeff Rose’s summary of a record-smashing slugfest between the Filthy Animal’s and KOOP Radio on May 12.

With steady 10-mph winds and gusts as high as 21 mph at their backs, BookPeople and KOOP Radio combined for and ASL record 11 home runs and a record 60 runs scored. Maybe 18 doubles in a game is a record, maybe 36 extra-base hits is too.

BookPeople won the game 37-23. They never trailed. They now own the record for most runs scored.

But David Pernell hit a record four home runs, most of them off of Jeff Rose’s body. (David Parnell coincidentally had the only over-the-fence home run last season against BookPeople.) He also batted 5-for-5 with a triple for good measure and 7 RBIs.

His legend grows. “Don’t fuck with David Pernell.”

BookPerson Jennifer Morris sparked the barrage with her first career homer, a 3-run shot to right field, four batters into the first inning. She also batted 4-for-5 – just a little something to remember her by before she left town for Africa.

Three batters later, Jamie Reeves hit another 3-run home run. Jamie Reeves (4-for-5, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI) added another 3-run homer as part of BookPeople’s 9-run fourth inning.

Jeff Rose (4-for-5 had a 2-run homer in the fourth inning and Patrick “Your Mom …” Lloyd had a 2-run homer in the eighth inning.

BookPeople's Tacocat (l) and Sally Brooks are all smiles (Photo by Logan Youree)

Sally Brooks was flawless at the plate, batting 5-for-5 with a double and an RBI for BookPeople.

Ben Barthy(?) batted 5-for-5 and hit for the cycle with a 3-run homer in the fourth for KOOP (1-3, 1-3 North). Rick hit a 2-run home run in the third.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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