Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Swingers Softball Recap (6/27/05)

The Swingers broke out of a 3 game losing streak, beating Master Batters by a 16-6 mark on Monday night, despite playing without All Stars Jarrod Ross and Erik Gutierrez. Ross and Gutierrez are both serving suspensions for violating the league's new substance abuse policy, and it is unclear when either will return.
While Ross refused to comment, Gutierrez pleaded his innocence in a press conference before Monday's game. "My lawyers and I agree, what the league found in my urine sample was cattle steroids. I ate at Outback the night before the game, and that's how it got in my system." Commisioner Bud Selig is unconvinced. "We will pursue the maximum penalty," he said. It is rumored that Ross may flee the country and join the German Women's Swim Team rather than face a suspension.
Faced with the loss of their two marquee players the Swingers called up reinforcements from AAA Monkey's Eyebrow, NM. Adam Tsacoumangos's contract was purchased from the Poo Flingers of the Pacific Coast League, and Lindsay Mendro, already on the 40 man roster, was called up. Both made big impacts in their major league debuts. Tsacoumangos was 2-3 with a homerun and 3 RBI's, while Mendro was the first female to play left field and not allow a ball to pass her on the ground all season. She also contributed a 2 RBI single in the first inning.
The story of the night for the Swingers was their 12 run first frame, in which they scored their first 7 runs without the benefit of a hit. 8 of the first 10 batters walked to start the inning, and the Red Devils never looked back. Eric Ridenhour was credited with the victory for his two innings of work in which he allowed 6 runs, but the story on the mound was Jason Brunick, who came on in relief and tossed 3 shutout innings while walking just 1 batter. "He was working both sides of the plate, changing speeds, keeping hitters off balance," said manager Christine Aylward, who also caught Brunick. The outting lowered Brunick's ERA to 8.75, making him the only Swinger pitcher with an ERA under 18.
Defensively the Swingers sparkled, playing their first error free game of the year. Brunick helped himself out of a jam in the 4th inning by gunning down a runner at home with the bases loaded, and Brian McChesney added a nifty stab on a scorching linedrive down the first base side. Even when things went poorly for the Red Devils they managed to make plays. Bobbi "The General" Closser appeared to have caught a weak line drive in the 5th inning, but with typical Confederate flair, she dropped the ball. However, short shortstop Dan Higa was backing up on the play. Higa pounced on the loose ball, pivoted on one knee, and threw a strike to Amber Moodie-Dyer who was alertly covering second for a fielders choice.
With the season entering the home stretch the Swingers still have an oppurtunity to make a run. Several players have been turning in solid performances, and even without Ross and Gutierrez, the Red Devils can still field a solid Lineup. Jamaal Granger continues to produce offensively, leading the team in hits with 9 and runs scored with 10. Melanie Ureta, an offseason acquisition, has also paid handsome dividends. Ureta leads all women with 9 runs scored and 4 RBI. Two players quietly putting together solid years are Bobbi "The General" Closser and Dan Higa. Closser is hitting .444, while Higa ranks in the team's top 3 in every major offensive category. Ron Sturm has also stepped up. Despite a .222 average, Sturm has driven in 6 runs.
Tsacoumangos and Mendro join Katie Stemmler as the team's 3 rookie callups. When asked about their prospects to stick with the big club, manager Aylward said, "We're always looking for oppurtunities to improve our ballclub. Katie has done a good job for us since she's been here, and I'm sure we can find some at bats for Adam. We're still not sure what we want to do with Lindsay." It is unclear whether the Swingers will accept a Cubs fan on the roster. "I don't trust any Northsider fan," commented Higa, "The bad vibes from 97 years of losing could put us in an even deeper hole." Other members of the team were also skeptical. "I'm sure she won't fit in," said Kristen Babb. Jerico Collins added, "She'll bring the curse of the billy goat with her. Mark my words." Collins, however, had reason to celebrate after notching his first big league hit. "It's a huge weight off my shoulders," Said Collins.
The Swingers have a bye for the holiday weekend, and take the field again on July 11th against Mike Duffy's. Good seats still remain, call the Swinger's ticket office today!

- Dan Higa

Swingers season statistics.

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