Jake Bailey: Losing Pitcher, But Still a Winner
By Tim “Shoe” Sullivan
Two coed softball games were played Monday at Moore Barn Memorial Park in beautiful Buena Vista.
On a perfect night for softball, Shoe Crew (5-4) nipped Sloppy Swats (2-6), 6-5, and Airport Bar (8-1) defeated Team BAMF (2-8), 11-2. The second game also featured a highlight — which we’ll get to later.
The Sloppy Swats got off to a great start in the opener when Brady Spees whacked the first pitch for an inside-the-park home run. Shoe Crew tied the affair at 1-1 in the bottom of the first when winning pitcher Kyle Norwood doubled and scored on another double by Andy Horst. The Swats picked up one more run in the second on singles by Tracy Mixa and Nate Pezewski.
Shoe Crew was held scoreless in the second, third, fourth, and fifth. The Swats took a commanding 5-1 lead by scoring three big runs in the fourth. Nate Pezewski, Taylor Gregorich, and Christopher Ashland (on loan from BAMF) all hit singles and came home on a bases-loaded triple by Brady Spees.
Swats’ outfielder Matt “Taco” Barden noted, “It looked pretty good for us then. We’ve had terrible luck the whole season and thought a win was finally gonna come our way.”
But the Shoe Crew had a different idea. The Crew came up with four huge runs in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 5-5. Sam Stuard singled and Big Joe Kinsella followed with a tremendous homer to center over the Post Road Pub sign. 5-3 in favor of the Swats. Then Jared Shilka doubled and raced home on Michelle Morrisey’s triple. Michelle scored the tying run when she crossed the plate while Max Delap grounded out.
By all accounts, Michelle’s triple was the biggest hit of the game. The seventh inning was next, and the Swats went down quietly. With the score at 5-5, the Shoe Crew only needed one run to win, and they got it in a jiffy. Kyle Norwood tripled and Erin Laffe singled to left and that was all she wrote. Shoe Crew was the 6-5 winner. NOTE: Kyle Norwood gave up 14 hits to the Swats but issued no walks. Justin Scott held the Crew to 11 hits.
Taylor Gregorich of the Swats was fun to watch behind the plate — she caught a foul popup but more importantly, all of her throws back to pitcher Scott were spot on lazers; perfect throws which pitchers really appreciate.
SLOPPY SWATS BATTING STATS: Brady Spees: homer, triple, four RBIS; Rachel Graves: two singles; Matt Barden: single; Jen Eggleston: single; Tracy Mixa: single, run; Nate Pezewski: two singles, run; Taylor Gregorich: two singles, run, great throws back to pitcher; Chris Ashland: two singles, run, traded back to Team BAMF following game; Hillary Treb: single. SHOE CREW BATTING STATS: Kyle Norwood: double, single, triple, two runs, scored winning run; Erin Laffe: single, drove in winning run in bottom of seventh; Andy Horst: double; Sam Stuard: single, run; Joe Kinsella: two-run homer in sixth; Meg Lee: walk; Jared Shilka: two singles, double, run; Michelle Morrisey: huge triple, scored tying run; Christine Burns: walk. TIME OF GAME: 48 minutes.
The nightcap had one big highlight as Airport Bar (8-1) beat Team BAMF (2-8), 11-2. Airport’s Josh Swan held BAMF to five hits, but that wasn’t the highlight. Jake Bailey, the pitcher for Team BAMF, gave up 18 hits to Airport, but that wasn’t the highlight either.
Neither team scored in the first as BAMF stranded Brad Ashland at second and Meg Lee never got past first base following her single for Airport. The Bammers went three up and three down in the second and third.
Airport Bar finally dented the scoreboard with two runs in the bottom of the second. Tyler Mader and Stefanie Jackson singled and scored on Josh Swan’s double. The winners picked up two additional runs in the third on doubles by Meg Lee, Garrett Karnowski, and Mader. Airport led 4-0 after three innings.
BAMF scored a lone run in the top of the fourth when Graham Edwardson tripled and came home on Danita Ashland’s RBI. Then the roof caved in for BAMF in the bottom of the fourth when the Airporters of Tony Almanza pushed across five more runs. The big rally included singles by Kyle Krieger, Meg Lee, Sue Gruba, and Tyler Mader mixed in with doubles by Josh Swan, Adam Lee, and Garrett Karnowski. The onslaught made the score 9-1 after four.
BAMF got its final run in the fifth following singles by Chris Ashland and losing pitcher Jake Bailey. Airport Bar put the icing on the cake with two more runs in the sixth as Kim Schmitz and Kyle Krieger scored on Adam Lee’s triple. Team BAMF failed to score in the seventh and Airport had an 11-2 victory.
And then came the highlight…
Both teams walked across the infield for the traditional team handshakes following the game. But instead of heading back to their respective dugouts, both teams formed a circle around the pitcher’s mound.
Kari Thomson, a girlfriend of BAMF’s Jake Bailey, was called to the pitcher’s mound from the stands, where Bailey was waiting.
Bailey got down on one knee and proposed to Kari. Both teams gave a thunderous applause and the fans in the bleachers went crazy as Kari said yes. It was one of those fantastic moments in coed softball.
AIRPORT BAR BATTING STATS: Abby Rottier: run; Adam Lee: double, triple, run; Meg Lee: two singles, double, two runs; Garrett Karnowski: two doubles, two runs; Sue Gruba: two singles; Tyler Mader: two singles, double, run; Stefanie Jackson: single, run; Josh Swan: two doubles, run; Kim Schmitz: single, run; Kyle Krieger: walk, single, rare double, run. TEAM BAMF BATTING STATS: Graham Edwardson: triple, single, run; Brad Ashland: double; Chris Ashland: single, run; Jake Bailey: single, RBI, big winner!; Kari Thomson: SHE SAID “YES!”.
MONDAY NIGHT “BUD BERRY” LEAGUE STANDINGS: Airport Bar: 8-1. Shoe Crew: 5-4. Kim’s Barrel Inn: 5-3. Sloppy Swats: 2-6. Team BAMF: 2-8. Shoe Crew has the bye next week.