Archive for the ‘News’ Category

C3 Presents Beats New Brohemia, Advances to ASL Championship

Friday, October 30th, 2009

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Bryce Fegley homered twice to drive in five runs, while pitcher Dirk Stahlnecker and C3 Presents allowed just 18 hits to beat the Nihilist Fucking Eagles of New Brohemia 16-7 in the Alternative Softball League South Division Final.

The Master Batters, who had the best record in the ASL this year (11-2), will play the winner of the North Division Finals, either South by Southwest (6-7) or last year’s champions, The Austin Chronicle (10-3).

After New Brohemia scored a couple of quick runs in the top of the first, Bryce Fegley (3-for-4) tied the game in the bottom with a 2-run alternative home run on an arcing fly ball that bounced off Joe Holzheimer‘s glove in right-center field.

C3 Presents took the lead for good three batters later when Eagles’ outfielder Rye Wilson couldn’t get a grip on Laura Hundley Ritts‘ sharp grounder in the soaked turf along the left-field line. She got a double and Charles Attal scored.

The Master Batters held the Eagles to one hit over the second and third innings and then started to pull away, building an 8-4 lead before Fegley sliced a 3-run home run down the right field line in the fifth inning for an 11-4 lead.

It was too much for the Eagles, who needed to play a complete game against C3 Presents, much like their come-together come-from-behind 10-6 win on August 26. That game, New Brohemia held C3 Presents to 15 hits and Brian Campbell, Mike Elliott and Joe Holzheimer each homered.

Jim “Pancakes” Turner, the ASL’s batting champ who came into the game batting 6-for-6 against the Master Batters, went 2-for-3 with a triple. Brian Campbell drove in 2 runs, batting 2-for-3 with two doubles, and Mark Twistworthy went 3-for-3 and drove in a run.

But like their first meeting this season, New Brohemia had some holes in their batting order. Bree Blaha went hitless; she entered the game with a .553 batting average and going 5-for-6 against C3. Erik “Swede” Seaholm, who batted for a .606 average this season, went 1-for-3. The last five New Brohemia batters went 1-for-12 collectively.

New Brohemia, the third seed in the ASL South, got to the finals by beating second seed Waterloo Records 15-9 in the first round playoff game on Oct. 6.

The Eagles soared to a 15-3 lead in the first three innings, including a 3-run homer by “Swede” in the first and a 2-run home run by Stan Rose in the second inning.

Waterloo Records started playing defense after that, holding the Eagles to two hits over the next six innings, but they couldn’t muster enough offense to win.

Mike Crissey

Almost Lights Out at the Ballpark

Friday, August 14th, 2009

BookPeople Filthy Animal Sally Brooks shows off the first-ever ASL tattoo

We had all waited three months for this one. The Emo’s Lounge Vampire Bats and the KOOP Radio Kilowatts were supposed to play each other in the second week of the season sometime back in early April. It turned into what has to be the most rescheduled game in Alternative Softball League history. I think they tried to play this game four times – two of them got rained out.

It was well worth the wait.

Vampire Bats late-season add-on Houshang “the Persian Nightmare” hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift Emo’s to a 13-12 win on July 22.

The Vampire Bats were behind the whole game. They trailed by as many as eight runs in the fifth inning before bleeding the Kilowatts dry.

Emo’s Lounge held KOOP to six hits in the final four innings, while rallying for five runs in the sixth inning and two runs in the eighth, to set up Houshang’s game winner to left-center field and help us all forget he struck out twice in his ASL debut.

Lucas had a 3-run homer and Will “the Thrill”had a two-run homer as part of Emo’s 5-run sixth inning to cut the KOOP lead to 12-9 and to send the Vampire Bats into a bloodthirsty frenzy.

But it was almost cut short in the top of the seventh inning when an Emo’s fan managed to find the switches for the field and turned off the lights. The city league umpire wasn’t too pleased. He wasn’t going to turn them back on.

It was intended as a practical joke but the Vampire Bats looked like someone shoved a stake in their hearts.

I wouldn’t have done it. The Vampire Bats are pretty inked up, and their roster includes a fair number of bouncers and at least one former bounty hunter. They’re also touchy about the lights. They lost a game last year when an umpire unceremoniously ended the game with the light switch.

Jason Sabala, Erin Pennington , and their friends Andrew Jackson and Alexander Hamilton went to talk to the umpire, who was amenable to the presidents’ powers of persuasion.

Emo’s Lounge made it a 1-run game on Sabala’s single to drive in Jeff Schlamb and Chad D. who reached on a single and a double respectively.

Long Le went 4-for-4 with a double, triple, and three RBIs, whileJessica Ardis batted 3-for-4 with an RBI in her ASL debut for KOOP.

Lucas led the vampire batters, going 3-for-4 with a double, a homer, and four RBIs. Will “the Thrill” and Chad D. both batted 3-for-4.

WHEATSVILLE SKUS SKEWER BOOKPEOPLE

Ladda Phommavong and Beth Beutel both hit two-run singles in the seventh inning to break open a defensive deadlock as the Wheatsville SKUs beat BookPeople 10-8 and secured a playoff spot on Aug. 6.

It was personally my most uncomfortable win this season.

We Wheatsvillans only needed to win one of our last four games to get into the playoffs. Why did it have to be against BookPeople, my former team with whom I had savored victory snatched from the jaws of defeat? The game felt a lot like BookPeople’s 17-15 win over Waterloo Records last year in the playoffs. I felt like I kicked my puppy.

We beat BookPeople 14-10 in our previous meeting this season with a 6-run, two-out rally in the ninth inning.

The Filthy Animals (3-7) played one of their most solid games all season – the Brookses (Jim, Mandy, and Sally) stayed calm and didn’t mutter to themselves in the field, no one threw a glove and Jeff Rose caught almost every thing hit at him – but they came up short as they fight for the third playoff spot in the Alternative Softball League’s North Division.

For the first six innings, neither BookPeople nor Wheatsville (7-3) could get the advantage. Neither of us had a lead for more than a half-inning. The game was tied at 1 in the second, tied at 2 in the fourth, tied at 3 in the top of the sixth, and tied at 5 in the top of the seventh.

Jeff Rose anchored BookPeople’s stingy defense out in left field. He caught five fly balls, three were mine, including a rifle shot of a line drive the fourth inning that almost had more legs than he did.

Meanwhile, Trae Branham kept BookPeople’s bats at bay. He held BookPeople to 21 hits and only three doubles. He also tagged out two runners in a row at home plate in the sixth inning.

It appeared that it would stay knotted at 5 after the Filthy Animals got two quick outs on a fly out to second and a groundout to third. Allen Demling singled and Trae Branham followed with a double to set up Ladda Phommavong’s sneaky single up the middle of the infield to drive them both in.

Bruce “Motormouth” Cloud followed Ladda with a single and Beth Beutel had a single of her own to drive in what would be the winning runs. A freshly shorn Mike “Professor” Conti added an insurance run with a single in the bottom of the eighth.

Trailing 10-5 in the top of the ninth inning, BookPeople would have made Henry David Thoreau proud by trying “to tramp the last mile, shape the last plan [and] endure the last hour’s toil.”

The bottom of BookPeople’s lineup scored three runs on four hits with a little help from a passed ball with two runners on.

Alex “Flex” Rosenthal led off the inning with a single and was driven in with singles by Ansley Brown and Jon H. One run in with one out.

After a pop-up to Wheatsville pitcher Trae Branham for the second out, Wellington Chew hit a dribbler between the pitcher and first base and it looked like the game was over. Trae scooped up the ball and fired a laser beam that must have burned a hole in first baseman Jimmy Evans’ glove or blinded him.

As we scrambled after the ball, two more runners scored and Wellington went to second. BookPeople’s Jeff Freeman grounded out to the pitcher to end the game.

BookPeoples Brian Sansone and Wellington Chew each batted 3-for-3, while Jamie Reeves and Jeff Rose each batted 2-for-3 with a double.

Allen Demling was flawless at the plate, going 3-for-3 with an RBI, while Mike Conti drove in two runs while Ladda Phommavong had three RBIs for Wheatsville.

WATERLOO RECORDS GROUNDS VAMPIRE BATS

Maybe the lights were too bright for their nocturnal eyes. Maybe there was garlic on the pies from the pizza-eating contest. Maybe some holy water accidentally found its way into the keg of Lone Star.

Whatever the reason, the second game between ASL South Division rivals Emo’s Lounge (the Vampire Bats) and Waterloo Records was less dramatic than the first.

In their last meeting, Waterloo Records narrowly beat Emo’s Lounge 27-26 in an April 6 seesaw slug fest with 17 combined runs scored in the eighth inning.

This time, Waterloo Records (7-3) swatted away the Vampire Bats with 10 runs on 12 hits in the third inning to win 20-10.

The Bloodsuckers couldn’t stop the bloodletting as Waterloo batted around their 15-person lineup with a string of seven hits in a row before the first out and another five hits before the inning ended.

Charles (2-for-4, 4 RBI) put the nail in the Vampire Bats’ coffin with a 3-run homer as part of Waterloo’s 4-run sixth inning.

Take away the third inning and it may have been a defensive showdown. The game had been scoreless with only two hits between the two teams; Jason Sabala was pitching a no-hitter.

After that, Emo’s Lounge (4-5) held Waterloo to 10 runs on 18 hits while scoring 10 runs on 22 hits.

Don Lamb was unstoppable at the plate for Waterloo, batting 4-for-4 with a double and an RBI, as was Chris Anderson, who went 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI.

Kevin was a homer short of the cycle for Emo’s Lounge, batting 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Jason Sabala went 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs.

Mike Crissey

C3 Presents Beats Brentwood Donkeys, Wheatsville

Thursday, June 11th, 2009
C3 Presents Michael Feferman steps into the box (Photo by Logan Youree)

C3 Presents' Michael Feferman steps into the box (Photo by Logan Youree)

As much as many of us Alternative Softball Leaguers would like to lay claim to being the most sandlot, I think these guys own it.

The Brentwood Donkeys.

During one of their recent games, I noticed they had one bat and one ball. They may have also had a gloveless player or two.

I can almost hear them during practice (if they do).

“Nice hit, Hartstein, now we can’t play anymore.”
“Don’t blame me. I’m outta here.”
“What do we do now?”
“Where’s the beer?”
“Hartstein had it.”
“It’s five dollars for another ball.”
“That’s almost a six-pack.”

The Brentwood Donkeys stayed with C3 Presents for half the game, teetering on the verge of their comeuppance, but couldn’t stop the Presenters. They lost 18-5 on May 13.

Tied at 4 in the top of the fifth, C3 Presents surged ahead with 14 runs on 20 hits, while holding Brentwood to one run one four hits in the final four innings.

C3s Steven Headhunter Chandler (Photo by Logan Youree)

C3's Steven "Headhunter" Chandler (Photo by Logan Youree)

C3 Presents struck first with a sacrifice fly by Charles Attal to drive in lead-off batter Steven Chandler (3-for-4) who reached on one of his two doubles of the game.

Brentwood took the lead with 3 runs in the second inning. David Hartstein led off the inning with a single. Jonny Mars (3-for-4, 2 2B) and Chris Olsen (2-for-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI) then had back-to-back doubles for a 2-1 Donkeys lead.

After the first out of the inning, Brian Pope (3-for-5, 2B, RBI) doubled to drive in Olsen.

C3 Present took a 4-3 lead in the fourth inning with Attal’s two-out single, a single by Bryce Fegley (3-for-4, 2 2B, 3 RBI) and Aly Ehlinger’s double to drive in Charles Attal. Zach Bruce then hit a double to drive in Bryce Fegley and Aly Ehlinger.

Brentwood tied the game in the top of the fifth with back-to-back two-out singles by Geoff Frost and Paul Gordon and a double by Mike Kriegshauser.

C3 Presents broke away with six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Five days later it was déjà vu all over again.

Wheatsville and I met C3 Presents at the Krieg Softball Complex on May 18, hoping to cling to the top of the North division and give the South a divisional leader.

We didn’t want to do it this way.

We stayed with the Presenters, playing to a 5-all game at the midpoint but couldn’t stop C3 after that. C3 Presents won 13-5.

Chronicle Sports blogger Mike Crissey sets a bad example for the kids (Photo by Bob Kinney)

'Chronicle' Sports blogger Mike Crissey sets a bad example for the kids (Photo by Bob Kinney)

They held us to 12 hits and handed us our second straight loss. Winless Brentwood managed 17 against them.

We took a 2-0 lead by the top of the second inning on Kevin “Dr. Krankenstein” Johnson’s double in the first to drive in Nate Lineback and a single by Trae Branham (2-for-3, 3 RBI) in the second to drive in Jimmy Evans, who reached with a triple.

C3 Presents took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the inning on singles by Aly Ehlinger, Laura Hundley Ritts, Michael Feferman, and Andrew Blank.

We tied it up in the third on Beth Beutel’s groundout to the pitcher, which allowed Bruce Cloud to score.

C3 Presents took a 5-3 lead with a single by Quinn Donahue in the third inning and a single by either Michael Feferman or Caroline in the fourth.

Trae Branham had a 2-run homer in the top of the fifth inning to tie the game and give Wheatsville our last runs of the game.

C3 Presents sealed the gamed with four runs on five hits in the bottom of the fifth. Jeff Lawson, Brad Kaye , and Steven Chandler all singled for the go-ahead run.

After the first out, Houston Powell hit a double to drive in Kaye and Chandler, and Fegley singled for a 9-5 C3 lead.

Chandler and Quinn Donahue both batted 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. And Hundley Ritts and Feferman each batted 4-for-4 with 2 runs scored.

Mike Crissey

Keeping Softball Alternative

Friday, June 5th, 2009
KOOPs David Pernell (Photo by Logan Youree)

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)

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 Emos Alternative Lounge (Photo by Logan Youree)

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 Bros Rye Rye (l) and Twistworthy (Photo by Logan Youree)

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 Bros Brian C. (Photo by Logan Youree)

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)

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)

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.

BookPeoples Tacocat (l) and Sally Brooks are all smiles (Photo by Logan Youree)

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.

Mike Crissey

SXSW Softball Squad Shuts Down ‘Chronicle’

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009
Your devoted ASL blogger and Wheatsville Captain Mike Crissey with the Chronicles Mike Bartnett behind him (Photo by Logan Youree)

Your devoted ASL blogger and Wheatsville Captain Mike Crissey with the 'Chronicle's Mike Bartnett behind him (Photo by Logan Youree)

“Pitchers never get any credit,” according to South by Southwest pitcher Charlie “Spinderfella” Sotelo.

I want to believe him, but how much do the other nine beer-fueled ballplayers on the field play a role?

He made a pretty strong case for all the underhanders in the Alternative Softball League by holding the The Austin Chronicle to one run on 10 hits as South by Southwest (2-3, 1-3 North) cruised to an 11-1 win on April 30.

Sotelo accounted for nine outs, including two strikeouts, and lured his former team into hitting nine pop-ups. The Chronicle batted for a season-low .290 average with two extra base hits.

In three games so far this season, they had batted for a .520 average with 26 extra base hits, including four homers.

South by Southwest also showed some stout defense. In the third inning, first baseman Matt Mandrella snagged a line drive by Samantha Jenkins and tagged out Shannon Stott who had left the bag.

Meanwhile, South by Southwest scored eight runs in the first two innings and built an 11-0 lead by the sixth with blistering shots on the edges of the field and Texas leaguers.

It was a different ballgame after The Chronicle (2-2, 2-2) settled down defensively. After the third inning, they held South by Southwest to a manageable three runs on 11 hits.

The Chronicle averted a shutout in the eighth inning with a little love and marriage. With two outs, Billy Jenkins singled and then Stott singled him to third. Samantha followed with a single to drive in her husband.
 Wyc Coming batted 4-for-5 with a triple and two RBIs for South by Southwest, enough to excuse getting caught in a rundown between second and third base in the fourth inning.

Darin Klein drove in three runs, going 2-for-4 with a triple, and Matt Mandrella added a pair of runs, batting 3-for-3 with a double.

Only Billy Jenkins and Shannon Stott could withstand Charlie Sotelo’s spin doctoring. They each batted 2-for-3.

So far this season, Charlie Sotelo has pitched for an 11.2 ERA in five games, slightly behind Wheatsville’s southpaw Trae Branham with a 10.0 ERA in three games and Dirk Stahlnecker from C3 Presents, who has an 8.75 ERA in four games.

Meanwhile, the Nihilist Fucking Eagles of New Brohemia emerged victorious from the Alternative Animal Cage Match, beating the still winless Brentwood Donkeys 15-5 on April 30.

Trailing 3-1 in the fifth inning, the Nihilist Fucking Eagles (1-3, 1-2 South) strung together four hits and a sacrifice fly to take the lead for good.

Jug Hedd, Joe Holzheimer, and Jim “White Van” Turner, each had singles to load the bases. Rye Bredd hit a sacrifice fly and Brian Campbell had one of his two triples of the game to drive in the go-ahead runs.

New Brohemia piled on three runs in the sixth and four runs in the seventh and eighth innings, while holding the Donkeys to five hits in the last four innings.

The Brentwood Donkeys (0-3, 0-2) took their only lead of the game with a sacrifice fly by Martin in the second inning; and ”Darth” Mader’s solo homer and Hartstein’s run-scoring single in the third.

The Donkeys got a close as 5-7 in the sixth inning on “Darth” Mader’s triple and ”Captain” Gordon’s single, which each drove in a run.

Jug Hedd batted 4-for-4 with an RBI for New Brohemia, while Rye Bredd (1-for-3, 2B), Brian Campbell (2-for-4, 2 3B), and M.T. Elliott (2-for-3, 3B) drove in three runs each.

“Darth” Mader (3-for-4) batted a single short of the cycle with a homer in the fourth, a triple in the sixth and a double in the ninth inning and drove in two runs for Brentwood.

You can keep up with all the games, trash talk, and 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.

Mike Crissey

Outwit. Outplay. Oulast.

Friday, May 1st, 2009
Wheatsvilles Trae Branham

Wheatsville's Trae Branham

Kevin “Dr. Krankenstein” Johnson legged out a 2-run homer in the eighth inning to lift undefeated Wheatsville Food Co-op to an 11-9 win over South by Southwest during a nail-biter on Thursday, April 23.

His in-the-park home run to right field, capped a 4-run, 2-out rally as the unsinkable SKUs (4-0, 3-0 ASL North) and I had our second straight come from behind victory.

South By Southwest (1-3, 0-3 North) scored eight runs in the first four innings and stayed ahead for the entire game until their undoing in the eighth inning, although they never led by more than three runs.

We held them to one run from the fourth to the eighth innings, but South by Southwest’s stingy defense – forged in a city-league season and featuring Charlie “Spinderfella” Sotelo on the mound – looked like they could hold us off. My teammate Clifford Bagley led off the inning with a single, but the next two batters struck out and popped up to second base.

Greg Hull then hit a double to cut the lead to one run and Nate Lineback had a triple to drive in the tying run before Kevin Johnson’s homer gave us the lead.

South By Southwest threatened to score in the ninth inning after loading the bases with three singles, but Wheatsville pitcher Trae Branham had an unassisted double play to end the threat.

Cassie Wright hit a fungo along the third baseline, which Trae Branham caught and then tagged out George Majewski who was running for home. A popup ended the game.

Nate Lineback led Wheatsville batters, going 4-for-4 with two triples and four RBIs, while Kevin Johnson batted 2-for-3 with a sacrifice fly, a homer and three RBIs. Trae Branham went 2-for-3 with a double, triple and two RBIs.

South by Southwest leadoff hitter Wyc Comming went 3-for-4, including a 3-run homer in the third inning. Matt Mandrella batted 3-for-4 with a 2-run triple in the first inning.

Wheatsville also won a squeaker 14-10 against BookPeople (1-2, 1-2 North) with a six-run two-out rally in the ninth inning on Sunday, April 19.

You can keep up with all the games, trash talk, and 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.

Mike Crissey

Wheatsville Bags BookPeople

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009
BookPeoples Jeff Tacocat Freeman (Photo by Bob Kinney)

BookPeople's Jeff "Tacocat" Freeman (Photo by Bob Kinney)

“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).

Mike Crissey

Powerhouses Begin to Emerge in the ASL

Monday, April 20th, 2009
New Brohemias Talena (Photo by Autumn Spadaro)

New Brohemia's Talena (Photo by Autumn Spadaro)

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.

C3 Presents

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.

Mike Crissey

C3 vs. KOOP and Why Softball Is More American Than Baseball

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009
 KOOP Radios leftfielder Long (Photo by Mark Fagan)

KOOP Radio's leftfielder Long (Photo by Mark Fagan)

It’s a shame more people didn’t see this game. You could have parked a school bus in the bleachers and still had room for the boisterous pair of KOOP Radio fans with a boom box and the tall-boy-toting Alternative Softball League die-hards.

After trailing for two-thirds of the game, KOOP Radio – despite an automatic out in their lineup due to a shortage of women – tied the game and tested whether C3 Presents still had any softball left in them. C3 Presents did and won 15-10, although KOOP appeared to have them worried until the last out.

KOOP rallied for seven runs in the sixth inning, including two-run alternative homers by David Parnell (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI) and Peter “Iceman” Heck (4-for-4, 2 RBI), to tie the game at 8. In the bottom of the inning, Dirk Stahlnecker (2-for-4, 2 RBI) – what a name! – drove in the go-ahead runs with a two-run single and Brad Kaye brought him home with a double for what would turn out to be the game winner.

Not that anyone knew that after a couple of runs on a sacrifice fly by Nick Trevino and a single by Ben Barthy (4-for-4, 2 RBI) in the top of the eighth. Not that anyone knew that after KOOP held C3 Presents to one baserunner in the bottom of the eighth.

KOOP got two outs early in the ninth inning but Quinn “Next On” Donahue and Huston Powell had back-to-back singles to give C3 Presents a five-run cushion. Charles “Franklin” Attal led C3 batters, going 3-for-4 with a double, triple, and 5 RBIs. Lady leadoff hitter Aly Ehlinger went 3-for-4.

KOOP Radio was dead air at the plate (one run on seven hits through the fifth) until they found the right song – “Hanging Tough” by New Kids on the Block. It was the batting music chosen by Dave Yourkans (2-for-3, 3B, RBI), I think, and he should be their weekly MVP. Then again, maybe Donnie, Danny, Joey, Jordan, and Jonathan should be the MVPs.

The ASL: More American Than Baseball

After the game, some of the Alternative Softball League die-hards (Mandy Brooks, Shannon Stott, Mark Fagan, Mike Bartnett, and Nick Trevino) and me – lugged our last Lone Stars to the lights of one of the final games of the night. It was a men’s competitive league, although you would have thought the people in the stands were watching paint dry or waiting for the bus. Nobody moved or spoke, forget cheers. Maybe they were having fun.

We did, well after the game was over and the lights were turned off. I talked a lot. I drank a lot. I had about two tons of dairy products with my name on it waiting for me at Wheatsville the next morning. I wonder why I do it sometimes.

Last summer, I treated softball like a mistress. I’d lie about where I spent the night. I avoided eye contact at work lest someone smell softball on me – grass, sweat-soaked leather, and cheap beer. I seldom said the word “softball” and the few times I did, it was hushed. Why the shame?

I have since learned I have nothing to be embarrassed about.

As William H. Young and Nancy K. Young said in The Great Depression in America: A Cultural Encyclopedia, “softball, not baseball, in many ways served as the national pastime during the Depression.”

Yep. Softball. It turns out it may be an overlooked part of the New Deal. How about this? The National Youth Administration (1935-1943) helped churches and fraternal organizations build thousands of fields across the country.

And think about this the next time you see 20 people standing under the lights: The federal Rural Electrification Administration (1935-1994) gave softball players night lighting well before many professional baseball teams played under the lights.

Not convinced? Sporting-goods makers were one of the few businesses that saw increased sales during the Depression. And President Franklin D. Roosevelt sponsored a softball team, the White House Purgers.

More than 350,000 people watched a softball tournament during Chicago’s Century of Progress Exhibition of 1933-1934. A couple of years later, some 1 million people in the U.S. participated in softball. By 1939, about 11 million people played softball.

If you think softball was just for squares, the mob was also into a little mush ball. According to Chicago 16 Inch Softball Hall of Fame co-founder Al Maag, a team in the Windy City was sponsored by “Machine Gun” Jack McGurne (1905-1936), who planned the 1929 St. Valentine’s Massacre.

Why? Besides all that democracy, equality and unity on the field, it’s dirt cheap – just the kind of diversion they needed during the Great Depression (and, one could argue, now).

Most teams didn’t use gloves during the Great Depression. First, you’d likely end up boiling it and eating it if you could afford it in the first place. Second, because they used a big 16-inch ball. Few people could hit that big mushy ball into a street, river, or the woods and lose it, and players didn’t need a glove to field it.

Teams only had to chip in a couple cents per player for a new ball, according to Al Maag.

It’s a little more expensive these days. Not counting equipment and some snazzy jerseys (check out New Brohemia’s baby blues), it’s under $10 per player – a new ball costs a quarter per player; the field costs $2.50 per ASL player; and I found a six-pack of Lone Star tallboys for $5.99.

Not bad for a night out. Don’t miss your chance – you only have 61 more – to catch the Alternative Softball League in action. Here’s a list of the upcoming games:

Thursday, April 9, 8pm
Brentwood Donkeys (0-1) vs. Waterloo (1-0), Krieg Softball Complex TBA
The Austin Chronicle (1-0) vs. Wheatsville Food Co-op (1-0)
BookPeople (0-1) vs. SXSW (1-0)

Monday, April 13, TBA
Brentwood Donkeys (0-0) vs. Emo’s Lounge (0-1)

You can keep up with all the games, trash talk, and 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.

Mike Crissey

Alternative Softball League Kicks Off With Three-Way

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

Wheatsville's Heather slides into home through New Brohemia's Mark Twistworthy as Sarah looks on. Click on the image above to access the photo gallery (Photo by Bob Kinney)

The Austin Chronicle shelves BookPeople

The last time rivals BookPeople and The Austin Chronicle met on the softball diamond, the game was decided by two runs. The Opening Day rematch of the 2008 Alternative Softball Championship game was another nail-biter, and the champions again held off BookPeople to come away with victory, 21-15, last Sunday.

The difference may have been the Chronicle (1-0) turning a pair of double plays in a game that was mostly offensive. BookPeople batted a respectable .540 with four doubles and three triples, while the Chronicle batted .600 with two triples.

The BookPeople Filthy Animals (0-1) were also depleted by injuries, including outfielder Ryan Van Eck apparently breaking his collarbone in the fourth inning on a diving catch; pitcher Jim Brooks pulling a hamstring; and shortstop Jeff “Tacocat” Freeman hobbled by a grounder to the knee. I always hate to see a player injured and I hope they all mend well and quickly.

For the record, the Chronicle lost both of their pitchers from last year – Bobby Leath to Waterloo Records (his former team) and Charlie Sotelo to South by Southwest. Meanwhile, last year’s shortstop Shawn Badgley is out indefinitely, working for a political campaign.

The People of Book may have also been a bit rusty; they were one of the last teams to start practicing and had two scrimmages rained out during the preseason.

“I don’t think we could have possibly had a worse game. … The Chronicle seemed pretty convinced they beat us afterward too,” said BookPeople manager Jeff Rose. “Let them believe that. We imploded and only lost by six runs.” Or in the words of their patron (?) philosopher Henry David Thoreau: “Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate.”

It is the Chronicle‘s fifth win in seven games against BookPeople, dating back to the days of the Unofficial Shadow League of Local Businesses, which included old newcomer to the ASL South by Southwest.

Austin Chronicle co-captain Shannon Stott was flawless at the plate – 4-for-4! – and drove in a pair of runs, while Doug “Appalachian Natural” Freeman went 3-for-4 with two doubles and drove in four runs. Co-captain Mike “Moonshadow” Bartnett had a triple, a double, and drove in three runs and Mark “Fabulous” Fagan had two sacrifice flies and drove in three runs.

The Filthy Animals got as close as 14-16 with a 7-run rally in the sixth inning and a pair of runs in the seventh inning.

Trailing 5-16, Jeff Rose (4-for-5, 3 RBIs) sparked the rally with a triple and Bryan “The Beast” Sansone (2-for-4, 2 RBIs) and Patrick Lloyd (3-for-4, 2 2B) followed with back-to-back doubles to drive in a pair of runs. Jim Brooks tapped one to the pitcher for the second out of the frame, but BookPeople then strung together seven straight singles to trim the Chronicle’s lead to 16-12.

After solid defense in the bottom of the sixth, Jim Brooks (3-for-4, 2B, 2 RBIs) had a sacrifice fly and Jennifer Morris had a run-scoring single to get the game within two runs.

Mark Fagan had his second sacrifice fly of the game in the bottom of the seventh to give the Chronicle a 3-run cushion. The Infantile Retards one-hit the Filthy Animals in the top of the eighth and scored four runs in the bottom of the inning to put the game out of reach.

BookPeople tied the game at 3 in the top of the third inning, but the Chronicle took the lead with eight runs in the bottom of the inning and never trailed.

Wheatsville Food Co-op Rings Up Win Against Nihilist Fucking Eagles of New Brohemia

Wheatsville Food Co-op used a combination of aggressive base-running and solid defense to best the Nihilist Fucking Eagles of New Brohemia 23-17 in a battle of ASL newcomers. The SKUs (or Stock-Keeping Units) and myself sent 14 batters to the plate and scored nine runs in the top of first inning and never trailed during the game with the help of a double play and what may be the first triple play in ASL history.

New Brohemia (0-1) scored seven runs in the first inning and stayed close until Wheatsville scored three runs in the fourth and fifth innings, while stymying the Nihilist Fucking Eagles with a double play and then a triple play.

In both innings, New Brohemia runners were caught running on fly balls. In the fourth inning, Ashley Campbell got tagged out after M.T. Elliot’s pop-up to the pitcher. The following inning, the Nihilist Fucking Eagles had their wings clipped when Wheatsville outfielder Nate Lineback caught Jim “Pancakes” Turner’s line drive to left field. Baserunners Natalie and Esteban had advanced to their next bases and SKUs pitcher Trae Branham astutely coached shortstop Ralf Hernandez to tag Esteban and then touch second base for the 7-6-6 (?) triple-play.

Ralf Hernandez also pitched in at the plate, going 4-for-4 with four RBIs, while Nate Lineback went 4-for-4 with two doubles, a triple, and four runs scored. Wheatsville third baseman Greg Hull went 3-for-3 with five RBIs, and second baseman Marisa Newell batted 2-for-3 with three RBIs.

Not that they care, they’re nihilists, but New Brohemia second baseman Bree went 1-for-3 with four RBIs, while Mark Twistworthy (3-for-4) and Jug (4-for-4) added three RBIs each. Despite what could be a broken wrist, Brian Campbell went 4-for-4 with a double – the Eagles’ only extra-base hit.

SXSW Stomps the Brentwood Donkeys, 34-4

I didn’t see this one because I was scoring and umpiring (for the record, my prescription is current) the Championship Redux, but SXSW scored an ASL record number of runs for the league’s largest margin victory against new squad the Brentwood Donkeys.

BookPeople previously set both in the league’s inaugural season with a 28-15 win against the Chronicle (June 23, 2008) and a 25-8 win over KOOP (July 6, 2008).

ASL pioneers turned division rivals Emo’s Lounge and Waterloo Records are slated to play Monday, April 6, at 8pm on Field 5.

You can keep up with all the games, trash talk, and 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.

Mike Crissey