For the love of the game

On a warm Aug. 29 morning, 18 guys met on the old Indian River High School softball field for a little competitive play. Their intentions were to play seven full innings, but they cut the game short to five due to the heat as the Cherrystones cracked the Quahogs 11-8 for the victory in their over-70 softball league.
Coastal Point • JOHN DENNY: Manny Ortiz just misses a catch while playing defense.Coastal Point • JOHN DENNY:
Manny Ortiz just misses a catch while playing defense.

The Cherrystones took a 3-0 lead after pitcher George McCabe pitched a 1-2-3 first inning. One of the Cherrystones table setters, Bob Stack, belted their first base hit of the game on a standup double to the fence in centerfield.

Cleanup batter Chris Ligenfelder drove in Stack on an RBI single, giving the Cherrystones their first lead of the game. Norm McClaren added their second run on an RBI single, and Ligenfelder scored on an error in right field.

George Hunt ended the inning not because he hit into an out, but because he drove in two runs on a double to the outfield. A five-run limit was one of the many rules added to the game in order to keep the game moving.

The Cherrystones had a 5-0 lead heading into the top of the second, but their lead wouldn’t be safe for very long.

Frank Wright led off with a single and scored on an RBI double by Jimmy Wright. Joe Cannon followed suit and drove in another run on a run-scoring single. Pete Rendina reached base on a single, giving the Quahogs runners on the corners. A throwing error scored Cannon which put them only two runs behind the Cherrystones with plenty of time to play.

The Cherrystones were back at the top of the order and were eager to score more runs. McCabe led off with a single and Stack drove in McCabe on a RBI double, his second of the game to give the Cherrystones a 6-3 lead. Starting pitcher Roger Howard forced the next two Cherrystones to ground out to shortstop Manny Ortiz but Cannon and McClaren would tack on two more runs on RBI singles, extending their lead to 8-3.
Coastal Point • JOHN DENNY: Bob Lattanzi puts one down the pipe to George McCabe.Coastal Point • JOHN DENNY:
Bob Lattanzi puts one down the pipe to George McCabe.

The Quahogs settled the score by exploiting a bases loaded situation in the top of the third inning. John “Snow Bird” Heron earned a rare walk to give the Quahogs a baserunner with one out. Williams and Wright hit back-to-back singles to load the bases and, from there, the runs flowed.
Cannon, Rendina, Stan Randall, John Bonner and Howard all hit RBI singles to tie the game at 8-8.

Ron Allen put the Cherrystones ahead by a run in the bottom half of the inning with a two-out RBI single.

The fourth inning went 1-2-3 for both teams and at this point it was decided that the group would only play one more inning for all the marbles.

The Cherrystones would start off the fifth inning, leading 9-8, and they would extend their lead to 11-8 on RBI singles by McCabe and Ligenfelder.

McCabe’s RBI was set up by great base running by Larry Pulcini who advanced to third for a standup triple to leadoff the inning. McCabe motored around from first to score their last run on Ligenfelder’s single.

The Quahogs started the final inning at the top of their order, and Howard fought off some tough pitching by McCabe to get a leadoff single. Howard had taken a strong cut and missed — which warranted hoots and hollers from both teams. Nonetheless, Howard was able to come through in the pinch.

Howard’s efforts were negated when Bob Lattanzi hit into a 6-4 double play to clear the bases. Heron accounted for the final out and sealed the Cherrystones victory.

The Old Tymer’s League will meet at the old Indian River High School at 9 a.m. for the next two Mondays but will move to another field following Labor Day weekend.

Their new site is located behind the M&T bank in Millsboro and games start at 9 a.m. every Monday.