While Smugglers and Demon Sweat surely talk the talk of the B league, they proved on Monday that they don’t exactly walk the walk; both of these teams are A-league material – skills-wise, at least. And when the A-league-level play paraded by these Type B-opinioned players had finally come to a close on Monday, only one team could say they were the best of the B: Smugglers, who took the win 15-6.
“It’s all about our pitchers… of beer,” joked Smugglers catcher Joe Malecki during his team’s tournament win celebration on Monday.
Smugglers wasted no time breaking out their A-league bats on Monday, with hitters like Dave Mocko and DJ Antone finding holes in Demon Sweat’s outfield. But Demon Sweat’s big-armed throwers made up for their inability to fill all the outfield gaps by making some torpedo throws to third baseman John “LL” Lehman, who forced more than a few Smugglers runners to hit the dirt to stay alive and in scoring position. By the end of the third, Smugglers had kept Demon Sweat scoreless and held onto the eight-run lead.
Driven by a far-reaching Kyle Swenson home run hit to right field, Demon Sweat staged the beginning of a comeback in the fourth, followed up in the fifth with rbi-scoring line drives from Josh Sierra, Tommy Thatcher and John Lehman. Going into the bottom of the fifth, Smugglers had some work to do to reestablish their solid lead since the score stood at a too-close-for-comfort 9-6.
And get to work they did, with a huge fifth inning that put six more on the board for the Smuggler crew. Defensively Smugglers stayed strong as well, with clutch catches from rightfielder Javier Cisneros and diving saves from leftfielder Peter Lundeen.
Demon Sweat wasn’t ready to let the B league trophy slip through their fingers just yet, however, finally ending their belabored fifth inning with two quick tag-outs of sliding lead runners at third by Lehman.
Demon Sweat’s Brad Delaney started the sixth with a double, but Smugglers kept him there with two quick outs to stymie the Sweat’s offensive. The Demons returned in the bottom of the inning with a decidedly A-league performance from shortstop Sierra, who snagged a grounder, leapt to second to make the out, then fired the ball to first for an inning-ending double play.
Although Demon Sweat’s substantial fan base professed their team could, indeed, pull off the comeback, Smugglers snagged two easy fly balls then a routine infield out to end the game carrying the 15-6 lead. “Yeah, but we have more fans,” alleged Demon Sweats’ Dan Plummer, echoing his team’s B-league sentiment that style and panache (as in ripped off sleeves, rap music, and lots of female fans in sundresses) is as important as drinking from the B league trophy… almost.
With Smuggler’s also snagging the regular season’s top finish, they are slated to move into the A league next year; however, the B league’s winning team the last two seasons has mysteriously disbanded prior to their A league debut (only to reemerge as a new team named after a different local bar.) Telluride Parks and Rec. department officials say they may be adding a new statute to the Town League Softball rulebook next season, however, preventing a large number of members of a winning B league team to form another B league team of a different name the following season.
See you in the A-league, Smugglers!
And speaking of the A-league…
Fat Alley finally captured the tourney trophy, after two seasons of letting it wriggle out of their grasp. The won it last Friday, after beating the Junkyard Dogs.