One of the dominant teams in the Men’s Softball Division, Rusty’s had to be the favorite in Wednesday night’s meeting with West Bishop. The team didn’t disappoint, establishing a lead in the first inning and expanding the margin to an 18-7 win.
West Bishop’s Brad Weaver put his team on top in the first, beating the ball to second base for a double, then scoring on a single by Bob Vega. But an out at first, a pop-out and the final forced out at second base ended the small scoring surge.
Then it was Rusty’s turn at bat. Brock Romero walked, Joe Montoya singled, setting the stage for Jon Nicholson’s 3-RBI in-the-park home run and a 3-1 edge. Nicholson’s homer exposed a hole in left field and Daniel Dondero sent the ball flying to the same spot for a triple. The third time was not the charm for Tom DeLeo who popped out in left field but Dondero had enough time to tag up and score Rusty’s fourth run.
West Bishop was up and down in three, bringing Rusty’s back for another scoring drive. With the bases loaded on two singles and a walk, Romero sent a long fly ball deep for a pop-out but plenty of time to score Josh Nicholson. Joe Montoya singled in 2 runs, Daniel Dondero and DeLeo logged an RBI each to hit the 5-run limit for a 9-1 lead going into the third.
West Bishop came on like gang busters in the top of the third. With two runners on base, Weaver slammed a triple for 2 runs. Vega scored Weaver with a double and Rich Dondero finished off the inning with a 2-RBI double, keeping the team in the game at 9-6.
Looking to repeat another big inning, Rusty’s had two runners on base but a recharged West Bishop defense recorded 3 consecutive outs, escaping the inning with no further damage.
Held scoreless in the top of the fourth, West Bishop’s luck didn’t hold on the next Rusty’s at-bat. With Joe Montoya and Jon Nicholson on base with a single and double respectively, Dondero doubled in both runners. With the bases loaded, Josh Nicholson walked in Rusty’s 12th run. A Rusty’s batter sent a ground ball like a heat-seeking missile through the infield for a 2-RBI double and the fifth run of the inning. Rusty’s re-established a dominant lead at 14-6.
The final innings were all Rusty’s. Doug Watterson scored a run in the bottom of the fifth, extending the lead15-6. West Bishop added a run in the top of the sixth, but Rusty’s smothered the effort with a strong defense.
Out to log insurance runs with the open seventh inning coming up, Rusty’s Dondero sent a grounder along the third baseline for a double. Gabe Montoya walked and Josh Nicholson singled in the team’s 16th run. Watterson loaded the bases with a single, bringing up Romero who hit a big 2-RBI single, putting Rusty’s ahead 18-7.
The West Bishop lineup couldn’t take advantage of the open inning, logging three straight pop-outs to end the ball game.