After a thrilling finish by the coed all-stars, the men looked to take the field at Szot Park. With the sun beginning to go down on a gorgeous evening, the men had a tall order in front of them to present a game as exciting as the coed teams. Early on it looked as if the visiting squad West, coached by Chuck Mickey (Hope Community) would run away with the game. In the 2nd inning, Bill Maki (Church of Christ) led off with a triple and the West squad exploded for 9 runs to take a commanding 9-1 lead after two. In the top of the 3rd, the West team tacked on four more runs with Matt Dean (Bethany) leading the way with a towering homerun to right field. In the bottom of the 3rd with the East team down 12 – 1, they started trying to come back, scoring four runs led by Josh Langley’s (Faith Baptist) three-run homerun. After three innings the score was now 12-5 with the West still looking to have a comfortable lead and flashing some nice leather around the diamond. The next few innings saw more homeruns by Matt Dean and Bill Maki and we entered the bottom of the ninth inning with the East all-stars down by a score of 18 – 12. Chasing six runs seemed to be too insurmountable for the East team as they never scored more than four in any previous inning but the stage was set for a remarkable and memorable closing to the game. In the bottom of the ninth, Bobby Santiago (City Church) reached base on an error and Trav Kuffel (Redeeming the Time Ministries) followed with an RBI double. After Kevin “More Athletic than Hurley” Demaria (Church in the Acres) was ruled out an up the middle hit, Colin Chisholm (Trinity) responded with an RBI single. A few batters later, with the bases loaded, Jason Aldrich (Lifepoint) hit a massive grand slam homerun to tie the game. After the celebration and excitement died down a bit, Tom Duffy (Mt. View Baptist) hit a single. Nate Woodward (Trinity) grounded out on a hit to the second baseman but Tom advanced into scoring position with Taylor Brust (Sonlife) coming to the plate with a chance to be the hero. With two outs, Taylor roped a solid hit to the outfield and in came the winning run. The East squad, coached by Chris Buell (Christ Life Fellowship), came back in epic fashion and it all made for another entertaining and thrilling game in Chicopee.
MVP Honors went to the starting pitcher Taylor Brust. Taylor had 3 strikeouts on the evening and went 4 for 4 at the plate including the game winning RBI. Congrats!