Rob Potter | Democrat
DUTCH'S BOMBERS GATHERED for a team photo following their 50th straight Liberty Slo-Pitch Softball League win on Saturday night. Kneeling, from left to right, are Aaron Dinkel, Will Smith and Dan Gallo. Standing, from left to right, are Steve Vlaovich, Keith Shaddock, Rick Shaddock, Derwin Rivera, Maddy Levine (bat girl), John Brewer, Adam Lake, Matt Stoddard and Mark Logan. Missing from photo are Jay Falasca, William Merchant and John Rusin.
Dutch's goes 50 for 50
By Rob Potter
LIBERTY With a dramatic seventh-inning, come-from- behind 10-9 victory over the Parksville Homes Raiders in a Liberty Slo-Pitch Softball League “A” Division game on Saturday night at Liberty Elementary School, Dutch’s Bombers improved its record to 7-0 this season.
In addition to maintaining a perfect record in 2009, the win marked a milestone for Dutch’s Bombers as it was the team’s 50th consecutive triumph in the Liberty Slo-Pitch Softball League. Dutch’s Bombers, formerly known as Cobbler’s Bombers, won the league’s “A” Division championship with a perfect 20-0 record in 2007 and a spotless 23-0 mark in 2008.
Overall, the team has won five straight “A” Division titles.
But Saturday night’s game provided plenty of stressful moments for the Dutch’s Bombers players. It seemed as if their win streak would end that evening as Parksville Homes (1-5) grabbed an 8-0 lead after three innings.
Parksville Homes scored twice in the top of the first inning as Mike Beach hit a sacrifice fly and Gene Smith belted an RBI double.
After a scoreless second inning, Parksville Homes extended its advantage in the top of the third. Keith Smith started the inning with a double to left field and scored when the next batter, Phil Norris, doubled to left-center.
Norris crossed the plate on a single by Jonathan Hinkley to give Parksville Homes a 4-0 lead. Later in the frame, Gene Smith ripped a two-run double to right-center field to make it a 6-0 game.
The Raiders scored two more runs in the inning on a groundout by Joe Balzano and Adam Hauser’s single.
However, Dutch’s Bombers began its comeback in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Consecutive RBI doubles by Will Smith and Steve Vlaovich allowed the team to cut its deficit to 8-2. Vlaovich scored the third run of the inning for the Bombers when Adam Lake singled to left field.
The Raiders got one of those runs back in the top of the fifth as Hinkley scored on a sacrifice fly by Gene Smith.
Dutch’s made the score 9-4 in the bottom of the fifth as Aaron Dinkel scored on an error.
The Bombers had a three-run sixth inning. Mark Logan led off the frame with a solo home run to right-center field. Moments later, Smith and Lake both tagged up and scored when John Brewer flew out to left field. Those two runs shaved the Parksville Homes’ lead to 9-7 heading into the final inning.
After holding the Raiders scoreless in the top of the seventh, the Bombers scored three runs in the bottom of the frame to win the game in thrilling fashion. Dinkel began the inning by earning a walk. Two batters later, Dan Gallo blasted a home run over the center-field fence to tie the score at 9-9.
But the score did not remain knotted for long. After Parksville Homes recorded the second out of the inning, Logan ripped a triple to right field. He then scored the game-winning run when Smith singled.
Logan was met at home plate by his teammates and they happily exchanged high-fives to celebrate their milestone win.
“It feels great to win 50 straight games,” Dutch’s Bombers Coach Keith Shaddock said. “The camaraderie among these players is the key.”