By Rob Potter
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS The White Sulphur Springs Fire Department team took an early lead and didn’t look back in Thursday night’s Eastern Sullivan Firefighters Softball League game.
WSSFD took a 2-0 advantage in the bottom of the first inning against visiting Youngsville FD on Matt DeWitt’s home run which sailed over the left field fence at Gary A. Bradley Memorial Field at WSSFD Park.
WSSFD (7-0) continued to build on that advantage for the rest of the contest and posted a 20-1 victory.
DeWitt, Chad Roth and Charlie Roth led the WSSFD offensive attack. DeWitt blasted another homer, a three-run shot, over the left field fence in the bottom of the fourth. Chad Roth belted a three-run homer in the bottom of the second. Charlie Roth hit a solo inside-the-park home run in the bottom of the fourth.
After scoring twice in the bottom of the first, WSSFD took a double-digit lead in the bottom of the second. The team sent 15 batters to the plate during the frame and scored 10 runs to make it a 12-0 game.
Tim Fink and Nick Scheibe each had a two-run single in the inning. Following Chad Roth’s three-run blast, Devin Day ripped an RBI double to right-center field and Tim Pellam hit an RBI single.
WSSFD loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the third. But the team was unable to add its lead because of the Youngsville FD defense. Mike Black hit a little dribbler in front of the plate, which Youngsville FD catcher Ryan Bose fielded immediately. Bose then tagged out DeWitt, who was running toward home plate from third base.
However, WSSFD added to its lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. Charlie Roth’s inside-the-park home run and DeWitt’s three-run round tripper gave the team a 16-0 advantage.
An RBI single by Evan Austin and two-run triple by Charlie Roth in the bottom of the fifth allowed WSSFD to push its lead to 19-0.
WSSFD recorded its final run of the evening in the bottom of the sixth. With one out and the bases loaded, Tanner Austin singled to left field to bring Nick Scheibe in to score.
Despite trailing on the scoreboard for virtually the entire game, the Youngsville FD team members played with determination and grit. Those attributes helped the team break up the shutout in the top of the seventh.
With two outs and runners on first and second, Terry Davis ripped a single to left field. Jonathan McGibbon, who had been on second base, took off as soon as Davis connected with the pitch and scored Youngsville FD’s first run of the contest.
Unfortunately for Youngsville FD (0-7), it was unable to score any more runs as WSSFD pitcher Ryan Calkin caught a pop fly just seconds later to end the game.
One of the contest’s highlights was a WSSFD substitution which made for a nice family moment. In the top of the fourth inning, Kurt Scheibe entered the game as a defensive replacement for shortstop Josh Schwartz. Kurt Scheibe played that half inning next to his grandson Nick Scheibe, the team’s third baseman.
Nick Scheibe, a 15-year-old who will be a sophomore at Liberty Central School this fall, is one of three Cadet Firefighters with the WSSFD. The other two Cadet Firefighters are Evan Austin and Tanner Austin.
Ryan Barber is a Junior Firefighter with the WSSFD.