Busch Leaguers ‘DeRailed’ in trying to repeat as CC Men’s Softball League champs
By John Burbridge
CHARLES CITY — If the record-setting Minnesota Twins played in the Charles City Men’s Softball League, they’d likely be bounced from the postseason bracket after two rounds.
Like Kung Fu in the UFC, hitting home runs in bunches doesn’t always work here.
The league employs a five-home run limit meaning that any ball hit over the fence after the fifth for a team during the course of the game is an automatic out.
When defending league champions the Busch Leaguers faced archrival DeRailed last Wednesday (Aug. 28) in a championship round rematch from last summer, hitting wayward home runs became an issue.
After 9 p.m., the night became unseasonably cool with much of the humidity from earlier in the day lifted out of the air.
That seemed to add carry to the balls hit into the air on Westwood Park’s East Diamond.
Contrary to Ty Cobb claiming that he could hit home runs like Babe Ruth if he wanted to, several members of the Busch Leaguers were clubbing home runs when they didn’t want to.
Like last year, the Busch Leaguers advanced to the championship round unscathed and needed to win one out of two games, while loser’s bracket survivor DeRailed needed to win both games.
Down by 6 runs going into the top of the seventh in the first game, the Busch Leaguers lost after making their second and third outs on over-the-limit home runs.
In the second game, the Busch Leaguers jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the first inning, but already hit four of the five allotted over-the-fence roundtrippers.
DeRailed eventually caught them, and by the time DeRailed ran out of homers, it had taken a 24-17 lead going into the final inning.
The Busch Leaguers managed to score only twice to cap a 24-19 final.
It wasn’t just saving home runs for their biggest bang that helped DeRailed win its second league title in four years. It was mainly the defense backing pitcher and team captain Cris Parker that paved the way.
DeRailed’s infield was particulary sharp with Brandon Rippentrop, Cade Schmidt and the father-and-son tandem of Casey and Jace Cajthaml repeatedly taking away hits while snaring hard drives with nifty glove work.
DeRailed’s Harley Johnson was named the tournament’s MVP.
Other members of DeRailed include Theo Arndt, Tad Barry, Trent Barry, Brock Dority, Seth Dority, Dan Farmer, Keaton Geertz, Cole Rausch and Dustin Rippentrop.