Bailey’s squad double bags victories en route to championship
The Bailey’s General Store’s softball team – the Baggers – have done what only one other team has done in Sanibel Softball League history: won two back-to-back games to win the post-season tournament.
What makes the win even more remarkable is the team’s average age: 66.5 years. When compared to the other teams in the league, whose overall average age 38, the Bailey’s Baggers seemed a long shot to win this contest of endurance. But they pulled off two remarkable upsets, defeating in their first round the second-seeded Great White Grill and in the finals the number one seed, the Beachview Rec’N’Crew.
“In the end, treachery and guile overcame youth and strength,” said team mastermind Jack Koc.
Jack’s devious plan dubbed, “Fresh Produce” was what spoiled the Great White Grill. It was a pickle of a game as the teams exchanged blow for blow. By the top of the seventh and final inning, the score was 10-10. Bailey’s scored a solid five runs that inning, thanks to the hitting of the father-son combo Harold “the Hammer” and Damon “the Destroyer” Law.
Then it was Great White’s turn to make one final attempt.
Needing five runs to tie and keep the game going, The Great White Grill (who won last season’s tournament) fatally let their Great White teeth bite into the bait set by Bailey’s.
In the midst of their great comeback, a Bailey’s outfielder lost a pop-up in the lights. The Great White player left the bag early trying to score – too late finding out it was a faint. The ball was caught and the runner was thrown out at third base to end the game in an exciting double play. Trickery overtook strength.
Final score: Bailey’s 15, Great White Grill 13.
In the other semi-final matchup, the number four-seeded Sanctuary Island Electric challenged the top-seeded Beachview Rec’N’Crew. Beachview took a quick and early lead that they kept for the entire game. With their high voltage style of game, Sanctuary Electric was starting to catch up when Beachview pulled out their secret weapon: the Surge Protector.
Corey Webb, of Beachview, hit a historic grand slam that left Sanctuary’s batteries dead. This grand slam will go down in Sanibel folklore as the first one ever in the post-season tournament.
Final score: Beachview 17, Sanctuary Island Electric 7.
The final contest between Bailey’s and Beachview is a story too epic to tell in mere words. It was an Iliad of the softball world – a timeless battle to be sung about for ages past. The gods themselves seemed to take sides in this struggle. Let it be said that there were heroics on all areas of the field. To name but a few, there was Deb Gleason, Luke Sweeney, John S., Matt Palfri, Harold Brunner, Billy Lees and many, many more than are listed here.
Entering into the game fired up, Beachview scored a quick 10 runs to Bailey’s one. It appeared that the final game was going to be a blowout.
Like the Iliad, it took an Odysseus and his Trojan Horse to penetrate the city walls of the Beachview’s nine-run lead. Jack Koc, ever crafty, again outwitted his opponents. This time the plan was called “Operation: Bakery.” Details of the plan have since been hidden from public view labeled “top secret” but widely speculated to involve some pounding and flattening. Whatever its ingredients, he turned Beachview into strudel. They went scoreless for the next four innings, allowing Bailey’s to take a 17-10 lead.
In one last desperate plunge, Beachview already with two outs, scored five runs with the tying run up to bat before finally falling low to the Bailey’s Baggers, veterans – and champions – of the diamond.