—submitted by Keith Richey
The 20th Annual Rich-Mich Softball Game was held at St. Luke’s School on Sunday, September 24th. Playing for the Michno Marauders were Roger Bolton, Jim Cullinane, Landon Hafen, Jim Petrus, Luke Tashjian, Kevin Wilder, Charlie Woodman and captain Tim Michno. For the Richey Recidivists were George Benington, Doug Dooley, John Fulkerson, Rick Kilbride, James O’Hora, Chas Timberlake, David Woodman and captain Keith Richey.
This once a year men’s softball game has become a New Canaan tradition. The teams are picked at random from those weekend (also weakened) warriors who show up to see if they still have the right stuff, generally local men in their 40s to 60s.
It was a back and forth contest, with the Marauder’s building an early 3-0 lead, which they surrendered and were down to the Recidivists up by as much as 11 to 4 at the bottom of the fourth inning behind the strong pitching of Dooley. The Recidivist’s made a pitching change and the Marauder’s jumped all over the relief pitcher, Woodman, with an eight-run rally in the fifth inning.
The Recidivists were holding on to a slim 15-13 lead when they collected five insurance runs to take a 20-13 lead in the top of the last inning. The Marauders scored two runs in the final frame and had men on base but their rally was cut short when Kilbride caught a line drive and then threw quickly to first, catching a runner off base, to complete a double play and end the game.
For the Marauders, Bolton hit several line drives including one deep left field blast that went off Richey’s glove for a triple; Petrus and Tashjian both hit home run bombs, with Petrus crossing home plate before the right fielder could even reach his ball. Charlie Woodman, in addition to pitching for much of the game for the Marauders, had numerous hits. Cullinane, Wilder, Landon and Michno enjoyed solid hitting but every time it seemed that the Mich squad was about to have a big rally, it was cut short by a double play.
The Recidivist’s had contributions from the entire line up with timely hitting by Fulkerson, Dooley, Benington, and Richey.
Lefty O’Hora went 6 for 6, Kilbride had 5 RBIs and scored 4 times, Timberlake drove in 4 runs, and David Woodman hit a home run just fair down the left field line with two men on base.
The defensive effort was led by Timberlake and Fulkerson, each catching a number of fly balls. Left fielder Richey made a running catch of another deep Bolton line drive and then tagged out a runner caught off base to complete an unassisted double play.