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Total Team Effort Propels Brewers to 60+ Title Over Colt 45's in Austin Metro

Austin Metro Baseball League, 60+ Division

Austin Brewers 14, Colt 45’s 10

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

Once in a while passion flies at you like a rocket and Jeff Latimer, manager of the Austin Brewers of the Austin Metro Baseball League, loves his team and his players and wanted to make sure they were all recognized in their wonderful championship story. Yes, this championship feature is way too long but to edit it would be discrediting Jeff’s intention so I left it alone…word for word, player by player.  Whether you are a player on Jeff’s team, a fellow Austin league member or grandma in another state, please enjoy Jeff’s personal insight.  I certainly did.

Submitted by Jeff Latimer, Brewers manager: in his own words

The 60+ Brewers outlasted those pesky Colt 45's in a winner take all contest at Anderson High School after torrential rains had flooded the field the night before. But thanks to the gallant efforts of commissioner Mike Lucas and his crew, somehow the field was playable by 10 AM. It turned out to be a yo-yo affair with the Brew Crew jumping out to sizable leads only to have the 45's answer each rally with one of their own:

Gerald 'Accessory' Smith got the start on the bump as he threw everything he had at the 45'ers including his prized football, tennis racket, and metal batting implement. When he departed the Crew held on tenuously to a 5-5 tie. Gerald also went two for three at the plate in his best game of the season.

John 'Don't call me Johnny' Durfor again donned the "tools of ignorance" and turned in another memorable performance behind the plate. He juggled the four pitchers the Crew had cobbled together in the noticeable absence of Ray El Toro Amaro. Durfor was brilliant blocking and picking so many errant tosses he finally just came out in hockey goalie gear for the last inning. His arm also kept the Colts running game in check and he contributed at the plate.

Ken 'Satts' Satterle also turned in his finest performance of the season in this reporters eyes as he initially stabilized the infield at first. He doubled and lengthened the Crew's five run first inning outburst eventually coming around to score. This was followed by a game saving stint on the mound as he battled and kept the 45'ers from taking the lead as they flailed at his off speed offerings. He then manned the hot corner and snagged Fletch's shot down the line, calmly righting himself, and firing a blue BB to Latimer at second for the game’s final out.

Latimer the 'Penguin' at second, with only memories of his better days, gets credit for actually fielding this fine squad and making out the lineup. He also coached third base. And he got to pinch run where he stumbled into the final out of the first inning. Mainly he gets credit for getting out of the way of the Big Blue Brew Crew.

Richard 'Snake Bit' Sladecek started at third and laid down a perfect bunt loading the bases in the first inning. He came around to score in the five run first for the Crew. But then he was injured in a collision at third. He will see his MD this Wednesday afternoon. Maybe we can buy him a beer afterwards. Meanwhile, Richard returned to the book where his contributions have been invaluable this season, in addition to his flashes of brilliance on the field. 

Steve 'Mr. Intangible' Gillis graced us with his presence once again initially at short. He was 3 for 3 at the plate with a walk and scored four runs. We won by four. Need more be said? Well, yes, actually since he again anchored the infield and then came in to pitch and record the final three outs of the contest thus saving the game. Not bad for a morning's work. Steve has been inspirational on both of the teams I have been fortunate to coach in this league.

Ray 'Ray' Lorio also careered in left field. When he wasn't covering his domain like a late afternoon shadow, he was going 3 for 4 with three runs scored and a key two out double in the third plating two runs in the process. As mentioned, Ray swooped in on a shot to left and took it in stride to get us out of a tight spot. Almost as important, he alertly tagged up at third on a fly ball to left and scored easily ...! Old dogs can learn new tricks! Just kidding, Ray. You played a great game. 

Not to be outdone, Johnny 'Paycheck' Kauffroth proved invaluable covering center, third base and finally short stop, seemingly at the same time. He also went 4 for 4, scored three runs and stole more bases than Ty Cobb. Not to be outdone, Johnny also came in relief of Satts and baffled the Colts with his Ephis curve ball which seemed to drop in from the heavens. Johnny has been such a consistent / brilliant player this season that his hat no longer fits on his head. Wait, Johnny...where is your hat, glove, bat, gear...? Just kidding.

Once again, filling in for us in right field, was our reliable Indian, Randy 'Steady'  Alexander. Despite not a lot of action in right, Randy did move to center where it was also pretty quiet. This may have been a function of our pitching, but I suspect the wood bats and our age contributed. Be that as it may, Randy came up in the top of the fifth in a tight spot. Tied 10 - 10, Russo had reached and stole second. Randy then laid down a perfect swinging bunt to short which eluded the fielder and allowed Russo to take third. They then both scored providing the Crew their winning margin.

Ray Amaro, who is otherwise known as 'EL Toro' for his propensity to run full speed into backstops in pursuit of pop foul balls. Fortunately, he has his catcher's gear on but not always his helmet. Despite this he has no signs of CTE, so far. He is also a durable starting and relief pitcher despite his partial knee replacement. This has cut down on his range at third but not on his will to win. Ray also has considerable power at the plate. He coaches three sports at a local high school. 

Clark Charbonnet was only able to grace our team for several games early in the season. He was selected for his workmanlike skills in left and at the plate, but mainly for his omnipresent smile and accompanying great disposition. Clark moved back to NOLA but has promised us great places to dine when we are in Louisiana. He also left a case of Tobasco sauce for post game parties.

Deric Mann fancies himself as a first baseman and has three such gloves to prove it. Trouble is at times he has flash backs to his football days. But there were no significant collisions this season. Deric also is a steady force at the plate and has almost learned to run the bases within the rule book. He is the most improved player, every year.

Sam 'Sudden Sam' Park is no doubt the hardest working player in MSLB. Besides his daily conditioning drills, he is at the batting cages working on all aspects of his game several days a week. As an avowed left hander, his repertoire includes an uncanny ability to bunt the ball wherever and whenever he desires. He can also hit sharply to all fields. He is a crafty LHP, but can play anywhere you need him. Throw in great base running and you have a complete baseball player.

Last but not least was our 'Lucky Leprechaun', Robert Russo. Russo patrolled right field and "was (once again) just happy to be out there". Apparently the baseball gods wanted to reward him as he smacked a solid single to left to open the final frame. He then stole second with his deceptive speed and quickness and "I got a good jump". This he learned watching the Yankees of the early sixties and then honed as a Baylor Bear over forty years ago. So he's now on second as Randy placed his perfect swinging bunt. Not content to be in scoring position, Russo broke for third somehow eluding multiple tags in the process. It was like he was spinning on a bugie board. Now safely hugging third, Russo scored the eventual winning run one batter later.

I just want to say a few things. First, as great as you guys played, the Colt 45's answered every challenge until the fateful last inning. They were indeed a worthy opponent and pushed us to the limit. Second, this is the first team I have coached (and only the second I have played on) that actually won their league here in the AMBL. I have played off and on for 22 years. This was the first year for the Brewers, but this team was actually a compilation of Bob Evelith's Padres, Tony's Diamondbacks, and Mike Harm's Riverdogs. They all played a role here.

This is a big deal to me and I thank everyone for hanging in their despite injuries and schedule conflicts and umpires who did not always see things our way but whom were doing the best they could. As Satts fired that final perfect throw to me at second, it seemed to be in slow motion. I squeezed it and stepped on the bag. It might have been the only thing I did right all day...jL

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