Labor Day Softball 2015
September 8, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Perseverance. That was the word used by Br. Ignatius Weiss to capture the tone of the student brothers’ 2-1 victory over the Marians of the Immaculate Conception in the 2015 Labor Day Classic softball game. The MICs quickly put to rest any chance of pitcher Br. Jordan Zajac’s extending his history of shutout innings against them, scoring in the first off of a leadoff triple and a dropped flyball. The Dominicans answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the first. Player-manager Br. Jonah Teller hit a ball down the right field line for a triple and Br. Thomas Davenport brought him home with a hard groundball. That would be all of the scoring for a long stretch of innings, as both teams struggled to get going offensively. The MICs threatened to score in the third and fifth innings, but the OP side was bailed out by the glove of the game’s MVP, Br. Dominic Bouck, who turned double plays in each of those innings to stop the opposing rallies. In the seventh inning it looked as thought the friars might take the lead, when, with Br. John Mark Solitario on first, Br. John Paul Kern hit a drive into the right-center gap, sending Solitario around the bases. The throw to the plate by the MIC outfielder was on target, however, and umpire Br. Humbert Kilanowski called the runner out, a call that was upheld after Teller came onto the field to question, more or less respectfully, Kilanowski’s judgment. Teller refused to discuss the details of the exchange, and Kilanowski did not field questions from the press. The turning point of the game came in the bottom of the eighth, with the score still tied 1-1. Fr. Vincent Ferrer Bagan arrived on the sidelines and advised Teller, “Encourage them to do well this inning.” Br. Thomas Martin Miller promptly cooperated, smashing a single to left. Two batters later, Br. Justin Bolger sent Miller to second with his second hit of the game, and after a flyball to right from Teller was dropped, the bases were loaded with the friars’ cleanup hitter, Br. Thomas Davenport, at the plate. Davenport did not disappoint, and his second RBI of the day sent Miller across the plate. Asked later about the effect that his words had on the team, Fr. Bagan replied, “I merely encouraged them with the encouragement by which I myself was encouraged.” One could suppose that a possible source of that encouragement came from Br. Peter Gautsch, who had set up a keyboard on the sidelines and kept up the energy of the crowd and players with a stream of ballpark music throughout the game. While the MICs put a man on base to start the ninth, they were unable to bring him around to score, as Br. John Mark Solitario, relieving Zajac, set down the next three batters in order. The final out of the game was made by first-year brother Reginald Hoefer, and two hours and fifteen minutes after it began, the Labor Day Classic ended with the friars victorious.
Image: Br. Jordan Zajac, O.P., Starting Pitcher.