2017 Labor Day Classic
September 5, 2017
Each year the Dominican friars in Washington, D.C. celebrate Labor Day with a baseball game with the Marians of the Immaculate Conception. Br. John Paul Kern, O.P., reports on this year’s match.
The warm morning sunshine and steadily building heat on the softball field behind the Dominican House of Studies provided a fitting background for this year’s Labor Day Classic. This year’s contest featured an exciting slugging duel between the Dominican Friars and the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, which included no less than 5 home runs.
The Friars started the game with Br. Constantius Sanders pitching. Across the outfield, Br. Simon Teller, rookie Br. Juan Macias, veteran Fr. Thomas Davenport, and crowd-favorite Br. Isidore Rice provided solid defence. The Marians took an early lead scoring a single run after a few base hits. Br. Isidore Rice snagged a pop-fly to right field to bring the Friars up to bat.
For the Marians, Br. Matthew Tomeney took the mound. Br. Paul Clarke, recently returning from knee surgery, was the first Friar to cross the plate, being driven home by Br. Simon “Stellar” Teller’s sacrifice fly. Br. Juan Macias made solid contact and circled the bases quickly to bring home 3 runs with an high-energy inside-the-park homerun giving the Friars an early lead. However, umpire Br. Jordan Zajac insisted that the “quality of mercy is not strained” as he ended the inning by calling out Br. Barnabas McHenry for allegedly not making enough contact with first base.
On defense, the Friars infield also put on an impressive display. Br. Paul Clarke provided a steady glove at first base and veteran Br. Justin Bolger proved solid at second. The infield to the left of second base was a no-man’s land for Marian batters with veteran Br. Jonah Teller, at shortstop, and rookie Br. Maximilian “the Jabberwocky” Jaskowak, at third base, ferociously devouring ground balls. However, veteran college baseball player, Br. Tyler Mentzer of the Marians hit a 2-run homerun to deep left field to keep the Marians in the game.
Br. Jonah Teller, thriving upon this Marian resistance, was not to be outdone. Spurred on by the competition he smashed a home run of his own to left-center field, which was, in the words of DHS Student Master Fr. Andrew Hofer, “perfect”.
The Marians returned to the plate and strung together a series of base hits to prepare the way for Br. Tyler Mentzer’s second bomb of the game, cutting the Friars lead. In response, Br. Martin Davis drilled a base hit into the defensive gap with great analytical precision. Br. Juan Macias, cool under pressure, aimed for the fences with his Texas-sized bat and blasted his second 3-run homerun of the game, for which he was named this year’s Labor Day Classic MVP.
With the end of the game approaching, the Marians put forth a valiant effort. However, Br. Philip Nolan’s glove snagged Br. Tyler Mentzer’s deep hit just short of the tree-line to halt the Marian advance and secure the Friars’ ninth consecutive Labor Day Classic victory, 9-8.