2017-11-09 / Sports

Brew Crew knocks off Rowdys in blowout to end dynasty

Softball league title game played last Thursday; big sixth inning leads to convincing victory
By MATT JOHNSON
Sports/Education Editor


The Brew Crew poses for a team photo moments after capturing the adult softball league 2017 championship. Shown in the top row, from left, are Levi Ellis, Dan McMonegal, Jeff Aranguena, Shelly Long, Megan Cullens and Jeremiah Bean; bottom, Autumn Hutchings, Jake Wackerman, Hanna Wackerman, Desire Leard, Anthony Leard and Shelby Dutra. 
Photo by Matt Johnson The Brew Crew poses for a team photo moments after capturing the adult softball league 2017 championship. Shown in the top row, from left, are Levi Ellis, Dan McMonegal, Jeff Aranguena, Shelly Long, Megan Cullens and Jeremiah Bean; bottom, Autumn Hutchings, Jake Wackerman, Hanna Wackerman, Desire Leard, Anthony Leard and Shelby Dutra. Photo by Matt Johnson There’s a new top dog in the recreational softball ranks of Mariposa County.

The Brew Crew staked its claim on the league title with a 19-9 win over the defending champions, Rowdys, last Thursday night. The game was held at the lower field of Mariposa County High School.

“I’ve got to give it up for our team, it’s an amazing team we have,” said Brew Crew team manager and shortstop Jake Wackerman. “When we all show up we have a pretty good squad. Good defense, good pitching.”

“We’re just getting warmed up,” added Brew Crew player Dan McMonegal.

Strong pitching from Jeff Aranguena and an airtight defense behind him kept the Rowdys from building momentum.

The game was close until the sixth inning.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Brew Crew took a firm grasp on the game and built a lead from which the Rowdys couldn’t recover. The Brew Crew scored 10 runs, with Shelby Dutra, Jeff Aranguena and Anthony Leard each posting 2-RBI hits.

Going into the top of the seventh inning, Rowdys trailed 19-4, but wasn’t going to go down without a fight.

Rowdys outfielder Josh McClure notched his first hit of the night with a 2-RBI double to get things rolling. The Rowdys posted five runs in the inning but it wasn’t enough.

“The Rowdys are amazing,” Wackerman said. “They know how to play hard. We just had a better day.”

Longtime Rowdys member Jon Fluharty reflected after the game on the end of his team’s dynasty. The Rowdys have won multiple titles in recent league history and have been feared throughout the league.

“We still say it’s 10 to two in our favor, but they got it when they counted,” said Fluharty, referring to the Rowdys owning the all-time series lead at 10 wins to 2.

The Rowdys went undefeated in the regular season and beat the Brew Crew twice, but in the playoffs, Brew Crew flipped the script and took two games against the Rowdys. Even if the Rowdys had won Thursday’s game, they would have had to play against the Brew Crew again on Tuesday, because the tournament was double elimination format, and the Brew Crew had not lost a game in the playoffs.

“They got it when it counted,” Fluharty said. “I give them all the props in the world for that.”

Fluharty explained one of the differences between the regular season and the playoffs is that his team was shorthanded. The team was missing Justin Kleinsmith, one of its strongest players.

“It made an effect,” Fluharty said. “It was just things that didn’t work out for us. Honestly, Brew Crew played a great game. ... I’m really happy for them.”

Fluharty said it is now a rivalry.

“We play ball with those guys a lot so we’ve got a rivalry,” Fluharty said. “We’ll be right back with them next year. ... We’ll see where it goes from here.”

Fluharty said he still feels the Rowdys are the “strongest team.”

It was the first championship for the Brew Crew and it was the third season the team has been in the league. The Brew Crew is sponsored by 1850 Brewing Company and West Coast Organix.

The league is a program of Mariposa County Parks and Recreation.

Rowdys 020 110 5 - 9
Brew Crew 500 22(10) x - 19

Matt Johnson is Sports and Education Editor of the Mariposa Gazette and can be reached at matt@mariposagazette.com.

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