Temple Shalom Softball
Wednesday June 26 2019 
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Game of the Week

Week 5 Game of the Week

Samsel’s Railriders at Eusay’s Astros

10:20 am Field 9


This week’s Game of the Week matchup features two teams that started hot but have cooled off recently. The Railriders were unbeaten until this past Sunday when they were swept and the Astros have struggled a little since their 3-1 start. Two captains that battled for the division title last year look to be on the same course along with some other hefty competition in 2019. Both teams feature some veteran leadership and will lean on that in the dog days of summer. So, what does the always confident Samsel say about his squad?

“Our squad has gotten off to a great start to the 2019 campaign. The backbone has been our defense. Greg Ritter and Carlos Moran have been automatic up the middle. The no fly zone with Robert Reighter, Sam Dlott, Steve Nagel and rookie Erick Soeth have been in mid-season form roaming the outfield. Michael Barth is always consistent on the mound. Offensively we have a lot of experienced hitters throughout. Randy Ransom has been Mr. consistent at the plate leading the team in home runs and RBIs. Soeth has been a consistent contributor in the middle of the lineup. Ritter and Moran do what they do. Jeff Radanof has been huge for us early on as he is tied for 2nd on the team in RBIs. Other guys have come through in big moments with 2 outs to score some big runs late in games.”

Since everyone is aware who authors these segments, I will refrain from speaking in third person and offer my thoughts on my 2019 recruits.

In attempt to carbon copy the success of last year’s team, I followed the same blue print in some ways. Drafting great character guys for dugout chemistry and men that enjoy sharing the field together. The anchor to our team, I fell, is John Burke. In my opinion the best pure pitcher in the league and, by the way, swings a pretty steady stick in the leadoff spot. Matt Shwarts and Kelly Alexander man the middle outfield and JT Pierce plays a superb 3rd base. Former league ace Rick Leon has accepted a new role at 1st base and has held it down admirably. Surround those guys with awesome role players like Travis Olander, Turbo Golden and the best 12 in the league Lewis Zwick and you have a formula for success. Kelly Welton, Andy Williams and Greg Oetzmann all contribute to the team vibe and success.

So, about the upcoming showdown, what do the captains see ahead?

“This matchup looks to be a close one. The Astros are right in the mix a third of the way through the season and have had many close matchups within 3 runs. There are some dangerous hitters at the top with JJ, JT and Shwarts. Some of the other hitting numbers don’t add up with Alexander, Leon, and Williams all off to a slow start so we have to bring the focus knowing that those guys will turn it around at some point. Hopefully not against us but those guys can do damage and we have to be ready for anything. John Burke is one of the toughest pitchers to hit against but we are ready for the challenge. We dropped both games last week but will come back with a new focus looking to get back on track in the middle third of the season.” -Samsel

As for myself, I think that it will be a very tough contest. We will be missing Kelly Alexander and Lewis Zwick, so it will be up to the rest of the team to pick up the slack. Field 9 should make this one even more entertaining, especially since both teams finally get to enjoy a late start. They will put a lot of pressure on us defensively, so we will have to focus on making the routine plays and not give them extra outs. Offensively, we have to string together hits and the bottom has to set the table for the top. When we have struggled this season, it is usually when we don’t hit well and it bleeds over into the defense. However, with John Burke pitching, we always have a great chance to win.

As always, feel free to stop by to check out the action Sunday.



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