New Media Editor
Sixty first-year UVA Law students took to the diamond in the All-Star softball games at the Park on Wednesday, October 23. The night featured three games, with co-ed rosters for the first two games and an open game featuring the top 1L men in the final game of the night.
Game 1: Home 26, Away 8
The night kicked off with a trouncing of the away team, 26-8, who couldn’t find a presence on the mound to stop the home team. With the teams tied 5-5 after the first inning, the home team pulled away with eight runs in the bottom of the second. The home team took advantage of ten walks on the night. Max Baird ’22 went 4-for-4 with a home run in the second inning to lead the home team bats. Clair Reiling ’22 and Jack Tucker ’22 batted second and third in the lineup, respectively, and each reached first base five times. James Harper ’22 held down the mound for the home team, and contributed a triple in the second inning.
Marc Kilani ’22 doubled as the leadoff batter in the second inning for the away team, and CJ Collins ’22 sent him home with a two-run homer, giving the away team a 7-5 lead before the home team stepped up with 21 runs in the final three innings.
Game 2: Away 20, Home 9
In the second game of the night, the away team earned the victory, 20-9. Tallulah Tepper ’22 had a standout performance, pitching for the away team gave up just 11 hits and picked up two strikeouts. The away team racked up four runs in the first inning, including three off a home run by Will Scheffer ’22. The home team got one back in the bottom of the first, but the away team took a dominant lead with seven runs in the second. Leon Ebani ’22 extended the lead in the third inning for the away team with a three-run homer.
Michael Peña ’22 went 3-for-3 on the night for the home team. Trace Larabee ’22 pitched for the home team, and had a good hit down the right field line in the fourth inning, but a strong defensive play by Caroline Spadaro ’22 kept the home team from scoring. Ebani’s miraculous catch in left field in the bottom of the fourth was another defensive highlight for the away team.
“Y’all can keep playing, but let’s be clear that’s game.”
(Controversial) Game 3: Away 21, Home 19
The final game ended in controversy as umpire Ethan Silverman ’21 called the third out on a thrown bat (the second thrown bat by the same player, who was warned after the first instance that he would be called out if he threw the bat a second time). The call itself was not contested, but it abruptly stopped a comeback inning for the home team. The home team pled for the game to continue, but members of the away team exited the field, bringing an end to an entertaining game featuring stellar plays and high tensions.
“They left the field like they stole something. Didn’t even shake hands. Ian [Jones ’22] was probably exhausted after pulling the flop of the century at catcher after the tossed bat allegedly came a little too close to his ankles. Phil [Tonsesth ’22] was just pissed that it was a little too cold to wear a crop top to this game.” Nathan Wunderli ’22 said.
The home team took the lead after one inning, 4-3. Wunderli pitched the first inning for the home team, picking up a strikeout for the third out, then stepped up to the plate and sent the ball over the fence for the first homer of the game.
The away team took a permanent lead in the second inning after piecing together seven runs in the inning. Bolton Smith ’22 homered as the leadoff batter in the second inning, and seven other members of the away team earned hits. The home team cut the deficit to 10-7 with three runs in the bottom of the second.
The third inning featured a pair of solo home runs from Chris Leveroni ’22 and Nick Roberti ’22 for the away team, while the home team rounded home three times in the bottom of the third. Tonseth picked up back-to-back outs with catches in foul territory, helping to limit the comeback from the home team.
The away team carried their defensive momentum into the fourth inning, preventing the home team from rounding home after picking up another three runs of its own in the top of the fourth.
The away team pulled away with six runs in the top of the fifth. Tonseth and Kurt Swalander ’22 hit consecutive home runs to extend the away team’s lead to 19-10, and the away team took advantage of an error in the outfield, a single by Connor Day ’22, and a sacrifice fly from Leveroni for a 21-10 lead heading into the final frame.
The home team stepped up to the challenge, piecing together nine runs before the fateful call. The home team started with the top of the lineup as Paul Koltz ’22 tripled to left center, setting the tone for the inning. Wunderli sent him home with a double, and Niko Orfanedes ’22 cleared the bases with the two-run homer. With two outs, five more members of the home team crossed the plate, including two off a home run from Koltz. Trailing by two, with a runner on first, Silverman called the final out as the tossed bat hit Jones in his already injured ankle.
Despite the abrupt ending to the game, the open All-Star game featured impressive performances by the top 1L men. For the away team, Swalander hit for the cycle, changed from his Converses to cleats during the game, and showed off his stellar arm from left center field. For the home team, Wunderli notched a pair of home runs in consecutive appearances at the plate.
According to one NGSL source, the aftermath of the 1L All-Star games has been “entertaining.” Certainly, the All-Star games were entertaining for all who attended.