Wagner just misses in softball shutout bid

John Sherman
Sports Editor

Defensive plays help his cause

Greg Wagner, the master showman of the Edina 35 & Over Rec Softball League, was at his best last week at Van Valkenburg Park.

It’s almost impossible to throw a shutout in slowpitch softball, but he almost did it in a 12-1 victory over the Blade Runners.

Second baseman Jim Van Someren from the Dogs of Corn makes a spectacular defensive play from his knees during a 35 & Over Edina Rec softball game last week at Van Valkenburg Park. (Sun Current photo by John Sherman)
Second baseman Jim Van Someren from the Dogs of Corn makes a spectacular defensive play from his knees during a 35 & Over Edina Rec softball game last week at Van Valkenburg Park. (Sun Current photo by John Sherman)

Thanks to some good defensive plays, the Dogs were able to finish the game in five innings via the 10-run rule.

“Not a good night for the Blade Runners,” said Reverend Jon Good, the Runners’ all-star captain.
Wagner talked about his nearly perfect performance following the game.

“I mixed my pitches – some back spin here, some side spin there,” he said. “Our defense was alive and well.”

The best play of the night was made in the fifth inning by Dogs second baseman Jim Van Someren, who ranged to his right to knock down a ground ball. He then threw from his knees to nail the hitter at first base.

Dogs of Corn pitcher Greg Wagner is optimistic his team will win at least one game in the upcoming Edina Rec 35 & Over softball playoffs. (Sun Current staff photo by John Sherman)
Dogs of Corn pitcher Greg Wagner is optimistic his team will win at least one game in the upcoming Edina Rec 35 & Over softball playoffs. (Sun Current staff photo by John Sherman)

“That play sealed the victory,” said Van Someren. “I got my glove on the ball and I was able to track it down. Give credit to Greg … he was hot tonight.”

While the Dogs have had trouble winning this year, they appear ready for a playoff push.

“The goal now is to win the first playoff game,” said Wagner, who has struggled with an injury this summer.
“I tore up my quad,” he said after removing an elastic bandage from his leg. “But I’ll be ready for the playoffs.”

Wagner, who played with Bunny’s Bar & Grill for 12 years and shared in a lot of success with that franchise, said he likes playing for the Dogs of Corn.

“The whole purpose of slowpitch is to have fun,” he said. “If you’re not having fun, you’re not playing the game the right way.”

In another 35 & Over game last week, the Love Handles remained undefeated by clobbering the Bruce Avenue All-Stars 28-8.

There was a game within the game for the Love Handles as Scotty Christensen and Jason “Turbo” Sirek played their own version of Home Run Derby. After Christensen hit a 355-foot home run in the fifth inning, Sirek came to the plate.

“You won’t hit at as far as Scotty did,” a teammate chided.

Then Turbo sent the ball into orbit – a 360-foot shot that landed just beyond Christensen’s ball.

“Delay of game warning against the Love Handles,” said umpire Billy Moes. “We’re out of softballs!”

Bunny’s rallied behind Greg Roth’s three-run homer to beat C-Side 17-7.

The Cruisers edged the Unified Fielders 15-14, the L.B. Dirtbags dumped on Capstone 14-2 and Federated Insurance took down the Boys of Summer 22-17.

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