One of San Marino’s oldest traditions turned another page on Monday evening when the Barristers jumped in front of the Dirty Dozen with an early barrage of runs, then held on for a 20-9 victory and their third consecutive championship of the Lacy Park Softball League. Depending on who you ask, the annual rite of summer is 71 or 72 years old and may have begun as early as 1938, making it as difficult to pin down as Zsa Zsa Gabor’s age (which is 99, reportedly).
What we know for sure is the Barristers battered the basepaths early, taking a 10-4 lead in the bottom of the 3rd inning on a home run by Kyle Ezold and an RBI single by Joy Flores.
Ezold, San Marino’s School’s record holder in the 400-meter dash and a PAC-12 performer at Cal, seemingly took five strides to circle the bases.
After retiring the Dirty Dozen in order in the top of the 4th, the Barristers were right back at in the bottom of the frame, scoring 10 more runs to take a 20-4 advantage.
The Dirty Dozen woke up in the bottom of the frame, adding three runs to get to within 20-7. To further challenge the Barristers, they inserted pitcher Tori Simper, who never let an opponent get past first base the rest of the evening.
At the plate, Simper doubled home Jim Wagner and Chandler Caldwell added an RBI single, but the Dirty Dozen could only get to within 20-9 and the Barristers had their third consecutive title.
The Dirty Dozen’s Kevin Gute made the defensive play of the game on a sensational diving catch in center field. Barristers’ second baseman Joy Flores was a close second with an over-the-shoulder nab in short center.
The championship game wrapped up a week-long playoff series during which the Barristers had to avenge a loss to the Dirty Dozen last Thursday.
“Lacy Park softball is always so much fun,” said the Barristers’ Allison McCroskey, who played for the Lady Titans during her years at SMHS. “It ’s fun to come out and play with such a fun group and it’s especially fun to win at the end of the day.”
Alex Varga made headlines in his senior year of 2007 when he blasted a walk-off homer to defeat Temple City at McNamee Field. Varga hit a few more during the recently completed softball campaign.
“It has been a ton of fun playing in the Lacy Park league over the years and the championship is just a bonus to getting to enjoy playing with and against a great group of people,” said Varga. “It’s great meeting and staying connected with other San Marino High School grads from a wide range of years.”
The win might have felt bittersweet to fellow 2007 grad Kirk Pastre, who will soon be relocating to New York City, where a teaching job awaits.
“This win is truly a testament to our team’s commitment to continuously reinventing ourselves to maintain a competitive squad in my nine years playing in the league,” said Pastre.
For Pastre, it’s a case of déjà vu all over again.
“Mr. [Greg] Forgatch coached me as a 10-year-old and his intensity definitely hasn’t wavered with time,” said Pastre, of the Barristers’ manager who has been at the helm since 1988.