Howie Hanson: T-Bonz owns the Men's Senior D League
Three-time defending Men's Senior D champion T-Bonz/Curtis Oil, off to a 5-0 start, is the team to beat in Duluth's 25-and-over slow-pitch softball league. T-Bonz hammered Miller Lite/Mr. D's 20-4 in five innings Tuesday night at Wheeler, its fif...
Three-time defending Men's Senior D champion T-Bonz/Curtis Oil, off to a 5-0 start, is the team to beat in Duluth's 25-and-over slow-pitch softball league. T-Bonz hammered Miller Lite/Mr. D's 20-4 in five innings Tuesday night at Wheeler, its fifth consecutive 10-run rule win to begin the season. Earlier this spring, T-Bonz made a major statement with a 10-run win over last year's league playoff runner-up, Strikers/Miller. All but T-Bonz in the six-team league has at least two losses, and two teams have scratched out one win apiece.
T-Bonz "should be playing in the Classic League, they're that good," said
Bud Light/O'Gilbey's manager Jim Trachsel. "We've put together a pretty good team," said T-Bonz/Curtis Oil manager Tom Lundgren, who says Parks & Rec specialist Craig Smith, who supervises the adult leagues, told him following Tuesday's game "not to worry about the lopsided scores." Said Smith: "Could T-Bonz compete in the Classic League right now? Probably.
"But it's recreational softball, and if an individual qualifies by age to play in the league and follows city rules, then there is no reason for us to not allow him to play. If T-Bonz's scores remain lopsided, then the manager and I will perhaps make a mutually-agreeable adjustment in the best interest of the league for next season."
Here's a peek at the Senior D League -- T-Bonz's House -- in predicted order of finish:
T-Bonz/Curtis Oil (5-0) -- T-Bonz infielders SS Brian Hedin, 2B Tim Anderson and 3B Brian Carlson, pitcher Ron Allers and OF Justin Quade are league super-stars.
Bud Light/O'Gilbey's (3-2) -- Bud Light is the most mature team in the league, with an average age of about 50, according to Trachsel. "Most of the other teams in the league have an average age of under 40, so they don't ache like we do and they can see in the dark," said Trachsel. Shortstop Karl Butz, 3B Mel Anderson, OF Charlie Dammer, OF Jerry Pelkie, and 1B Pokey Trachsel are Bud's top players.
Strikers/Miller (3-2) -- Strikers has the best personnel in the league to give T-Bonz a game. First baseman Shane Wosmek, C Shawn Wosmek, SS Sinatra Peters, P Cliff Gagner and OF Ted Wolters are solid players, but Strikers sorely lacks depth. "We've gone with the same club for about 10 years," said manager Cliff Gagner.
Miller Lite/Mr. D's (3-2) -- Miller Lite won the league a couple times, says manager Ron Heurung, until T-Bonz started its run. "We're hoping to get back to the top," said Heurung. Miller's best players include SS Mike Stick, OF Travis Brown, OF Robert Anderson, 3B Jerry Hill and P Darrell Eckenberg.
Endzone (1-4) -- Endzone is a Superior-based team that has found a home in Duluth. "The Duluth league is better than we thought it would be, and the fields are nicer," said manager Shaun Monaghan. Endzone is led by 1B Shawn Oaing, SS Craig Morrisey, OF Craig Petzold, P Bill Lucas and LF Scott Marin.
Amsoil (1-4) -- Amsoil has joined the Duluth league after going undefeated in the Beacon league for the past two summers. "We're getting the competition we've been looking for," said manager Steve Samuelson. Top players include OF Norm Maciver, SS Kevin Smalley, P Chris Langlee, OF Charlie Nelson, DH Mark Olson and 3B Mike Severson.
Howie Hanson writes a weekly sports column for the Duluth Budgeteer News. He may be reached by telephone at 624-4189 or by e-mail at Howie@duluth.com .