John Chubb bought the champagne a few days ago, just in case.
The Slugs had notched 299 wins since they began playing softball at Chautauqua Institution over three decades ago, and Chubb knew his team was on the verge of a milestone. With their 21-9 win over the Arthritics Friday, the Slugs made history.
“[For] two years, we were like, ‘Maybe we can make it next season.’ And then we didn’t make it last year, but we made it to 299,” Chubb said. “We haven’t been here for all 300 [wins], but we’ve been here since game one.”
The milestone win didn’t come easily, as the Slugs had to rally twice against an Arthritics team that refused to go away. Taking advantage of some defensive errors in the first inning, the Arthritics grabbed the early lead, before an RBI triple from Nate Chubb helped stake the Slugs to an advantage they would maintain until the middle innings.
John Chubb said playing with his son only made the victory more special.
“He’s a great player,” Chubb said. “I hope I get a few more years playing with him.”
The Arthritics looked to land the knockout punch late in the game, with a big inning punctuated by a home run from Andrew Zachry, who was optimistic in assessing his team’s performance.
“We come from the four corners of the globe. We have many different parts, no prosthetics that I know of; the Arthritics are a million-dollar team made up of million-dollar men,” he said. “We’re pulling together one piece at a time and one stitch at a time.”
Despite falling behind late, John Chubb’s double helped a spark a big inning for the Slugs, who would retake the lead and never look back as they cruised to their 300th win.
Also Friday, the Pounders overwhelmed the YAC PAC in the nightcap, cruising to a 18-6 win behind the pitching of Erik Tarr, who didn’t reveal much about the reason for his team’s success.
“We played well,” Tarr said. “[We] could improve.”
Playing in front of a large contingent of family and friends, the Pounders were led on offense by Rob Burgess, who lashed a home run and double to give his team plenty of breathing room in this one.
YAC PAC hurler Skyler Zarou said his team’s pregame routine may have contributed to the heavy defeat.
“We showed up two minutes before the game with no batting practice and without throwing the ball in months,” he said. “We hadn’t thrown since last summer.”
Chautauqua men’s softball league will continue tonight, as the YAC PAC take on the Slugs at 5 p.m. at Sharpe Field before the Pounders battle the Arthritics in the nightcap.