It isn’t often that someone has a chance to go back in time.
But that happened for Tim Wood on the last night of the Edina Men’s Rec Softball 35 & Over League playoffs Aug. 7 at Van Valkenburg Park.
Before the championship game, Wood, the team captain for the Metropolitan Ford Mustangs, participated in the Edina Softball Hall of Fame ceremony as one of the speakers. He was asked to say a few words about his father, Dave Wood, who was inducted that evening along with past greats Mike Fricke and Dick Higgins.
Tim Wood recalled how he used to watch his dad play softball back in the 1970s and 1980s. He saw his dad hit and pitch, and he wanted to be like him someday.
In the 35 & Over championship game, the outlook was bleak for the Mustangs, when they fell behind Bunny’s Bar & Grill 20-9 after four and one-half innings. Wood knew his team had to score at least two runs just to keep going, but by the time the bottom of the fifth ended, Metropolitan Ford had scored 13 runs to take a 22-20 lead.
Eight more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning ended the contest, 30-20, and as fate would have it, Tim Wood scored the winning run.
“We rallied big,” Wood said after the game. “We were this close [holding his fingers an inch apart] to being 10-runned. Half an hour later, we 10-runned them.”
In the memorable fifth inning, Metropolitan Ford played long ball with Ryan Koepp and Mark Blozis hitting three-run homers. Earlier in the game, Eric Bjorgaard hit a three-run homer.
Blozis’ bomb was the knockout punch for the Mustangs. His high drive to left-center hit just below the lights, and the clank against the 60-foot-high pole was the only thing that prevented the ball from landing 420 feet from home plate.
In the bottom of the sixth, already at their home run limit, the Mustangs hit a series of singles and doubles to reach the 10-run rule.
Captain Bryan Fricke of Bunny’s was expecting to win the game, especially when his team led by 11 runs, but he understood how the Mustangs got it done.
“They were able to stay the course when we took the big lead,” Fricke said. “This one hurts, but at the same time, Metropolitan Ford earned it. Tim Wood is an incredible leader.”
Bunny’s used its home run limit with blasts from Josh Ruble, Kevin Fricke and Greg Roth. Despite the fact there were 50 runs scored in the contest, there were a number of excellent defensive plays.
Earlier in the evening, Bunny’s earned the right to play in the championship game by defeating their arch rivals, the Love Handles, 17-11.
Bunny’s big inning was a seven-run third, when Roth hit a two-run homer and Bryan Shoop followed up with a two-run triple.
Steve “Bubba” Black hit a home run in the top of the fourth for the Love Handles to close Bunny’s lead to 10-5, and then in the top of the fifth, the Love Handles tied the score 10-10.
Bunny’s scored six times in the bottom of the fifth, and that was all the breathing room they needed.
Shortstop Scotty Bantz hit a home run for the Love Handles and also made several outstanding plays in the field.
The Mustangs ran the table with a 13-0 record in league play, plus playoffs.
Follow the Sun sports writers on Twitter @MNSunSports and on Facebook at facebook.com/SunSportsStaff.