ALEXANDRIA, VA–Lightning struck twice – both figuratively and literally – on Wednesday evening as the Old Town Business Association won the annual softball game for the second time in a row at Eugene Simpson Park, dominating the Del Ray Business Association 22-13 after a lightning strike ended the contest in the bottom of the 4th inning. Old Town now leads the all-time series 2-1.
Many notable Alexandrians were in attendance, including Mayor Justin Wilson, who threw out the first pitch.
After that, the game began, pitting Del Ray Team Captain Bill Blackburn of Pork Barrel BBQ against Old Town Team Captain Trae Lamond of Chadwick’s, with the victor getting the opportunity to hoist the John Porter Cup, named after a former T.C. Williams Principal.
“Our team is hungry; we need to win,” said Blackburn before the game, “Hopefully the good guys will win, and we’ll bring the cup back to Del Ray.
Unfortunately for Blackburn, things didn’t quite pan out that way. Old Town was the first to bat and proceeded to get out to a hot start, establishing a commanding lead by scoring several runs in the top of the first. They looked unstoppable, making some great defensive plays and even crushing a few balls out of the park.
Though towards the end, Del Ray hit a home run of their own and slowly began inching back. However, they were just simply down by too much.
While all in good fun, the softball game didn’t come without a little controversy. After Del Ray batted in the first inning, Blackburn discovered that Old Town was pitching his players a training softball, which is much more difficult to hit far. He wanted an inning re-do, but this never came to fruition.
Who knows how the outcome might have changed if Blackburn’s request was granted, but when both teams decided to call it due to weather, the reality was that Old Town led by nine runs.
That’s when John Porter himself made an appearance, presenting the John Porter Cup, which was welded by Torpedo Factory artist Chris Erney, to Old Town.
“Weird finish with the lightning strikes,” said Lamond postgame, “But it just proves that God is on our side and Old Town’s number one.”
Right now, they certainly are, but will Del Ray bounce back next year? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.