Bo Jackson would have had a hard time keeping up with several players in this weekend's County Senior Softball Tournament.
Many of thelocal participants in the second annual tournament played the role of journeymen -- switching uniforms between innings to play in two different age brackets.
Thus the three-day event at Upton Park ran behind schedule, with some games being delayed for as many as two hours.
"We knew that with all of these guys running around playing in different age brackets, it would kind of put some games behind," said Dan Sider, coach of Danny's 55-and-over team of Pasadena.
"It made playing this tournament a little harder than expected," said Helen Goetzke, coach of the60-and-over Virginia Raiders. "We only had four teams in our age bracket to start with, and one of those teams (the Dundalk Seniors) dropped out because they had too many injuries."
In such a grueling tournament, injuries were just as normal as fly balls and double plays.
"I'm hurting like hell, but it seems like whenever game time rolls around, something magical happens," said Bill Prunkl, who pitched 14 games for Spindlers 50-and-over and Danny's 55-and-over squads during the tournament.
"I don't know exactly what it is. I guess the adrenalin starts pumping so much, that you seem to forget about the aches and pains."
Capturing a championship can also go a long way insoothing away the nagging bumps and bruises, as Prunkl (2-for-3) ledDanny's to a 6-4 triumph against the Virginia Gentlemen of Fairfax, Va., the defending regional and national champions.
Danny's manufactured three runs in the first three innings to take a 3-0 lead. A sacrifice fly by slick-fielding shortstop Hal Greer scored Earl Orme, Bunky Helwig singled in Art Ehlers and Frenchy LeTan singled in courtesy runner Orme.
The winners continued their domination through thetop of the sixth, stretching their lead to 6-0 on the strength of a sacrifice-fly RBI by Bill Criss and pinch-hitter's George Sutton single, which brought in Ehlers. Hal Greer had crossed the plate earlier in the inning when LeTan reached first on an error.
The Gentlemen made a ferocious comeback bid in the bottom of the sixth, registeringfour runs on five singles and an error. A double play put a damper on the rally.
Goetzke, the tournament's lone female coach, led Virginia's other entry, the Raiders, to a 7-6 championship victory over Penn Hills of Pittsburgh.
After the Raiders raced out to a 3-0 leadin the top of the first inning, Penn Hills knotted the contest in the bottom.
With the Raiders already ahead, 4-3, in the third, Moe Foglio crunched a three-run homer to give the Raiders a 7-3 lead.
"I don't know if we're coming back here next year," a smiling Goetzke said. "We don't want to jeopardize our win streak. Maybe we should quit while we're on top."
The 50-and-over championship game started after The Anne Arundel County Sun's deadline.