By Francis Scarcella
The Daily Item
SUNBURY — A Sunbury police officer demonstrated his strength and speed in front of a large crowd at John Long Field on Saturday as the Sun City Celebs defeated the Y-106.5 Misfits 5-2 in a benefit kickball game that raised nearly $1,200.
Officer Brad Slack led the Sun City team to victory with a three-run inside-the-park home run in the bottom of the first inning.
"I was ready to play," Slack said. "I came prepared."
Coach and Northumberland County Commissioner Vinny Clausi didn’t disappoint the crowd as he and Snyder County Commissioner Peggy Chamberlain Roup staged a spat before the first pitch was rolled. A total of 10 teams participated in the Light Up the Sky Kickball Tournament.
"I just told her she needed to be fair," Clausi said. "I kept a close eye on her calls."
Roup didn’t pay much attention to the game or Clausi as the former Sunbury resident danced and cheered with the crowd.
"This was a great time," she said. "I enjoyed being here."
Clausi donated $500 to the Sunbury Fireworks fund, and that news made people clap.
"That was very generous, and we are very appreciative," Mayor David Persing said. "We were glad to have him here, and we are very thankful for what he contributed."
The game wasn’t as much fun for the Y-106.5 team, which was led by star player and radio personality Chad Evans.
"The coaching was terrible," Evans said. "The Sun City team, however, was the best team I ever played against."
The first inning saw Evans beat out a grounder to reach first and eventually score on an error by Sun City’s Slade Shreck.
The score was 2-0 when Sun City took control.
With runners Nikki Crize, of WNEP Newswatch 16, on first and Sunbury’s Ron Pratt on second, officer Slack stepped to the plate.
Slack railed the ball deep into the outfield and nearly caught up to Crize as he was rounding third on his way home.
Northumberland Mayor Len Zaboray pitched three shutout innings for Sun City.
"These guys all did a great job," said state Rep. Lynda Culver, a Sun City player. "What a fun time and a great way to show Sunbury pride."
This was the first event of its kind in Sunbury, and city intern T.J. Hertzog, a Susquehanna University student, who organized the event, was happy with the turnout.
"This is great," he said. "Everyone is having a great time."
According to Hertzog, the money received will be presented Monday night to city council.
As for the Y-106.5 team, let’s just say the day was long.
"We had fun," Evans said. "We would love a rematch."
Email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.