Monday, April 28, 2008

Gross twins wreak havoc on league

Sun Prairie manager Scott Knorr almost had to suit up and play at Sunday’s Home Talent League Eastern section opening day game at Marshall. In fact, Knorr didn’t even get the chance to hit the usual infield practice to his players before the game was about to begin. He, himself, had to take some grounders at second base in case he had to play.

Fortunately enough, a ninth player showed up minutes before the opening pitch. There was no need to sweat, though. Knorr had the Gross twins, Adam and Aaron, with him all along. Combined, they almost account for three players.

Considered as two of the better players in the Home Talent League, the Gross brothers have been terrorizing opponents for years. They both pitch. Aaron’s a lefty, Adam’s a righty. And one will often enter the game in relief of the other.

And it’s not like they sit in the dugout when they’re not pitching. They’ll play some combination of outfield or first base when they’re not on the mound.

They would end up losing the opening day game, but that marked Marshall player/manager Todd Grossman’s first win versus Sun Prairie in 13 years of Home Talent play.

“They both throw really well,” said Grossman. “They’re very accurate, and they keep you on your toes. They’ll throw you inside, outside, up and down. They keep you unbalanced as a hitter. But they’re going to throw strikes. You just have to hit it. They’re one of the tougher ones in the league. And they’re good hitters too.”

It wasn’t that long ago that the Gross twins led Sun Prairie to a league title. Knorr was lucky enough to be coaching Adam and Aaron back in 2005 when they won it all. And he probably couldn’t have done it without them.

“Adam definitely was (one of the better players in the league) the year we won it,” explains Knorr. “He was probably one of the top five pitchers in the league if not the top.

“That year (Aaron) was our backup. Last year he was our primary because Adam was hurt. But Aaron is very capable. He would be a starter on a lot of teams.”

Success is something they’re used to. Even before they started playing amateur baseball, they led Sun Prairie to a state championship back in high school.

But the days of the Gross brothers making a menace to the rest of the league might come to an end sooner rather than later. Don’t be fooled, they’re still very capable. It’s just that they’re 28 years old, and they’re both fathers now. And they’ve got that Home Talent title under their belts to help them rest easy. There’s no unfinished business to take care of.

At least for the moment being, teams like Marshall will still be worrying about how to attack the Gross twins.

“I feel like I can still play at a competitive level,” said Adam.

“I feel that I don’t want to hang it up until I can’t be competitive anymore,” echoed Aaron, “and until I see that there’s young guys that need to be playing more.

“We don’t have too many young ones yet, though. I’m starting to worry. I ain’t getting any younger,” laughed Aaron as he realized he might have to be sticking around a little bit longer.

That’s bad news for the rest of the Home Talent League.

Pictured: Adam Gross

Photo credit: Brian Carriveau

No comments: