Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Game that Almost Wasn’t – 9/20 vs. The Beestroyers

Zeb at the plate - no question in my mind he was "Player of the game" with 3 homers & 7 rbis!
When I showed up at Irving Park last Sunday—early as usual—for our game against the Beestroyers, I expected to watch some of the game between Yur’s Bar & the Pineapples; but what I found instead was a group of the Pineapples milling around, playing catch, & generally taking stock of a situation that included virtually no players from Yur’s Bar. Indeed, the 1:30 game had been a forfeit.

So what were the odds that our game would also be a forfeit? Slim, right? It was a beautiful late summer Sunday, perfect for a game of softball. Who wouldn’t want to come out on such a day? But in fact, as the time for our game drew near & the Underhanded Compliments gathered, we discovered that the Beestroyers didn’t have enough players, & weren’t sure enough would show up—in fact, they suspected strongly that they wouldn’t get the minimum eight players.

Lauren at the plate: a model of consistency & skill. 3 for 4 with 3 runs scored & 2 driven in.
Various options were discussed; we wanted to play, so at one point we agreed to a scrimmage that would involve loaning the Beestroyers a couple of our players. In addition, a player from the Syndicate had showed up very early for his 4:30 game, so the Beestroyers recruited him. & then, just as the forfeit was about to become a fait accompli, a couple of Beestroyers came to the rescue, & they had a nine-player team.
Mark at the plate: speaking of models of consistency--4 for 4 with 3 rbis!
The Beestroyers went down 1-2-3 in the top of the first, & Lauren started off the first for us with a single. Zeb—who had a monster day (& is having a monster season after 3 games!) rocked a homer to deep right field, & we were up two just like that. Matt singled, & then with one out, Bryce also hit a home run. Mark followed with a triple, but we were unable to bring him home. Still, we had a 4-0 lead after one.
Matt lamented that he had few rbi chances with all of Zeb's home runs, but he did go 2 for 3 & added a sacrifice fly the one time Zeb didn't homer!
The Beestroyers were able to answer however, as their first two batters reached base, & both ended up scoring. We were able to escape the inning without further damage though, in part because of a great catch made by Mark, ranging from his shortstop position well in to left field, to record the third out with two runners on base.
Kristina went 4 for 4 & scored 3 runs!
We really got our offense going in the bottom of the inning. Kristina, Emily H, & Rob led off with singles, the latter scoring Kristina. Nicole then drove Emily home on a fielder’s choice, & after a second out was recorded, we rallied in a big way. Zeb hit yet another 2-run homer, Matt tripled, Triffid singled him home, Bryce doubled, then Mark singled to score both Triffid & Bryce. Just like that we were up 11-2, & the Beestroyers went quietly in the top of the third.
If I could name two "Players of the game" Emily H would definitely be my choice along with Zeb - possibly her best game ever with the team. 3 for 4, 3 runs scored & an rbi! Really solid contact too!
The third turned out to be even a better inning for the Underhanded Compliments. Yours truly led off with a single, as did Kristina—& then Emily H smacked a liner to center for an rbi. Rob came through with an rbi double, & Nicole followed with a 2-run single. Lauren also singled, & then Zeb doubled to score Nicole. Matt hit a sacrifice fly to drive in another run with the inning’s first out, & then in succession, Triffid singled, Bryce doubled, & Mark singled; after a second out was recorded, yours truly came up again & drove in the ninth run with a single to center.
Nicole attacking the ball! Big 2-run single for her in the third, & a total of 3 rbis!
Having reached the run limit, we moved to the fourth inning, & the Beestroyers did score a single run. But we were back in business in the bottom of the inning as Kristina & Emily H started us off with singles, & Rob followed with an rbi double. With one out, Lauren hit a 2-run single, & then Zeb hit his third 2-run homer of the day! The amazing thing is the Beestroyers insisted on playing him at medium depth (at best) in right field, though the way those balls were crushed it wouldn’t have made much difference. Five more runs on the board & a 25-3 lead.
No matter where he bats in the order, Rob is an rbi machine! Really great addition to the club too, as he is willing & able also to play several positions in the field.
The Beestroyers did plate two runs in the fifth, but we matched that in the bottom of the inning as Bryce led off with a homer, followed by a double from Mark, who was then driven home by Emily K’s single. The Beestroyers were held scoreless in the sixth, & the game was called both for time & score. We won 27-5; you could say we "beestroyed the Beestroyers."
Emily K put on exclamation point on the proceedings with an rbi single in the fifth inning
The next three games are all against teams ahead of us in the standings: 9/27 vs. The Pineapples, who are also 2-1, though one of those wins was the forfeit by Yur’s Bar (which also means they’ve allowed fewer runs), then 10/4 & 10/11 against the two currently undefeated teams, & the Syndicate. Of course, one of those teams will have a loss after 9/27, because they’re facing off against each other in the 10:30 game!
Triffid was 2 for 4 batting clean up, with 3 runs scored & 2 driven in; & pitched a great game as always!

Next week: 9/27 vs. The Pineapples!

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