Monday, November 23, 2015

Four-in-One Extravaganza! 10/11-11/8 vs The Syndicate (twice!), Pitch Please, & Yur’s Bar

The team at County Cork Pub after the championship game - left side: Bryce, Emily H, Triffid; Nicole in the back; right side: Mark, Kristina, Emily K; front & center: my cap
Needless to say, I’ve dropped the ball on the blog at the end of the season. Life really intruded on things in October & early November, & I just never seemed to have the time to do the game write-ups. Since doing the equivalent of a one-page write up on four games combined would make for a very long post, I’m going to hit just the highlights. But I do have a surprise for you at the end I hope you’ll all enjoy!
Lauren at bat vs The Syndicate on 10/11 - exceptional game on defense & 2 base hits
October 11th saw the Underhanded Compliments against The Syndicate. It was the fourth time we’d faced them in two years, & we were hoping to improve on a 0-3 record against this really formidable team. & indeed, after holding them scoreless in the first, we jumped out to a 3-0 on a lead-off single by Lauren, a home run by Zeb, & then a double by Matt who was driven in with two outs on a clutch base hit by Rob. The Syndicate scored twice in the top of the second, but we matched that as Mark led off with a triple, Steven hit a sacrifice fly, & Jessica & Lauren followed with singles. Again with two outs, a clutch hit by Matt scored Jessica. But then the wheels came off the bus—The Syndicate scored 9 in the top of the third, & we never got back in the game, despite a 5-run bottom of the 7th to make the final score 18-12. In truth, it really wasn’t that close. But there were some noteworthy performances even in the defeat: Lauren played a remarkable game in left field; Zeb went 3 for 4 with 2 home runs, & Matt was 4 for 4 with a single, 2 doubles, & a triple.
Zeb on 10/11 vs The Syndicate: 3 for 4 with 2 home runs!
Matt on 10/11 vs The Syndicate: 4 for 4 day!

One week later the playoffs began, & we drew Pitch Please, an indy team that had some familiar faces & that I knew could present a formidable offense. & in fact Pitch Please jumped out to a 3-0 lead, while we were held scoreless in the first two innings. But in the third we took a four run lead on a walk by Cameron, a single by Kristina, an rbi double by Matt, & then a huge 3-run homer by Emily K. Pitch Please scored 2 in the top of the 4th to retake the lead, but the bottom half was our inning! Our first four batters reached base: Rob doubled, Triffid doubled him home, yours truly walked, Mark had an rbi double, Nicole an rbi ground out, Cameron walked, Kristina had an rbi ground ball, Zeb had a 2-run single, & Matt a 2-run homer. The game stayed close though, as Pitch Please scored 4 in the 5th, & we answered with only one—a solo homer by Bryce. Pitch Please came back with 2 in the top of the 6th to make the score 12-11 us, but we had a big inning coming up: Nicole & Cameron singled, Zeb hit an rbi double, Matt drove in 2 more with another double, & then Bryce finished the scoring with a 2-run homer! We held Pitch Please scoreless in the 7th, & we were on to the next round—in a game against The Syndicate that started immediately afterwards!
Rob had himself quite a day on 10/18! 6 for 8 on the day, including a 2-run homer vs The Syndicate & also a clutch lead off base hit in the 8th inning of that game
Cameron scored 3 runs on 2 walks & a base hit vs. Pitch Please, then hit a home run & a big extra inning sacrifice fly vs The Syndicate!
Things didn’t look good for the Underhanded Compliments in the opening innings! The Syndicate held us scoreless & put up 5 runs in the 1st. We did score 2 in the 2nd on a double by Bryce & a homer by Rob, & then add a single run in the 3rd on a solo homer by Cameron, but The Syndicate added 4 runs in the bottom of the 3rd to take a 9-3 lead. Once again we managed a single run in the 4th on singles by Rob, yours truly, & Mark, but the Syndicate added another run in the 5th to go up 10-4.
Matt was 3 for 5 in our big game against The Syndicate (following a 3 for 4 vs Pitch Please)
Still, we had a bit of fight left! Matt led off the bottom of the 6th with a double, then Emily K came through with a big 2-run homer, her second on the day! Bryce also hit a homer, & it was now 10-7 Syndicate—but they added a run in the bottom of the 6th to make it 11-7.
Bryce had 3 home runs on 10/18! 2 vs Pitch Please & 1 big one vs The Syndicate!

Zeb had 3 hits vs The Syndicate on 10/18, & 2 of those were huge: a 2-run homer in the 7th & an rbi triple in the 8th!
So we went into the top of the 7th trailing by four. This is where things got interesting! Mark led off with a single, but then 2 outs were quickly recorded. However, Kristina singled & Zeb smacked a huge 3-run home run. Matt was walked—semi-intentionally it appeared—to bring up Emily K. The strategy didn’t work for The Syndicate as Emily smashed an rbi triple to the left-center field gap to tie the score! We then held The Syndicate scoreless in the bottom of the inning on some great defensive work, including a game-saving catch on a hard line drive to right by Nicole—there were runners on, & that catch prevented a sure walk-off.
Nicole is as tough a competitor as you'll find anywhere! She had a huge base hit in extra innings vs. The Syndicate & made a game-saving catch in the bottom of the 7th!

Emily K was named Player of the Week for her big day on 10/18! 2 for 4 vs. Pitch Please, including a big 3-run homer; 2 for 4 vs The Syndicate including a 2-run homer & the game-tying triple in the 7th inning!
Triffid was named Player of the Game vs The Syndicate, & it was well-deserved! A huge extra inning home run to give us the lead, & her usual solid game on the pitching rubber! With Zeb at third
The Underhanded Compliments finest hour came in the 8th inning. Rob singled & Triffid hit a huge home run to give us a 2-run lead! Yours truly walked, Mark & Nicole singled, & Cameron & Kristina hit back-to-back sacrifice flies to increase the lead to 4. Zeb then smashed an rbi triple to finish the scoring. We held The Syndicate scoreless in the bottom of the 8th, & the game was ours; we'd defeated the mighty Syndicate!
Kristina vs The Syndicate 10/18: 2 hits & a big sacrifice fly in extra innings
Mark had a great game vs The Syndicate: 4 for 4 & rock solid at shortstop!
From there it was on to the championship game against Yur’s Bar. The game was scheduled for 10/25, & despite rain that morning & the day before, we tried to get the game in, but it was called after one inning—the rain was coming down hard & the field was a mess. The game finally was played on 11/8. We got off to a 7-0 lead—4 runs in the first, all with 2 outs, on a homer by Bryce, back-to-back doubles by Emily K & Mark, & rbi singles by yours truly & Triffid; two in the third on a walk to Bryce, a single by Mark, & once again, rbi singles from myself & Triffid. The run in the 4th came on a single by Kristina & an rbi triple from Zeb.
The bench watching Bryce's 6th inning homer vs The Syndicate on 10/18 - such a great group of folks! Nicole, Kristina, Emily K, Matt, Triffid, & Mark!
Yurs did score 3 in the bottom of the 4th, & we just couldn’t add on. Then after a scoreless 5th inning for both teams, we had a real meltdown in the bottom of the 6th, as Yurs scored 8 runs. We put up a good fight in the 7th—Bryce doubled, & Emily K & Mark hit back-to-back singles, the latter scoring Bryce. With one out, Triffid hit a sacrifice fly to make it 11-9, & then Emily H came through with a clutch 2-out rbi base hit to make it 11-10. Unfortunately, we could get no further.
One more shot from County Cork post Championship game: Bryce, Emily H, Triffid (kind of hidden), Nicole, Emily K, Kristina, Mark, yours truly
It was a wonderful year! We finished in third place (of 9 teams) in the spring; went 9-0 to take our second consecutive summer league championship; & then finished second in the 10-team fall league. Most importantly, it was a fun team, & I can’t wait for the 2016 season to begin!