Last Sunday found the Orange squad in a high noon showdown with the Jolly Dodgers at Alt-Stralau on a bright sunny day.
Perhaps predictably it was one helluva game – a see-saw battle that included 6 (six!) lead changes and extra innings and heroics up and down the lineups and all over the field. The stakes were high: the winner almost guaranteed of advancing to the Final Four – the losers at risk of being left out altogether…
The Dodgers struck first, with two runs in the opening Frame off of Scotty O. The first five batters reached base but Ortiz reached deep and stranded the bases loaded to limit the scoring. Tony was the starting pitcher for the JD´s, which suited the X-Hill game plan to a T: bunt, steal and hit it to right field if you can. Yours truly legged out a bunt and scored the first run, as Tony had an early onset of wildness that would prove to be his undoing. End of the first: Dodgers 2 Creeps 1
In the second the Creeps put up 4 runs by working the pitch counts, taking extra bases, bunting or fake bunting, and playing the proverbial small ball to perfection. Tony didn´t last the inning, and Cuban Frank made a surprise relief appearance despite playing on an injured leg. After each team failed to score in the 3rd score stood Creeps 5 Dodgers 2. There was a sense, however, that no lead was safe – for either side.
Sure enough the dogged Dodgers sent all nine batters to the plate in the fourth – a rally that produced 4 runs and only ended after Bara snagged a fly ball in right field for the third out. But the damage was done, as the Dodgers took a one run lead. How would the Creeps respond?
Your reporter worked a full count walk – or should it have been a strike out? Egal was er hat gedacht Sheldon couldn´t handle the pitch and the Creeps had an all important lead off runner on base. Aggravating for Frank for sure, but also a prime example of the Dodgers Achilles‘ heel: volatility and then some. One can argue that the outcome of the game was determined by how the Creeps responded to the balls and strikes of outrageous fortune (and umpiring). But enough of that — Eric as designated hitter, or designated player to be exact, then had an at-bat that we here at the C-Hill Orange Gazette have decided (after much debate) to be the Holy Cow! Play of the Game*
Being the DH ain´t easy. You do a lot of sitting and watching and then get your 3 or 4 at bats and a few heckles in if you´re lucky. Eric struck out the first time he faced Frank, but turned the tables here by driving a pitch over the right field fence for a two run home that promptly put the Creeps back in the lead 7 to 6 and energized the Orange faithful: ER-IC! ER-IC!
Ah, but the joy was short-lived: the Dodgers showed their grit and after two quick outs Javi and Sheldon got on base to bring the ever dangerous Benji to the plate. Mr. Smoothy smashed a first pitch offering over the Center field wall – a moon shot that put the Dodgers back in front 9 to 7. The Creeps went down in order in the bottom frame and after the Dodgers plated two more the score stood 11-7 for them. Would there be no joy in Mudville this day?
Mighty Hollywood responded in the bottom of the sixth with a lead off solo home run and one out later Thorsten came through with a 4 bagger of his own. Molly was now in as pitcher for the ailing Frank, and Chris Purrington turned an intentional walk (with Jaze on deck!) into a stand up triple with some alert baserunning – a steal and a wild pitch and he was a huggin‘ third. Did Jaze bring him home with a single? I can´t tell from the scorekeeping and have 52 seconds to finish this at on the public library Computer…
Reloaded! Scotty kept the Dodgers off the board in the top of the 7th – working around two walks as Truth in center „meine meine MEINE“ gloved the third out in center. Thus the hometeam Creeps with last licks faced an 11-10 deficit. The Ko-HEY! kid did what he does best and got in base with a single. Too risky to try a steal, so on the third pitch Chris C sacrificed him to 2nd base. A tying run at the plate with Daniel coming to the plate…who wouldn´t like our chances? Hollywood hit a shot down the 3rd base line which ordinarily would have meant tie ball game but for the presence of Benji who went to a knee and in one Ole! motion gloved the ball, stood to throw to first but instead had the presence of mind to fake the throw – causing Kohei (with designs on advancing on the throw of course) to take a step or maybe two in the direction of third – just enough for Benji to throw to Kristin aka Shorty who applied the tag on a diving Kohei at 2nd base for a critical second out.
Did Kohei get his hand in before the tag? Well of course he did, especially if you´re a Creep…but that only set the stage for the ensuing umpire gerrymandering, or something to that effect. With Hollywood on first and two outs the Dodgers elected to intentionally walk Eric and face Thorsten instead. T sent a pitch to straight away center field that to most observers on the first base side of the field looked like a walk off mutha fuckin´game over shit yeah dinger. Ah, but there´s the rub…the umps determined that the ball landed inside the cone and that meant second and third with just the tying run having scored. The Creeps went from elation to enragement as Dr. Dusty was so fit to be tied we almost needed to put the dog leash on him – fortunately Hollywood imparted some LA cool to the troops and tempers cooled as Madison grounded out to third and the game went into extra innings.
We at the COG (C-Hill Orange Gazette) unanimously disapprove of penalty kicks to end the game in soccer. And along those lines oppose the extra innings game altering rules of softball, which stipulate that the team at bat put the batter who batted last at second base with one out. But dems de rules, so the Dodgers placed Rock-it at second base with the meat of the lineup to come. Javier was intentionally walked to set up a double play, but then Sheldon walked to load the bases. Uh-oh. Benji coming to the plate with nowhere to put him. What has to be the Holy Cow! Play of the Game* runner up then occurred. Benji got under a Scotty offering and towered a pop up behind shortstop. Dave (Rock-it) at 3rd got squirrely and tried to tag up from home, saw that Jaze´s throw to home had him beat, and got tagged out in a run down for a good ol´ 6-2-5-2 double play!
Madison with her bum knee started the bottom of the 8th at second base as the last out. Jaze drove a pitch to left center and Madi scored the winning run without drawing a throw. A 12-11 Creeps victory! Thanks to Omid in left and Simone who coached first (and kept score?) and to Tomo who took over coaching at 3rd and gave the squad some confidence at a critical juncture. Hope to see you all out there bright and early on Sunday morning –
|20. August 2017||12:00||MSL||2017|