Author Archives: droidengaard

Offense Backs Schauer’s Complete Game Shutout

Sometimes, the beauty of a game can be lost behind the harsh appearance found in nine innings of scrapping and grinding it out. In a game that would decide who would hold first place here in the late season, there was no shortage of raw effort on the field of battle.  Quickly forgetting that nothing was actually at stake, players propelled themselves headlong into the prolonged conflict of a baseball game.

Holding runners and catching them stealing are difficult tasks and it is an area that both teams have struggled in throughout the year, but recently, there has been a spike in these categories due to the strong arms of quick, hard working catchers and the persistence of pitchers in their goal to reduce the size of leads on the base pads.

Watching a batter foul away pitch after pitch, running counts full of balls and strikes, and the pitcher extending the at-bat with constant pick-off attempts can be confusing and tedious to some easily distracted spectators, but for others more focused on the gritty texture of the game, the menu of twists and turns has provided an intense, leathery flavor worthy of quiet contemplation or loud exuberance.

It has been a season full of action and effort, fun and recreation, and steady improvement among all players.  As we learn this game together, not a single second goes by that isn’t filled with valuable memories and priceless lessons.  Although we may not show it, I know that this brotherhood is very important to all of us.  Thank you.

Next season, it seems there may be expansion and change due to the overwhelming interest in joining the fun we have discovered at Kenny Jones Field.  Starting in the early spring, next season will be germinating in the minds of many of us and hopefully everyone interested in organizing the league will be able to meet around a table and create a healthy schedule of games for us all to participate in every week.

Jesse Engaard

Attn: 0,232

DUSKY NIGHTS OF BASEBALL WORTH REMEMBERING

Weekly games in June have brought improved defense and dominating pitching, setting clutch hitting and keen batsmanship at a premium.  Every Wednesday, spring rainfall always seemed to let up in time to lace up the cleats.
With seams spinning and maple bursting, each player had their cracks at unraveling the mystery of hitting.    Some found hits in the deep grass of the infield; more found an out waiting for them at first.  Many balls took a ride to the outfield, and a few found space to roll along the fence, but one man saw it fit to put a couple over and onto the tracks beyond.
Runners showed no fear in taking leads and taking bases on their mission home, but some infielders took offense to the thievery and rarely hesitated to act on the own behalf, flashing their arms and applying the leather whenever necessary.  Accurate throws and quick turns also produced several twin killings, twice to end a game.

Many new faces called up from obscurity earned their place on and off the field, hustling out ground balls and lacing line drives.  Thankfully, there were very few injurues and none appearing serious, despite players being more than happy to put their bodies on the line blocking a ball in the dirt, snaring ropes or diving into base.

Box scores are being tabulated and will be published as soon as possible.  If anyone would like to help with media coverage of these games and those to come, please leave your info in the comments.

Swine Flu Finds Cure For Team Round-the-Horn

May 20th, 2009 – Philadelphia

Derek Schauer (0-1) made Swine Flu sick with frustration through six innings with a steady erray of off-speed pitches and a crisp fastball before giving up the lead in the seventh.  With his pitch count nearing 150 and his strikeout total at 7, he gave way to Craig Hendrix (0-0), a recent addition to the pen, who was unable to keep the game within reach for Team Round-the-Horn, giving up nine walks and eight runs in two innings of work.

What was developing into a tight, see-saw battle became a lopsided victory as Michael Fichman(0-0) and Mark B. (1-0) combined to hold Team Round-the-Horn to six runs through eight, before mop-up pitcher Dann Pudish. gave up five runs in the ninth to make the final score 15-11.

After reportedly causing a multi-vehicle accident last week with his eye-catching fastball and formidable mustache combo, starting pitcher Michael Fichman created all kinds of chaos for Team Round-the-Horn this week with his changing arm angles and biting breaking ball.  After allowing an unearned run in the first, the next inning he allowed opposing pitcher Derek Schauer to steal two bases, leading to a first and third with one out.  But he worked his way out of the jam by striking out the next two batters.  In fact, his only earned run surrendered was from a sac fly off the bat of shortstop Jesse Engaard that plated second baseman Taylor L., after he had swiped third with no outs, giving Team Round-the-Horn the 2-1 lead, not allowing Fitch a chance for his first win.

That lead held with solid pitching from both starters through the fourth and fifth innings until Swine Flu fought back to take the lead in the sixth with a two-run, two-out rally topped off with RBI hits from Dan P. and John Balzarini.  But Team Round-the-Horn responded with an inning of their own, sparked by a lead-off double by Craig Hendrix.  The Balz man eeked out a single and Mike Whithers drew a walk to load the bases.  Jesse Engaard and Kenny Steif promptly followed through with two singles to plate four, regaining the lead and making it look like Round-the-Horn might pull out its second victory of the season.

But Swine Flu had plans for their own outbreak.  Mike Weiss lead off the top of the seventh with a single, then Matt Chapin drew a walk.  After striking out Chris Puchalskylooking, Michael Fitch connected for a triple and Swine Flu had four of their own after singles by Mark B. and Dann Pudish taking the lead for good, 7-6.  In the top of the eighth, Kurt Hunte greeted Craig Hendrix with a smash single that perhaps provoked a parade of walks that ended only after another big hit from Kurt Hunte that plated the sixth and seventh runs of the inning.

Swine Flu tacked on another run in the 9th when Fitch turned a walk into a run with two stolen bases and a throwing error on the catcher, capping off the offensive explosion of 12 runs in the final three frames.  In the bottom of the ninth, Dan P. finished the game only after allowing the entire bottom half of the order to reach base and score. With men at first and third and the lead trimmed to four, Swine Flu turned a beautiful 6-4-3 double play to end the game, preventing Jesse Engaard from coming to the plate as the possible tying run.  Attn: 0,011