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.
July 8th, Game 2
Team Around the Horn….0..2..2..2..3..0..2..2..1……14…17…9
When the dust cleared after 17innings and nearly 6hrs of baseball, Phundamentally Sound Ace Joshua Grace finished the complete game by getting Brian Baughan to pop out to first. They looked more like the Italian Stallion in Rocky II than a dominant club, but timely hitting and good baserunning paid off as Team Around the Horn was denied the sweep.
In a losing effort, Dave Smith scored 3 times and Josh Hunter put in 3 hits while Derek Schauer kept the gas on for all 8 of his innings. Tempers flared when Nate Hunter was hit by a pitch, and emotions ran high when Eliza Jones roped a single to center fielf…but Team Around the Horn was unable to get sustained rallies going.
Phundamentally Sound took control early when sluggers Kenny Steif & John Balzarini had back to back triples in the first inning. The sluggers combined for 5runs, 5hits, 5RBI and proved to be tough outs. A big 3rd inning put a hurtin’ on the Horners, and the P Sound would never lose the lead they took in the first.
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.
The field is wet and the grass is high-but if the rain holds off long enough we can get a game on. We have 18 confirmed ballers.
Dan P, Mike, & Justin are all gonna get out there early. I’ll bring my old timey mower for the infield (my brother will bring the machete for the outfield grass).
The weather says no rain until 9pm. Let’s see if we can get some action!
Pitching Stats 4/29/09
Player W L S IP ER K H BB WHIP
Team Around the Horn
Justin 1 6 8 7 14 1 2.5
Jonny 1 1.1 7 4 1 5 4.5
Ant 3.1 8 6 4 12 4.8
Derek 1.1 2 4 0 4 3