HDL SEASON Starts with Gusto!
HDL Game Recap:
Two opening games got everyone involved in the HDL experience. Players for all four teams took the field and showed off their love of playing baseball. There were hits, walks, strikeouts, line drives, bloopers, wall bangers, hook slides, belly-flops, great catches and not so great miscues, but most of all, good clean baseball fun.
I am extremely proud of this year’s group of players who have chosen to be a part of this HDL season. From the results of the match-ups this opening weekend, I am even more excited about the possibilities this season has to offer. So let’s get to the highlights and go – “Inside the HDL“
Xtreme Transportation 16 – Homer Skelton Ford/Metlife 13
Friday night was perfect for baseball. James Skinner took the mound for the Home Team boys in white. In 1st inning, with 2 outs and bases loaded, 3rd baseman, Cory Morgan stabbed a sinking liner to prevent Xtreme Green team from scoring. In the bottom of the first, HDL rookie pitcher, Kevin High, started the game for Xtreme and had early control problems, allowing 2 walks. With runners in scoring position, Chris Slayton lined a fastball into the right center gap to knock in the first runs of the season. The White team kept swinging at fastballs and found the outfield grass with line drive shots by Kevin Latham, Don Hinkle and James Moroschak. Kevin High had an easier 2nd inning after he had drove in 2 runs in the 2nd scoring Jason Nilsen and Cory Pratt.
Thru the middle innings the game was a pitching duel between Skinner and another Xtreme Green rookie pitcher, PW Burnett. Finally in the top of the 6th, Xtreme Green sent 11 batters to the plate and Skinner turned over the mound to Kevin Latham who stopped the bleeding. But the 5 runs scored in the 6th put the Green team in the lead 12-6.
This is when veteran pitcher Cory Pratt took over but found difficulty nailing down the game for the Green team. The White team took advantage of 3 Green team errors in the 7th inning and made the game interesting when the score became 12-9. With time running out in the bottom of the 8th, the Homer Skelton-Metlife team rallied to tie the game at 12-12. With the game being over 3 hours, the seldom needed tie-breaker rule was used to get this barn-burner over. All the White team had to do was hold the Xtreme Green and they could get the win. But unfortunate errors allowed the Green team to score 4 runs and take a commanding lead. The White team got a run back in the bottom of 9th but Cory Pratt found a way to “grind” out the victory.
Nationwide 11 – Peterbilt Truck Center of Memphis 10
On Sunday, another gorgeous day was enjoyed by a plethora of new players who came out to be a part of the HDL. New players, Mike Morris, Patrick Belote and Kevin Nilsen joined returning veterans, Johnny Houghton, Aaron Sinzheimer, Jeff Combs and 2nd year player, Chris Ollar, to make their 2012 debut. The Red and Blue team managers, Nick Harris and Bo McMinn, did an outstanding job of accommodating all players who came out.
The Sunday game was similar to Friday’s opener where both teams pitched effectively and hit about anything over the plate. Blue team rookie starting pitcher, Andrew Waddell, was impressive with 6 K’s in 3 innings of limited work. (HDL Rules limit 1st year pitchers to a max of 3 innings per game until they have compiled 15 total innings) By the time veteran HDL pitcher, Bo McMinn took the mound, all he had to do was hold the Red team and clinch a win. But it wasn’t easy for Bo as the Peterbilt Red team kept scratching hits for runs and by the time the game was in the 8th inning it was tied and the Nationwide Blue team avoided the tie-breaker inning when Red Centerfielder, Charles Mister, appeared to make an inning ending running catch in right-center gap that somehow fell out of his glove and allowed Brian Nilsen to score the winning run.
Two great games that tell us we have 4 strong teams with players who know how to play baseball and compete to make the games fun, challenging, and interesting. I can’t wait until Friday so we can do it again!
Friday, April 20th, 7:00 PM – Homer Skelton-Metlife vs Peterbilt Truck Center of Memphis
Sunday, April 12nd, 9:00 AM – Nationwide Blue vs Xtreme Transportation