Soggy field does not stop the HDL

Rainy weather the past week spilled over to the weekend and created headaches for the grounds crew.  Saturday afternoon, many areas of Memphis had prolonged showers but luckily, Midtown, where Tobey Park is located, the rain was just enough to keep the field moist – well, in some places, it was more than a little moist – it was downright Soggy!  But for anyone who has played in the HDL for more than a few years, they expected the HDL Grounds Crew to do what it would take to play our beloved HDL baseball come Sunday morning. With Friday night’s game between Green & Red rained out, Sunday’s schedule was edited to make it a double header. A lot of credit goes to Bo McMinn, John DiGiacomo and Terry Terrell for arriving early to help prep the field. We really expected a dry day since the radar was clear. But much to our dismay, intermittent drizzle hung around for most of the first game.  But the conditions rapidly improved by the time the Red and Green teams took the field for the second game.  Here are the details of how the games ended up.

Game 1 – Homer Skelton Ford/Metlife vs Nationwide Insurance

Glenn Coombs got the starting nod from Blue team manager. Bo McMinnGlenn was a little tight during the first couple of innings as he gave up 4 runs in the 1st and 2 runs in the 2nd.  The White Team led off with walks to Travis Hill and Cory Morgan.  After Kevin Lathan K’d, James Skinner singled home Travis Hill. Chris Slayton grounded out but the FC allowed Cory Morgan to score. After Rick Haygood singled, Jocko poped up for an infield Fly out but when the Blue team allowed the ball to drop, James Skinner and Rick Haygood scored.

In the bottom of the 1st, Chris Slayton who started for the White team allowed 4 straight singles to Brian Nilsen, Bo McMinn, John McPhail and Dave Pearce. On this humid morning, Slayton’s knuckleball was hit-able, but only 2 runs scored after one inning and the score was still 4-2 infavor of  the White Team.

The Homer Skelton Ford/Metlife White team answered the Blue team inning when Kevin Latham dropped a long flyball over the left field fence for his 2nd Homerun in 2 weeks and make the score 6-2.

Facing the bottom half of the Blue team batting order, Chris Slayton had another rough inning getting the Blue batters to hit any balls that the White team defense could make plays on.  This is the part of the game when light misting rain added to the slippery infield.  With many White team infielders playing out of their normal fielding positions in hope of getting the best angle to stop a ground ball or move into the outfield to reach a texas-leaguer, nothing seemed to work as the Blue team batters kept finding safe areas for their hits to fall-in.  Eleven of twelve Blue team batters went to the plate in the 2nd inning and tied the score 6-6.

Meanwhile, Glenn Coombs was finding his control and ability to keep the White team from mounting a rally as he held the White team scoreless in the 3rd & 4th innings.

Travis Hill took over for White team and struck-out Mike Morris and Paul Baioni. But with 2 outs, Tim Wallenstrom ripped a linedrive single down the left field line and start a Blue team rally as Johnny Houghton and Andrew Waddell had back-to-back hits that added to their lead. The Blue team added 2 more runs in the bottom of the 4th inning, thanks to 4 straight hits bt John McPhail, Dave Pearce, Terry Terrell and Glenn Coombs. In the top of 5th with time running out, Andrew Waddell came in to seal the Blue team lead.

Offensive LeadersWhite:  Kevin Latham (HR);  Rick Haygood – 2 hits; BlueJohn McPhail – 3 hits, Bo McMinn, Dave Pearce, Terry Terrell and Andrew Waddell – 2 Hits each

Pitching numbers:  White:  Chris Slayton –  1 K, 2 Walks;  Travis Hill – 2 K’s, No walks;  Blue: Glenn Coombs – 4 K’s, 8 Walks; Andrew Waddell – 2 K’s

Slow game under slow field conditions.

Game 2 – Peterbilt Red vs Xtreme Transportation Green

The sun decided to make an appearance during the 2nd game even though the field was still damp, it was starting to firm-up. 

Both teams had plenty of players but the Peterbilt team missed Mike Tollison, Tim Harris and Patrick Belote. The Xtreme team was mising PW Burnett and Benji Autry but in their place, Brady Benjamin and Johnny Birkenstock were in the lineup for the Green team.

Veterans Jodie Wolfe (Green) and Dave Sexton (Red) faced each other once again.  The Peterbilt team scored first but in the bottom of the 1st the Green team scored 3 runs when Cory Pratt led off with a triple. Kevin High reached on a FC and Otis Edwards continued his hot-hitting when he sent a shot down the left field line.  Larry Hunsucker’s single scored Otis.

Neither team scored in the 2nd inning.

In the 3rd inning, Jason Nilsen got a lead-off hit  and scored on Cory Pratt’s double, despite Jason slipping down around 3rd and sneaking past the throw to Dave Sexton covering home plate. After Cory moved to 3rd on a wild pitch, Cory scored on Brady Benjamin‘s Sac-Fly to Right. Now the score was 5-1 in favor of Green.

The Red Team got on the scoreboard in the 4th inning when Cesar Roman sent a Jodie Wolfe pitch over left field for a solo Home Run.

David Sexton continued to pitch well but the Green team good hitters were finding ways to score single runs in the 5th and 6th innings.  Cory Pratt hit a Sac Fly in the 5th to score Johnny Birkenstock and in the 6th inning, Kevin High led off the 6th with a Homerun for his 2nd of the year. (or was this his 3rd??)

The Peterbilt team tried to come back in the top of the 7th as Jose Ortiz and Jerry Merchant got on base with 2 outs befor Tony Lomax went down swinging.  Final score:  Xtreme Transport 7 – Peterbilt Red 2

Offensive LeadersRedCesar Roman (HR);  GreenOtis Edwards – 3 hits, Kevin High (HR); Cory Pratt – 2 for 2 with 2 RBI’s, Zach Legg – 2 Hits

Pitching numbersRedDavid Sexton –  2 K’s, No Walks;  Jodie Wolfe – 2 K’s, No Walks

A low scoring affair.

Next week:  Blue and Green have the week off while the White and Red play a single game on Sunday.

Two Weeks:  Wood Bat Single games on Friday and Sunday return to prepare the HDL players for the August 3-5th Wood Bat Tournament in Memphis. 

No HDL games will play on Sunday, August 5th.

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