Playoff Game Intensity
Game One Highlights:
Homer Skelton Ford/Metlife was visitor for today’s opening contest with the Nationwide Blue Team. With Bo McMinn on the mound for the Blue team, The White team came out strong scoring 4 runs in the first inning. Travis Hill drew a walk and stole 2nd. Chris Slayton dropped in a base hit to centerfield that was breifly bobbled so Travis Hill followed his 3rd base coach and attempted to score. But a perfect relay from Jeff Allen to Bo McMinn to Brian Nilsen made the play at the plate close enough that Travis was called Out by the home plate umpire. It appeared Travis got in under the relay but the out call stood as Chris Slayton moved to 2nd.
Third up for the White team was Cory Morgan who also drew a base-on-balls. James Skinner then found a hole that score Slayton. Kevin Latham, batting 5th hit a shot to Andrew Waddell playing shortstop that was bobbled. John DiGiacomo was up next and his solid double made the score 4-0 and gave the White Team hope that today wouldhave a chance to hang with the Blue Team. Even Bo McMinn had some anxious thoughts that his team might not respond. That fear went away in the bottom of the first inning.
James Skinner was on the mound for the White Team and was well rested. Facing leadoff hitter, Jeff Allen, Skinner got Jeff to hit a soft liner toward Travis Hill at SS. What looked like an easy catch was lost in the early morning sunbeam that blinded Travis as the ball dropped in for a hit. After stealing 2nd base, the next batter, Brian Nilsen, walked. Then Bo McMinn walked and loaded the bases. Clean-up hitter, John McPhail, then drilled a sharp ground ball down the 3rd baseline to score 2 runs. Next batter, Andrew Waddell smashed a hard ground ball past the out stretched glove of White Team 2nd baseman, John Murray to score 2 more runs. Next up, Dave Pearce hit a routine ground ball to shortstop that wasn’t handled and another easy run crossed the plate. Skinner worked another ground ball from Glenn Coombes that was dropped on the exchange from Murray to Hill and the 6th run came in. The damage was done and the White team they knew they were looking at another uphill battle if they wanted to stay in the game.
Bo McMinn had an easy inning in the 2nd to get his offense back at bat.
Once again, the Blue team rallied to score 4 more runs in the bottom of the 2nd as Brain Nilsen, Bo McMinn, Andrew Waddell and Dave Pearce all had hits to rattle the White Team and extend their lead. The White team just could not find the baseball when it came off the Blue Team bats. In the bottom of the 3rd inning, the hit parade continued for the Blue team as 6 more runs were added to their commanding lead. Travis Hill took over for Skinner and helped slow down the Blue team a little. But that meant nothing as the White team offense could not get anything sustained off of Bo McMinn. Chris Slayton finished the pitching duties for the White team and did not allow a run, but it was too late. There would be no White Team win today. Final Score Blue 17 – White 5
Game Two Highlights:
Everyone anticipated the Peterbilt Red team would give the Xtreme Green team a run for their money as they had a solid lineup and potential to challenge the Green team. Even though the Red Team was facing P.W. Burnett, their hitters were ready for the challenge.
In the top of the 1st Tim Harris had a leadoff walk, Cesar Roman’s basehit put runners at 1st & 3rd with one out. DJ Clark walked to load the bases and it looked like the perfect opportunity to take the lead. But PW Burnett got nasty with the next two batter. After Mike Tollison struckout, Jose Ortiz roped a hard smash to Jodie Wolfe at 2nd base that he turned into a 4-3 for the 3rd out and squash the rally.
In the bottom of the 1st, Cory Pratt hit a solid base hit to right field. stole second then scored when Otis Edwards ground ball was turned into an error.
Neither team scored in the 2nd inning as both team’s pitchers were bearing down.
In the top of the 3rd, the Peterbilt Reds again threatened when leadoff hitter Tim Harris was fielded by Kevin High but the throw to first was muffed and Tim Harris was on safely. Tim Harris stole 2nd but could not advance when Nick Harris ground ball to Cory Pratt made the 1st out. Once again, Cesar Roman was the main man as he feasted on a PW fastball that scored Tim Harris and tie the game. Cesar Roman scored when the bases were loaded and Chris Ollar was hit by a pitch. The score was now 2-1 Peterbilt and stayed that way as Nick Harris worked an easy inning in the bottom of th 3rd.
In the top of the 4th the Peterbilt team continued to attack the Green team defense. After Jerry Merchant K’d, Patrick Belote walked, stole 2nd and then scored on Nick Harris only hit of the game. The score was now 3-1.
This lead was erased in the bottom of the 4th as Jodie Wolfe lead off with a double. This was a pivitol point i the inning as the Red team walked PW Burnett. Good idea but next batter, Benji Autry walked to load the bases. Close pitches that created full counts hurt the Red team as Larry Hunsucker and Jason Nilsen both walked to force in 2 runs without a hit. Up to this point, Nick Harris had only gave up 2 hits but pitches that couldn’t find the plate was his undoing and made the score 3-3.
In the bottom of the 5th Kevin High walked, Otis Edwards reached on an error, Jodie popped up, PW Burnett was intentionally walked to load the bases. With Benji Autry injured, Johnny Birkenstock made his first plate appearance and put the ball in play. A low throw on Birkenstock’s ground ball to short allowed the go-ahead run to score.
From here on, the game was in PW Burnett’s court as he continued to make quality pitches and have easy 1-2-3 innings in the 6th & 7th innings.
There was only 5 hits in the entire game, 3 by the Red Team and only 2 hits by the Green team.
Great game that had championship flavor.
Now we will move on to round two next Sunday as Blue plays Green at 9:00 AM and White plays Red immediatly after. It should be another wild Sunday of competitive HDL baseball. I will be there and look forward to seeing everyone come out for some exciting HDL baseball.