Round 3 – (1999 Playoffs) More of the Same
Hold that Victory Cigar One More Game
After 3 weeks of intense, exciting baseball, the championship game would be decided with the “if necessary” game.
On Sunday, October 24th, on a bright, cool sunny afternoon, the Razor’s Edge Teal team battled the elements, their aches and pains and all types of adversity to edge past the previously undefeated Peterbilt Reds in a tight 6-5 ballgame. The game was not decided until Mike Tollison, playing for the first time in almost 6 weeks, tracked down a Jerry Weaver drive into the left centerfield gap to prevent the game tying run on third base to score.
In the loser bracket finals, played earlier in the day, the Teal team took a 2 run lead into the ninth inning against the Cupboard Restaurant Blue. The Blue team battled hard and gave the Teal team fits with some never-say-die hitting and pitching. The final score, 9-7, proved both teams wanted to win the game.
Winn Smith had the Cupboard boys-of-summer pumped and determined to beat the Teal after their opening round loss to the Teal. The real Blue team showed up to give it their best shot but ran out of pitching against the hitting lineup of the Razor’s Edge team. Razor’s Edge called on Mike Tollison to keep their championship hopes alive by giving manager Mark Jackson six innings of work. Tollison was a little rusty but worked through some offensive threats by the Blue batters to keep the game close and allow Ramon Luna to come on and finish the game to prevent the Blue team from taking the lead.
“Then there were two”
Ramon Luna started for the Teal team in the afternoon game. A win by the Peterbilt Reds and the series would be over. A win by the Teal team would force a tie record for both teams and guarantee another game to decide who would be the league champion in the post season for 1999.
Ramon pitched well for six innings allowing 3 runs. With the score tied, Jorge Figuroa took over the pitching for the remainder of the game. Jorge made some timely pitches for some called third strikes to fool several of the Peterbilt Reds big hitters. Jorge relied on a sneaky fastball as his most effective pitch. The story for the Peterbilt Reds offense was two double plays that prevented the Red team from advancing runners and possibly scoring some much needed runs.
For the Teal team, the difference was unlikely players, Mike Dunavant and Don Miller, who both made some noise with their bats against Reds pitcher Jerry Weaver.
Mike Dunavant showed his playoff knack for fouling off pitch after pitch off of Mr. Weaver and finally reaching base a couple of times. Don Miller, who has struggled against Jerry Weaver during the playoffs, executed some surprise bunts that helped him get on base or advance runners. One of Don’s bunts scored Jorge Figuroa from 3rd base for a big run.
So now the stage is set for a final game between two teams who are tied in the tournament. Both teams are 2-1. Both teams have scored and given up 9 runs against each other. Both teams have offensive players who are swinging hot bats and putting the ball in play. The pitchers for both teams are making quality pitches to give their defense opportunities to get outs.
The championship winner is up for grabs. So far, the Razor’s Edge Teal and the Peterbilt Reds are writing their place in HDL history books. In two back-to-back games against each other, these teams have proven that the HDL can play tight, low scoring games where pitching and defense can come through in the clutch.
HDL made history
Years from now when people talk about games played at Tim McCarver Stadium, players from the HDL can lay claim to the last organized teams to play baseball at Tim McCarver Stadium in the 20th Century. You can tell them the HDL played a game on October 31st, 1999 to close out Tim McCarver in the 1900’s. So make your plans to be a witness at the final game of the millennium on Sunday, October 31, 1999. It should be a “doozy”.