HDL Playoff Drama in Opening Round!
If 2nd Round games match the drama of opening round, we are in for some HDL Baseball History.
Game One: Peterbilt 10 – CDS Green 9
Both games on Sunday went 9 innings. Time limit was never a factor. The CDS Green Team came out strong in the very first inning scoring 4 runs when Brian Nilsen singled on a full count AB off Red Starter, Bo McMinn.
Kevin Nilsen K’d then Otis Edwards never took the bat off his shoulder as he walked after Brian had stole 2nd. After Kevin Latham lined out to Red SS Nick Harris, Cesar Roman singled to load the bases. That is when Glenn Coombs cleared the bases with a hard hit grounder past the diving Nick Harris as Red left fielder, Johnny Houghton, miss read the Coombs base hit that veered into the left-center gap. PW Burnett completed the scoring by knocking in Coombs for their 4th run. The inning ended when Dave Montgomery’s hard hit grounder was fielded by Harris for the 3rd out.
But the Peterbilt team answered with 2 runs in bottom of 1st on Jose Ortiz’s lead-off single, Nick Harris single and stole second base. That is when Bo McMinn doubled to right field to score Ortiz & Harris.
In top of 2nd, CDS failed to score as Bo McMinn managed to get Johnny Birkenstock to K, Tim Wallenstrom and Brian Nilsen to ground out.
In bottom of 2nd, the Peterbilt team scored 4 runs sparked by Johnny Houghton’s deep drive over right fielder Otis Edward’s head for a triple. Houghton scored on Tollison’s RBI ground out to 2nd. (4-3). That brought Jose Ortiz to the plate where he notched his 2nd hit off PW Burnett. Nick Harris singled, Bo McMinn walked to load the bases with one out. Then Red Catcher, Adam Wasson, drilled a two-base-hit to right center but was thrown out trying to stretch a double into a triple.
In top of 3rd, CDS Green went down 1-2 before Kevin Latham singled and was stranded on Cesar Roman’s fly ball out to center.
In the bottom of the 3rd, Peterbilt scored 2 more runs to make the score 8-4. Drew Russell reached on an error (E-5). Houghton K’d but Mike Tollison knocked in Russell with his 2nd RBI. Tollison scored on Nick Harris’s single with 2 outs.
In the top of the 4th, CDS Green scored their 5th run on a double by Glenn Coombs and Dave Montgomery’s Sac Fly to right field.
Neither team scored in the 5th inning.
Peterbilt added a run in the 6th inning on Nick Harris’s 3rd single of the day. Nick stole 2nd & 3rd then scored on Bo McMinn’s 2nd double of the day.
Neither team scored in the 7th inning but the score was now 9-5. In the top of the 8th inning, the CDS Green team scored 2 runs when Birkenstock was Hit-by-pitch, Tim Wallenstrom singled and Brian Nilsen hit a 2 run double. However, Brain Nilsen was thrown out by Red right fielder, Johnny Houghton when Otis Edwards’s single to right was fielded cleanly by Houghton who threw a strike to Home Plate to get Brian on a Bang-Bang play.
The Peterbilt team scored their 10th run in bottom of 8th inning on Nick Harris’s 4th hit of the day and was knocked in on Adam Wasson’s ground out to shortstop (6-3). Little did Peterbilt know that Harris’s run would be the difference in the game as CDS Green scored twice in top of 9th when they threatened to tie the game after lead-off hitters, Cesar Roman and Glenn Coombs, scored on a bizarre inside the park Home Run by Glenn Coombs. Glenn hit a line-drive to right field that hopped under Mike Tollison’s glove and rolled to the fence. On the play, Mike Tollison pulled a leg muscle and was barely able to chase the ball. Before the ball was picked up, Coombs was waived in to score CDS Green’s 9th run. At that point, Bo McMinn found a way to get the final 3 outs and end the chances of Green Team’s valient rally.
Game Two – MetLife Blue 6 – Lomax Orange 5
For the past two weeks, The Lomax Orange team had dominated the Metlife Blue to end the regular season. But in neither prior game had they faced the Blue Team #1 Starter, Travis Hill for more than one inning. The last time Orange team faced Mr. Hill in a complete game, he scattered 8 hits on a Friday night and held Orange to 4 runs as Blue team won 15-4. So Orange team knew they were in for a fight. Today, Travis Hill was working with a new catcher, James Moroschak, and took advantage of a veteran catcher who was ready to help his pitcher any way he could. In the first inning, “Schak” made his presence known as Schak gunned down Cory Morgan on a perfect throw to 2nd base to end the Orange team’s early threat.
With Andrew Waddell on the mound for Lomax Orange and pumped to challenge the Blue team, this game had all the elements of a low scoring game. After Waddell handled the Blue’s first two batters (K, F8), Metlife Shortstop and League leader in Batting Average, James Skinner, with no one on base, Skinner got hold of a Waddell pitch and hit a towering fly ball to right center that Tony Lomax appeared to be under for the catch. But with bright sunshine shadowing the ball as it came down, Tony lost the ball in the sun and the ball glanced off his glove for a sure double. But when the relay throw failed to hit the cut-off man, Skinner scampered in to 3rd base. The next batter, left-handed hitting DJ Clark, bounced a ball toward Orange first baseman, Larry Hunsucker, and the ball spun away to get by Larry. However, Orange 2nd baseman, Dave Dillard was backing up the play. But Dillard also misplayed the squigglier for an error that allowed Skinner to score. This run would come back to haunt the Orange team.
Neither team could do much against each other for the next 2 innings. The Orange team did appear to have a rally started in the top of the 3rd when Mike Morris singled over the outstretched glove of Skinner to reach 1st. Kurt Adkison walked. Jodie Wolfe then bounced out 4-3 to move base runners to 2nd & 3rd. Larry Rutledge then came to the plate and worked the count to 3 & 2 before looking at a low inside curve ball that appeared to be Ball-four. Then with 2 out, Larry Hunsucker grounded out to end the inning and keep score (1-0).
In the the bottom of the 4th, MetLife lead-off hitter, Aaron Sinzheimer beat out a mishandled ground ball to Orange shortstop that started a big inning for the Blue. The next batter, John DiGiacomo hit a perfect double play ball to second base but Orange SS, Kevin High, rushed his throw on the relay to first that allowed Jocko to reach. The big hit of the inning came from unexpected hitter, David Sexton, as he drove the first pitch he saw to right center and put runners at 2nd & 3rd. The MetLife next hitter, “Schak” worked a full count after a wild pitch scored Jocko from 3rd and allowed Schak to reach 1st base safely and keep the inning alive. This brought lead-off hitter, Charles Mister, to the plate. Charles hit a line drive to right field that spun away from Tony Lomax and before Lomax could retrieve the ball, Mister was on third and the score was now 4-0. This brought up the Blue Team pitcher, Travis Hill, who singled to score Mister. With only one out, James Skinner then followed with a solid single that scored Travis. A DJ Clark comeback bouncer to Waddell caught Skinner off base at second and Waddell ran at Skinner who was tagged out by Cory Morgan for the 2nd out. Kris Klinger’s ground out (5-3) ended the nightmare inning for the Orange.
In the 5th & 6th innings, neither team scored as great pitching by both Waddell and Travis Hill was in control.
But in the top of the 7th inning, the Orange team finally got “on the board” when Travis struggled a little bit with a few borderline pitches not being called strikes in Travis’s favor. Cory Morgan walked and score from 1st on a gap Double by Andrew Waddell.
When Waddell reached 3rd base on a wild pitch, Jeff Allen hit a Sac Fly to left field to make the score 6-2. Tony Lomax was next up and was hit by a pitch.
Kevin High had a big hit to extend the inning and two throwing errors later, by Schak, the Orange team had cut the Blue team lead to 6-3.
At this point in the game, Andrew Waddell was back in control of his pitches and was giving everything he had to get his batters back up against Travis Hill. In top of the 8th, the Orange team started another rally with Dave Dillard singling with one out but was forced at 2nd base when Cory Morgan bounced back to Travis but Cory beat the throw back to first base to prevent a double play. This brought Andrew Waddell back up and his consecutive back-to-back double scored Dillard. Jeff Allen came through again with a big hit that singling in Waddell to make the score 6-5. The rally ended with Tony Lomax’s fly ball was caught in left field.
Travis Hill finished what he started by holding the Orange team to no runs in top of 9th to preserve the win for the MetLife Blue Team.