HDL ROUND 2 RECAP – CDS Green Eliminated
Sunday HDL Games determined who stayed alive and which unfortunate team’s season would end.
Loser’s Bracket Elimination Game: CDS Green vs LOMAX Insulation Orange
Winners Bracket finals: MetLife Blue vs Peterbilt Red
GAME ONE: LOSER BRACKET ELIMINATION GAME – GREEN VS ORANGE:
As I have said before, nobody likes the “Loser Go Home” game. When a gambler goes, “All In“, he knows it is “Win” and live to play some more, or lose and go home. But the reward for winning this critical game is your team gets to play another game.
After heavy rains on Friday, Tobey was still trying to recover and dry out. From the very first batter for CDS, Brian Nilsen, everyone was demonstrated how slippery the dirt was as Brian slipped 3 times after his base hit came back to the infield. But that did not stop the CDS Green team from scoring 3 runs in the first inning on hits by Otis Edwards, Cesar Roman, Glenn Coombs and PW Burnett. On PW’s hit, Glenn Coombs was encouraged to try to score from 3rd base but he was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
The early Green team lead pumped up PW Burnett because he shut-out the Lomax Orange team for next 3 innings.
In the top of the 3rd, the Green team added a singe run on a PW Burnetts deep fly ball to Centerfield that hit Orange CF, Jeff Allen, in the jaw as the ball got lost in the sun. A nifty 1-4-3 DP turned by the Orange team ended the inning.
The Lomax Orange team scored in the bottom of the 4th to cut the Green lead to 4-1. Kurt Adkison scored on Dave Dillard’s infield out (4-3). At the same time, Lomax Orange Pitcher, Andrew Waddell, was starting to gain confidence in every pitch in his repertoire and was not allowing CDS Green to do any more damage. Meanwhile, the Orange team continued to battle every hitable pitch they saw from PW. The “hammer” was thrown in the bottom of the 7th inning when Orange team sent 8 batters to the plate. Four hits in the inning put the Orange Team ahead by score of 6-4. The key hit of the game was Kevin High‘s bases loaded double that scored Larry Hunsucker and Andrew Waddell.
The Top of the 8th inning was CDS Green’s last threat to score as Brian Nilsen hit a one-out triple to right center. The CDS next batter was Kevin Nilsen who thought he had checked his swing with 2 strikes but was called out by the umpire to put the pressure on Otis Edwards with 2 outs. Andrew Waddell was very careful with Otis as Andrew did not give Otis anything he could hit to drive home Brian from third. The third out came when Kevin Latham was thrown some nasty pitches from Waddell that Latham struggled to get a piece of.
The game ended the up and down season of the CDS Green team who never seemed to get any breaks when they needed one. CDS Players are some of my favorite HDL players who play with passion, enthusiasm and hustle. Personally I hate to see their season end. I am going to miss not seeing them as we close out the remaining games in the season.
Standing (L-R) P.W. Burnett, Johnny Birkenstock, Otis Edwards, Kevin Latham, Jerry Tatum, Glenn Coombs, Cesar Roman
Kneeling: Brian Nilsen, Kevin Nilsen, Tim Wallenstram, David Montgomery, Jr.
Not Pictured: Joe Copen
GAME TWO: MetLife Blue vs Peterbilt Red
There was no doubt this would be a good game. During the opening week, MetLife Blue had knocked Lomax Orange team into the Losers Bracket with a narrow 6-5 win. Meanwhile, the Peterbilt Red won their playoff opener against a scrappy CDS Green team by a close score of 10-9.
This was the match-up that was expected as both teams had held first & second place in the league standings for most of the regular season. Both teams have pitchers who would keep their teams “in the game.” The Peterbilt team started Nick Harris who came into the game with a 4-2 record and a 6.80 ERA. The MetLife Blue team relied upon Veteran Cory Pratt who had missed some games recently due to some Dental work.
The two starting pitchers showed right away they were serious about winning. Going into the bottom of the 3rd inning, the score was 0-0 but that changed as Nick Harris doubled then scored on Adam Wasson’s 2-Out hit. This lead did not last long as MetLife Blue tied the game 1-1 on Cory Pratt’s lead-off base hit in top of 4th inning and then scored on John DiGiacomo’s single with 2 outs in the 4th.
In the 5th Inning the MetLife Blue scored 2 runs on a lead-off Triple by Charles Mister, Travis Hill Walk and 2-RBI Double by Ryan Hogan. In the bottom of the 5th, Nick Harris scored and made the score 3-2 when Bo McMinn got the RBI.
In the 6th inning, Nick Harris shut down the Blue by recording his 8th & 9th Strikeouts of the game. Nick probably set his all-time highest strikeout total in the HDL with 14. Meanwhile, Cory Pratt and the MetLife defense held the Peterbilt team scoreless in the bottom of the 6th.
The big inning for the Blue team was in top of 7th when James Skinner reached base with 2 Outs, then Cory Pratt and DJ Clark walked to load the bases. Don Hinkle made a tactical move and inserted James Moroschak into batting order. Schak smacked a pitch he liked from Nick that cleared the bases. Schak then scored to make the score 7-2 when Jocko beat out a ground ball that Jose Ortiz failed to handle cleanly. At this point it “appeared” the Peterbilt team was in jeopardy of falling into the Losers bracket.
Nick Harris lead off the Red Team’s 7th inning with a single. Nick stole second base. Adam Wasson singled to put runners at 1st & 3rd. Nick Harris scored on a wild pitch. Patrick Belote walked to bring up Baioni. Paul grounded out 6-3 but Adam Wasson scored on the play. Now the score was 7-4 but with Cory Pratt pitching well, the MetLife team still appeared to be in control. But would 7 runs be enough??? The Blue team continued to try to score but left potential runners on base in the 8th, 9th & 10th.
In the 8th inning, Peterbilt made the score 7-5 as John McPhail scored on Jose Ortiz hit. Then the real drama and tension of play-off baseball was alive in Tobey Park in the bottom of the 9th. Bo McMinn singled, Adam Wasson flied out to Aaron Sinzheimer (1 Out). Next Batter, Patrick Belote, is a dangerous hitter and James Skinner, who had relieved Cory, was trying not to give Patrick a fat pitch. With 2 strikes on Belote, Skinner coaxed Patrick to pop-up in foul territory where DJ Clark and Schak ran toward each other to make this crucial catch. When neither player was able to camp under the ball, it dropped to the ground and gave new life to the Peterbilt team. On the next pitch Belote singled and put tying run on base, Next batter, Paul Baioni K’d. Two Outs. The key hit of the game was a bases clearing double by Johnny Houghton who finished with 3 hits on the day.
The Blue Team tried to bounce back in top of 10th but failed to re-gain the lead. Then in bottom of 10th, McPhail singled, Ortiz Singled, Nick Harris forced McPhail at 3rd and the game winner was hit by Bo McMinn to score Ortiz from 2nd base.