Nice weather greeted all HDL players today as the 2014 HDL season got underway at Tobey Park. An excellent turnout helped fuel the excitement of all players who participated. Games played today gave everyone an indication of what teams are going to have to do to match their opponent’s strengths. By the end of April all teams will have played each other and that will create a true picture of just how balanced or uneven all teams are. Now for some game highlights:
Game 1 – CDS Gray (New Team) 14; Peterbilt Red 5
Late Inning Action
The Peterbilt team capitalized on some first inning jitters by the Gray team infielders who committed two back-to-back errors to open the game. These miscues contributed to 3 runs for Peterbilt. With Andrew Waddell on the mound for Peterbilt, the Gray team was challenged when trying to get back into the game during the first 3 innings. But even against A-Wad, and with winds gusting from 25 to 30 MPH, lots of crazy fly balls would prove to be a factor. For both teams, normally reliable outfielders and infielders had difficulty gauging how much the wind was helping move the baseball on a pop-up or long fly-ball.
As defensive players adjusted to the wind, every potential “out” would affect the eventual outcome of the game. With a strong southerly wind, players figured if they could get a good swing and make solid contact with any pitch near the plate, there was a good chance the baseball would leave the park. The first player to test the wind was Adam Wasson (Peterbilt), who in his 1st AB, hit a “laser” up against the right field fence for an easy triple. Then in his next AB, in the 4th inning, he sent the baseball over the left field fence for a 2 run homer. At the time, Adam’s HR made the game score 5-0 in favor of Peterbilt.
But in the bottom of the 4th inning, the Gray Team showed their “grit & grind” by putting some good swings on the ball and pushing across 4 runs to make the score 5-4. Juan Jose got the scoring started with a double. Ramon Moreta knocked in Juan with a single to right field. After Cesar Roman K’d there was 2 outs and it looked like Peterbilt might hold on to their early lead. But 2 errors back-to-back by Peterbilt 3rd baseman and pitcher kept the inning alive. This allowed Carlos Canelo’s base hit to make the score 5-4.
In the top of the 5th, Peterbilt went down 1-2-3. In the bottom of the 5th, the Gray Team would get to face Joe Copen who was making his HDL Pitching debut. Joe had a good inning as he striked-out 2 Gray batters and got out of the inning 1-2-3. Meanwhile, Wes Hill for the Gray Team was continuing to pitch effectively and did not allow any runs the rest of the game. So in the bottom of the 6th inning, The Gray team showed some patience and took advantage of control problems by Joe Copen as 4 Gray team walks opened the scoring flood gates. Ten runs were recorded before the inning ended, Adam Wasson came in to try to keep the score from getting more out-of-hand. However, Adam had his share of control problems as he too allowed more than 2 walks before the final out was caught in left field.
Traditional Post Game
Hit Leaders: Gray – Juan Jose Blanco was 3 for 4 w/ 2 doubles; Ramon Moreta was 1 for 2 & 2 walks. Red (Peterbilt) – Adam Wasson was 2 for 3 w/ triple, Homerun and 3 RBI’s; Andrew Waddell was 2 for 3 w/ 2 dbls; Kevin Latham was 1 for 3; Mike Morris and Bill Freeze had one hit.
In the bottom of the 7th inning with the game clock about to strike “midnight”, the Prudential Orange team had a commanding 8-5 lead. The score was 8-4 when Otis Edwards “unloaded” on a Jodie Wolfe slider that dropped into Otis’s “wheel-house”. By the time the ball landed, it was almost in the school bus parking lot. This would have been the perfect time to make a pitching change because it would have guaranteed that the 7th inning would have been the last inning. But with 2 minutes remaining and Jodie still pitching, Jake Hatchett went down swinging and the game continued. In the top of the 8th, PW Burnett who took over for Bo McMinn in the 6th inning retired Klinger, Tatum & Baioni to quickly set-up the 8th inning drama that was about to unfold. At the start of the inning, Jodie Wolfe was still on the mound for Orange. His inning started: Bo – double, PW – RBI single (score 8-6), Larry Hunsucker – BB and RBI single by Kurt Adkison- score (8-7) and NO OUTS.
Now Orange make the change and brings in Kris Klinger to face Terry Terrell and Tim Wallenstrom with bases loaded. Terry Terrell swings and misses on a ball that goes to the backstop and allows another run to score to tie the game. Next batter, Tim Wallenstrom made the 1st out. Kevin Nilsen was patient and let the umpire make the calls. On 5 pitches, Kevin walked – 2 runners on. So with a base open, Orange intentionally walked Otis to load the bases and pitch to Hatchett who already had 3 K’s. Jake went to the plate with a good approach – make the pitcher throw strikes. Jake worked the count full and stayed alive with several foul tips. Finally, ball four was called and the winning run trotted home.
The Lomax Blue team had 13 hits, including Otis Edwards Home run, and only walked 5 times, but 4 times in the final inning. Meanwhile, Orange team had 7 hits including a home run by Jodie Wolfe that was reported to have bounced off the top of the fence.
Jodie’s First of 2014
Early in the game the windy conditions were still around but as the game ended, the wind had died down somewhat. Both teams played good defense and pitchers pitched well. Nothing dominating by either pitching staff but effectively around the plate.
Greg Bacchus is ready.
Hit Leaders: Orange – Greg Bacchus (2 for 3); Kris Klinger (2 for 4), Jodie Wolfe (1 for 4) HR. Lomax Blue: Otis Edwards (2 for 4 w/HR); Bo McMinn (2 / 4); PW Burnett (2 / 4); Larry Hunsucker (2 / 2) all other Blue team hitters had one hit except for Kevin Nilsen.
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