The Rainout That Wasn’t
Recapping events of last Sunday won’t take long – “I flubbed (substitute the other F-word) up.”
After spending most of Saturday at Tobey field watching it dry-out, ever so slowly. I left Tobey about 4:00 PM and the field was still very soft, especially from Shortstop to Second base fielders area. Then, when it rained at 9:05 PM Saturday night for almost 30 minutes, I was convinced there was no way HDL could play ball at 9:00 on Sunday. (My 9:00 AM start assumption was correct)
Normally I would always delay any official decision until I had a chance to check out field conditions by 6:30 AM. But this last Sunday, I had obligations to be at Marquette Park to help my families Italian Festival team breakdown our booth set-up. I needed to be there by 5:00 AM so that I could get back to Tobey to see if conditions had improved so that the MSBL could be notified about the status of conditions that might allow them to play later on Sunday. Between 7:30 – 8:00 AM, Bo called me and informed me that Tobey could be playable by pushing the start time back. We discussed the implications and complications of trying to undo, what I had already established (Games Cancelled), even though my original cancellation email had the caveat that a miracle might be possible. Bo’s insistence, that he could – “make it happen”, assured me he was serious. So, with no access to internet (Blog) and no email distribution list in my phone, I managed to find a way to send out an email saying – “GAMES ON!”
At that point, I continued with my off-Tobey commitment and was able to get back to Tobey around 10:40 AM. The first game between CDS Gray and Lomax Blue had (just) started. This game turned out to be one of the best games of the young HDL season. For 5 innings, this game was tight. Going into the top of the 6th inning, the CDS Gray team trailed by score of 6-3. Earlier in the game, in the 4th inning, Juan Blanco blasted a full count fastball from Bo McMinn over the left field fence for a solo Homerun to make the score 4-3. Then, in bottom of 4th, with Juan Blanco pitching for CDS, Tony Lomax “went yard” with Bo McMinn on 2nd to make the score 6-3.
Travis Hill took over the pitching duties from Bo in 5th inning and Travis retired 1st 3 batters he faced. But in top of the 6th, Travis was not as sharp. After the lead-off hitter for CDS K’d, Larry Rutledge pinch-hit for Carlos Canelo Sr. Rutledge walked to start the inning. Enrique Garcia singled scoring Carlos Canelo Jr who was courtesy runner for Rutledge. (Score 6-4). Next CDS batter, Oscar Zamudio took a called 3rd strike (2 Outs). Johnny Gonzales followed with a solid single scoring Garcia. (Score 6-5) Steve Eordogh singled – runners on 1st & 2nd.
One more out and Blue would get the “W”. By this time, Lomax Blue decided to bring in Jake Hatchett who earlier in game had completed his 15th inning (Rookie restriction) and was now free to be used again in the game. Facing Juan Blanco, Lomax Blue decided to Intentionally walk Juan to face Carlos Cabrera with 2 outs. Jake made a good pitch and got Cabrera to pop-up toward Second base where Larry Hunsucker was camped to put this game away. Only problem, Blue 1st baseman started yelling, “I got it” and drifted toward the ball just as it hit Larry’s mitt. A minor collision caused the ball to pop-out of Larry’s glove and with 2 outs, all base-runners were circling the bases. By time ball was recovered, the CDS Gray had taken a 7-6 lead. Another Walk and a clutch hit by Ramon Moreta made the score 8-6.
The Gray team withstood a good rally by Lomax Blue team that made the final score 8-7. This game had HDL baseball drama at it’s finest. I really want to see more HDL games with this type of intensity. For the CDS Gray, this was their 2nd victory and for Lomax Blue this was their 1st loss.
Game Two = Prudential Orange vs Peterbilt Red
With the delayed start time of the first game, the Orange–Red game got started a little before 1:00 PM. A good turnout considering the wacky communications it took to make this happen. Hats off to the team leaders for contacting their players and convincing them we were really playing. A couple of players who didn’t get the word were surprised and disappointed they missed the games. On Monday I was informed that Jerry Tatum did not get contacted and he informed me this was probably his first missed game in 5 years. Well as far as I am concerned, his record is still intact because the official word was it was “rained out.”
Prudentail Orange came out swinging in the first inning against Andrew Waddell and was able to push across 2 early runs as 7 batters came to the plate. Nick Harris made a rare Sunday appearance and was on the mound for Orange. Nick threw as well as I have seen him pitch since his rookie year. In the game, Nick Harris had 9 K’s and only 2 walks while only allowing 5 base hits. What was just as impressive was Andrew Waddell had 8 K’s, 1 walk & 1 Hit Batter but allowed 15 base hits. A couple of the hits were high pop-ups behind second base that Jose Ortiz and Adam Wasson mis-judged and dropped in for hits. By the fifth inning the score was only 5-0. In bottom of 5th, Kevin Latham led off with a triple and scored on Mike Morris’s 2nd hit of the game. Kevin Latham and Mike Morris accounted for 4 of the Peterbilt Red 5 hits. For Orange team, Greg Baccus had a “perfect” day going 4 for 4 – all singles. James Skinner, John McPhail and DJ Clark each had a double for Orange hitters.
All-in-all, it turned out to be a great day to play baseball. The field started out soft in some places but by the 2nd game, the infield was perfect for baseball. Afternoon showers were still in the forecast but they didn’t arrive until the late innings of the second MSBL game that started about 6:00 PM.
HDL Schedule for this weekend:
Friday, June 6, 7:00 PM, Prudential Orange plays Lomax Blue
Sunday, June 8, 9:00 AM, Peterbilt Red plays CDS Gray
Reminder: IF, Friday game rained out, Sunday will switch to a double header with Orange–Blue playing late game.
One other reminder, Larry Rutledge will be out of town and unable to attend any HDL games this weekend.