Dad’s and Baseball – A Natural Combination
I am pretty certain that a majority of HDL players who participated in the two games the HDL played on Sunday agree with me on how good of a baseball show the HDL performed.
When you think about it, we, collectively, perform a miracle almost every time we get together to play a simple game of baseball.
The HDL is a roster of about 50-60 players who organize their individual teams each week, or whenever, the weather allows us to play a game. We may or may not see any of our teammates during the time since our last game. Yet when we get together a few minutes before each game, we transform from our , family, work, or professional identity to become a contributing member of the team we are loyal to. We become a “Teammate.” We dedicate our approach to the “Game“, to be the best player we can be for that particular day and opponent.
Sunday being “Fathers Day” helped elevate the games importance to those HDL’ers who had relatives and close family members at the park to cheer them on. I, for one, was elated to see how each team had a good turn-out of players. Teams that may have been a little short were allowed to add players from another team, as needed.
SO, which teams won the games played on Fathers Day? Easy Answer: All Teams won. But the teams that scored more runs than their opponent, claimed the numerical difference – for the day.
This game was well played. By the time the 7th inning rolled around, the Orioles were holding on to a 3-2 lead. Dodgers starting pitcher, Travis Hill, gave up 3 runs in the 2nd inning after loading the bases. That is when Terry Terrell, filling in to help the Orioles, smacked a 2 RBI base-hit. Until the 6th inning, Orioles pitcher, Jake Hatchett, had held the Dodger to only 2 runs.
Due to pitching the previous Friday night, Jake’s arm became fatigued so veteran Jodie Wolfe took over for Jake in the 6th inning. Jodie shut-out the Dodgers in the 6th when he got the Dodgers, Travis Hill, to hit a line drive to Cesar Cabrera who quickly stepped on 2nd base after catching the line drive and doubled off Brian Nilsen. Jodie ended the inning by striking out Andrew Waddell on a full-count. In the top of the 7th inning, Jodie allowed a couple of walks but that is not what hurt Jodie. What hurt was two pick-off attempts by Jodie that allowed Dodgers base-runners to move-around the bases to score. Those 2 runs gave the Dodgers the lead and after each team traded a run in the 8th inning, “Time Limit” was called with the score 5-4.
Hit Leaders: Dodgers – Brian Nilsen (3 for 4); Lowell Hinte (2 for 2); Orioles – Larry Rutledge (3 for 4), Larry Hunsucker (2 for 3)
Pitching Numbers: Travis Hill (Dodgers) WP, 4 Runs, 11 Hits, 5 K’s 3 Walks.
Jake Hatchett (Orioles) 5 IP, 2 Runs, 2 K’s 3 walks; Jodie Wolfe – LP, 3 IP, 3 Runs, 3 K’s 0 walks.
Peterbilt Cardinals 4 – Lomax Dodgers 3
With both the Dodgers and Cardinals having the best won-loss records in the HDL through 5 or 6 games, this match-up on Fathers Day was a good game for our fans and fellow HDL team players to watch.
The Cardinals were Home team and had nearly all of their roster in attendance with the lone absentee being James Skinner who was visiting family in Nashville. But with PW Burnett available, the Cardinals liked their chances against the strong left arm of Andrew Waddell (Dodgers).
For the first 3 innings of the game, both team pitchers were dominating. PW had 6 K’s through 3 innings and Waddell had 4 K’s. In the 4th inning as both teams line-ups were facing the opposing pitcher for 2nd time, both teams were able to get runs on the board.
Dodgers lead-off hitter, Brian Nilsen, walked, stole 2nd and after PW K’d Travis Hill and Patrick Belote, Andrew Waddell got enough of the bat on a pitch off the plate that floated over the infield toward the left field foul line. PW got Tony Lomax to pop-up to 3rd base to end the threat.
The Cardinals immediately attacked the Dodgers in bottom of the 4th. After PW popped up to 2nd, Michael Hudson, Otis Edwards and Brett Delk reached base with the big hit being Delk’s RBI single to put the Cards ahead 2-1.
In the 5th inning, PW nicked Kurt Adkison’s shirt to put Kurt on base. Courtesy Runner, Tony Lomax became a pick-off victim as PW caught Tony leaning the wrong way. PW did the rest to shut down any Dodger threat.
In the bottom of the 5th, the Cardinals extended their lead to 3-1 as Johnny Gonzalez, making a Re-Hab Start, singled and scored on Paul Baioni’s base-hit, after Tim Wallenstrom had stroked a Waddell fastball to left field like he owned Mr Waddell.
In the top of the 6th with the score 3-1, Brian Nilsen line-drive to right field tailed away from Dave Neely’s out-stretched glove and rolled to the fence. This was all the extra time “Wheels” Nilsen needed to scamper around the bases for an inside-the-park Home Run and make the score 3-2.
This is where the game got interesting. Dodgers next batter, Travis Hill singled. stole 2nd and advanced to 3rd on Pat Belote’s deep fly ball to right field. So with 2 outs, PW induced Waddell to hit a ground ball toward 2nd base that Cards Shortstop, Brett Delk, fielded, but lost the handle and his late throw to first allowed Travis to tie the game as Waddell was safe at first.
The Dodgers next batter, Tony Lomax was trying to keep the rally alive because the day was getting hotter, time was running out and a Tie game meant extra innings. Tony always swings hard and when he saw a fastball over the plate his level swing sent the pitch right back at PW Burnett. Before PW could flinch, the line-drive smashed into his right forearm near the elbow. By some miracle, the baseball ricocheted toward first base where Carlos Varela picked up the ball, stepped on first for the 3rd out. PW immediately hustled to the nearest ice chest for the only thing he needed – ICE to halt the swelling. PW said he thought he would be OK but was done for the day.
With James Skinner unavailable, the Cardinals went to Rookie, Brett Delk with one request – throw strikes. Brett did a great job as he got 3 out and only faced 4 batters to keep the game tied.
In the bottom of the 7th, Dave Neely walked. Schak reached base on a ground ball error (E6). Johnny Gonzalez hit another gound ball that forced Schak at 2nd for 1st out, but more importantly, moved Neely to third base. This brought Tim Wallenstrom to the plate in a pressure situation. But Tim was “Cool & Calm” when he drove the 2nd pitch he saw deep to center field and Dave Neely cruised across home plate with the winning run.
Game over – Cards 4 – Dodgers 3.