HDL Baseball – A good day to win, a bad day to lose
AFTER 10 INNINGS
Wow! What a game!
So many HDL players poured their hearts out in their team’s collective efforts to score more runs than their opponent. On a beautiful day for a baseball game, each team was at the field early and ready to play. Starting the game at 10:00 AM allowed everyone to get a little extra rest before taking the field. Not knowing that this game would go extra innings, that extra hour of rest came in handy when game became tied after 9 innings, 8-8.
As everyone can tell from the scoreboard photo, the Dodgers rallied from 4 runs down going into the bottom of the 7th inning to close the Orioles lead to only 2 runs. Greg Bacchus (2 for 5, 2 RBI) opened the inning with a single, followed by a Travis Hill single. The big hit of the inning was provided by Jason Nilsen.
Then in the 8th inning, the Dodgers continued to apply pressure to the Orioles by having good at bats.
With Brian Nilsen leading off the inning with a single to center field, Andrew Waddell singled to fire up the Dodgers hitters coming up behind him. But Tony Lomax had to face Nick Harris who entered the pitching position after Bo McMinn had lasted 7 strong innings but it was time to make a change and bring in Nick. Tony went down swinging for the first out of inning.
When Nick Harris faced Greg Bacchus, he too found out how tough Greg is to get out. Greg’s “Texas-Leaguer” to right field was enough to make the score 6-5. But this is where the fun began. With first base open, the Orioles elected to intentionally walk Travis to set up a possible force play situation. The score was then tied, 6-6, when Carlos Medina grounded into a 6-4 fielders choice.
FOLLOW THE BOUNCEE BALL!
The Orioles were now worried about how to get out of this mess. So they intentionally walked Kurt Adkison with 2 outs to bring up the next batter, Kevin Nilsen. Kevin was determined to do something to help his team. With a 2 strike count, Kevin fought off a good pitch by Nick that was initially pulled foul, just inside the grass edged base path, between 3rd base and home plate. A combination of a hard chopped grounder and a lucky bounce against the raised grass edge about 40 feet from the 3rd base bag caused the ball to shoot quickly inside the 3rd base bag for a fair ball and a base hit for Kevin. Two more runs crossed the plate and suddenly the Dodgers were leading 8-6 and only 3 outs away from the victory. A crazy bounce at an unanticipated time helped keep the Dodgers hopes alive that they had enough moxey to win this game.
To say the least, the Orioles were shook-up but trying to stay positive as they knew the Dodgers were highly likely to stay with Travis Hill since their Ace, Andrew Waddell, felt pain in his shoulder when trying to pitch and unavailable. No doubt, the Orioles felt they were overdue for some more runs.
The top of the ninth brought Bo McMinn to the plate. Bo Singled. Larry Hunsucker followed with one of his best hits in 2 weeks. After Carlos Cabrera popped out to 2nd base and Ramon Moreta’s line drive to left field was caught by Jason Nilsen for the 2nd out, the Orioles chances of winning came down to Tim Harris.
Tim Harris batted lead-off today for the Orioles and had been on base every time he batted today. Tim’s bouncer to Tony Lomax, playing 3rd base, looked like the game was about to end. But the throw was low and wide of Andrew Waddell playing first base. This throwing error allowed Bo and Hunsucker’s courtesy runners to score and tie the game at 8-8.
What a tough break for the Dodgers. But remember, Dodgers were Home Team so they had a chance to come back. But Nick Harris was still pitching for the O’s and throwing strong. Nick got out of the bottom of the 9th after Jake Hatchett, Orioles catcher, gunned down Brian “Wheels” Nilsen trying to steal 2nd base.
The Orioles threatened in the 10th inning but did not score after Caesar Cabrera had singled. In bottom of the 10th, something ‘twinged’ in Nick’s right arm after striking out Tony Lomax and Greg Bacchus, back-to-back. Nick Harris, somehow, managed to make it through the bottom of the 10th but he was “done” for the day, as far as pitching goes.
Both teams did very little in the 11th inning so it looked like this game might go on for a long time. The only change in the lineup was Jake Hatchett was now pitching for the O’s and Ramon Moretta was behind the plate catching.
However, in the top of the 12th inning, after 2 outs, Travis Hill hit Cesar Cabrera. Caesar needed a courtesy runner so Nick Harris was used. The Orioles next batter, Jodie Wolfe, who was 0 for 4 and a walk up until the 12th inning. Jodie swung the bat and hit the baseball just enough to send the ball high into right field where Kurt Adkison hesitated to read the ball and see that the ball was in the bright sunny sky and about to fall in front of him. Kurt gave everything he had to make a running catch of Jodie‘s fly ball. But the ball glanced off Kurt’s glove and that bobble allowed Nick Harris to score from second base and give the Orioles a slim 1-run lead.
In bottom of the 12th, Jake walked Ray Reinhart. Jason Nilsen ran for Ray and when he tried to steal 2nd base, Ramon did his best Jake Hatchett impersonation by firing a laser to Caesar Cabrera, O’s shortstop, for the 1st out of the inning. Jake got Brian Nilsen to fly out and Andrew Waddell to pop-up.
Game Over – Final Score 9-8!
11th – 12th innings
Yes, this was one of those games where you hated to see someone lose. But that is why we play the game. To find out which team can get ahead and then hold on to retire 3 batters in that last inning when it is most important.
I can’t wait for next Sunday’s showdown between the CDS Athletics and Lost Pizza Orioles. I have already predicted the game will be a repeat of the intensity we witnessed on Sunday, October 11th.
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