Pirates vs. Braves
March 30, 2001

W 16-12

Ahoy Matey! Welcome to the first report of classic Pirate battles. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Captain Long Gone Homer, proud pirate and chief news reporter for the 2001 Pee Wee Pirates. You have already met my wife Polly -- she makes all the phone calls for Coach Rodney. Enough with the introductions... on to the report!

The Pirates stormed the field to defend her against those "brave" oppponents. The first Brave stepped in and tapped a grounder towards the pitcher. Brian swarmed to the ball and fired a strike to Anna for the first out. After a couple hard hit grounders through the left side of the infield, and a lot of tossing the ol' ball around, Ryan steadied the team by firing to Andrew at the plate and snagging a guy trying to score. Great play! And way to shut down the scoring threat! One more hit, but nothing happened. The inning ended with Ryan gunning out the batter at first base. Braves score 2.

In the bottom of the first, the Pirates showed why they are a force to be reckoned with. Blake got a leadoff hit and then stole second. Brian cracked a grounder up the middle to score Blake. Ryan got a smack grounder to plate Brian, stole second, and scored when Andrew got a double. Michael and Anna got hits too, with Anna's 2 RBIs giving the Pirates 5 runs. That's all we're allowed to get (in the first 3 innings anyway), so the Pirates went back on defense. The first inning ended with the Pirates up 5-2.

The first Brave in the second inning got a hit and tried to steal second base on the next pitch. Andrew fired a line drive down to second base (well, actually it was the highest rainbow I've ever seen Andrew throw...). Ryan caught the fly ball (I mean, hard line drive) from Andrew and applied the tag. Safe! But the runner overran the base. Tag! Out!! Yippeee!! Coach Rodney said he wanted to see tag plays on runners overrunning the base -- and Ryan got the first one. Alright! 3 straight hits produced two runs. Then Anna fielded a grounder down the first base line and applied the tag for the second out. A final strikeout, and the Pirates go to the bottom of the second up 5-4.

We now pause for a moment to remember the brain that Coach Rodney used to have........................thank you. Joshua M.leads off the Pirates. Coach Rodney calls for the bunt, and Joshua M. lays down a perfect bunt. No one's gonna get that textbook bunt, except the only other guy to read the textbook. The Braves catcher (probably the strongest player in the league), hopped out from behind the plate and threw Josh out at first. Yikes!! Too bad Coach Rodney was sleeping, or he wouldn't have called for the bunt against such a strong catcher. After a swinging strikeout by Christopher, Hayden got a base hit. Matthew steps in and...... WHAT is Coach Rodney thinking? Sure, it was a good idea to get Hayden to second base with 2 outs so he could be in scoring position, but stealing against that catcher? Hello?? Matthew watches in horror as his comrade is easily thrown out at second base. Gulp! No runs score, so we're on to the third inning.

Let's just say this. The Braves got a lot of hits. And when the Pirates weren't sleeping, they were tossing the ball around like a hot potato. The net result is five runs for the Braves. Enough said.

In the bottom of the third, Matthew came to the plate -- again. He glared down at Coach Rodney, remembering the critical mistake the Coach made the previous inning (hey, this is creative license! It makes the report more interesting). Matthew hit a dribbler down the third base line. And we have a baserunner! Coach Rodney finally comes to his senses and puts the brakes on his baseruners, as the Braves strong catcher is still behind the plate. Joshua B. has a swinging strikeout, so Max steps to the plate with one out. Max gets a hit to start a rally. And sure enough, the top of the lineup absolutely murders the ball (except for Blake's itty-bitty dribbler up the first base line!). The Pirates score 5 and crawl back on top 10-9.

On to the fourth inning, where a team doesn't stop at 5 runs (just 10 batters). The Braves put up a threat, getting a few base hits. Max made a nice putout from second base to Michael at first base, and then the Braves had a strikeout. With two outs, the Braves get the runners moving with a hit to right field. Matthew hustles to the ball. Brian is pitcher and heads out towards right field a bit. Matthew throws to Brian. Brian turns to the plate, finds Joshua M. "exactly" where he needed to be (in front of the plate), and fires a throw to Josh. A slide, a cloud of dust, a tag play! Yerrrrr out! Wow! What a way to stop the Braves threat. They score 3 runs.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Pirates needed to reach down and gut out some runs. Anna led off with a stinging shot past the shortstop. Joshua M, Christopher, Hayden, and Matthew all got hits, and 2 runs scored (Josh M. was forced out at the plate). That brought Joshua B. to the plate. One out, game tied, definite clutch situation. And Joshua smacks a grounder up the middle, bringing in the go-ahead (and eventually winning) run! More hits ensued and the Pirates ended up with 6 runs. That means it's 16-12 after four complete innings.

We go to the fifth inning, but we're not able to complete it. The Braves do get some hits and runs. And Andrew made a nice putout to first base from pitcher, plus Andrew made a leaping (yes, you read the word correctly) catch to prevent extra bases. But time ran out on the inning. And the inning doesn't count if you can't complete it. It goes back to the previous inning, where the mighty Pirates led. Final score: 16-12. Pirates win their first battle!

But one important question remains -- who is today's Pirate Pick? Coach Rodney is always on the lookout for good plays at the important times of the game. And Joshua B. clearly stepped forward to break the tie (and thus win the game) with his clutch hit in the fourth inning. Josh B. is today's Pirate Pick. Congratulations, Josh! (or as Coach Rodney might say, "Congratulations Gumbo!")

In case you were wondering, B.J. was in Tennessee. I heard he was at a wedding. Gosh, these kids grow up so fast... Best wishes B.J.!! See you after your honeymoon!

Captain Long Gone Homer