Pirates vs. Diamondbacks
April 20, 2001

W 17-7

The Pirates came to the ballpark ready to do some damage tonight. On a beautiful albeit windy Friday evening, the Pirates faced off against the D-Backs (short for Diamondbacks). As game reporter, it's my job to D-tail the game. And that's just what I'm gonna do.

The Pirates were the visiting team, so they batted first (duh). Blake started things rolling with an infield hit. Ryan followed with a smack line drive to right field. After a little extracurricular baserunning (we stole a couple bases), Andrew got 2 RBIs by lifting a double to left field. Brian followed with a screamer in the hole between third base and shortstop. Then the mighty Anna boomed a double to right center field. That was probably the longest, strongest hit this season. Michael followed with a double to right center field. You know what? The Pirates have already scored 5 runs with no outs. D-lightful! The D-backs never knew what hit 'em!

In the bottom of the first, the Pirates D-fense was called into action. After a leadoff single, the next batter grounded to B.J. at third base. B.J. came up firing to Anna at first base. The throw was good, but just a little off the bag. No problem -- Anna simply stepped off the bag, caught the ball, and applied the tag. Nice play! 3 more hits started a rally. With the bases jammed up, the next batter lifted a fly ball just out of Chris's reach. But no matter. A hustling Matthew fielded the ball in right center. And in a very heads-up move, Matthew threw to Michael covering second base. Force out! Great play!! Two more singles loaded the bases. It's time for some D-fense! The batter lifted a soft fly ball in front of the mound. There's only one play. Josh M. dives off the pitcher's mound and makes a fantastic catch to D-ny the D-backs. The first inning ends with the Pirates up 5-3.

In the second inning, Max led off with a single to right field. Hayden laid down a great bunt, barely beating the throw at first. After lots of foul balls, Chris finally scratched a hit to load the bases. Josh B. followed with a grounder to third base, but the fielder made a nice play, forcing Max at the plate. With one out, Josh M. singled to right field, bringing in a run. Matthew then had a strange play when he lifted a fly ball down the first base line. As he ran towards first base, the ball landed fair and then hit Matthew while he was in fair territory. Out! Oh well. In the major leagues, they learn to run in fair territory all the way to first. Hey, Coach Rodney's just happy they're running hard to first base -- we'll teach 'em the subtleties later. Finally, B.J. grounds to third base, where the fielder forces Josh B. at third. Pirates score one.

In the bottom of the second, the D-Backs start with two strikeouts. Four straight hits scored one and loaded the bases. For the second straight inning, the Pirates are staring at a bases-loaded, two-out situation. This time the big D-Backs cleanup hitter smacks a grounder to Michael at shortstop. Michael turns and finds Christopher right where he needed to be, covering second base. Michael flipped to Chris, and Chris squeezed the ball. Got him! I D-clare that to be a very important play!! Pirates escape the inning with only one run. Yay!! It's 6-4 going to the third, with the Pirates in the lead.

In the top of the third, the top of the Pirates order D-stroyed the ball. Blake led off with a triple to right field. Ryan went Blake one further, legging out a home run to the right field fence. Everybody was cheering. I asked Coach Rodney what the applause was for. He said everyone's cheering the long gone homer. Long Gone Homer? That's me!! Well, shucks. I'd like to thank all the little people that have helped get me this far, and I don't want to forget..... HUH? Oh, they're not cheering for ME? Well, fine. See if I care.......... Anyway, back to the game. Andrew followed Ryan's great round-tripper with a get-out-of-the-way hit to left field. Brian got another hit up the middle. Then Anna showed her amazing power (and speed) to get another double. Michael and Max finished it up by getting singles to push across the fourth and fifth runs.

In the bottom of the third, after a couple hits and a strikeout, the D-Backs batter hit the ball D-rectly to Hayden at first base. No problem. Hayden made the out unassisted. The inning ended with the batter hitting sharply to Ryan at shortstop, who came up gunning. He threw to Hayden at first for the third out. No runs for the D-Backs! On to the fourth, where the Pirates lead 11-4.

In the fourth, the Pirates bat 10 players. Hayden and Chris started with singles. Josh B. got an infield hit -- and he was only safe because he motored to first as fast as he could. After a strikeout, Matthew hit a bases-loaded single to score two! B.J. followed with his own hit/RBI. Blake grounded out to first. With two outs, Ryan cracked a double to right field. Then Andrew and Brian got singles. Six runs score! WOW!

In the bottom of the fourth, the D-Backs get four straight hits to start things off. Then Max catches a high pop fly at second base for the first out. We even almost doubled off the runner at third. Hayden got another unassisted putout at first base. Then Hayden got bored with making the easy play at first. With two outs, the batter hit a grounder to Hayden. Hayden fooled everyone by not stepping on first. Rather, threw to the plate!! Luckily (for Hayden), Andrew was waiting and applied the perfect tag. D-Backs score 3, but that's not enough. Pirates win by the ten-run rule, 17-7!

There was still time, so the Pirates and D-Backs played another practice inning. The Pirates batted 10 players again. If we were counting, we probably scored another 6 runs or so. Everyone was hitting, including Chris, who got his third straight hit!

Chris sure D-livered when it counted today. He went 3-for-3, and made the putout in the second inning with the bases loaded. That kept the Pirates in the lead. Chris definitely D-serves Coach Rodney's choice as today's Pirate Pick! Super game Chris!

Captain "Long Gone" Homer