|The Friday night tradition of legendary
Pirate battles continued tonight. The Pirates
were shorthanded, with B.J. and Andrew out of
town, and Brian nursing a sprained ankle. So it
was time for the rest of the Pirates to pull
together. With no further interruptions, we
proceed to the game report.
The Pirates hit the
field as the home team, hoping to shut down the
undefeated Giants. The Giants' leadoff hitter
lifted a fly ball towards shortstop, where Ryan
made a nice running catch. Their next batter
struck out. Their lanky third hitter got an
infield hit and eventually moved up to third
base. With two outs and a Giants baserunner in
scoring position, the cleanup hitter lifted a fly
ball past the pitcher near the second base bag.
Ryan "got on his horse" and hustled to
the ball, making an incredible sliding catch for
the third out! Pirates shut down the tough Giants
in the top of the first with no runs!
In the bottom of the first, Blake led off with
a huge triple to right field! Ryan followed with
another hit to right center field, scoring Blake.
Then Anna dug in and rocketed a line drive to
right center field too! She ended up at second
with a double. Hayden put down a gorgeous bunt
but got thrown at first when the catcher made a
nice play. Michael hit into a fielder's choice,
but most importantly, drove in Anna from third
base. Chris hit a flare to the first baseman, who
gloved it for the final out. But the Pirates
score three! And they lead after one inning, 3-0.
In the top of the second, the first two Giants
fell on strikes. Three straight infield hits
produced a run, but a final strikeout ended the
threat. The highlight of the inning was when an
overthrow to first base landed in right field. A
large black dog streaked from the visiting dugout
and picked up the ball, running around in the
outfield with the ball in his mouth! And he was
happy! "I've got a cool ball, and all these
nice people are chasing me!" Sadly, the dog
spent the rest of the game in "time
out", in the family car.
In the bottom of the second, Max led off with
a pop fly to the strong Giants shortstop. With
one out, Matthew hit a seeing-eye single down the
third base line. Josh B. then stepped up, swung
hard, and make excellent contact -- a sharp
double to right center field! Josh M. followed
with an important 2-RBI double to right center
field. Excellent! Coach Rodney caused Josh M. to
be called out (on a close play) as Josh tried to
steal third. With two outs, the Pirates head to
the top of the order! Blake snuck in a hit
between first and second base. Finally, Ryan
lifted a soft liner over the shortstop's head
into left field. WHAT? The shortstop makes an
excellent play, making an over-the-shoulder catch
on Ryan's hit. But the Pirates head to the third
inning up 5-1.
The Giants start the third with three straight
hits. Gulp! Then Hayden makes a fantastic play.
The batter fouled the ball straight up about 5 or
6 feet. Hayden brushed off his hockey goalie
skills and gloved the puck, er... ball, for a
putout! WOW! The next batter lifted a huge fly
ball between Josh M. and Chris in left field.
Josh came running, slid under the ball, and RATS!
-- he just missed it. That was a tough play. Then
Anna gloved the next grounder, wheeled from her
position at pitcher, and fired on to Michael at
first base for the putout. Unfortunately, the
Giants continued to pour it on. They scored 5.
In the bottom of the third, Anna led off with
a towering fly ball to first base. After the ball
returned to earth's atmosphere, the first baseman
camped under it for the out. Hayden then got
another unlucky out. Then Michael put down a
gorgeous bunt down the first base line. No one's
gonna get that track star! Michael got the call
to steal second base. He took off, but quickly
realized he was dead meat. So he stopped in his
tracks and headed back to first. Smart
baserunning, Michael! A final strikeout ended the
Pirates threat. No runs score, so we head to the
fourth inning down 6-5.
It's gut-check time, Pirates!! The Giants
first hitter smacked a sharp grounder to Michael
at first base, who fielded it cleanly for the
first out. After a double and a stolen base, the
Giants had another threat. But after another
strikeout, the next batter hit a grounder to Ryan
at shortstop, who fired on to Michael for the
putout. No runs score! That's HUGE!!
In the bottom of the fourth, Max and Matthew
started us with singles. Josh B. fell on strikes,
actually bunting foul for the third strike. Max
and Matthew moved up on a passed ball. We now
reach the critical play of the ballgame. Josh M.
lifted a towering fly ball to third base. With
only one out, Max streaks for home. OH NO!! You
have to tag up! "MAAAAAAAAXXXX!," yells
Coach Rodney as he tries to put the brakes on.
Fortunately for the Pirates (and especially for
Max), the third baseman drops the ball. If he
catches it, it's a sure double play -- and the
Pirates would score no runs. As it is, one run is
in, there's two runners on the basepaths, Coach
Rodney is suffering heart failure, and we're back
to the top of the order. And do they produce!!
Wow, the guys (and gal) crush the ball. That's
Blake, Ryan, Anna, and Michael with hits! (Hayden
got robbed again on a line drive). We bat all 10
Pirates, with the final RBI coming from
Christopher, who scores Michael from second base
on a hit to the outfield! Pirates have their
biggest inning yet this season and score 7!!
Pirates lead 12-6 going to the top of the fifth.
In the fifth inning, the player of the game
honors were still up for grabs. Did I say grab?
The first batter creams a line drive towards
third base. Hayden is in the crease, and makes a
glove save! (whoops, wrong sport). Yes,
"Slapshot" shows why he is worthy of
his nickname with a hockey-inspired defensive
gem. A few more hits by the Giants generate a few
more runs. But a strikeout and a sweet putout
from Ryan to Anna ended the inning. Giants are
credited with 5 runs, bringing the score to
12-11. (Actually, a review of the scorebook shows
they only got four runs).
Time has expired. The Pirates turn into
Giant-killers with another Friday night victory
(12 to 11)!
Although there were lots of offensive
highlights, Coach Rodney stepped up and named
Hayden as today's Pirate Pick
for his two outstanding catches in the field.
Coach Rodney is a third baseman at heart, and he
loves to see good glovework around the ol' hot
corner. Congratulations, Hayden!