5/18/2008 Game Date
The time finally came for the make-up game to be played for the one that was rained out. The make-up game came on a Sunday, in place of our normal practice slot. The mood was a little light, with more than a couple Flames making comments about being a little tired and hot. Still, they all agreed that they were looking to play and they took the field at the top of the first, determined to have fun.
The Orioles came out of the starting gate on fire. They managed to bat their maximum of 10 players, and they scored 8 of them, with our Flames getting the other 2 players out. The outs came from a nice play by Chris at shortstop, where he stopped a ground ball and tagged an advancing runner, and the other came from a stop by Mike at second base who then had a throw to Pearson at first base.
Isaac started things off for us with a single, which included some fine hustle to first. Chris drove Isaac in with a blast into the outfield, which ended with Chris standing safe at second with a double. Noah followed up with a single, with Chris advancing to third base. Mike hit a hard chopper, that the defense had a hard time handling. When the dust settled, Chris had scored, Mike was safe with a single, and Noah was standing safe at second. Bubba poked a shot into left field, and our runners were advancing. Noah was give the go sign to head for home, but the outfielder got the ball in quickly. Noah tried to save the play by making it back to thirdbase, however, the Orioles showed some good ball handling skills in passing the ball between players and them successfully tagging Noah for the second out of the inning. Josh was up next with runners on first and second, and ripped a line drive that made it to shallow center. Mike received the green light and as he was rounding third, the ball was on it’s way towards the cather. Mike must have seen the ball out of the corner of his eye, because his face took a stern look and his body tilted slightly forward in anticipation of the upcoming slide. The Orioles catcher fielded the throw on a bounce, and positioned himself in front of the plate just as Mike came barreling home and began his slide. There was a cloud of dust, a collision, and when everything settled the catcher had maintained his hold on the ball, and Mike was declared out. It was most impressive though seeing Mike’s teammates hoot and holler in appreciation for the close play at the plate, and Mike showed his scuffed flesh around as a badge of honor.
The Flames still high on their inning full of heart seemed to have a little extra step as they took the field. It showed in one of the highly sought after 1-2-3 innings. The lead runner had a hit into left-center, and the Orioles first base coach gave the runner the go ahead to try and take second. Tony fielded the ball in the outfield, and threw it in to Chris who was standing nearby second, where he was able to turn and make tag to get the runner out. After the next batter struck out, the Orioles final batter of the inning popped-up the ball with Chris catching cleanly it for the final out.
Tony tried to get things rolling with a ground ball back up the middle, yet the Orioles pitcher fielded the ball and made the throw to first for an out. Gray was more successful, with a hit that proved too difficult for the pitcher to handle, and Gray’s sheer determination getting him safe at first as he beat out the throw. Madi moved Gray over with a single that was hit down the third baseline. With two outs, runners on first and second, Isaac came to the plate. He asked me how many outs we had and I told him two…to which Isaac responded by his eyes getting as large as grapefruits. I told him it was okay and he needed to just focus on the ball. Isaac did manage to put the ball into play, however, it went right to the firstbase man, where he was able to field it and step on the bag to bring the inning to a close.
The Flames were still working hard and managed to keep the Orioles caged for another inning. With their lead-off batter standing at first base, the second batter hit a pop-fly, which Chris caught just in front of second base. The Orioles base runner made a mistake, and ran on the play, and before they could make it back to first base, Chris was able to make the tag for an unassisted double play. The following player managed a double, but the inning was brought to a close with the next batter hitting a line drive that went right to Chris at shortstop, where he reached out and made the grab for the final out.
Pearson led off the inning for us with a hit that bounced through the infield and out into the outfield. Pearson was safe at second with a double. Chris followed up with a single of his own, but Pearson was tagged out while attempt to move over to third. Noah had a single of his own, while Chris advanced to second. Mike had a sacrifice hit that moved Chris and Noah forward into scoring position. Bubba took advantage of the moves, with a single that brought home Chris and Noah. Josh ripped a single while Bubba moved to second. Unfortunately a bad pitch on my end resulted in a third strike and the end to our inning.
We had done an excellent job of holding the Orioles back, and closing the gap, until the Orioles seemed to say no more and displayed some real tough ball of their own. They managed to bring 10 batters to the plate, with six of them scoring. We managed our three outs, with Chris getting his second unassisted double play of the game, when he caught another pop-up and then tagged an Oriole who had decided to leave second base. Our last out of the inning came from a ball that was hit into left-center field. Tony positioned himself in front of the ball and made a good throw to Noah at third base. Noah took the throw and tagged an advancing runner for the third and final out.
Our final at bat didn’t go well at all. I was a jumble of nerves in wanting the kids to pull things out, and it affected my pitching, with Dylan and Madi only seeing one decent pitch to two bad pitches, and Gray tapped a pitch straight down to the first baseman where it was fielded cleanly for an out.
Orioles: 14 Flames: 4
Mike was recognized with the “Tough as Nails” ball. Mike showed determination in heading for home plate and made an excellent slide. The catcher blocked the plate and Mike ended up getting out, but the fire he displayed is a fine example of what makes him a member of the Lascassas Flames.
Chris received a game ball for his offensive and defensive prowess displayed in the game. Two unassisted double plays, a pair of hits and a pair of runs highlighted Chris’s role.
Tony received a game ball for solid defensive play in the outfield. Two outfield assists that led to outs that kept us in the game.
To Perry and David Lee for the help on the base paths. To Frankie for filling in with the scorebook. To Brian for managing the choas of the dugout.