|Bad News Bears||0||0||0||0||1||3||1||5|
Eddie Santos provided the following notes on the game. "The game started pretty slow. We got cut down on some bad base running that killed some potential rallies. Nevertheless, the Bad News Bears weren't that much of a threat at the plate, and eventually Re-Entry pulled away in the mid innings as our bats got hot. I thought we were going to shut them out except that our defense got sloppy when some of our guys started to wing the ball around the field." Highlights from the game:
|Alpha Psi/Sigma Pi||2||6||0||2||1||x||x||11|
In the top of the first inning, Andrew led off with a triple to left-center field. He scored on an RBI single by Taylor. Later in the inning, AJ hit a long two-run homerun to deep center field, and Re-Entry took an early 3--0 lead. In the bottom of the first inning, Alpha Psi/Sigma Pi responded with two runs of their own, thanks in part to a number of Re-Entry defensive lapses. However, their rally was stopped when Howie went deep in the hole between short and third to backhand a sharply hit ground ball, and followed up with an accurate throw to Clara at second for the force and the third out of the inning. That play earned one of the two web gems of the game.
Re-Entry added another three runs in the top of the second, but in the bottom of the second, Alpha Psi/Sigma Pi loaded the bases. The Re-Entry defense continued to be spotty, but a poor call by the umpire negated a force play at second base when Clara shoveled the ball to Howie who picked it up (with his foot firmly on the bag at second) just in time to beat the runner to the base. The runner admitted to being out, but was called safe. The next Alpha Psi/Sigma Pi batter provided the big hit for his team, a well struck line drive into the left--center field gap for the grand slam homerun. With two outs in the inning and Alpha Psi/Sigma Pi threatening to add to their run total, Andrew made the defensive play of the game by running down a line drive hit to left-center field, as he managed to get his glove on the ball at the last moment to record the third out of the inning. A true web gem moment that set the state for the Re-Entry comeback.
With Re-Entry behind by a score of 8--6, Re-Entry pushed another three runs across the plate to take a 9--8 lead in the top of the third inning. In the bottom of the third inning, Alpha Psi/Sigma Pi had a runner on second base with one out, when their hitter popped out to Taylor at first base. But runner on second strayed too far off the bag. Taylor alertly threw a strike to Howie covering second to complete the inning ending double play, and Re-Entry still had the lead.
Turner showed up a little late for the game, so he led off the fourth inning with a massive homerun to deep right field, way beyond the right-fielder. This homerun energized the team, and the Re-Entry bats came alive. Eight runs later, Re-Entry had a commanding 17--8 lead. Alpha Psi/Sigma Pi added two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, narrowing the Re-Entry lead to seven. A little too close for comfort as the fifth inning began. Once again Turner led off the inning, and once again he hit a ball to deep right field (although not as impressive as his first homerun). Nevertheless, the ball was well placed, and Turner had his second homerun of the game. Again, the Re-Entry offense was re-energized, as it duplicated its fourth inning heroics with another eight spot.
Remarkably, nearly an hour and a half had elapsed as the bottom of the fifth inning began, which was declared the final inning by the umpires. Rob came very close to a web gem moment at third base as he dove to his left for a ground ball, which he fielded cleanly. He then threw the ball across the diamond FROM HIS KNEES, which reached first base on a short hop. It was a difficult play for the first baseman, and Taylor was not able to glove the ball as it skidded by her. The runner was awarded second base on the overthrow and scored on an RBI single by the next hitter. However, that would be the last Alpha Psi/Sigma Pi run. A popup to Rob at third ended the game, as Re-Entry closed out its 25--11 victory.
There were a few tense moments in the early part of the game. A
hamstring injury to Stephanie, and a previously injured leg which
limited Dana meant that Re-Entry had only two healthy women in the
lineup. Clara did double duty, including pinch running for Dana
during each of her at-bats. Later, Vanessa arrived to provide
additional support, which included an impressive single that traveled
about two feet and settled exactly on the third base foul line.
|The Red-And-Black Sox||2||0||1||0||0||1||x||4|
After falling behind 2--0 in the top of the first inning, Re-Entry went to work. Andrew led off with a two foot dribbler which turned into a double, as the Red-And-Black Sox started the game without a catcher. Nearly all Re-Entry batters hit safely, and when Howie drove a ball into the right-center field gap that turned into a two run homerun following some ill advised throws by the defense, the rout was on. With two outs in the inning, the tenth run scored ending the frame due to the ten run rule.
Re-Entry continued to add runs, with a three run homerun to right center field by Rob in the second inning and a leadoff solo homerun in the third inning by Andrew over the head of the center fielder. After three innings, Re-Entry had an 18--3 lead with the game no longer in doubt. It was now time for the defense to shine. With one out in the top of the fourth inning and a runner on first base, Taylor snagged a line drive to her right and then alertly beat the runner back to the bag to complete the inning ending double play and earn a web gem.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Yahoo fouled the first two pitches he saw down the left field line (where else?), and then sent the third pitch into the left-center field gap for a two run homerun. Andrew was relieved that Yahoo made it all the way home so that he did not have to pinch run for him for the fourth time. Later in the inning, Rob stroked a double to right center field completing the cycle. By the time Andrew came up to bat, nine Re-Entry runs had scored. So with a runner on second base, Andrew was denied a two run homerun, as the ten run rule was invoked yet again before Andrew crossed the plate.
Eddie was getting bored in left field, so Eddie and Howie swapped positions, with Eddie playing shortstop. This gave him a chance to show his fielding prowess, when with two outs, the Red-And-Black Sox batter hit a pop fly to shallow center field. Eddie took control, while avoiding Andrew who was charging in from right center field. Somehow Eddie reached over his shoulder and just managed to catch and hold on to the ball (snow cone style) for the final out of the inning. The second web gem of the game would not be denied.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Rob added to his offensive feats when he stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded. He delivered yet again with a long fly ball hit well beyond the right fielder for a grand slam homerun. That completed a perfect 5 for 5 day with 9 RBIs. Two batters later, Howie was denied an extra base hit down the left field line, when the left fielder made a spectacular catch to earn a third web gem for the Red-And-Black Sox defender. Howie's 3 for 5 day ended a long hit streak over three seasons that involved more than 20 consecutive hits.
The Red-And-Black Sox managed to push one more run across the plate
(due to an ill-advised Re-Entry throw to try to catch the runner at
third base off guard). With the fog rolling in and darkness
descending, the game was called after six innings, and Re-Entry
claimed the 32--4 victory.
The Big Bangers jumped out to a 1--0 lead in the top of the first, primarily due to some leaky Re-Entry defense. Actually, it is somewhat remarkable that Re-Entry escaped with only a one run deficit, as the Big Bangers left runners on second and third stranded to end the inning. Andrew opened up the bottom of the first with a solo homerun to right center field to quickly tie the score. With one runner on base and two outs, Eddie delivered a two run homerun to center field, giving Re-Entry the 3--1 lead.
The Re-Entry defense settled down, as it held the Big Bangers scoreless in the top of the second inning. In the bottom of the second, Re-Entry extended their lead to 7--1, when A.J. delivered a two run double with runners on second and third and two outs. The game continued at a brisk pace, with no scoring in the third inning by either team. The Re-Entry defense continued to hold firm, quickly retiring the Big Bangers in the top of the fourth inning. But, with only a six run Re-Entry lead, the game still seemed up for grabs.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Re-Entry decided it was finally time to put the game away. With some help from miscues in the field by the Big Bangers, Re-Entry managed to push ten runs across the plate without the help of the big fly. Among the highlights of the inning was Howie scoring from second base on a sacrifice fly by Andrew, and Omar taking an extra base with a highlight reel slide into third base. After batting around, the ten run rule was invoked on a double by Andrew, which drove in the ninth and tenth run of the inning. Re-Entry now had a commanding 17--1 lead.
The Big Bangers threatened to break their streak of goose eggs, putting runners on second and third with two outs. But, our first basewoman, Clara, leaped in the air to snag a line drive headed for right field to end the top of the fifth inning and claim the game's only web gem. In the bottom of the fifth inning. A.J. hit a line drive shot over the left center fielders head, for a two run homerun to extend the lead to 19--1. The Big Bangers again threatened to score in the sixth inning. But with two outs, a nice defensive play by Jenn to knock the ball down and then alertly shovel the ball to Howie, resulted in a force out at second base, as the throw just beat the baserunner.
In the top of the sixth inning, Re-Entry continued the homerun barrage with a two run homerun to center field from Andrew and a towering two run homerun over the left fielder's head courtesy of A.J. In the top of the seventh inning, the Big Bangers finally put some pressure on the Re-Entry defense. In the end, they were able to push across three runs. With a Big Banger on third base and two outs, the runner tried to score on a dribbler in front of home plate. But, our catcher Dana quickly pounced on the ball and tagged out the charging runner to end the game.
Final score: Re-Entry 23, Big Bangers 4, as Re-Entry continued the
domination against their long time rivals with their tenth straight
victory in UCSC Intramurals softball play since the fall of 2007.
|Alpha Psi/Sigma Pi||1||0||1||0||0||6||x||8|
|Re-Entry vs. Alpha Psi/Sigma Pi|
|Alpha Psi/Sigma Pi||1||0||1||0||0||6||x||8||--||--|
|Nicholas "Yahoo" Yaholkovsky||4||3||3||1||0||0||0||1||.750|
|A.J. (Alex) Troup||4||3||4||6||0||3||0||1||1.000|
In a semi-final rematch against the Alpha Psi/Sigma Pi, Re-Entry countered a first inning Alpha Psi/Sigma Pi run with four of their own. Andrew and Yahoo set the tone with two solo homeruns. A.J. contributed an RBI double scoring Alexa who had singled. A.J. took advantage of a depleted Alpha Psi/Sigma Pi squad with no catcher by scoring on Katie's ground out. In the top of the second inning, the Re-Entry defense took charge. With one out and a runner on first and second, Clara fielded a ground ball and threw to Taylor at first base. Taylor alertly noticed that the lead Alpha Psi/Sigma Pi runner was trying to score, and a perfect throw to Alexa at home plate gunned down the runner for the inning ending double play and first web gem of the game.
Re-Entry added two more runs in the second inning. With Howie on third base, Dana popped out to the shortstop. With no Alpha Psi/Sigma Pi catcher, Howie tagged up and headed for home, and scored just ahead of the first baseman who had sprinted home to take the throw from the shortstop. Andrew followed with his second homerun of the game, and Re-Entry had a 6--1 lead. Re-Entry added another four runs in the third inning, mostly with small ball consisting of four singles and a double. The Re-Entry offense finally hit full throttle in the fourth inning, with a ten run surge (which ended the inning due to the ten run rule). The team batted around, with the big blows courtesy of a three run homerun by A.J. and a two run homerun by Andrew, his third of the game. A.J. came up for a second time with the bases loaded and delivered a double to drive in the final two runs of the inning. The score now stood at 20--2 and the outcome was no longer in doubt.
In the top of the fifth inning, with one out and an Alpha Psi/Sigma Pi runner on first base, Clara fielded a slow roller to second. Her only play was at first base, where the second out of the inning was recorded. Once again, the lead Alpha Psi/Sigma Pi runner unwisely tried to advance by taking an extra base. But Taylor was ready with a strike to Yahoo at third base for the tag play to complete the double play and the second web gem of the game. Re-Entry added two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning despite a double play which started with a line out to the third baseman by Clara. The third baseman juggled the ball before securing it and Katie took off from second base. As a result, Katie was out when the ball was thrown back to second base, although this call was in error, since Katie had the right to advance once the ball was initially touched by the third baseman. Given the score, Re-Entry did not lodge a protest. Instead, it added two more runs with three consecutive singles.
With the game out of reach, the Re-Entry defense relaxed in the sixth inning. Due to a number of miscues and terrible bounces (due to numerous ruts in the Field 3 infield), Alpha Psi/Sigma Pi pushed six runs across the plate before Re-Entry recorded the third out of the inning. Having some self-esteemed restored, Alpha Psi/Sigma Pi generously agreed to end the game after six innings of play to provide sufficient time for the Championship Game which was to follow.
Andrew homers to right-center field. Andrew scores.
Taylor flies out to left field.
Yahoo homers to left-center field. Yahoo scores.
Alexa singles to left field.
A.J. doubles to center field. Alexa scores.
Katie grounds out to the second baseman. A.J. scores.
Eddie flies out to right field.
Re-Entry wins 22--8.
|Re-Entry vs. Alpha Psi/Sigma Pi|
|Nicholas "Yahoo" Yaholkovsky||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||.571|
|A.J. (Alex) Troup||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.571|
In the Championship game vs. the Master Batters, Re-Entry jumped out to a quick 1--0 lead as Andrew led off with a triple to deep left field, and scored on Taylor's ground ball out to the third baseman. Yahoo followed with a deep drive to left center field. As he approached third base, Howie (coaching at third) took a chance and sent Yahoo home. Unfortunately, a terrific relay throw from the left fielder to the shortstop to home plate, with the first baseman covering resulting in an out at home on a very close play. In retrospect, with only one out, it was a chance that shouldn't have been taken. That potential run would eventually be the difference in the game, although it was certainly way too early to know that. Nevertheless, it was clear that we were up against the best fielding team in the league.
The Master Batters put a runner on third base with one out. The next batter popped out to Clara at second base and failed to move the runner. With two outs now, the next Master Batter hit a flair down the left field line between the third baseman Yahoo and the left fielder Eddie. Yahoo made an amazing effort and managed to reach the ball, but it glanced off his glove and fell between him and Eddie. The Mater Batters had tied the game up at 1--1.
What followed was a defensive clinic put on by both teams. Howie made two difficult catches of flairs in short left center field, gloving the ball in both cases with his back to the infield. Later on in the game, with a Master Batter runner at first base, the runner attempted to go from first to third on a single to right center field. A.J. fielded the ball cleanly and through a strike to Yahoo at third base to gun down the advancing runner and earn the Re-Entry web gem.
Unfortunately, the Re-Entry bats were mostly silent in the middle innings. With runners on first and second and two outs, Howie drove a ball down the right field line that curved foul at the last minute. On the next pitch, he hit a flair to left field, and the Master Batter left fielder made a nice running catch to end the inning. That out was the beginning of ten consecutive Re-Entry outs. Meanwhile, the Master Batter hitters were equally unproductive until the top of the sixth inning, when one of the Master Batters hit a mammoth drive to deep left field well over Eddie's head for a two run homerun. Later in the inning, the Master Batters pushed across one more run when a throw by Eddie from left field to the catcher was off line. The Master Batters now had a 4--1 lead.
But Re-Entry was not ready to give up. Howie led off the sixth inning with a double over the left center fielders head. Two batters later, Andrew followed with a line drive shot into the left center field gap for a two run homerun, and Re-Entry had narrowed the score to 4--3. Unfortunately, two quick outs ended the inning.
The Re-Entry defense held in the top of the seventh, so it was now down to the final at bats. Alexa led off the seventh inning with a single to right center field, and our leading RBI man, A.J., was now the batter. It looked like a storybook ending, when A.J. hit a deep drive down the left field line. Yes, a two-run homerun to win the Championship! Unfortunately, to the surprise of this observer, the umpire called the ball foul. I am convinced that this was the wrong call, since I stood on the left field foul line (near the third base coaches spot) to track A.J.'s winning homerun. The umpire was slightly off line when he made the call, and with the warped Field 3 configuration, it is perhaps not surprising that he made the wrong call.
So, A.J. had to return to the batter's box and try again to be the hero. He then scorched a line drive in the direction of the third baseman. The third baseman caught the ball and immediately threw to first base, as Alexa tried to return to the bag in time. Once again, the umpires were not kind to us, as they called Alexa out on the double play (on a very close call). That call could have gone either way (although on a similar play when Re-Entry was defending was also called in favor of the Master Batters). Sadly, that one play took the air out of Re-Entry. Katie was the final Re-Entry hope, but she hit a weak ground ball, which the third baseman was able to handle, and the game was suddenly over. Instead of a 5--4 victory, Re-Entry was on the losing end of a 4--3 heartbreaking loss.
A couple of observations to end the spring season. There is no doubt that the Master Batters were a superb defensive team. However, on many occasions while batting, they attempted to quick pitch before the Re-Entry defense was ready. This was not a one time occurrence---indeed it looked like this was a strategic effort to gain an (unfair) advantage. On a number of occasions, we demanded that the Master Batter pitcher hold off until the Re-Entry defense was set, and on those occasions the Master Batters complained as if they were being insulted. It was a bizarre display of gamesmanship---really inappropriate for Intramurals play that honors good sportsmanship. Ultimately, we will remember the unfathomable foul call on A.J.'s potential winning homerun. Nevertheless, it should not have come down to this. The cold Re-Entry bats ultimately doomed our Championship dreams.
Despite the disappointing outcome, it really was a remarkable season,
with Re-Entry one hit away from an undefeated season and an eleventh
championship. My hats off to all of my teammates for the great ride!
Andrew triples to left field.
Taylor grounds out to the third baseman. Andrew scores.
Yahoo triples to left-center field. Yahoo is out trying to score.
Alexa grounds out to the shortstop.
Re-Entry loses 3--4.
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