DATELINE: Whately, MA, June 15, 2006: Baseball fans were treated with a thrilling seesaw contest at the old Herlihy Baseball grounds on Thursday, with the Pres led St. Louis Browns just edging the Tony Maspo led Milwaukee Braves 11-10 in 7 innings.
Pres decided to give this TNB series an old school flavor in the choice of team names, and this was somewhat appropriate as some old school TNB’ers returned to the fold. Pete “Magnet” Anderson of the QVOTB Braves was on hand as was long time Cardinal Paul “ Kap” Kaplan, both suiting up for Milwaukee this evening. This was quite a game, as both teams scored in all seven frames. The Braves tallied a run in the first off of Browns starter Al Harchik and tacked on three more in the second, aided by a Duse error in center off a drive by Ned Nadeau. But the Browns prove to be up to the challenge, tying the game in their half of the first on an rbi single by Hammer, and plating four more runs off of Braves starter Dan Williams in the second to take the lead after two innings, 5-4.
The Braves scratch single runs in the third and fourth off Browns hurler Kenny Sloat, but each time that the Braves tie the score, the Browns have an answer, as they also score in the third and push across another in the fourth with aid of a stolen base and two passed balls – 7-6 Browns through four. Mark Chapdelaine takes the ball for the Browns in the fifth and the Braves jump on him for two runs and the lead, Pat Johnson and Bill DeSanty chipping in rbi hits, Bill smacking a double. But Mark is able to snuff the uprising with two K’s, stranding two runners. The Browns re-tie the game off new Braves pitcher Ned Nadeau in the bottom of the frame; Duse draws a lead off walk and after a steal of second, scores on a Hammer single. Milwaukee comes back to reclaim the lead in the sixth as Kap laces a two run single, MJC and Ned Nadeau scoring, putting the Braves up by two at 10-8. But once again the Browns show their resiliency in the bottom of the sixth. Supe and Al ‘Mon Capitan’ Harchik each deliver run scoring singles to again tie the game, 10-10.
With the light fading, the Braves have a seventh inning rally snuffed when Tony Maspo is gunned down at the plate trying to score. He then goes to his closer for the last of the seventh to try and preserve the tie. Accompanied by the sounds of a whirring drill, Clint ‘The Dentist” Wells takes the hill to a raucous reception. Duse leads off and is quickly in a 0-2 hole, having a brief “discussion” with ump ‘ Pesci’ over the validity of a called strike two. He then laces ‘The Dentist’s’ next pitch to left for a single. Hammer follows and hits a chopper to the right that just eludes Clint’s reach, and that Duse jumps over as it sneaks through the infield, Duse continuing on to third as the ball rolls in to short right field. He now represents the winning run as Jeff Lawrence steps in. Jeff chops Clint’s second pitch toward first baseman Pat Johnson as Duse breaks for the plate. Pat comes up firing to catcher ‘Icehouse’ who takes the throw but can’t quite get the tag down on a sliding Duse, the Browns thus sealing up the first game of the series with an exciting 11-10 win. Game two promises to be just as topsy-turvy, see ya at the Ballfield!