May 28, June 2, June 9, 2005 Herlihy Field, Whatley, Mass.
The Hammer and Pres led the Nor'easter Monsoons ans Alaska Ducks in TNB 2005 Series 2. The game was delayed 2 days due to the week of Cold Monsoons that pounded the New England baseball diamonds this week. But on a beautiful saturday morning TNB crews prepped the field and we were ready for Series II.
Ken Sloat and Nightman had the starting assignments, and the first inning was uneventfull. The Ducks broke thru first in the 2nd, on a clutch 2 out double by kyle Weitz, plating Mike Martindell and Nightman. Nails drove in Steve Presnal for the Monsoons in the 3rd. 2-1 Ducks after 3.
The Ducks temporarily broke the game open in th 4th, with a 5 spot. The big blow was a Jeff Lawrence 2 out hit for a pair. The Ducks added 2 more off 2-Tee in the 6th, while the Monsoons were able to scratch 2 runs off Duse and Bob Weitz. After 6, 9-3 Ducks. Another Mike Martindell Ribbi in the 7th made it 10-3 Ducks, and the Monsoon fans were streaming for the parking lot. But WAIT! The Monsoon was about to begin!
The Monsoons sent 15 batters to the plate in the deadly 7th, plating 10, and with 2 -Tee on the mound for the 'Soons, the game seemed over. Especially after adding a run in the 8th. After 8, 14-10 'Soons.
But the Ducks Quacked in the top of the 9th. Four straight hits had 2-Tee teetering. With the score 14-12 and 2 outs; Nightman strode to the plate with the tying run on 2nd base. Nightman took a mighty hack on a 2-2 pitch, and lofted it deep, deep to the SS for an F-6 to end the game. The Hammer-led 'Soons had first blood.
Big MUST game for the homestanding Ducks, who gave the ball to their Ace, Nightman. But the Monsoons jump on top 3-0 in the top of the 1st. Tony Maspo's clutch 2 RBI single doing the big damage. Undaunted, the Ducks came out swinging with 6 of the first 7 batters hitting safely. The big hit, a Nightman 2 RBI double. The Ducks quacked in 2 more in the second on a single by Mike Olkin and a Martindell bomb to left center. Nails and Dan Williams knocked in runs for the Monsoon 9 in the fourth, as the game cruised into the 5th, with darkness looming, 7-6 Ducks. The long Duck bottom 5 featured 7 Base on Balls and apparently something strange involving the Nightman. The scorer wrote in "Dumb Play" in Nighters scoring box. I'm sure it involved creative baserunning. With light fading, and the score 15-5 Ducks, the Yellow Balls were broken out for the top of the 6th. The 'Soons went quickly, and we headed to the beer Inning.
HOT, very HOT!
The Series Rubber Game, Ken Sloat again gets the start for the 'Soons, and Duse takes the Pill for the Ducks. Ken dusted off the Ducks 1-2-3 in the first, and AGAIN, the 'Soons pounded Duck 1st inning offerings. But scoring first is often the kiss of death on Thursday nights, and it would be again. Supe, Johnny D and Aa had base hits around a HBP and a couple of BB 's, and Bingo, 4-0 'Soons.
After Justin reached on a Monsoon error to start the top of the 2nd, 5 straight hits by Danny Williams, Duse Jeff Lawrence, Mm and Pres and a couple of FC's and it was 6-4 Ducks.
JC would drive in a run for the Monsoons in the 4th and Duse would collect 2 of his 5 Ribbies in the 5th for the Ducks. A clutch Steve Chapman 2-out 2 ribbi double for the Ducks in the 6th, and a Justin Duck World Tour in the top of the 7th, would set the stage for the bottom of the 7th, as Darkness settled into the Herlihy Hamlet. After 6 1/2, 10-5 Ducks, and on the satisfying verge of taking a series.
But WAIT, there would be one more highlight. With 1 out and Nails on first for the 'Soons, Supe hit a Moon Shot off Nightman, and launched one of those yellow baseballs half way up the big pine tree in dead left field. Good beer Inning fodder. That would be it for the Monsoons, and The DUCKS win, The DUCKS win, 11-7.
Now on to Series 3, and 2 more as yet un-announced Teams.
Game Post Script:
The Hammer was a little under the weather and we hope he's feelin' OK. The game was a little less fun