June 30, 2005 Herlihy Field, Whatley, Mass.
After a 2 week layoff, TNB diehards were ready to rumble on a warm late June night. New players showed up out of the woodwork, 7 in all, so it was a 13 on 13 showdown.
Ken Sloat and Bullet Bob had the hill for the 'Guns and C-Jerks, and the first inning was 6 up and 6 down.
The guns were silent in the 2nd but the Cool Jerks busted out the whuppin' stick in their half. After Scott deFelice reached on a miscue, Pres, Mike Martindall, Jason Kaiser, Hector Arroro, and Duse had consecutive hits. Jason and Hector, playing for the first time this year, drove in the first 3 runs of the night. This inning could have ended the evening for the 'Guns, but Dan Williams hit into 5-U DP (I forget the details...sorry); and a Bullet Bob safety plated Hector, but Jason was gunned down at 3rd, Pesci ruling that the run scored first. Pesci always knows best. After 2 Cool Jerks 4, Shotguns 0. It could have been worse.
SuperJ took over the mound duties in the 3rd and worked out of a bases loaded jam. After a punchout, Bill DeSanty singled to left. But Bill was gunned down by Scott, Jason and Duse (somehow) at 2nd, stretching the single . Good thing for the Jerks too. Because Duke and Jeff singled in front of a Val BB. Supe escaped by getting the dangerous Todd to pop to the Hammer at first.
Supe worked a harmless 4th and Nightman subdued the Jerks easily in the3rd and 4th.
Duse took over the pitching duties for the Cool Jerks in the 5th, and was un-hittable. All nasty, 3 K's. After 5, 4-zip Cool Jerks.
The 6th inning was noisy. The up to now dependable Jerk defense crumbled with a trifecta of infield errors to open the top of the 6th. A pitchers nightmare. Val hit a sac fly for the first run of the night for the Shotguns, Bill D scoring. On the play, Duke was thrown out at 3rd, I think. If he was, it must have been a hell of a play by Dan and Jason. Anyway, Todd follows this with a single, and Omar knocks a clutch 2 ribbi double, which I do remember. Nightman ended the inning with a 3-U, but the Shotguns had pulled within 1, 4-3 Jerks. 3 BIG unearned runs.
The bottom of the 6th started harmlessly, for the Shotguns, with a routene 6-3. After a walk and a K, Steve Chapman reached on a 2-out error. Ouch, Babe! Scott de drove in a run with a single, and after a BB to Pres, Mike Martindell got himself another HUGH hit, driving a 2-run spike triple into the 'Guns hearts, Mm completed the Ichiro Home Run when he scored on a WP. Val got the next batter on a come-backer, but the damage was done. After 6, Jerks 9, 'Guns 3.
The 7th and 8th went quietly as Pres and Val went un-damaged. So after 8, still 9-3 Jerks. But the TNB reverse lock, struck again in the 9th. YES!!, the 9th. That's a first for the 2005 Season!! So, we made it good and bizarre. Break out the yellow balls that feel like paint rags in your hand. (But you CAN see the heck out of those things.) Unfortunately, it didn't help the 'Guns get out of the way of the incoming drill jobs.
The inning started with a K. But Nightman got drilled, and in a clever delayed-steal, induced Duse to balk. It was getting Dark, and Nightman was gaining strength. The Cool Jerk infield made 2 more errors. The inning should be over, but it continues on and on and on. Hit Batter, E5, Byran singles, Bill drilled, BB, BB and the winning run is on 3rd, 2 out. Bullet relieved and got the next batter on a roller, but the score was tied. 9-9
Pesci ruled the game suspended and ended. Too dark. But that the score should count!! even though the Jerks had NOT batted in the 9th!... Claiming knowledge of the "Style Rule". If the 9th inning rally is "cool enough" , it must count. The Cool Jerks knew better than to argue with Umpire in Chief Pesci, but have decided to refer to this game as the Asterisk* Game.
See you next week!