October 30 , 2005 Herlihy Field, Whatley, Mass.
Ricky 2-Tee took the mound for the Legends with Artie Burke calling balls and strikes. The injured DT Fluffy was the base umpire.
2-Tee looked sharp right from the beginning and jumped ahead of Fossil leadoff man Ryan Newswanger. Ryan then lofted a 1-2 offering to medium left field and sprinted to 2nd as the ball ticked off the glove of the Legends outfielder. The Fossils then did a nice job of "move 'em over, get'em in" with Brian Mooney grounding out to the right side and Rich Bissell getting the ribbi with a 6-3. The Fossils draw first blood.
Rich "Terminator" Bissell had the starting honors fot the Visitors. The veteran is an expert at pounding the low zone and wasted no time in getting Duse on a chopper to Johnny O'Neil at SS and Alan on a comebacker. But Aa singled over the bag at 3rd and SuperJ followed with a knock to left. Ricky 2-Tee then unloaded on a Terminator fastball and launched it to left center for a double and 2 RBI's. Two out Ribbi's are fairly uncommon against Terminator, and the game was in full swing. After 1, Legends 2, Fossils 1.
Most of the Fossil players at today's game hadn't played in a game for close to 2 months, so there was some rust out there.
That goes especially for the pitchers, and it showed some in the second inning. 2-Tee was loose, had all his pitched working, and cruised through the top of the 2nd. But in the bottom, while Rich was finding his fastball, the Legends made a little hay.
Hammer lined out to Dennis Fagen at 2nd, and Mediocre J punched a base hit to center. NightAmaggio, who would have an unconscious day, then hit a moon shot over the head of Brian Mooney in center for a double and an RBI. Rich buckled down and got Nails and Joe N(eye) on the patented Terminator combacker. After 2, Legends 3, Fossils 1
Both the Fossils and Legends went quietly in the 3rd, both hurlers looking good. In the Fossil 4th, Q reached on a Legend error and scored on an O'Neil liner into left. The ball was smoked, so it rolled past Aa and Johnny kept on a-comin'. Aa hit SuperJ at the cut, and he threw a seed to Nails at 3rd. Johnny made a nice fading slide to the inside of the bag as Nails put the tag on his backside, just a whisker before John's foot hit the bag. . You're OUT!! 3 away. The Legends went quickly intheir half of the 4th. After 4 , 3-2 Legends. Ricky 2-Tee's mouns work was done for the afternoon. Nice Job.
Max, now hurling for the Legends in the Fossil 5th, survived a leadoff double to feisty Gabe Pozzi in the top of the 5th by K'ing the tough Scott DeFelice and retiring Dennis Fagen and Danny Lichtenfeld on infield grounders. Max is another dependable long man, but is battling some unpleasant tendonitis in his left Achilles. One inning for Maximus today. Gotta live to fight another day.
In the bottom of the 5th, Terminator showed why he got his nickname. He can terminate a Jam as well as any pitcher we face. He just flips the dial up a notch and stops the fun.
The 2nd inning twin nemesis' of Mediocre J and NightAmaggio greeted Rich with a sharp single and another Burn Job to deep center. This time the Nightman chose Scott DeFelice to torture. Hey, the wind WAS blowing out! The next 3 batters, ...K, popup, groundout. NO runs. Terminator is Money.
After 5, 3-2 Legends. This would be the last inning of work for Rich, and he pitched well. Quality start.
It's late in the game, and the Fossils picked a good time to stage an uprising. Duse is on the mound for the Legends with his assortment of sinkers and sliders. He was hit with a quick little Fossil flash fire. It didn't take long, but it was good for an important pair of runs. Ryan Newswanger had a nice long battle with Duse and finally worked a walk. Brian Mooney then doubled Ryan to 3rd. Duse battled Rich Bissell and got Rich to foul out to Hammer. As Duse was working on Q, home plate umpire Artie Burke called Duse for a "No Stop" balk. This scored Ryan, moving Brian to 3rd. Q singled, scoring Brian. Duse is working up a good sweat now. But Duse contained further damage and got Butch on a comebacker and John O'neil on a pop-up. 2 runs.
Danny Lichtenfeld is pitching for the Fossils in the Legend half of the 6th. Danny hasn't pitched in awhile, but his high heat is hard to hit. The Legends might be in some trouble. Danny cruised through the top of the Legend batting order pretty quickly. He didn't have the good heater yet, but after 6, the Fossils have the lead, 4-3.
NightAmaggio has the hill for the rest of the game, and the pressure was on. But with his new 'Lucky' shades he was confident. He was also having a great game. He came out throwing strikes and took the Fossils down in order in the 6th.
The Legend bottom of the 7th started like the bottom of the 6th ended. Danny got 2 quick outs. Mediocre J then grounds to short for the 3rd ou.....WAIT! a minute! MJC reaches on an error! J legged it out!. This brings up the completely en fuego NightAmaggio. What will the Fossil center fielder do?? Move in? Out? Run around in circles?? No matter, Nightman singles for his 3rd hit of the day. 2 on, 2 out. The Heat switches to Danny . He shoulda been outa the inning. Nails up for the Legends, Danny drills him. Bases loaded. Joe N(eye) up. Danny drills him. Tie score. Max up, walks. Legends lead, 5-4. Duse reaches on an error. Legends lead 6-4. THIS is early Halloween for Danny. Alan...double...SuperJ...single...Lee..K, finally. But 8 unearned runs later, the Legends now lead 11-4 .
(reporter note: The last inning I pitched went almost exactly like that. It was in the PVOTB finals. We lost 21-6)
NightAmaggio had little trouble in the Fossil eight inning. Danny struck out the side, with ease. Around, of course, NightAmaggio's 4th straight hit. Game over, right? WRONG ! This is TNB, no 9th inning lead is safe. It doesn't matter if Cy Young is pitching. The baseball Gods just like to have a little fun at Herlihy.
Butch Gianetto led off the Fossil 9th inning with a clutch single. After a John O'neil strikeout, the young Gabe Pozzi collected his second hit of the afternoon. Scott DeFelice singles, driving in Butch. The first beads of sweat form on NightAmaggio's forehead. Dennis Fagen walks on a 3-2 pitch. Nighter is huffing and puffing. Talking to himself. Nighter is spent. To his credit, he tells the Legend Manager DT Fluffy, 'I can make it..I think". Fluffy says, "Good , we're out of pitchers".
Then, THE moment of the game happens...
Well, let me just let the veteran Legend catcher tell it, just the way he thought it:
"So, Duse is totally tensed up after walking the lead off guy and then giving up a couple of runs for them to go ahead. Then, the unhittable Dan Lichtenfeld drills and walks batters to give up the lead to the Legends. Then, WHO gets up with the bases loaded for the Fossils to potentially go ahead with a hig hit?..Dan Lichtenfeld! ...Who hits a HUGE screamer into deep left field? ...Dan Lichtenfeld! ...Who makes an incredible catch of that ball to end the threat?...Duse!! ...What a GAME!"
Danny's Bomb, was a sacrifice fly. Whew! Ryan Newswanger singles. Driving in 2 more runs. NightAmaggio is dying, and it's now only 11-8, thanks to the Duse "Immaculate Catch" . Finally, Nighter gets Brian Mooney on a comebacker to end the game. Yea, What a game!
See You Next Year! Let the Hot Stove League begin