Nearly 6 months into the 2011 campaign, The Whately Pioneers landed in Pittsfield's Clapp Park complex to match skills and heart with the rival Pittsfield Elms. Once again, the trek over the Berkshires was very pleasant, and by the time the baseballmobile carrying Supe, Buddy, Babe and Buck felt the crushed stones crunching beneath our tires in the parking lot out behind left field, our complete team had assembled.
I can tell that the game will be a good one from the scene in the parking lot. The entire Elms team is there and they look ready to go. Our guys are there early. Good sign. Elms Cap't Corey informs us that there will be a base ball - soccer delay of about 45 minutes, which is fine with me. The cool day is warming up, and by the time we get going we will have perfect base ball weather; partly cloudy and in the low 70's.
With the Pioneers the Visiting team, The Mustard-clad Sir Chuck leads off against the Elms hard thrower. After fouling off a bunt attempt, Sir lofted a long, high drive well over the Center Fielder's head, landing in the Garden a distance behind him. By the time the Elms had relayed the ball to the infield, Sir Chuck was halfway home from 3rd base. One batter, one Ace. That was the only run for us in the 1st, but a good start. Dog, in his second straight start vs. the hard-striking Elms, shut the Elms srtikers down 1-2-3, just what we needed.
Dog and the Elm's hurler cruised through the first 4 frames. But the top of the Pioneer order struck for 2 quick Aces in the 5th, with succesive hits by Sir, Babe, Spider and Lord. The Elms part of Frame started off well for the Pioneers, as Dog K's the leadoff striker. Successive singles by the Elms 1-2-3 strikers had men on 2nd and 3rd, 1 run in with one hand down. Anticipating a close Match, the Pioneers played the infield in. The cleanup striker punched one right at Spider who gloved the ball and threw home to Murph, but the runner stopped in time to scramble back to third safely, leaving the bases loaded. With the infield still playing in, the 5-hole striker bounced a chopper to Nails at 3rd who gloved it and threw home to Murph who was just barely late tagging the sliding runner scoring the Elms second run of the Match. The Elms got their biggest hit of the game next; a ringing double to the gap in left-center plating 2 Aces.***
Buck brought Murph into the game to hurl, and the first striker Murph faced struck a fly ball to the garden, the fifth Ace of the inning crossing the plate for the Elms. Murph ended the uprising with a strikeout, and after 5 innings of play, the Elms led the Pioneers 6-3.
The Whately Pioneers would tally 7 more times and the Pittsfield team 5 for a final score of 18-11. The Elms are a tough bunch and this is the first Match the Pioneers have taken from them; and it took one of the Pioneer's best ever offensive outbursts to do so. HuZZaH!
***Dog hit his hip with the ball during the windup and lost his grip on the knuckler, the wounded knuckle ball faild to complete it's mission and landed deep in the garden.