Games 4 and 5: Green Blueberries 14, HN Meehan 6 and HN Meehan 11, Green Blueberries 1

After nearly a four-week layoff, the Green Sox (hey, if the players aren’t going to pick a name, I’ll pick one for them) were back in action today against Holy Name Meehan, who had delivered our first two defeats of the season. A cloudy morning had burned off, and the sun was hot and strong on Prospect Park Field 3, making for excellent baseball weather.

Following some momentary confusion about who was supposed to be the home team (both Coach Meehan and I had us as the visitors; the ump had it different, but ultimately didn’t argue), Ben R led off the game with a walk against Meehan starting pitcher Tom. He then took off for second on the first pitch — which Ganden turned on, lining a ball up the middle … which Tom then grabbed out of the air, and threw to first to double off Ben R. Luke then singled to center and Isaac worked a walk, but we didn’t manage to score.
The bottom of the inning was sadly reminiscent of our Opening Day doubleheader: Leadoff hitter Jeremiah smacked a triple to right off Isaac, then scored on a single to center by Tom. Tom then stole second, and a wild throw from catcher, followed by a wild throw from center, made it 2-0 Meehan. Two more misplays — one a dropped pop fly at first that would have been the third out, the other a dropped flyball to left that would also have been the third out — ended up leading to a five-run inning as Meehan batted around, Isaac eventually facing Jeremiah again with two on and two out and whiffing him to stem the bleeding.
In the top of 2nd, Yates led off with a walk, and Roan followed by beating out a grounder to deep short. Jeremy then singled to left to load the bases, bringing up #9 hitter Jordan N — who clobbered a fly to left of center that eluded the Meehan center fielder, with Jordan ending up on second with a two-run double. A wild pickoff throw to third allowed Jeremy to score, then walks to Ben R and (after a pitching change, Jeremiah replacing Tom) Ganden reloaded the bases. One out later, Isaac beat out a grounder to third, Ben M and Yates worked walks, and Roan beat out another grounder, this one skipping past the shortstop as two runs scored, and suddenly the Green Sox were holding an 8-5 lead.
Isaac ran into trouble again in the bottom of the inning, as a hard-hit single to left, a walk, and a hard grounder up the middle (almost kneecapping the base ump on the way by) loaded the bases with none out. He struck out the next hitter looking, though, then induced the following batter to ground to Jordan N at second, who swiftly tagged the runner going past with his glove and then threw to Luke at first for the inning-ending double play.
The top of the 3rd brought two more insurance runs for our side, courtesy of a bases-loaded single to center by Ben M. In the bottom, a couple of two-out hits and a bases-loaded hit batsman scored a Meehan run, but Isaac got the next batter to ground to shortstop Ben M, who calmly flipped to Luke at third to end the threat.
The 4th inning brought more Green Sox scoring, as Jordan N was clipped by a pitch, then stole second and third and scored on an overthrow by the Meehan catcher all while the next batter, Ben R, was still at the plate. Ben R ended up walking, Ganden was hit by another pitch, Isaac beat out an infield hit (there were a lot of infield hits this game, it turned out), Ben M walked, and Marco, playing his first game with the team after entering as a pinch runner the previous inning, delivered a two-run single up the middle.
With all this scoring, we were fast approaching the two-hour time limit, with only eight minutes before it would be too late to start another inning. Meehan’s team, whether intentionally or not, started swinging at everything, allowing Isaac to record a perfect three-strikeout inning that ended with a couple of minutes to spare to start the 5th. After some discussion of whether any team could conceivably get the opposition out and then overcome an eight-run deficit all within a span of 12 minutes before our hard stop time (SPOILER: no way), Meehan and the umps eventually agreed to call a halt to the proceedings so we could rest up for Game 2. Green Sox 14, HN Meehan 6
Game 2 … do I really have to write about Game 2? Ben M started and was excellent for two innings, giving up only a single and a walk while keeping Meehan off the board. We got five runners on base in our first two innings against (temporary?) tattooed Meehan pitcher Brian, all but one off walks, but couldn’t score. Then in the top of the 3rd we suffered through another of those error-ridden innings like at the start of the first game — two misplayed grounders, a misplayed popup, and a throwing error this time, with the same result: a 5-0 deficit. By this point Ben M was gassed, one run later departed for Luke, and then there were more hits and another error the next inning, and really at this point everyone was sunburnt and just wanted to forget the entire second game. Ganden earns props for scoring our only run in the final inning by walking, stealing second, going to third on the catcher’s overthrow and home on the center fielder’s overthrow, and also there was a nice Marco-to-Ganden-to-Dylan relay throw to catch a Meehan runner trying to stretch a double into a triple; the rest of the game can be flushed down the memory hole. HN Meehan 11, Green Sox 1
All things considered, it was a successful day: Our Game 1 win was reportedly only the second defeat HN Meehan has suffered in the last three seasons, and it was an unmitigated thrashing. Our defense continues to be a work in progress, but there were several impressive plays today amid the errors; our pitching was generally solid against a dangerous lineup; and we put tons of runners on base — 35 across both games — even if we couldn’t always score them. If we can fine-tune our glovework and baserunning, it all bodes well for our upcoming stretch of seven games in eight days, starting with Monday night’s game against SFX Mezzo-Lui — none of the seven games, I’m glad to say, against Meehan, who we don’t have to play again for a while after facing them four times in our first five games.
Hope everyone is enjoying some cool beverages and aftersun lotion, and I’ll see most of you for our next game on Monday night (5 pm practice on field 3, 6 pm game time) — if it doesn’t rain as it’s currently forecast to, anyway. If we’re rained out, our next game will be Wednesday night (6 pm game time, practice currently TBD) vs 78 Steckel.