Most of the runup to yesterday’s game against Lieber was spent refreshing forecast.io over and over, watching the odds of rain bounce around between “maybe you’ll get a little drizzle” and “don’t even think of leaving the house.” Fortunately, as our 5:30 game time approached, skies were gray but not actually raining, aside from a 30-second spritz that blew through during our pregame practice, so we were good to go.
Our as-yet-unnamed team (proposals yesterday included Mean Girls, Yellow and Black, and Demon Ducks of Doom; we’ll keep working on it) was designated the visiting side, which meant we got to bat first against pitcher Ollie Lieber, who we’ve faced many times over the years. Familiarity, in this instance, bred success: Jordan N worked a one-out walk and immediately stole second, then Jordan G was plunked in the side by a fastball to put two runners on base. With Ben M at the plate, Jordan N took off for third, then easily scored (as did Jordan G) when Ben M crushed a double over the head of the Lieber center fielder. Sam grounded out to short, moving the runner to third, then Yates dinked a dying quail to the opposite field for a single to give our team a quick 3-0 lead.
A fully-rested Dylan took the mound in the bottom of the 1st, and immediately looked like a three-run lead would be more than he needed, as he whiffed the leadoff hitter (Ollie’s sister Izzy) on three pitches, then struck out the next batter as well. The Lieber #3 hitter, Constantine, then managed to tap a weak grounder to short that died in the tall infield grass, and beat out the throw — but it went wild and had to be retrieved by Roan, who threw to second, then that throw went wild, and Yates retrieved it in left field and threw to Sam at third, who finally made the putout. Just your typical 1-2-3 inning.
Taylor drew a walk to lead off the 2nd and advanced to second on a wild pitch, but our next two hitters went down on a strikeout and a groundout. That brought up Jordan N, who swung feebly at the first pitch up around his eyes — the ump working our game had shown himself to have a strike zone expanded to roughly the size of the Goodyear blimp — then swung not nearly as feebly at the next pitch, driving it over the left fielder’s head for an RBI double. Jordan G followed with another massive clout to left, but with just enough hang time that the left fielder was able to track it down. Still, our lead now sat at 4-0.
The bottom of the 2nd was remarkably like the bottom of the first: two quick outs (a dribbler to the first-base side of the mound that Dylan fielded himself, then another strikeout), followed by another grounder down the first-base line by Ollie that Roan fielded, tossing to Dylan — who dropped it for an error. (I don’t keep official stats on errors, so I’m not going to trouble myself with who the error was on.) Two wild pitches moved the runner to third, then another ball got past Max, who raced to the backstop, barehanded the ball, and flipped it to Dylan covering, who tagged Ollie just in time for the out, capping off another extremely unconventional 1-2-3 inning.
With the lanky Constantine now on the mound for Lieber, Ben M led off the top of the 3rd and continued his red-hot hitting, lacing a single down the left-field line. Two strikeouts followed, but then the Goodyear blimp began to deflate: Roan, Dylan, and finally Taylor drew back-to-back-to-back walks (for Taylor, her third in four plate appearances on the young season) to force in another run.
Dylan continued his dominant pitching in the bottom of the 3rd, walking the leadoff hitter and then striking out three in a row, but by now a problem was beginning to manifest itself: It was getting dark, and the lights on Parade Grounds Field 3 hadn’t yet come on as promised. (Adam Fisher from the league had assured me that he’d paid for the lights to be on, but apparently that isn’t always sufficient for the Parade Grounds staff to remember to set the timer to do so.) The 78 league safety monitor on site said we would have to stop play at sundown (6:40) if we didn’t have lights, and our umpire agreed. As a result, after we went hitless in the top of the 4th in the encroaching gloom, the ump called a halt to play. We all then waited around until 7 pm to see if the lights would miraculously spring to life (nope), then the skies opened up anyway, and we all fled for home with a darkness-shortened victory. deMause 5, Lieber 0
…except maybe not quite yet! On my way home in the rain, I got a text from Adam that he’s going to try to schedule time for us to finish the game this Saturday at 4 pm. Please let me know if you can make it then; if we have enough players and Adam confirms the time, I’ll send out another email to make it official.