As you may have noticed from this email’s subject line, we have finally settled on a team name: the Red Scare, which narrowly beat out the Slutty Devils and Demons Ducks of Doom in the final round of voting before last night’s game. Thanks to all who got there early to vote, and to take our (socially distanced) team photo!
As for the game, we were at full strength for our first matchup with Jacob Nachsin’s squad (team name unknown, though they wore green uniforms, so will be referred to on occasion throughout this recap as the Greens). Dylan, freshly rested from our two-week rain-prompted layoff, took the mound beneath the lights and yielded a leadoff walk, but was able to fight through some command issues and some weird-umpire-strike-zone issues to get two strikeouts and a long flyout to Yates in left to strand the runner. In the bottom of the 1st, the Red Scare jumped out a quick lead when Jordan G hit a single up the middle, easily stole second, then came around to score on Ben M’s hard grounder to the left side that ate up the Greens shortstop for a fielding error.
The top of the 2nd brought more strike zone issues for Dylan, as he walked three of the first four batters he faced. In addition, he skipped a couple of pitches past catcher Shiloh, leading to two runs on wild pitches. One of these shouldn’t have scored, however, as it came after Shiloh had seemingly gunned down a runner stealing third, third baseman Sam making the tag as the runner slid into his leg, never coming into contact with the bag — but even though the runner, according to Sam, admitted he’d never touched the bag, the umpire still called him safe, so the Red Scare were now looking at a 2-1 deficit.
We loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the second, on walks by Roan and Dylan sandwiched around a line single to right by Max, bringing Ben C to the plate. With one strike on the batter, Nachsin starting pitcher Gio delivered a pitch that plunked Ben C in the hand, with a smack that was audible in the dugout — and, according to Max, who was on second at the time, across the whole infield. But not, apparently, to the ump at his position right behind the pitcher, where he called the pitch a ball, and left the runners in their places and Ben C at the plate; baffled, he ended up being called out on a questionable strike three.
Dylan set the side down in order in the top of the 3rd, bringing up the top of the Red Scare order in the bottom half of the frame. Once again, Jordan G started things off, drawing a walk — then, when ball four rolled to the backstop and the Greens catcher couldn’t locate it, ran all the way to third base, narrowly beating the belated throw. Ben M followed with a single up the middle to tie the score, then Yates looped a Texas Leaguer in front of the Nachsin right fielder to put two runners on. Sam delivered a blistering shot down the third base line that the Greens third baseman made a terrific snag of for the second out. That brought up Taylor, who rocketed a grounder through the right side of the infield to put the Scare up 3-2. Roan then hit another grounder that the Nachsin shortstop mishandled, and the score was 4-2 in our favor.
If you’re thinking that this might be enough of a lead for Dylan on a night where he finally had his best stuff working, you are not mistaken: He struck out the side in order in both the 4th and 5th. We got an insurance run in the bottom of the 5th when a long double by Ben M and single up the middle by Yates was followed by a bizarre play where Sam grounded out to third, the runners tried to advance, Ben headed back to third where Yates already was, then the Greens for some reason threw to second and both runners ended up advancing safely. We got one more run on an RBI single up the middle by Max. Then at 8 pm sharp, when we were about to start our final inning (we’d started slightly after our set start time of 6 pm, so hadn’t yet hit the two-hour limit), the field lights abruptly shut off, securing our win — and, oh yes, a five-inning no-hitter by Dylan, even if not a shutout. Red Scare 6, Nachsin 2
It was a really good game all around: Six different Red Scare batters got hits, we made zero errors, and Dylan was, of course, unhittable once he found the strike zone. About the only downside was that we broke three (!) bats, but I have been promised some replacements on the way before our game tomorrow vs. Lieber. We only have nine players then (Dylan and Max will be absent), so everyone please arrive well in advance of our 5:30 start time; if Field 1 or 2 is available, I’ll be out there for practice starting at 4:30.
Go Red Scare!