Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bullets Win for Losing Against WNYC

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the all-new, all-thrilling, less-trafficked DC Bullets softball game summary website! Woot! And our first entry, game summary of the team's first NYMSL game of 2011, this past Monday against WYNC.

How do you enter a game 2-2 and come out of it 3-3? Well, first WNYC musters only seven players for the first New York Media Softball League game of the 2011 season, granted the DC Bullets the win by forfeit. But of course, everybody wants to play some softball, so league record aside, we play on anyway. Super-Soldier Nel Yomtov and All-Star Laura Demoreuille gamely volunteered to spend the afternoon on the opposing team's roster, and the game was on! Alas, the radiomen's bolstered lineup upended DC 11-10 to had the Bullets the loss.

(I did suggest briefly that full-season records should count games actually played, while the NYMSL record is based on league rules - making us 2-3 overall, yet somehow 1-0 in NYMSL, but I'll bow to the captain's preference here.)

The game started with promise. After a one-out single by Neil Hiremath, Mike Lorah lined a two-run homer to dead centerfield (aided in part by the centerfielder's breaking in on a ball hit essentially at where he'd been standing). Jay Kogan and Pat Brosseau followed with hard line drive singles, but Sal Cipriano went down swinging and Allison Dugas grounded out to stall the momentum.

WNYC came out on the attack. A series of solid line drive hits allowed them to accumulate three runs in the first, and two more in the second (including a Nel Yomtov single). Both rallies got a boost from DC shortstop Travis Hastback (first inning) and third baseman Mike Lorah (second) allowing two-out, routine groundballs to go right through the wickets. After WNYC's three-run first, DC tied the game: Travis led off the second inning with his specialty, a hustling double, moved to third on Vince Letterio's groundout, and scored on 2011-debuting Brian Cunningham's sacrifice fly. As noted above, the shock jocks quickly retook the lead with two more tallies.

Down 5-3, DC went scoreless in the third and fourth innings - Jay's third inning double into shallow left (man, the ball just died when it hit that grass, and a long foul the previous pitch had the leftfielder playing as deep as possible - all the rain must be preventing the groundskeepers from mowing!) and Travis's single in the fourth being the only Bullet baserunners during those frames. WYNC also went quietly in the third, but pounded out three more runs in the fourth. And the inning could've been worse; the Bullets escaped further damage when Nel rolled a Larry Ganem flip-pitch into a 6-3 double play. Larry's flip caused later controversy that is maybe not worth revisiting.

Fortunately, the comic book makers still had some fight in them. Brian Cunningham led off the fifth with a bullet - right at WNYC's leftfielder. The next few hitters, however, found green. Larry and Neil singled, and Mike slammed a double into center (another ball-dies-in-thick-grass extra base knock), scoring both runners. After Jay's flyball to right moved Mike to third, Pat lined a single to left for the RBI, and Sal followed with a base hit to left ... this is one of the DC scorebook stats. It's listed as an RBI double. It was kind of a single, with Pat going first to third, Sal taking second on the throw to third, and then Pat scoring and Sal to third when the throw went wild and out of play. But yeah, RBI double for Sal! (I still remember Schlagman's double on a comebacker to the pitcher a few years ago!) Anyway, then Alli drove a pitch over the third baseman's head, plating Sal with the game-tying run.

DC kept WNYC off the board in the bottom of the fifth; the game remained 8-8. NYC returned the scoreless favor in top six: after singles by Vince and BC, Larry flew out and Neil and Mike grounded into consecutive 6-5 fielder's choices. WNYC capitalized on DC's missed chance, erupting for three more runs.

So it's top seven, down 11-8. Here we go: Jay flew out to center, where Nel conspicuously didn't drop, or at least juggle, the ball. Pat and Sal singled, and ... boy, this is embarrassing. I don't remember what happened. The book says they both singled, but somehow (throwing error, I guess), Pat scored and and Sal wound up on third. Sal being on third I definitely remember, because I was coaching third base at the time. Anyway, Pat scored, Sal's on third, okay? And Alli beat out a slow roller down the third base line - and Sal got a great read that although the ball was near the plate, nobody would be able to get it and get to him before he scored. So Sal crosses the plate, making it a one run game, with the tying run on first. Then Travis popped up to shortstop, but Vince came through with a two-out base hit to left, keeping the game alive, moving the tying run to scoring position. But WNYC's crafty pitcher got BC to roll over a 6-5 fielder's choice, ending the game.

It's worth noting that all three Bullet losses have been one-run games. So we've been hanging int there in every game, keeping it close. A little more consistence or one break going our way and our record would look a lot better. The team's played pretty solid ball all around, and hopefully we'll see regular wins soon!

At 3-3 (1-0 NYMSL), the Bullets play The Paris Review on Thursday on their home field, North Meadow #2 in Central Park.

Bullet Box:
P Larry Ganem - 1-4, R
LCF Neil Hiremath - 2-4, 2 R
3B Mike Lorah - 2-4, 2 R, 4 RBI, double, homer
LF Jay Kogan - 2-4, double
RF Pat Brosseau - 3-4, 2 R, RBI
1B Sal Cipriano - 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, double
C Allison Dugas - 2-4, RBI
SS Travis Hastback - 2-4, R, double
RCF Vince Letterio - 2-4
2B Brian Cunningham - 1-3, RBI, sac fly

And playing for WNYC:
2B Laura Demoreuille - 1-4
CF Nel Yomtov - 2-4, R

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