Last week, the DC Bullets had one opponent cancel a game and a second game rained out. In the early innings of this Thursday's game against Scientific American (henceforth referred to as SA because I don't want to type it all out), the rusty bats were in evidence, but the team got more comofortable and confident as the game rolled along. A nailbiter in the early innings evolved into a comfortable victory for DC, as they rolled to a 7-1 win.
While the offense looked comatose in the early going, the DC defense showcased its range and efficiency all afternoon. SA managed only one baserunner in the first, and that only because Nel Yomtov, the super-soldier, attempted to field a groundball with is teeth. Fortunately, they're all secured very well and stayed in place.
Bottom one, DC got a quick lead, but the momentum stalled just as rapidly. Neil Hiremath lined a hit into shallow center and hustled it into a double, and then Mike Lorah caught a break when SA's first and second basemen miscommunicated on a pop-up, playing it into an RBI single. After Pat Brosseau's fly out to deep left, Travis Hastback singled, moving Mike into scoring position, but Joel Press popped up and Nel grounded to the third baseman.
The opposition scored their only run in the second, temporarily tying the game, and after Christine Napolitano's leadoff single, the Bullets went down in order. After a scoreless third for SA, Larry Ganem manufactured the go-ahead and eventual winning run for the Bullets.
Larry stroked a single to center and, on Neil's one-out single, went first to third, drawing a throw from the SA centerfielder, which went wild into the dugout, enabling Larry to stroll home with the lead. A groundout by Mike and popup from Pat prevented further scoring.
The defense, as mentioned earlier, showed off in the top of the fourth. SA's leadoff hitter drilled a long triple to left field, putting the tying run just 60 feet away. The next batter lofted a soft pop into shallow center, and the runner went halfway down the base line, waiting for the ball to drop in. But Vince Letterio, coming from nowhere, snowconed the ball for the first out, and the runner retreated to third. The runner again broke for home when the next hitter grounded a ball to third base, but Mike, realizing the Bullets' offense wasn't firing on all cylinders, threw home to CNap covering to start a rundown that culminated in a 5-2-5 put-out. One more routine out and the final scoring threat of the afternoon was past.
In the fifth, the Bullets finally started to settle in in the batter's box. Sal Cipriano hammered a double down the left field line, and went to third on Vince's single. John Choi's popup fell into no man's land in shallow left, scoring Sal and putting two more in scoring position. And Larry Ganem cashed both runs in with a check-swing grounder into right field.
Twice more the Bullets scored in the sixth, as Pat singled and Travis doubled to start the frame. Joel's RBI groundout added a run, and Nel's double a second.
Other defensive highlights included Jeff Boison's two outstanding catches in right field in the seventh, and Neil Hiremath's charging catch in the fifth (I think).
5-5 (1-1 in NYMSL), the Bullets play three games next week. Tuesday, it's New York Magazine on the old Newsweek field; first-ever meeting with Forbes, a newcomer to the NYMSL, at Riverside Park on Thursday; and a Friday rematch against The Nation on their downtown field.
Bullet Box Score:
RCF Neil Hiremath - 2-3, R, double
3B Mike Lorah - 1-3, RBI
RF Pat Brosseau - 1-3, R
LF Travis Hastback - 3-3, R, double
2B Joel Press - 0-3, RBI
SS Nel Yomtov - 1-3, RBI, double
C Christine Napolitano - 2-3
1B Sal Cipriano - 1-3, R, double
LCF Vince Letterio - 1-3, R
LF John Choi - 1-2, R, RBI, double
P Larry Ganem - 2-2, R, 2 RBI
RF Jeff Boison - 0-2