Saturday, July 2, 2011

Bullets (and Friends) Double Up ProPublica

Those holiday weekends, they're always complicating the softball schedule. With DC Comics having a half-day and many of the team's players having weekend plans, the Bullets who hung around for the game scrapped together a team, MacGuyver-style, from chewing gum, paper clips, friends (one of whom hadn't played ball since Little League), random strangers in Central Park and baling twine.

But somehow, it was enough to secure a 14-7 win over ProPublica (who, I have it on record, used a ringer or two themselves!). First, a thanks to the Bullets who attended: Pat Brosseau, Mike Lorah, Brian Walters, Sal Cipriano and Laura Demoreuille.

And introducing the rest of our cast:
Sal's pal "Bashing" Bill McLaughlin; Mike's amigos "Pummeling" Paul Flannery (last game, Little League) and Tony "T-Rex" Weston (last game, eight years ago); and Central Park walk-ons Nathan "Lefty" Laliberte and "Optimus Prime" Joel Noyes. Also, a hand for Cathy "Love o' My Life" Szumski for catching the first inning until Laura arrived!

With a roster of unknown players, the defensive alignment wound up being the Bullets' biggest concern. The question marks were revealed and answered in the first inning, as DC's defense opened the door for a four-run ProPublica first inning. Brian and Sal began to think that perhaps we shouldn't be writing this one up... But a defense realignment in the second, and Laura's arrival, tightened up the defense, as DC wouldn't give up that many total runs for the remainder of the game.

Down four, DC began methodically digging out. Mike ripped a one-out double and scored on Brian's scorched base hit to right field in the first. Only two first inning hits, but we got a run out of it. After a scoreless top two for ProPublica, Bill led off with a solo home run to right center, and one out later, Tony and Joel lined singles to center to set up another opportunity. Paul needed an at-bat to get the rust off, as he fouled off this third swing for the second out, but Pat scalded a base hit to left to score Tony, pulling the Bullets within a run after two innings, before Mike flew out to deep center.

ProPublica tacked on two runs in the third, pressing their advantage to three runs. Brian singled to get DC's biggest rally started. After Sal's fly out to left (that guy had him played perfectly all day long), Laura rapped a base hit into center and Bill added an RBI base hit. Nathan singled to load the bases, and Tony punched a two-run line drive into center field, tying the game. Joel's fielder's choice erased Tony, but moved Nathan to third base with the go-ahead run, and Paul chased him home with a rope single to left field. Pat lined out hard to third base, but DC led the rest of the way.

A scoreless ProPublica turn in the fourth gave the comic book makers a chance to open up their lead. Mike and Brian singled to center field, both times nearly making outs when ProPublica's fifth outfielder, all seven-years-old and forty pounds of him, missed both line drives by inches. Next year those balls won't clear him. Hell, next month they might not. After two straight outs, Bill laced a single to center, scoring Mike, and Brian took advantage of an errant throw to sprint home with a second run.

DC tacked on three runs in the fifth: Tony singled for the third time, and Joel cut him down with a fielder's choice for the second time. Paul singled, and after Pat's fly out, Mike loaded the bases with a two-out hit. Brian hammered a double to right field, scoring two runs, and Sal pushed Mike across with a base hit.

Bill's second time leading off an inning went the same as his first: a solo homer to right center, and then Nathan scalded a triple down the right field line. Tony's line drive to center allowed Nathan to trot home with DC's final run. ProPublica broke a three-inning scoreless streak by pitcher Sal, tallying a final run in the top of the seventh - aided in part by a too-hot-to-handle liner by ProPublica's youngest member, that ate up Mike at third base.

A huge, huge thank you to ProPublica for coming out on a holiday weekend and for a fun game, and to Bill, Nathan, Tony, Joel, Paul and Cathy for playing with us. Check that box score below: we really couldn't have done it without you. There were more hits from the five ringers than our five regulars, including two (of three) 4-4 days!
Note: except Paul and Tony, who rotated at catcher and right field, all split position are first inning/second inning-on. We figured out our defensive strengths quickly.

10-5 (3-1 NYMSL), the Bullets finally return to their homefield, North Meadow #2 on Thursday at 5:30 for their next game action.

Bullets Box:
RCF/LF Pat Brosseau - 1-5, RBI
P/3B Mike Lorah - 3-4, 3 R, double
3B/SS Brian Walters - 4-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, double
1B/P Sal Cipriano - 1-4, RBI
1B Laura Demoreuille - 1-4, R
LCF Bill McLaughlin - 4-4, 3 R, 4 RBI, 2 home runs
SS/2B Nathan Laliberte - 2-4, 2 R, triple
RF/C Tony Weston - 4-4, 2 R, 3 RBI
LF/RCF Joel Noyes - 1-4, R
2B/RF/C Paul Flannery - 2-4, R, RBI
C Cathy Szumski - 0-0

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