The rain held off, but the field was soggy, the ball waterlogged, and air misty as the Bullets faced The Economist Thursday evening at North Meadow #2. The ball wasn't carrying, so runs were difficult to come by; fortunately, pitcher Pat Brosseau and the stingy DC defense were up to the task, and our own Maids of the Mist, Laura Demoreuille and Christine "CNap" Napolitano drove in key runs (three of our four RBI) to lead DC to a 5-3 victory.
After the Economist strung together a few hits and plated a run in the top of the first, DC returned the favor in the bottom half, tying the game. Sal Cipriano singled with one out and moved to second base on an otherthrow. After Mike Lorah popped out to right field, our first chance to see the Economist's soccer-star-turned-right-fielder, who made a jubilant, juggling basket-catch for the second out, Nel Yomtov slashed a hard grounder to third base. The Economist's man on the hot corner knocked the ball down, but rushed his throw, which sailed out of play. Nel took second, and Sal trotted home.
In the second, Blake Kobashigawa reached on a fielder's choice, erasing CNap, who'd led off with a single, and base hits by Pat and Vince Letterio loaded the bases with one out. Laura Demoreuille lofted a fly to shallow left, and Blake tested the outfield's arm. The throw was on time, but the catcher couldn't corral it, and Blake score the go-ahead run. Danielle Yannetta lined back to the pitcher to end the frame, but DC never trailed again.
However, the game remained tight the rest of the way. Both teams had plenty of baserunners, but few extra-base hits, and those clutch run-scoring knocks never managed to squirt through the infield. Back-to-back singles by Dan Bertoldi and Kevin Schwoer started the third, but Dan was tagged out after stumbling past third on Neil Hiremath's base hit, and then Sal fouled off three pitches and Mike bounced back to the pitcher.
In the fourth, Nel and John Choi singled to start the inning, but CNap's fielder's choice and comebackers by Blake and Pat squelched the opportunity. Vince led off the fifth with almost literally a rainmaker to left field, and the opposition's left fielder may have momentarily lost the ball in the gray sky, because ball landed wetly not far behind him - but it landed, and Vince legged out a triple. Laura then picked up her second RBI, smacking a hard grounder past the second baseman. Danielle added a single, but consecutive 6-5 fielder's choices by Dan and Kevin took the ladies off the bases. With two down, Neil slapped an RBI double into the left field gap, scoring Dan with DC's fourth run.
The Economist tallied a second run in the top of the sixth. They also lost their right fielder, who, after happily pouncing into the batter's box and flaring a single to shallow center, launched something closer to a flying kick at the second base bag than a slide. It seemed his spike caught in the muddy ground and stuck, and then Nel, rushing to the base, stepped on him to add insult to the injury.
DC added one more insurance run in their portion of the sixth. Nel reached on a fielder's choice, moved to third on John's double, and raced home on CNap's tapper back to the mound. The Economist added one more run in the seventh for the final tally, 5-3.
Defensive highlights were Pat's continued prowess at fielding chipshots, comebackers and squibbers, Dan snapping up a fouled-back flare, and Vince and Neil's outfield range.
The Bullets (4-0) meet truTV next week on North Meadow #2.
LCF/CF Neil Hiremath - 2-3, RBI, double
1B Sal Cipriano - 1-3, R
3B Mike Lorah - 1-3
SS Nel Yomtov - 2-3, R
DH John Choi - 2-3, double
RCF/RF Christine Napolitano - 1-3, RBI
RF Blake Kobashigawa - 1-3, R
P Pat Brosseau - 1-2
LF Vince Letterio - 2-2, R, triple
2B Laura Demoreuille - 1-1, 2 RBI, sac fly
C Danielle Yannetta - 1-2
C Dan Bertoldi - 1-2, R
LF Kevin Schwoer - 1-2