The DC Bullets' scheduled New York Media Softball League opener against WNYC was postponed due to rain last Thursday, so the Bullets instead opened their NYMSL 2012 campaign against Newsweek/Daily Beast this Thursday on North Meadow #2. After a see-saw affair - through four-and-a-half innings, each team had two leads and Newsbeast plated four runs in the top of the fifth to forge an 8-8 tie - the Bullets closed out the game in dramatic fashion. Sixteen hitters came to the plate in the last of the fifth, ten runs scored, and the comic book makers came away with an 18-8 win.
Newsbeast opened the scoring with two runs in the first. Putting together good at-bats against Joel Press, they ripped a couple doubles into the outfield alleys, worked in a few singles, and ran the bases well. The Bullets responded in the bottom half. After Pat Brosseau popped up and Vince Letterio grounded out, three consecutive Bullets worked walks to load the bases. Mike Lorah, Nel Yomtov and John Choi were aboard when Sal Cipriano lined a single to left to plate one run, and then Christine Napolitano hammered a double down the left field line to plate two more, giving the Bullets a 3-2 lead.
Newsbeast took back the lead with two more runs in the second, and held their one-run edge into the third. Joel Press led off the Bullet second with a base hit, and one out later, Blake Kobashigawa slammed a double to right center. But Laura Demoreuille popped up on the infield and Dan Bertoldi took a called third strike to leave both runners in scoring position.
DC, however, retook the lead with a commanding last of the third. Rick Warmack lined a single to left, Mike beat out an infield single, and both moved up a base on an overthrow. Nel Yomtov sliced a double to right field, plating both runs, giving DC the lead again. After John flew out, Sal, Lalida Musso and Brian Cunningham singled in sequence, with Lalida's hit scoring Nel. Batting with the bases loaded, Joel doubled to add two more runs, capping a five-run frame. With two runners in scoring position, Jay Kogan popped up and Allison Klein grounded out, as Newsbeast again prevented further damage.
Making it possible to retake the lead, Joel's pitching and the Bullet defense stamped out Newsbeast rallies in the third and fourth innings. The Newsbeast fourth inning was notable defensively, as Vince Letterio ran across half the North Meadow to snap up a flare into shallow center field just inches above the grass. One out later, with runners on first and second, Mike fielded a high chopper at third. With no time to throw to first, Mike swung around and tagged the runner from second coming into third base - except he tagged with the glove and the ball was in his bare hand, anticipating the throw. It worked out for DC, as the baserunner couldn't see where the ball was and stepped off the base, where Mike applied a proper tag for the out. Otherwise, Joel induced routine fly ball after routine fly ball; credit to Rick (a member of the Bullets' West Coast team, joining the East Coast squad for the day, as did recurring cast member Lalida - a pleasure to have you both for the day), Kevin Schwoer and Pat for handling everything hit their way.
A Newsbeast pitching change seemed to throw the Bullet offense a curve in the fifth, as the once-torrid bats went down in order - Danielle Yannetta grounded to short, Pat popped up to third, and Vince grounded to third, and Newsbeast seized the momentum in the top of the fifth. Four runs crossed, as the Newsbeast bats came to life, knotting the score at 8 apiece.
With one inning to see the new Newsbeast pitcher at work, the Bullets sized her up in the fifth - in a big way. Mike, John, Nel and Sal all batted twice in the inning - and the first three of those hitters reached both times. Overall, the first five hitters reached, then three more, then five more between each out. Sal had a two-run double and CNap an RBI single; Kevin flared an base-scoring hit into right center, and Blake drove home two runs as well. Dan worked a two-out walk, and immediately after, Rick drove home two more with his second hit of the day. Nel added an RBI hit and John took a bases-loaded walk. In the end, it added up to ten runs.
With the game starting slightly late, a little too much downtime between innings as both squads figured out defenses and threw the ball around, and a ten-run explosion in the bottom of the fifth, the game ended after only five innings, as the 7:00 permit holders stirred restlessly near the field. The victory starts the Bullets' NYMSL season off with a win - a well-played, back-and-forth win. The 2012 NYMSL season looks like it's going to be a fun one.
The Bullets (5-1, 1-0 NYMSL) square off against The Paris Review next Monday, 6pm, on North Meadow #10, then it's back in NYMSL action on Thursday, as Wall St. Journal visits North Meadow #2.
RCF Pat Brosseau - 0-2 / C Dan Bertoldi - 0-1, R, BB
LCF Vince Letterio - 0-2 / LF Rick Warmack - 2-2, 2 R, 2 RBI
3B Mike Lorah - 3-3, 3 R, BB
SS Nel Yomtov - 3-3, 2 R, 3 RBI, double, BB
DH John Choi - 1-2, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB
1B Sal Cipriano - 3-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, double
RCF Christine Napolitano - 2-2, R, 3 RBI, double / 2B Lalida Musso - 1-1, R, RBI
RF Brian Cunningham - 1-3
P Joel Press - 3-3, R, 2 RBI, double
LF Kevin Schwoer - 1-2, R, RBI / LCF Jay Kogan 0-1
RF Blake Kobashigawa - 2-2, R, 2 RBI, double / 2B Allison Klein - 0-1
1B Laura Demoreuille 0-2 / C Danielle Yannetta 0-1
*Reminder that NYMSL games have a 12-person line-up limit, so batters rotate in some slots.