Friday, July 6, 2012

Relentless Bullets Power Past ProPublica

Thursday at North Meadow #2, the DC Bullets overpowered ProPublica, tallying a 17-11 win. Offensively, the game was exactly what you like to see - consistency up and down the line-up, with every player scoring a run or driving in one and ten of twelve hitters compiling at least two hits on the afternoon. Defensively, however, the Bullets played a little sloppy and didn't have their heads in every play.

Against DC's Mike Lorah, making his 2012 pitching debut, ProPublica put their first three runners on base and seemed poised for a big inning. After getting the clean-up hitter to pop up to shallow left, Mike surrendered two runs on a single and a groundout, but managed to minimize the threat.

During DC's turn at-bat, Neil Hiremath and Vince Letterio both flew out, but Mike helped himself get a run back, grounding a hard base hit into left that turned into a triple when the leftfielder misplayed the ball. Andrew Arnold followed with a clean RBI single to halve ProPublica's lead.

Holding ProPublica scoreless in the second and third innings, DC quickly seized the advantage. Base hits by Sal Cipriano, Christine Napolitano and Blake Kobashigawa tied the game before any outs were registered in the second. Dan Bertoldi's infield single loaded the bases, and Andrew Marino rapped a hard fielder's choice to shortstop - erasing Dan, but chasing home CNap with the go-ahead run. Allison Dugas-Behan followed with another fielder's choice, taking Andrew 2 off the bases, but scoring Blake. Nick Sienty, making his Bullets debut, lined an opposite field single to left, and Neil reloaded the bases with a liner to center. Vince capitalized, clubbing a two-run double. Mike and Andrew followed with RBI singles before Nel launched a long fly ball into the left field corner. ProPublica's left fielder appeared momentarily to catch the ball, but in reality trapped the ball against the fence (and, good sportsman that he is, admitted so). As there was some confusion on the field and comic book makers had batted around anyway, we opted to credit Nel with a base hit, but also close out the inning - a seven run frame that put DC in the lead 8-2.

The Bullets tacked on two more in the third: Sal singled, moved to second on an overthrow, and then held his ground as CNap and Blake popped up on the infield. Dan collected the big two-out hit, fisting a single shallow left. Andrew 2 lined a single to left, scoring Sal, and Allie beat out an infield roller to score Dan. Nick launched a deep fly to left, but ProPublica's left fielder ran this one down to end the inning.

ProPublica picked themselves up with two runs in the fourth. DC equaled that total in their half of the inning. Vince took second base on an infield single and an overthrow, and scored in Mike's liner into centerfield. Back-to-back base hits by Andrew and Nel scored Mike before Sal grounded out and CNap popped up to end the inning.

In the fifth, ProPublica scored three more times. DC scored five. Singles by Blake and Dan, and a all-hustle double from Andrew 2 put one on the board. One out later, Nick drilled a two-run double to left center. Nick held at second on Neil's infield single and was forced at third base on Vince's fielder's choice ground ball to third. However, on the attempt for the 5-3 double play, the throw went wide of first, putting both Neil and Vince in scoring position. And both came home on Mike's headhunting rocket over the pitcher's mound. Andrew added a single, his fourth hit of the game, before Nel grounded out to end the outburst.

After a quick and scoreless top of the sixth, with time expiring on the permit and the 7:00 teams raring to go, the Bullets and ProPublica opted to forego the bottom of the sixth inning and let ProPublica take their last licks in the top of the seventh. And things got a little more interesting than they maybe should have - Blake dropped a ball while making a tag, Andrew dropped a fly in left for the first time in a long, long while, and Mike forgot the baserunners and, rather than getting a sure home-to-first double play on a trickler in front of the plate, only took the sure out at first. But the lead held up - ProPublica scored four times, but Mike got the last hitter on an easy comebacker to the mound to secure the win.

10-5 (2-3 NYMSL), the Bullets travel to North Meadow #10 on Tuesday to square off against Vanity Fair. Next Thursday (and the following Monday), DC returns to New York Media Softball League action against perennial powerhouse High Times.

Bullet Box:
RCF Neil Hiremath - 2-4, 2 R
LCF Vince Letterio - 2-4, 3 R, 2 RBI, double
P Mike Lorah - 4-4, 2 R, 4 RBI, triple
LF Andrew Arnold - 4-4, 2 RBI
SS Nel Yomtov - 2-4, RBI
1B Sal Cipriano - 2-3, 2 R
2B Christine Napolitano - 1-3, R
3B Blake Kobashigawa - 2-3, 2 R, RBI
RF/C Dan Bertoldi - 3-3, 2 R
RF Andrew Marino - 2-3, R, 3 RBI, double
C Allison Dugas-Behan - 1-3, R, 2 RBI
RF Nick Sienty - 2-3, R, 2 RBI, double

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