Friday, August 10, 2012

Fantastic! Amazing! Incredible! Bullets Double Down in Win over Marvel

But clearly, Danielle's Batman cape-socks were the real winner.

The annual DC Comics vs. Marvel Comics softball showdown went down Thursday evening on North Meadow #2. Like the Bullets, Marvel's team has suffered some West Coast attrition in the last year or two. DC was short our vaunted and valued supersoldier Nel Yomtov Thursday night, while Marvel lost a key bat for the 2012 season to a torn ACL. Both teams brought vocal cheering sections (no costumed heroes this year, though quite a few Court of Owls' masks haunted the DC crowd), which only made the game more exciting and more hilarious for both sides. And in the end, DC rode a seven-run outburst in the third and fourth innings to an 8-4 victory.

Both teams showcased their defenses in the first inning - each team put two baserunners on, but neither could cash them in. Neil Hiremath and Blake Kobashigawa opened up DC's bottom of the first with line drive singles to center, but Mike Lorah popped up to the pitcher and Vince Letterio and Christine Napolitano followed with consecutive unassisted fielder's choices to third base.

In the second, Marvel strung together a few hits and pushed a run across for the early lead, but the Bullets rose to the occasion in the bottom half. Dan Bertoldi singled to left and Pat Brahsew singled to right to put runners on first and second. Andrew Arnold popped up to shortstop, but Joel Press picked up a hit, loading the bases with one out. Laura Demoreuille grounded to third base - Dan came home with the tying run, Pat was forced at third, and both Joel and Laura moved into scoring position when Marvel's third baseman's attempt for a 5-3 double play went wide of first base. Larry Ganem, helping his own cause, punched a two-run single to center, giving DC a lead they would not relinquish. Andrew Marino and Kevin Schwoer singled to reload the bases. Sal Cipriano lined a base hit to left, scoring Larry, but Andrew ran through the stop sign and was thrown out by five feet at home plate to end the inning.

DC added to the lead in the third. After Jeff Boison popped out, Danielle Yannetta - wearing her Batman cape socks - "doubled" (one of only two extra-base hits on the day for DC) with a little assistance from some Marvel infielders who had a hard time keeping a straight face when confronted with her fashion statement. Neil flew out to center, but Blake scored Danielle with a two-out single. Mike then capped the inning with a two-run bomb to right center before Vince popped up to third.

Larry, meanwhile,  kept mowing Marvel's bats down like Deathstroke the Terminator, keeping DC's lead unchallenged in the third and fifth innings, while Pat handled a scoreless fourth. Marvel's biggest threat came in the third, when they put runners on first and second with nobody out. The next hitter lifted a flare into shallow right field and it seemed nobody would be able to reach it - however, Joel Press, moving like the Flash himself (or at least Quicksilver), sprinting out from second base, made an amazing Willie Maysesque over-the-shoulder grab. The following hitter scorched a bullet to third, where Mike made the pick and forced the lead runner, and then Dan ran down a can of corn in right field to preserve DC's 7-1 lead.

The Bullet offense sputtered in the fourth and fifth innings thanks in part to some good Marvel D. CNap lined to third in the fourth, but Dan, Pat and Andrew followed with singles, loading the bases. Joel then ripped a laser beam back up the middle that Marvel's pitcher somehow speared, and Andrew was doubled off first. Laura and Larry singled leading off the fifth, but back-to-back popups by Andrew 2 and Kevin, followed by Sal's hard-hit fielder's choice to third, closed out another missed opportunity.

After the top of their order came away empty in the fifth, highlighted by Mike making a running back-to-the-infield catch in shallow left to deny their leadoff hitter, the middle part of Marvel's batting line-up regrouped and came on the attack in the sixth. Aggressive baserunning led to a first run and then one of Marvel's surprise sluggers crushed a long two-run double to center field to cut DC's lead to 7-4.

DC tacked on one insurance run in the sixth, however. Jeff flew out to left, but Danielle outran another infield single and took second on an overthrow. Neil lifted a fly ball to center for the second out, but Blake singled to left and Mike drilled an RBI single to center to push the lead to four runs. Vince also singled in the sixth, loading the bases for CNap, who grounded to the third baseman for an unassisted fielder's choice.

Larry went back to the mound in the seventh, inducing two routine plays - a grounder to Andrew at short and a fly to Kevin in left - before Marvel's #2 hitter lifted a flare to shallow left, but Kevin proved up to the challenge, making a running shoe-string, sno-cone grab to close out the game.

14-8 (2-6 NYMSL), the Bullets do battle against Chartbeat next Thursday on North Meadow #2.

Bullet Box:
CF Neil Hiremath - 1-3
2B/3B/SS Blake Kobashigawa - 3-3, R, RBI
3B Mike Lorah - 2-3, R, 3 RBI, home run
LF/CF Vince Letterio - 1-3
SCF Christine Napolitano - 0-3
RF Dan Bertoldi - 2-2, R
P Pat Brosseau - 2-2
SS Andrew Arnold - 1-2
2B Joel Press - 1-2, R
1B Laura Demoreuille - 1-2, R, RBI
P Larry Ganem - 2-2, R, 2 RBI
C Andrew Marino - 1-2
LF Kevin Schwoer - 1-2
1B Sal Cipriano - 1-2, RBI
RF Jeff Boison - 0-2
C Danielle Yannetta - 2-2, 2 R, double

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