Saturday, April 20, 2013

Welcome to Softball: Bullets Give BuzzFeed a Rough Welcome

The DC Bullets met BuzzFeed, playing their inaugural softball game as a team, Thursday night on North Meadow #2, and BuzzFeed got a quick taste of where their needs are, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. The Bullets benefited from the struggling glovework, rapping out an astonishing 40 hits in just six innings, coming out on top of a 27-7 rout.

After Larry Ganem worked a scoreless first, aided by Blake Kobashigawa's leatherwork at third base, DC put up a quick three runs. After Mike Lorah lined out to right field, Vince Letterio singled and Kevin Schwoer doubled to put two runners into scoring position. Jay Kogan cashed in the first with a line single to left. Jay moved up to second on the throw and, after Sal Cipriano's pop-out, Neil Hiremath drove home both runs with a single to centerfield. Allison Klein added a base hit before Dan Bertoldi's groundout wrapped the frame.

The comic book makers had their once-a-game defensive hiccup in the second, opening the door for BuzzFeed to plate five runs and seize a brief two-run lead. Supersoldier Nel Yomtov led off the second with a base hit, moved to second on Blake's groundout, and to third on Larry's single. Brittany Holzherr plated Nel, and David Pina's hit loaded the bases with one out. Carlos Mangual's fielder's choice erased Britt at third, but scored Larry to tie the game. Mike's RBI double put DC ahead again, briefly as it turned out.

BuzzFeed tallied a sixth run in the third, tying the game, and DC retook the lead on a Jay's double, Sal's line single to left and Neil's sacrifice fly. Allison chipped in another two-out hit, but was again left stranded.

To this point, the game had been a back-and-forth affair. After a scoreless fourth for BuzzFeed, that changed. Nine batters went to the plate in the fourth for DC - eight of them reached base safely. Nel and Blake singled, and Larry chased Nel home with a ground single into right field. Blake, however, was thrown out going to third. Britt, David, Carlos and Mike singled in sequence, driving home three more runs. Vince rolled into a fielder's choice before Kevin smacked a two-run double to cap the scoring on a six-run outburst.

BuzzFeed chipped away with a run in the top of the fifth, and the comic book makers answered with eleven in their turn. Sixteen batters went to the plate. Ten straight reached base with two outs in the inning. Oddly, one of the hardest hit balls of the inning turned into the first out, when Neil, the second batter of the inning, ripped a drive into shallow center and BuzzFeed's centerfielder made a terrific diving catch. The Bullets stopped hitting to center after that and started to find holes. Around Neil's line out, Sal, Alli and Dan singled to score one run. Nel loaded the bases with a hit, and Blake's fielder's choice added a second run. Britt, David and Carlos collected RBI singles, and Mike an RBI double. Vince tallied a two-run double, and Kevin drove him home with a rope back through the box. Jay singled, Sal (second at-bat of the fifth) RBI doubled and Neil drove home one final run with a hit of his own before Alli flew out to end the massacre.

BuzzFeed went quietly in both the sixth and seventh innings against first-time pitcher Allison, Larry having slipped away after the fourth inning. DC scored three more in their half of the sixth - Dan and Nel grounded singles through the left side. After Blake flew out to left and Britt grounded into a fielder's choice, David, Carlos and Mike drove in runs with singles. Vince, always merciful to the opposition, grounded out to end DC's evening at-bats.

Sporting an early 2-0 record, DC meets The Daily Show on Monday at Dewitt Clinton Park at 8:30pm. All three previous Bullet-Daily Show match-ups have been thrillers, so expect nothing less this time.

Bullet Box:
3B Mike Lorah - 4-5, 2 R, 4 RBI, two doubles
OF Vince Letterio - 2-5, 3 R, 2 RBI, double
LF Kevin Schwoer - 3-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, two doubles
1B Jay Kogan - 3-4, 3 R, RBI, double
1B Sal Cipriano - 3-4, R, RBI, double
CF Neil Hiremath - 2-3, 4 RBI, sac fly
RF/P Allison Klein - 3-4, R
OF Dan Bertoldi - 2-4, 2 R, RBI
SS Nel Yomtov - 4-4, 2 R
3B/SS Blake Kobashigawa - 1-4, R, RBI
P Larry Ganem - 2-2, 2 R, RBI
2B Brittany Holzherr - 3-4 3 R, 2 RBI
C David Pina - 4-4, 4 R, 3 RBI
C Carlos Mangual - 3-4, R, 4 RBI

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