As we start play in the seventh season of the New York Media Softball League, the league roster has expanded to include a seventh team. Institutional Investor made their NYMSL debut Thursday night on North Meadow #2 (although the game was played on DC's field, II, without field permits of their own, served as the home team) and they served notice to the NYMSL - there's a new heavy in town - as they whomped on the Bullets, winning 22-7.
Now, DC was short a few bats: Jay Kogan, Joel Press and super-soldier Nel Yomtov were among the missing. The defense could've, at times, been tighter, although the Bullets didn't allow many extra runs until after they already faced a ten-run deficit. Ultimately, however, II's hitters can mash and DC's going to have to step it up next time out.
As the visiting team, DC missed a chance to make an early statement in the first. After Neil Hiremath's single, Mike Lorah grounded into a fielder's choice and Andrew Arnold flew out to center. Back-to-back line singles from Kevin Schwoer and Vince Letterio drove Mike home, and Sal Cipriano loaded the bases with a rope into left field, but Allison Klein popped up to leave three runners stranded. Institutional Investor seized the momentum, plating three runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Blake Kobashigawa singled to left and Larry Ganem punched a base hit over second base to put two runners aboard in the second. However, David Pina hit into a fielder's choice for one out, and Taylor Esposito rolled into a 6-3 double play. Highlighted by a couple long home runs, II scored eight runs in the bottom of the frame, taking a commanding 11-1 lead.
To their credit, DC started to immediately chip away in the third. After Brittany Holzherr and Neil were retired, the comic book makers put together a nice two-out rally. Mike lined a single to left and Andrew banged a double into the gap in left center. Kevin's base hit drove home a run, and successive singles from Vince and Sal scored two more before Alli flew out to right.
DC held II scoreless in the third, but came away empty themselves in the fourth. After Blake grounded a single through the left side, two fielder's choices and a fly ball to left stalled any momentum, and Institutional Investor went back on the attack in the last of the fourth, scoring six more runs and pushing their edge to 17-4. The defensive highlight of the inning, undoubtedly, was Andrew fielding a groundball at shortstop, stepping on second, spinning around and throwing to first. If there had been a runner on first to force, or if the throw to first had been on line, the play would've been spectacular! But you've gotta give style points for displaying that much athleticism without netting a single out!
Britt led off the fifth with a base hit, and after Neil's fielder's choice, Mike and Andrew collected base hits to push across another run for DC. Kevin flew out to center, but Vince came up with a big two-out single - and not only did Mike score easily from second, but Andrew never stopped running and sprinted all the way around from first to score. Sal ripped a double down the left field line, but Alli's groundout left two more runnners on base. In the last of the fifth, perhaps deflated or just feeling silly from the game's outcome, the Bullet defense faltered (giving up extra bases on overthrows more often than failing to get outs), helping II score five final runs.
With time running out on the permit, Blake led off the sixth with his third lead-off single of the game. Larry bounced out to shortstop, and Blake, trying to catch the first baseman napping, was gunned down going to third. David chopped back to the pitcher and that was all she wrote.
3-2 (0-1 NYMSL), the Bullets continue their New York Media Softball League gauntlet next Thursday on North Meadow #2 against High Times.
CF Neil Hiremath - 1-3, R
3B Mike Lorah - 2-3, 3 R
SS Andrew Arnold - 2-3, 2 R, RBI, double
LF Kevin Schwoer - 2-3, R, RBI
CF Vince Letterio - 3-3, 3 RBI
1B Sal Cipriano - 3-3, RBI, double
RF Allison Klein - 0-3
3B Blake Kobashigawa - 3-3
P Larry Ganem - 1-3
C David Pina - 0-3
C Taylor Esposito - 0-2
2B Brittany Holzherr - 1-2