Wednesday, July 16, 2008

KM2: PLAYoffs Round 2: It's not over until we say it's over!

Know Mercy 2 did something no other team in the Ada league has done, and that’s emerge from a game against the vile – and getting even more vile – O’Brien’s Market without a loss.

Of course, they didn’t emerge with a win, either. But that could come next week when league bosses figure out how to sort out the six-inning, 7-7 tie.

There’s a lot on the line, as the winner moves on to the semi-finals and loser becomes the favorite in the consolation bracket.
It was clear that these cocky hooligans thought that Know Mercy was going to be just an orange-and-white speedbump on their road to the championship.

But we served notice early, posting a run in the first then pushing over four in the second with a combination of patience leading to walks followed by clutch hitting.

O’Brien’s picked up two runs in the second, and KM2 responded with two more, led by the white-hot hitting of Jamie Norris and Rob Mirque, both of whom were two-for-two with two runs scored.

But the treacherous Marketers tacked on one in the fourth inning, two in the fifth and two more in the bottom of the sixth to tie things up as lightening flickered and umpires frankly lost control over what was going on.

While there were a couple yips in the field in that last inning, the game was close because of a number of stellar plays.

We nailed two runners at the plate. One came after an absolute laser of a throw from Casey Munger to Dan Eby to Mike Gillis, and another to end the sixth – and save the game – when Dan Eby screamed one in as the O’Brien’s captain tried some kind of bellyflop slide on Mike.

All kidding aside, there is a difference between gamesmanship and being a poor sport. And there were numerous incidents of poor sportsmanship coming from players from the other dugout.

That included a runner crashing into the first baseman attempting to dislodge the ball instead of heading to the runner’s base to the third base coach getting in Angie’s way as she attempted to field a foul.

I’m proud that KM2 didn’t respond in kind. We’re a classy group that plays hard without resorting to such things.

We battled hard, showed patience at the plate and some aggressiveness on the basepaths that paid off – most of the time.

And next week, we’ll go out there and play that last inning and hold our heads high no matter how things turn out.

Now for some highlights!

-- Dan was two-for-three including a sweet double and was his usual impressive self at shortstop.

-- Steve Kutz had a 6:15 job interview and still made it to the game in time to contribute a base hit.

-- Angie Bond-Patton had two big hits and was flawless in the field.

-- Aaron Dunham raced to the game from a far-flung assignment just in time to step to the plate – cleats still untied – to hit a double in the big rally.

-- Amy Fox made some outstanding plays at second, getting force-outs as O’Brien’s goons came thundering her way.

-- Jim Boles is practically automatic. You can pencil him in for a big hit in every game, and this one came in the first inning.

-- Cindy Saum is getting better and better behind the plate, coming close to making a spectacular play on a short pop.

-- Mound magician Mike Gillis was three-for-three at the plate. Oh, and how sweet was it to see him strike out the O’Brien pitcher in the last inning?

-- The Marketers thought about testing the Amazing Venta Norris as she patrolled right field, but game up after one shot. Clearly she intimidates!

-- The Chipper Skipper added to his team lead in walks by taking one in the big second-inning rally then Nitroed a rocket in the fourth inning. Yes, Nitro is now a verb. That bat is capable of anything.

We’ll soon find out what happens when the game is resumed. If we win, we move on the face Norman Family Dentistry, who beat Know Mercy 1. If we lose, we play our KM1 friends in the consolation bracket. Both of those sound like fun.

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