Thursday, July 23, 2009

Know Mercy 2 mashes the Monsters

It was, perhaps, our best game of the year.

Know Mercy 2 beat a very solid St. Matthew’s Monsters team 8-3 with stunning defense and pitching matched with timely hitting to move into the consolation championship game.

Battling darkening skies and approaching rain, the team jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first with Mike Light, Casey and Chad all coming around to score, muscled in by Rob Ferguson.

The Chipper Skipper then worked out a walk to lead off the second, then moved around on hits from Steve Cairns and Casey.

Then the defense and pitching took over. Mike Gillis didn’t issue a single walk and kept Monster sluggers uncomfortable with his array of junk.

And the defense was spectacular. Not a single error! (The dropped ball at first doesn’t count, as you can’t assume the second out of a double play.)

One inning in particular stands out. Monster mashers actually got the ball into the outfield three times.

First, a fly ball to left-center expertly handled by Rachel Zollman.

Then, there was a short bloop that looked like it might drop in until the Professor turned on the jets and made an awesome grab.

Finally, a deep, deep fly back to left-center with Rachel scrambling back as all of us watched the Monsters season die in the webbing of her glove.

Know Mercy tacked on two more runs in the third and one each in the fourth and fifth innings.

St. Matthew’s didn’t go quietly, adding two runs on a home run that nipped the corner of short left field line. But the defense snuffed it out, ending the game on a dribbler to Gilley to Rob Mirque as the rains started to fall harder.

Keep in mind, this was a team that mercied us less than a month ago, putting up 10 runs in their first inning, and none of them were cheap. Holding them to three and scoring eight against their tight defense is a good sign for next week’s battle for the consolation crown.

How about some highlights!

In addition to her two great plays, Rachel Zollman had two big hits, and displayed some brilliant base-running, catching the Monsters napping in the field and hustling home for the final run.

Steve Cairns was on base three times, with two hits and a walk.

Niki Ferguson had three big hits and a run. Sidekick Rob, making his official 2009 debut, had two hits and did some fine scooping at first base.

Chad. Beast. Two for three with two runs scored and all-around fantastic play at short.

Casey. Beastette. (In the best ways) Two for four with a walk and a run scored, flawless play at second.

Rob Mirque also reached base two times and scored, and made a great dive back into first after the Monster second baseman made a nice stab on a line drive. Bride Cindy also reached base.

Kathy Breslin earned the game ball by playing hurt after tweaking a leg and attracting our cheering section, proving for sure that they’re not fair-weather fans.

Mike Light gave his usual lesson on timely and solid hitting, going two for three with a run scored.

Mike Gillis had his eye on that short right field fence, but settled for a big double in addition to his expected mound magic.

Base-running is not the Chipper Skipper’s specialty. First he sent Niki into a tag while coaching, then ran through Rachel’s stop sign at third to get nailed at the plate. But he picked up another walk and drove a hit.

Next week! The Big Consolation Championship at 7 -- err, 6:30, yeah, 6:30 -- at Leonard Field. I believe we play the Double Baggers, unless CTRL-ALT-DEL pulled off a miracle in the rain.

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