There is an old saying in the hills of West Virginia; “If ya wanna run with the big dogs, ya gotta come out from under the porch.” Monday night in Bohn Park, the Natural Disasters came out from under the porch, chased down the big dog (Blue Mountain Stone), and bite him on the backside. Playing in their final game of the regular season, the Disasters were determined right from the outset. Holding their opponents scoreless in the first inning, the Disasters rocked BMS for five scores in the bottom half of the frame. Being down at all, never mind by five runs after one inning is not something the Quarry Workers are accustomed to. With their interest now piqued, Blue Mountain Stone started to get back into the game. With two runs in the second, and
another two in the top of the third, a five run lead was cut one, and we had ourselves a ball game! But the Disasters would not be denied on this evening. Their hitters unleashed a torrent of base hits; a double here, a single there, throw in a walk or two, a couple more hits, and before you could say “put a leash on that mutt,” the Natural Disasters scored five more runs and held a 10 to 4 lead after three innings. Sensing a shift in the natural order of the universe, BMS brought in ace relief pitcher Manny “The Fireman” Vasquez in the fourth. It was like throwing gas on the flame. The Disasters torched Vasquez for three more runs in the bottom half of the fourth inning. Down 13 to 4, and with the clock nearing the seven o’clock cut off, BMS started to get busy. They touched Disaster captain Chris “No Hope” Cope for a couple of run in the top of the fifth, and then in the sixth inning The Fireman ignited a rally by hitting a two-run moon shot over the left field fence, and one bounce into the woods by the river. This led to a couple more hits and another run before the Disasters were able to secure the upset of the season with the final out. The final outcome was a 13 to 9 thriller for the Disasters.
The Hooligans, who have yet to win a game this season, took heart from the upset they had just witnessed and said, “Why not us? Why not tonight?” The Hoolies got off to a fast start against the Chamber Rockers scoring a run in the top half of the first inning and hope was in the air. That hope was short lived, as the Rockers batted around the order in the bottom half of the inning and crossed the plate seven times. Still, the Hooligans kept chipping away, one run in the second, another in the third, yet another in the fourth, and the Hoolies had clawed their way back to a 7 to 4 ball game. The Chamber, sensing things could get away from them, plated another run in the home half of the inning, and then sealed the deal in the bottom of the fifth inning with a five run outburst. This made the tally 13 to 4 in favor of the Rockers, and that’s the way it stayed. The Hooligans finished the season without a win to blemish their perfect record.
Big scoring in the opening frame was the order of the evening, and the trend continued in the third match up of the night. This one pitted McHeaters against the Farmers of Stonebridge. McHeaters scratched out a run in the first, and then watched as the Farmers plowed them under with a nine run bumper crop of scores in the bottom half of the first. It was almost “déjà vu all over again” in the second. McHeater got another lone run in their at bat, and Stonebridge buried them again; this time it was only a four run outburst. But that made it 13 to 2 after two. Can you say, “Ball game.” McHeaters scored a couple in the third, gave up one in the fourth, and then put together a nifty rally in the fifth inning rocking the Farmers for five runs to close the gap to 14 to 9. The Farmers answered the rally with a scoring binge of their own, and tacked on two more runs, just for good measure. At nine o’clock the score stood at 16 to 9 in favor of the Stonebridge Farmers, and was time for the last game of the regular season.
The final game of the night saw the Paddy Whackers dueling with Shake N’ Bake, and the umpire was tempted to invoke the “Ten run mercy rule” on this one after a half inning, and let everyone go home early. The Whackers burned the Bakers for eleven runs in the top half of the first. The over-matched SNB crew got a run back in the bottom of the inning, but their soufflé had fallen. The Whackers frosted that cake with four more runs in the second, and wrote “See ya next year” across the top with another quad in the third. The always-game Bakers put up two runs in the second and a lone score in the third, but that only made the final product a 19 to 4 beat down.
Next week will be a “post season” season of sorts, with the top eight teams playing a one game championship round. First place Blue Mountain Stone, with a record of 11 – 1, will play the Paddy Whackers (8 – 2) to decide the champs. The Natural Disasters (7 – 3) will take on Fast Signs (6 – 5) to determine third place. McHeaters and Shake N’ Bake (both 5 – 6) will duke it out for fifth place, and the Chamber Rockers (4 – 7) will tangle with the Stonebridge Farmers (3 – 7) for seventh place bragging rights. The Hooligans 0 – 11 perfect season will go unchallenged for the cellar position. Meanwhile the powers that be (Marissa and Dave) wait to see if they get enough interest to play a “fall ball” schedule.