Hippos are Streaking!
The King Hippos pulled together for their second-straight victory, vanquishing Blue Steel 4-2.
A rematch of the 2008 Patriot Summer Division Finals, Steel vs. Hippos was the game of the week.
In their previous outing, the then-Green Team defeated Blue Steel with a walk-off kick in the Cambridge twilight to take the Division Championship.
The two teams respect each other and their histories, and approached this week’s match conservatively.
Both teams struggled to find a groove early on, though the Hippos’ offense managed to put together a string of base hits and drove in a run in the first and second innings. Aimee and Pete came through with each of those RBI strikes, driving in Brow and Colin respectively.
The Hippos then broke it open in the third inning, plating two runs off kicks by Rachael and Zach, driving in Seamus (with an run-saving home plate slide) and Ray.
Blue Steel’s offense kicked it into overdrive in the last two innings, however, plating a run in each. They also managed to consistently put runners on base, making things interesting. Fans of the Orange Tornados held their collective breath.
The Hippos’ defense came up huge, however, thwarting two Blue Steel rallies which could have snatched victory away from the up-start Hippopotami.
Game MVP Lisa channeled her inner Pedroia, standing up to a large, on-rushing baserunner to hold onto a throw from third for the put-out at second. She was also involved in a number of other plays at second, proving herself a plucky infielder who we’ll enjoy watching throughout the rest of the season.
The outfield play of the night went to last week’s MVP, Tangerine. Her Ken-Griffey-Jr-esque snag in Right Center, not only took away a number of Blue Steel runs and, at the very least, extra bases for the kicker, but is also worthy of a spot on the season’s highlight reel.
A third close play prevented another Blue Steel run when Kevin managed to peg a runner a bare step from home between the shoulder blades. After the match, the runner, who had slid safely into both second and third that inning, wondered aloud why he didn’t do the same at home plate.
In spite of some… adventurous officiating, this match lived up to the pre-game hype and is definitely a highlight of the season’s first half. As the Patriot division moves past the All-Star Break, however, the Hippos are looking forward.
“That win puts us back at .500 -- the first stop on our march to taking the championship in this league two seasons running,” said BK, the Hippos’ veteran center fielder and all-around nice guy. “After beating Blue Steel, I feel that we're hitting our stride. These Hippos are hungry, hungry and repeat words words. Watch out.”