Spices take the first of the season series against Blue Steel
The weather gods, again, showed their displeasure with kickball this week, throwing microbursts at Cambridge Commons in an otherwise lovely week. Refusing to let a little moisture get in the way of their kickball, however, the players waited for the sunshine – as well as the equipment – and got underway late.
Many of the Spices sported call back socks to seasons past. Raining Sideways, King Hippos, Green Team, Grilled Cheese, Last Ones Picked and Strangers in The Alps were all honored on the day.
The Spices’ offense got off the ground early as Tristan advanced to third on Asian’s single where he arrived safely, but only after taking out the third baseman who was half his size. In his defense, the fielder spent most of her day standing in the basepath. Tristan, however, was apologetic. “Just call me the Kobe Bryant of kickball... I mean in the 'abuses women' way, not in the '5 time world champion' way..."
The Reds then took an early lead with RBIs by Big and a great sacrifice kick by JP, scoring Tristan and Asian, respectively.
The defense held strong in the bottom of the first, but two Blue Steel runs snuck home in the second. Blue Steel’s CF Long (sp?) got home the hard way rounding the bases after narrowly missing being tagged out by Phil and then an even closer call on the third base line when Big watched his tag miss the runner by a hair.
The teams then traded body blows in the third, each scoring a single run. The Spices’ came on a huge sacrifice kick by Seamus that scored Spartacus from third.
You could cut the tension with a knife going into the fourth inning as Bayewitch stepped to the plate. The Blue Steel pitcher, who had some trouble finding the strike zone in the third (even walking a patient Zach), got a bit cute, rolling in a few meatball pitches that still went wide. Thinking quickly, Bayewitch took advantage of the pitcher and catcher’s apparent apathy, acted disinterested until the ball finally broached the kicking box and placed an inch-perfect bunt down the third base line, catching the fielders by surprise.
"I think the pitcher thought he could psych me out by pitching another slow ball, but I fooled him,” said Bayewitch (Coriander). “The ball just stopped, I acted confused and then was like, ‘OK catcher, see ya when I round the bases!’”
Suiting actions to words, Bayewitch would then take an extra base on the subsequent at bat while the fielders weren’t paying attention to her. This heads up and enterprising play by the plucky second baseman earned her the Game MVP award. As the Blues reacted to Bayewitch’s gall, Asian was then able to take second base for her first double of the season.
As it turned out, Bayewitch’s adventures at the plate and on the basepaths were the spark that the Spices needed to start an impressive six run rally.
While at second base, Asian talked to the Steels’ speedy centerfielder. Big was able to take advantage of this distraction and boot a double to left center while Long wasn’t looking, scoring Bayewitch from third.
JP then launched another sacrifice fly that scored Asian from third for a second time. JP (After Hours), who has the team’s only triple on the season, said “Against my selfish burning desire to kick the ball and chance any double plays, I opted for the team and made sacrifice hits to bring runners home from third.”
The Spices then flashed their kicking quality. Brown singled in a run, Phil got aboard, Colin made up for an earlier baserunning gaff and drove in his fourth RBI of the season, and Kevin finished off the rally with an RBI of his own.
Team fireplug Catie also drove in a run on what could have been a double. She was forced to live with a single, however, when the game officials sent her back to first saying that the ball had been mounded and the play made dead.
“Honestly... he was over by third which was why I went... he would have had every right to try to get me out!” said Catie.
“She’s right,” said Captain Big. “If this was the playoffs, I would’ve said something. As it was, it was kind’ve funny to see her slink back to first base.”
Carrying the momentum into the bottom half of the inning, the Spices took the field against a now desperate Blue Steel offense. BK survived a play at second as the ever-dangerous Long plowed through the bag, overrunning the base. BK, kept his head and tagged the runner out.
On what was to be the final play of the game, First Baseman Ray – in his first game back since his wedding, honeymoon and mattress-shopping obligations – held onto a difficult winding liner down the first base line. Hitting the ground to make the catch, Ray then made double sure of the out by dragging himself along the wet grass to tag the base with the ball ahead of the runner.
“That hilarious play showed how much heart this guy has,” said a tearful Captain Big. “He made that catch, which was impressive enough, but then wormed his way back to the bag so there would be no doubt. I only wish I’d remembered to bring him his jersey today and he wasn’t playing in that stylish button down shirt…”
Due to the late start (partially due to weather and more due to the late arrival of equipment), the TTYTCSL/Steel match was called after only four innings, to the chagrin of both squads, especially hearing that the subsequent match played all five innings.
Ever the sportsmen, the Spices bought the Steel players a pitcher/three PBRs at the Bar.
While it was still a win and leaves the Spices undefeated on the season, it was a moderately hollow victory because of the game’s shortened nature. The Spices look forward to facing the Steel again later in the season.
Captain Big would also like to thank the Pitches’ Mark for his birthday PBR. “I found your thoughtfulness tasty and refreshing!” said Big.