Field C on Cambridge Common was the setting for one of the more contentious games of the season, as the red-hot Rampaging Trilobites faced off against a streaking Kick James! squad.
An inexperienced officiating crew made it quickly apparent that the game would not be without its controversy.
“Volume and knowledge of the game,” said Captain Big. “Those are the two factors you look for in a good ref. If you know the rules, great. But if you’re not loud, you can’t control the game and the teams will take over, which can get ugly fast. There were definitely a few moments in today’s game where you worried it was going to get out of hand. In the end, though, everybody remembered that it’s kickball, and we could all share a beer after the game. I can’t say it’s not frustrating, however, being five weeks into the season and having teams not know some of the basic rules of the game. The kicking box, what constitutes a strike and encroachment rules should not be surprises at this point.”
Kick James! got off to a quick start in the top of the first with a two-run homerun onto the bricks. The Trilobites, however, responded quickly in the bottom of the frame, though things got off to a clumsy start as Seamus dove into first to beat a throw that wasn’t coming.
When asked if the impressive slide was a ploy to win over the fan vote for Player of the Match, Seamus laughed: “We have fans?!?! Sure, for them, yes, that was a slide. For the record books that was certainly not an ‘I-drank-a-significant-amount-of-“Diet-Coke-™”-before-stepping-to-the-plate-and-tripped-on-myself-and-managed-to-do-it-six-feet-from-the-base-and-am-six-feet-tall,-so-fell-in-the-right-spot.’”
Phil then took advantage of a lackadaisical catcher and put himself aboard. Big was then able to homer to right center, driving in three.
One of the first controversies of the day came next, as Nick came close to going back-to-back with Captain Big with a deep boot to left that came down inches from the bricks before bouncing across the path.
Because of the lack of volume coming from the third base ref, however, many on the Robbies’ bench thought the ball might have come down on the stones and Nick jogged around the bases confident of his home run. Because none of the referees were willing to take control of the game, however, Big was forced to walk out on the field and loudly call his own player back to second base.
“I hated having to do it,” said Big. “But if we were going to have any chance of having a clean game, a gesture had to be made to keep both teams from falling on each other’s throats.”
The Trilobites’ defense was able to hold strong through the second, blanking the James’ offense. In the bottom of the inning, however, the Robbies put the pressure on, with Game MVP JP driving in two, and Colin and Jamie combining for another brace.
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“Good job! Great effort!” JP was heard to exclaim.
The second defensive star of the game was Reggie, making a great catch in right center field in the third inning, which fans of the team hope will boost the rookie’s confidence as the season moves forward. When asked where he has been looking for inspiration, Reggie crowed, “When we took the field, my man Nick looked at me and said ‘We
not dropping anything out here.’ When I saw that ball sailing at me, I knew
that was my moment. I firmly set my jaw and thought ‘I got this.’”
Kick James would tack two more runs on the board in the top of the fourth, but the Trilobites responded with a two run homer by Big across the brick path in left center, scoring Phil, who retained his 1.000 batting average on the season.
Due to the on-field tension, it was almost a relief to see the game come to a close without further incident and the Robbies were able to cruise through the top of the fifth to close out the game for a victory.
Despite a lighter-than-average showing at the bar, the Trilobites, again, came up big. Tom earned kudos for outlasting no less than four other teams in survivor flip cup. Barrett, meanwhile, bested them all by placing six pieces of rigatoni on a single piece of angel hair pasta without using her hands. It’s these efforts, both on and off the field, that show that the Robbies are running at full steam this season.
The Trilobites will not be able to take their foot off the gas, however, as they’ll face off against upstart Das Boot on Field B next week.
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