Thursday’s game between the streaking Rampaging Trilobites and the undefeated Das Boot was touted as a clash between titans. The veteran Trilobite squad, while on a five game win streak, had yet to be truly tested. The relatively green Das Boot team, meanwhile, had been able to rely on pure athleticism to carry them through the season so far. Experts were split on how the teams would match up.
While the pundits debated, however, the two teams stepped onto the field with a clear focus and were ready to go to work when the time came.
The Trilobites came out swinging, plating three runs in the top of the first to take an early lead. It might have been more, if not for a baserunning gaff by Captain Big, which saw him tagged out between third and home. The Booters responded in the bottom of the frame with four runs of their own as the meat of their lineup found traction with the long ball.
|Walk! Don't Run!|
The abbreviated Das Boot offense, meanwhile, while full of vigor and enthusiasm, seemed unable to respond in kind. While the Booters continued to rely on their power, the seasoned Robbies defense seemed to have an answer. Of particular note on the day, was left fielder Charles, who made a number of acrobatic catches to save sure runs and extra bases.
“I must have angered the kickball gods last week when I mentioned I hadn't gotten any flyballs kicked to my position in the outfield,” Charles exclaimed. “They really kicked my butt for it. I guess my offering of incense and Patron Silver did the trick.”
Second baseman Asian also made significant defensive contributions, with a trio of catches that seemed to deflate the Das Boot lineup. It was in the fourth inning, with runners on and the Booters’ cleanup kicker at the plate, when Asian got in the way of a frozen rope through the infield to end the inning.
|Game MVP Tom|
“I knew we had to have our A game out there to take down Das Boot,” said Asian. “So when I had my opportunity to get some outs, I just went for it.”
Das Boot's kicker (who had previously been heard to exclaim “That’s how men do it!” after his three run homer in the first – a result of a double error at the plate by Big) returned to his team’s bench with his head hung low.
Despite the gritty defensive performance by the Trilobites, the game always felt close, so the Robbies needed a hero in the fifth to break the game open. After a lucky homerun that found its way between the legs of the right center fielder by Big, things looked better, but still tight. Then Game MVP Tom stepped to the plate and belted a kick out to center for a three run homer to finally break the game open.
“You munt, and you munt, and you munt, and the day when you get the green light comes, and you just hope not to screw it up,” said the soft-spoken third baseman. “Getting lucky never felt so good.”
Some pundits will wonder how much luck was involved, as Tom has been consistent in his offensive output all season long (7 AB, 6 H, AVG: .857, 2 Doubles, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 6 R). Others will wonder about the his previous experiences of “getting lucky” and whether or not someone needs to get the kid laid. But, at the end of the day, Das Boot’s spirit was broken and the Trilobites where able to trade a few runs for outs to end the game and keep their win streak alive.
“It certainly wasn’t my best game,” said Big afterwards. “But let me tell you something, this Trilobite squad has something. It has something that’s been growing for years. A seed that was planted by the Middlesex Panthers years ago and that’s been growing steadily ever since. There’s a vintage to our kickball, I think, that other teams can’t account for, can’t plan for, can’t answer. It’s games like this that remind me that, while an individual may stumble, the team will always push through. When you look back and see only one set of tracks and ask the Trilobites where they were in those times of need, they answer: ‘You idiot, Trilobites didn’t spend a lot of time on the beach, they lived primarily in the water. This is a ridiculous metaphor!’”
The Robbies hope to keep the streak alive next week when they face another league powerhouse, Kickelodeon on Field C.