For the 5th year in a row we were playing Raiders Green, a team that we have historically beaten at home but gone on to away narrowly away (we won’t go on about the inclusion of ‘retired’ Raiders Gold last year). Having lost to the newly promoted Base Invaders last week this was a must win game.
At least this week it looked as if we had a full team with only Shorty and Josie absent due to work and Dave picking up an injury on the day. Fortunately Gideon was back from his extensive travelling and was able to fill in as pitcher extraordinaire. To tighten on defence Chris reworked the fielding positions which resulted in the following line up:
Sohan (1B), Eva (3B), Phil (CL), Nads (2B), Chris (SS), Shaz ©, Gids (P), Alice/Marines (RF), Paul (CR), Lucy (LF)
Raiders up to bat and we got off to a flying start with Phil taking a catch, Chris throwing into 2nd and Gid’s with his first strike out of the season. With Shorty absent it was up to Sohan to replace Mr Consistent and lead off with a lovely 2B hit. Phil drove Sohan home with a double, whilst Nads and Chris both hit well but were left on base as Eva was out on 1 and both Shaz and Gids caught out.
Pirates 2, Raiders 2
Our tight defence carried straight on into the next innings with Sohan able to make the out despite dropping the throw in and then picking it up. Gids good form continued with a throw straight to Sohan for the 2nd out and then added to their misery with another strike out! Luckily we didn’t suffer the same fate with Alice, Paul, Lucy, Sohan, Eva, Phil, Nads all making bases and driving each other round whilst Chris picked up his 3rd home run of the season with a huge hit to centre right. Much to Paul’s horror, Shaz demonstrated how to ignore the base coach with some suicidal base running from 2nd to 3rd but was sooo lucky to get away it. With 6 runs scored we were looked unstoppable until a couple of fielder’s choice and Alice’s run to first ended the innings. Boooooo.
Pirates 8, Raiders 2
Straight back in it with the pitching machine known as Gids. No sooner had we started Gids combined with Sohan for the first out and then took another couple of strike outs to bring his tally to 4. Who needs an outfield in this game with Gids and Sohan on top form. Unfortunately this time around our batting couldn’t match the fielding as Sohan scored the only run as Paul and Lucy were out running to 1st as was Nadine who let out a cute little squeal as she ran in.
Pirates 10, Raiders 2
Defensively we were on a roll as we continued to lock down both the outfield and infield. With 2 outs and bases loaded it looked as if The Raiders were going to hit a grand slam home run as Ray blasted a huge shot to the left field. It looked as if he was away until a flying Phil covered a huge amount of ground to take the catch of the season. Immediately you could tell something was up as Phil clutched his hand in pain as he left the field. It transpired that he couldnt get his glove fully to the ball so had used his right hand to make the catch, both dislocating and breaking his finger in the process. Even worse was it was his right hand- essential for all manly actvity.
Once again we had a golden chance to add to our lead but Shaz’s hit to the pitcher inadvertedly resulted in a double play as Chris was ruled to have left the base before tagging up. Gids made a mad dash to first but unfortunately Marines (subbing for Alice) found the short stop and we were all out.
Pirates 10, Raiders 2
Deju vu time. For the fourth time in a row we were able to hold the Raiders to a grand total of zero runs. Special mention to Eva for taking one to the shins instead of leaping out of the way as well as making a great tag as well the as Chris/Nadine/Sohan combo for the outs. At least this time around we were able to pick up a couple of runs courtesy of Paul (line drive) and Sohan who were batted around by Eva and Dave (subbed in for Phil).
Just as it looked as if we had the game in the bag we suffered a little wobble that saw the Raiders pick up 4 runs in the 6th. A few tactical hits and walks meant that they were back in the game momentarily before strong fielding finished off their mini rally. Chris added to his sluggo stats with a second home run of the game, whilst Gids and Paul both made it round to pick up 3 runs. It could have been double that with Marines out running to 2nd and Lucy and Sohan left on base before Eva was out on first.
Pirates 14, Raiders 6
With the last innings wobble out the way and the game in our hands the Raiders revival was short lived. They picked up just the solitary run giving us our first victory! Arrrrrrrrrrr!
Final Score: Pirates 14, Raiders 7
MVP: Sohan (5 from 5 and great fielding at first)
Runner up: Chris
Defensive award: Eva
Purple Heart award: Phil
Shaz of the day: Ignoring Paul’s base coaching and subsequent suicidal base running from 2nd to 3rd.