Following our loss against the Base Invaders the week before this game had suddenly become very important for our promotion prospects, as it was for the Raiders. Traditionally we beat the Raiders at home and then manage to lose the away leg. In footballing terms this was a ‘6 pointer’!
At least this time there were no ‘retired’ Gold Raiders to help them out although they were pleased to have Sarah playing for them. Just in case people had forgotten she was the ringer that played for Raider’s Silver against the Parrots that hit two home runs and that Neil decided to walk. The Raiders still have not forgiven him for that.
Owing to some notable absentees (Gids, Phil, Sohan and Lucy) we had to go with 5-5 for this game with Dave pitching instead of Gids and perhaps our strongest line up of the season:
Shorty (CL), Marines (RF), Chris (SS), Nads (2), Bola (CR), Shaz (C), Dave (P), Alice (3), Paul (1), Josie (LF)
The game didn’t get off to the best start with both Shorty and Marines out running to 1st, courtesy of their all star short stop- Sarah. Fortunately Chris made 1st before Nads made 3rd (!) for the RBI before Bola batted Chris in and Shaz was struck out by their female pitcher. 2 runs scored.
As expected the Raiders came up to bat with a strong team, leaving their hot dog girl at 5th spot. They started off very well by loading the bases before their hot dog short stop batted two of the runners in. It looked as if they were going to pile on the runs before some great fielding in the infield saw them all out- also for 2 runs.
Pirates 2, Raiders 2
Dave was very lucky to make 1st base whilst conversely luck deserted Alice and Paul who were both were caught out on great hits, allowing Josie to pick up the RBI. Shorty took a walk to 2nd where he stayed as Marines was struck out by the female pitcher. Hmmmm- was there a pattern here?
With only 1 run scored it was time to lock down the pitch. That’s exactly what we did with Chris and Paul combining for the first out. Nads managed to get in there too with a nice backhanded throw to Chris on 2nd and Josie took a great catch in the outfield. 0 runs scored- Nice!
Pirates 3, Raiders 2
D’oh! Just when it looked as if we were going to start scoring we were all out for 0 runs; Nadine 1-3, Shaz FC and Bola struck out. Not that he agreed with the umpire’s decision as he left the box with a huge scowl and wielding the bat in a slightly dangerous manner.
Lucky for us the Chris/Paul combo was just getting warmed up in the 2nd innings and they were red hot in the 3rd. Every shot that came Chris’s way he was all over it like an octopus. He was on the verge of showboating whilst going for diving catch which just slipped through into Shorty’s glove and quickly relayed to Nads for the out.
Pirates 3, Raiders 2
This game was tight- too tight so time for a few runs! Dave, Alice , Paul and Josie all made runs and batted each other around while Shorty earned his first sac fly of the season. Chris took the walk and Nadine picked up a couple of RBIs before Bola and Shaz made bases. With bases loaded it was down to Dave to continue the run-fest but was unlucky to get caught out on a big hit to the outfield. 5 runs scored though!
This was more like it. Suddenly we were on 8 runs and the Raiders were playing catch up. No shut out this time but our great defensive game continued as they only scored a couple of runs. Paul took a great catch as did Josie and Dave picked up a strike out.
Pirates 8, Raiders 4
Alice up to bat first and she nailed a great line drive to the left field. So great in fact that it flew over the third base deep into the outfield and hugged the base line all the way giving Alice the honour of being the first female Pirate to score a ‘legit’ home run. Woooo Alice!
Paul followed up with a first base hit before Shorty was caught again by their inform centre right outfielder. With 2 down, Chris made 1st, Nadine made 2nd and Bola created a home run out of an infield dribbler before Shaz was struck out but not before we chalked up 6 runs.
Even better than a two down rally is then shutting out the opposition, which is exactly what we did. It was business as usual for Chris and Paul although Josie got in on the act again with another catch. Bola also made a great stop in the outfield to hold their short stop to first base while we picked off each batter for the shut out.
Pirates 14, Raiders 4
This time it was Dave’s act to get in on the Home Run club with a deep shot to the left field. Paul and Alice were unfortunately both out (Alice running to 1st and Paul to 2nd) but Josie was able to make it home courtesy of Shorty’s massive home run. This time their fielder was nowhere near much to Shorty’s delight after being caught twice in a row by him. 3 runs scored.
Finally the Raiders started to fight back. We had to hold our nerve as their first out was called back in after being struck out when the Blue wasn’t looking. It didn’t matter as Chris picked up her shot and launched it at Paul for the out. They picked up a couple of runs as their short stop hit a huge shot over Marines head in the right field. She was actually unlucky not to get a home run but was only allowed to advance to 3rd as the ball went in the bushes. Just when it looked as if they were going to pick up some more we made the out on second with Dave’s off target toss somehow making it to Chris’s outstretched glove. With two down we managed a double play to take the tally to 4 outs in one innings as Chris made the play on 2nd and then, not realising that they were all out threw to Paul’s bare hand on first to make the tag. 3 runs scored.
Pirates 17, Raiders 7
This time is was Chris’s time to get stung by the bush rule as he certain home run was limited to a triple. With Nads and Shaz caught out and Dave out on 1st. 1 run scored- that should be enough?
At 18-7 it looked like the game was ours but as we all know from last year you can never underestimate the Raiders. They immediately hit a few runs in before the Pirate defensive lockdown came into force. As with the rest of the game it was Chris and Paul at the centre of it taking a couple of outs before Dave took the last catch of the game which ws conveniently hit straight at his head. Game over.
Final Score: Pirates 18, Raiders 10
MVP: Birthday Girl Nads (6 RBIs)
Runner up: Alice (Home run!)
Defensive play: Chris/Paul combo