Finally the time had arrived for our first league game of the season. After hearing the Parrots had crushed their opposition the day before it was time for the Pirates to flex their collective muscle and brush aside the newly promoted Base Invaders. That was the theory at least.
After just one game and a morning practice session with The Mob our preparation for the game wasn’t quite where we wanted it to be but confidence was running high in the Pirates, despite the fact that Bola was injured. To add to the excitement Fiona surprised us all with a random visit to the pitch to cheer us on. The weather had just about cleared up and whilst it wasn’t exactly a warm sunny even, it would have to do.
We watched as the Base Invaders took to the field in an organised way for a pre match warm up, taking turns to have a few hits. The Pirates preferred a more leisurely warm up with a beer in hand as we waited for last minute arrivals. Finally we were ready to start for 7pm.
1st- 4th Innings:
Not good. Shorty led off with a nice high ball to the outfield which was probably the highlight of the innings, especially as he was the only person to make it home. Marines was out running to first and whilst Chris and Dave made first they both scuffed the ball and it barely moved. Alice truly whacked the ball but was unlucky to be caught in the outfield while Phil also suffered a batting malfunction but at least got Shorty in. With bases loaded Nads found their highly experienced short stop and we were all out. At least we could rely on our defence!!
This time we couldn’t. Though the majority of balls were high balls to the outfield the wind played havoc with our fielding. Balls that looked to be in the glove were suddenly flying over our heads and we were leaking runs. It didn’t help that the first base blue made two terrible decisions to allow definite outs to stay in but which ever way you look at it we conceded 8 runs in the first innings!
Things went from bad to worse in the second and third innings as the second half of the batting order were picked off one by one. Paul was struck out, Sohan got tagged on a suicide run from 1st to 2nd, Shaz made it to 1st but picked up a fielder’s choice and we barely hit out of the infield. Once again Shorty was the only person to make it around the bases as Marines was the only Pirate to succeed in bringing people in to home. As if our hitting wasn’t enough to worry about the Base Invaders continued to find the gaps and pick up more runs as we imploded (3 in the second innings, 7 in the third innings and another 2 in the fourth). By the end of the fourth innings we were only the grand total of 4 runs to their 20 and heading dangerous close to a mercy!
Finally we started to rally. With Chris on 2nd, Dave hit a nice HR to start the fightback. Phil found his feet again to make 3rd, whilst Alice, Sohan, Paul and Lucy all made it to first. Shorty managed to add to his tally of runs before we were all out. More important we had picked up 8 runs in the innings and finally started to field well with some great catches/plays in the outfield (Shorty) and infield which resulted in us not conceding any runs! Maybe, just maybe a Pirate rally was on the cards??
This time is was Chris’s turn to pick up his HR with an almighty hit to the right field. Marines carried on her amazing batting with a great hit over second whilst Dave, Alice and Phil were all able to make bases. It wasn’t quite a big a rally as the previous innings with 3 scored but at least going in the right direction. Unfortunately the Base Invaders were able to dig a little deeper to match us with 3 runs but at least we saw the best defensive play of the game. An almost certain home run was picked up by Shorty, relayed to Chris then Dave for a tag to the back of the head as the runner was just a few feet from home. Poor girl- she went flying but great play!
This was it!! 16 runs scored vs 23 to the Base Invaders who were yet to bat. As Bola informed us we had to score a minimum of 7 and then hope that we could hold them. We started well with a couple of runs scored but after finding their fast footed pitcher Daz three times in a row it was all over for the Pirates.
Final score: Base Invaders 23, Pirates 18
MVP: Marines (for 0.75 and 4 RBIS)
Runner up: Shorty
Defensive award: Shorty/Chris/Dave relay
Runner up: Shorty, Nads
Shaz of the day: Calling the ball and attempting to break Dave’s rib after he ignored it (but made the catch)