It’s only taken 6 weeks but finally the sun came out for our home game against Raiders Green. To make life even better the council had actually bothered to cut the grass and mark out the pitch. With Neil, Dave and Gideon all arriving early with drinks in hand it didn’t take long for them to get their tops off, much to the delight of the male Raiders, though the girls looked less than enthusiastic.
Once again we were missing a number of players (Josie, Nadine, Alice, Merin, Bola) but were able to pull off a coup by asking Viene to play who just happened to be Raiders Green ex captain, not to mention a huge hitter! Donna also surprised everyone by coming to see the game but with knee injury standing at 4 months there was no way she was going to play so we went for 5 and 5 and two subs (Phil/Sohan/Shorty and Gids, despite his MVP performance last week).
Gideon/Shorty (CLF) , Marines (LF) , Chris(SS), Shazza (RF), Dave(CRF), Badleep (2), Phil/Sohan (3/1) , Viene (1/3) , Neil (P), Lorraine (C)
Unusually the Raiders opted to bat first and with a female pitcher and Hermes at catch they were good to go. Or so they thought as no sooner had we began then Neil had struck two of them out and Gideon had taken a great catch in the outfield to dispose of them for zero runs. His speed soon came back to haunt him as he managed to overrun the second base for a tag out, followed by Marines caught out by their pitcher. Two up, two down but with Chris making 1st, Sharon taking the walk and a home run and triple RBI from Dave we were 3 up before Baldeep just missed out on first.
Pirates 3, Raiders 0
Next innings saw the Raiders start to get into the game as they managed to pull back a couple of runs before some smart relays from Marines to Chris and a catch from Dave saw them all out. Coincidentally that was the last time the ball was seen anywhere near the outfield! Once again we were able to add another 3 runs to our tally following safe batting from Phil, a infield bobble ball from Viene that somehow got her to second and then a massive hit from Neil for the triple RBI home run. Quite how he hit it so far whilst leaping frog-like up in the air is anyone’s guess but it gave him his first homer of the season. Our run fest continued with Gideon, Marines making bases while Chris then added another home run and triple RBI before Shaz was struck out and Dave was caught out infield. With 6 runs scored we were well in control!
Pirates 9, Raiders 2
Our good form continued into the next innings with another shut out coming from the infield who were on fire. With Neil pouncing on anything and everything in his area and Chris, Baldeep and Viene all working well for the outs we found ourselves at 9-2 at the bottom of the third. This time around Baldeep made first with Phil then Viene making first, then home from another great hit from Neil. That’s where the innings ended following a quick succession of outs but at least another couple of runs scored to make it 11-2.
Pirates 11, Raiders 2
At 11-2 it really looked as if we were heading for a easy victory. That unfortunately wasn’t the case as the Raiders began to claw back so runs despite some amazing plays in the infield including a Neil reflex catch. The best play was saved for Baldeep who intercepted the ball between first and second, threw a backhanded pass to Chris who took the ball barehanded as he ran onto second. With Sohan playing back on first and Viene seemingly tagging the raiders running into third it looked as if they were all out for a duck again until the blue overuled the tag. Ironically these great plays seem to confuse us slightly as we debated the calls as the Raiders were able to score 2 runs while we argued are case. Luckily that came to an end after they scored 3 runs in total. No sooner he had come into bat then we were all out zero runs scored for the first time in the game!
Pirates 11, Raiders 5
Despite the blip in the last innings we managed to tighten our defence and hold the Raiders to zero runs again. As before the infield had almost every play to the point that the outfield could have packed their bags and gone home. Lorraine was lucky to keep her teeth after a ball span backwards off the bat. Luckily her ninja like reflexes saved her smile as she was able to duck majestically out of the way. With the Raiders all out but fighting back, Baldeep and Lorraine were out running on first so it was down to Viene and Neil to deliver the runs! Deliver the did- Viene hit an absolute bomb into the outfield and Neil compounded Raider misery with a second home run, complete with a sliding dive into home to avoid the tag.
Pirates 13, Raiders 5
Say what you like about the Raiders but they still didn’t give up. Like the Terminator they kept coming back to pick up another few runs before we could hold them through some tight defence. Again there were a few unlucky calls for us particularly Viene’s tag on third (off the base apparently) and Neil’s tag on home which seemed to gee them on as they took risks which paid off. Another 3 runs scored by them followed by a batting wobble from the Pirates and we were out again for zero runs. It looked as if Shorty was going to be able to pick up his home run with a massive hit to left field but the fielder stood her ground to catch him out.
Pirates 13, Raiders 8
With only 5 runs in it the game was far from over (remember playing Loan Wolves last season?). It looked as if we might see it slip as Viene was nutmegged on first base which allowed Shaz to touch the ball for the first time in the game. Perhaps with that play in mind we gritted our teeth and locked them to only one run, with Chris and Baldeep linking twice to take out the runner coming to second. The hopes faded when their big hitter was called out running to first which was about time some luck went out way as he looked more than safe, but who were we to argue with the call?
Final score: Pirates 13, Raiders 9
MVP: Neil (2 Home runs, 5 RBIs), Runner up: Donna
Best defensive play: Baldeep (backhanded pass with Chris barehanded catch)
Runners up: Gideon, Neil, Chris
Bola award: Lorraine for her ninja reflex ducking
Runner up: Viene for being nutmegged on first
Shaz play of the day: Running home from second