Its unbelievable to think it’s been just over 8 months since we played our last league match back at the end of August. Since then we’ve lost some key members of the Pirates (Tom, Fiona, Ruth and Donna) but at the same time have been able to grow the team and welcome in Phil, Gideon and Lorraine to the Pirates. With Paul-E and Shorty expected back soon as well as some other new faces it looks as if we’re going to have a storming 2013 season.
That being said our first game was up against the newly relegated ‘The Mob’ which as Neil said was not the kindest fixture we could hope for especially in view of their excellent defence last year. With Marines unable to make the game our original 7-7 plan had to be changed over to a playing 6-6 with Bola and Lorraine the designated hitters whilst Gideon was on sub duty (replacing Phil later in the game). It would of course be nice if Wandsworth Council had cut the grass and marked out the pinch but it was Game On, even without our beloved boom box which the Fun Police (blue) asked us to turn off!
Chris, Alice, Phil (Gideon), Shaz, Dave, Nadine, Neil, Baldeep, Bola, Josie, Sohan, Lorraine
Tight and aggressive- that was the plan as Chris stepped up to lead the Pirates off in the first innings. And lead he did with a lovely low hit out to the safety of the outfield, easily taking first. Alice was up next who also hit a nice low shot which was unfortunately picked up by the short stop, popped to second (Chris out) and then straight to first just as Alice slowed up whilst appearing to duck the incoming ball.
Rule number 1- never slow up running to first base!
With Chris and Alice out through a double play Phil was up next with the new 30oz bat. After letting the first ball go he whacked the second ball high into the outfield, but just short enough for it to bounce under their centre right fielder. That slip allowed Phil to fly like the wind and score the first run and a home run for the Pirates. Woooo- shame the bases weren’t loaded though! Newly slim Shazza was up next who easily made first (!!!) on a nice solid hit followed by Dave who hit a sweet shot to left field only to go out with a great catch which was barely an inch off the ground. Nooooo!
Now it’s time for tight defence as the Pirates take to the field with chris as short stop. No sooner had the Mob started to bat then two of them were out through a chris/Sohan double play. It looked as if we were going to shut them out but with some well placed shots and a couple of rusty overthrows the Mob had scored 3 runs until Alice ended their run with a nice catch.
Mob 3, Pirates 1
Up steps Nadine for the second innings under the watchful gaze of her mum. Just like in practice she belts it and makes first. With Neil up next you had to hope for a sneaky Neil switch shot but against all the odds he was struck out on a full count or as bola likes to say: squeaky bum time. Fortunately Neil’s other half – Baldeep hit well and made first, followed by Bola to first (RBI Nadine). With two on base and Josie up next she brushed off the pressure and hit and low drive to also make first. At the same time speedy Baldeep made the charge to home but was unlucky to get tagged just before the plate. Two outs and with Sohan unlucky to have a fielders choice we were back in the field.
This time around we had to be even tighter on defence with the scores so close.
Fortunately the Pirates were up for the challenge and will a great catch from Phil, a leaping catch from Sohan and a pop up for Neil the mob were out with zero runs scored.
Mob 3, Pirates 2
Unfortunately our turn to bat for the third innings was as short lived as the mob’s previous turn. Lorraine hit well but was beaten by a good throw to first whereas Chris was left stranded on first after Phil then Alice were caught out. Back to the outfield for us only this time the Mob were able to put an extra couple of runs on their tally after some big hits and a little luck which clearly was not on our side.
Mob 5, Pirates 2
The next innings saw Sharon first up to bat who managed to hit her best shot in three seasons (straight over second) and make first base for the second time in a row. Unfortunately my shot was not quite as good as she was tagged on second (off the base apparently) but Nadine managed another great shot to make first and load second base with Neil next to bat. This time no strike out for Neil though he was caught in the right field and Baldeep followed suit with a fielder’s choice. Three outs and we were back in the field with Gideon and Lorraine relieving Phil and Baldeep in the outfield. That pun was intended purely for Chris.
With some great fielding all round including a double play from Neil (catch and runner tagged off first base) and a catch from chris, the mob innings were all out with zero runs scored by both teams
Mob 5, Pirates 2
This time Bola was up to bat first and with a safe hit was able to make first. With Josie up to bat it looked as if we were going to start a famous pirate rally until Bola had a little spat with the Blue over allegedly leaving the base early. Clearly this riled him as Josie was caught on a fly ball but Bola was already on the way to second and was tagged out before he could retreat to first. Not what we wanted but remember:
Rule number 2: Do not leave the base on a fly ball (unless there is no chance it will be caught). Alternatively listen to your base coach!
Luckily it was mr chilled aka Sohan up next who made first as did Lorraine straight afterwards (very impressive debut) to set up first and second base. With Chris up next everyone held their breath for a Chris homer but it was not to be with a high ball caught in the outfield.
With only three runs in it the game was still in the balance as the Mob came to bat again at the bottom of the fifth. Once again we managed to limit the mob to only one run with two out until we had another dubious umpire call. This time what appeared to be a perfectly legal catch from Dave was in fact called a no ball as the anal blue was not ready. Of course this time the Mobster hits nicely and they put on another 4 runs before the final out. First the boom box, second Bola baiting and now a catch ruled out! Just what did the blue have against us?
Mob 10, pirates 2
With 8 runs down and in the 6th innings it was always going to be a tough call to come back especially after Alice, Gideon and Sharon went out one after another. At least this time there were no more dubious umpire calls and we were once again able to hold them without conceding courtesy of catches from Sohan and a great catch from Shaz at the plate.
Top of the 7th and its Dave leading off with an assassination attempt on the mob pitcher. Luckily the ball just glanced his head and Nadine was once again able to follow it up with a great hit and make first (1.0 average). Dave managed to sneak in one last run courtesy of a Neil RBI before he, Baldeep and bola were out through the dreaded fielder’s choice.
Final score: mob 10, Pirates 3
It might seem like a bit of a thrashing but in fact the game was far closer than the score suggests. With one home run, two double plays, two shut outs, players left on bases and a dodgy blue there was certainly enough to win next time.
MVP: Nadine for her perfect batting game
Runner up: Sharon- best at bats ever and great catch at home
Defence: Sohan- for all round defensive play
Runners up: Chris, phil
Bola award (renamed Who needs Tom award?)- Chris