The playoffs are a week away, and the 40-over-and-crowd in the Flint City Baseball League's Jack Wright Division is starting to channel its youth. Not that the league isn't competitive already, but I've seen these old boys recently kick it up a notch at Whaley.
They're on the hunt for trophies and bragging rights, and they're doing what they're supposed to do. With that said, let's get to Wednesday night's festivities:
Game 2: Family Physical Therapy 10, MudVille 6
The game was 4-1 Mudville after the first inning. The Nine scored two runs in the third and led 6-1 going into the bottom of the fourth. Family Physical Therapy responded with five runs, and then blanked MudVille in the top of the fifth before tacking on four more.
Earl Mayhew, Bill Sullivan and the rest of the guys deserve credit for pushing back. The win didn't improve the team's playoff status or position in the standings--it was mathematically impossible--but you wouldn't have known that by watching.
Mudville's Perry Kirby, Tim Martin and Mark Huelskamp contributed with hits and defensive plays. So did Mike Plasha, George Campbell and Chris Summers. A pair of bad innings overshadowed what was the best performance I've seen from the Nine this fall.
Nice job, guys.
Game 1: Team Transition 12, Palacios' Tailors 8
This one was fun.
Transition jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the second. I thought we were on our way to a mercy-rule finish. But then Palacios, which is a solid team that falls victim to bad luck, pulled out the bats in the bottom of the fourth to take a 7-6 lead.
Chris Foster, Chris Hodges, Pat Luna and Dan Titmuss each had solid days. So did a couple of other guys, for that matter. But a couple of errors here, a walk there, and boom...it happened. Palacios gave back what they took in the first place, and that was a win.
Danny Arnold's game-tying RBI paved the way for more help from Transition heavy-hitters Craig Kehole and Skipp Bruff, whose late RBIs proved to be the difference. Greg Rinke contributed with hitting and pitching. He shut down Palacios in the sixth before his team added three more runs in the seventh.
Transition has talent. When Chris Andrina's on his game, which is often, he can pitch with anyone in the league. He's not the flashiest by any means. But he gets zoned in--and that makes him difficult to hit. Rinke's been good at short this year. Chad Straw's a solid infielder. Derek Nowak has a good bat and arm from the outfield.
There's a lot to like about TT. We'll find out what they're made of next week.
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