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Game 9: Nail Biter
HardBallers would need extra innings to settle this high-noon show-down
June 22, 2007

Score Box
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8   R H BB
3 1 3 2 1 1 0 1   12 X 8
The HardBallers
4 3 3 0 0 1 0 0   11 19 0

Lindsay, Kenny and Corbett smile for the camera. (Wolan)

It’s father’s day and the HardBallers will celebrate the occasion with an early afternoon doubleheader. First up for the HBs are The Stonecutters, who are 3-2 coming into today’s match-up. Both teams are equally matched, which should yield an interesting match-up. And just like the HBs, the Stonecutters are playing their first game of a double header.

But there is one constant in today’s match-up that both teams will have to contend with, and that’s the weather. A strong noon-time summer sun, coupled with humid conditions and temperatures in the 80’s will surely wear-out each team as the day goes on.

Game Summary

Taking the mound in her fourth start of the season was team skipper Nicole Corbett. The Stonecutters’ offense went to work early by hammering out 3 runs in the first. It could have been more but Austin and Jonathan managed to get a runner caught in a pickle between third an home after she slipped advancing to home. The HBs offense responded with 4 back-to-back doubles to kick-off their half of the inning. This would lead to the HBs taking an early 4-3 lead after one.

The SCs would peck away a run in second to tie the game, but the once again the HB offense would respond. A-WOL kicked the inning off with a double, while the next four batters would follow suit, making base hits and driving in three runs. With runners on first and second and the middle of the line-up coming to the plate, it looked as if the HBs were going to take this game away. However, they would go down in order, quickly ending the inning. “I just know this is going to haunt us later on in the game” noted A-WOL.

In the top of the third, L.T. kicked things with a short pop-up snag at home. However, the SCs would then sledge-hammer 3 runs through to tie the game 7-all. This was capped by an outfield hit that slipped through the legged of A-WOL for an ITP HR. “I was expecting the ball to loose speed as it rolled towards me” noted A-WOL. “It was wasn’t going happen in this hard playing surface. And to think, I did so well at practice the day before!” A-WOL would redeem himself later with a 2-RBI double as the HBs reclaimed 3 runs to retake the lead 10-7.

Scary Moment

Adam kicked-off the fourth with a scary incident. While trying to field a pop-fly in shallow center, the ball deflected out of his glove and hit him in the face, breaking his sun-glasses in the process. Though he received a cut on his nose, it would appear that his sun-glasses took the brunt of the damage.

Pecking away uncontested

The story of the game from the fourth inning to the sixth was the Stonecutters’ ability to peck away at the 3 run deficit while holding the HBs’ offense at bay. Though the HBs played great defensively, the SCs were able to adapt to Corbett’s pitching and draw numerous walks. Slip in a base hit or a miss-played ball here and there and it’s not difficult to see how a few runs could squeak through.

The HBs were unable to get anything going in the forth and fifth inning, going down in order. In the sixth, the SCs took the lead once again with a 11-10 score. But A-WOL would get something going by kicking off the sixth with an infield base-hit. He would then advance to second by converting Corbett’s a shallow pop-fly into a sacrifice.

“I don’t think they were expecting me to advance” said A-WOL. “I knew that the only way they could get me was if they tagged me with the ball. The odds were in my favor so I decided to challenged them ” This small ball tactics turned to be a good idea as A-WOL would then score on a John sac fly to the outfield. Austin would follow with a double, but would be stranded as Ian flied out.

Edge of your seat ending

Everyone looks on as Jonathan hits a fly ball to left field.  (Wolan)
The on-field excitement could not have been any greater: With the game tied 11-all going into the seventh inning, both teams knew that the game could be settled by just one score. The SCs made their half of the seventh interesting, netting a walk and a base hit. But they would be unable to cash-in any runners thanks to some solid infield work. The inning ended with a SC runner tagged out between first and second by Jason. The runner contested, but it was a legal play, period.

With the SCs blanked for the first frame of the game, all the HBs would need was a single run to win the game. And it appeared it was going to happen as Kenny kicked off the bottom half of the seventh with a lead-off double. With a runner in scoring position and no outs, the odds of a win were clearly in the HBs favor. However, Jonathan, Adam and Lauren would all be unable to do anything with the lead-off double as they went down in order to end the inning.

As so, to extra frames we go. After a quick out, Kenny made a rare mistake tossing the ball to first. “The ball just slipped out of my hand” noted Kenny. The ball would go over Austin’s head, putting the runner on second. The next batter made a base-hit, putting runners on the corners. The SCs would then score on either a bloop-hit or a shallow sacrifice fly. A throw was made to home, which froze the runner, but it went wide and beyond the reach of Lindsey, allowing the runner to score.

The HBs would be unable to do string anything together in the bottom of the eighth, as Jason, Lindsey and A-WOL went down in order. A-WOL ended the game with a K swinging at an inside pitch.

In a game that saw the lead exchange hands a total of nine times, the HardBallers played valiantly, but ended on the short end loosing 12-11 in extra innings.

Post-Game Reaction

Expectedly, many players were heart-broken by the lose. “It sucks to loose a game like that, especially after how hard we fought” said Corbett. But some found a silver liner: “If we are to loose a game, I’d rather it be in a close game like that” noted Lauren.

Strike-Zone Conundrum

Looking at the stats, one glaring fact sticks out like a sore thumb. The HB pitching surrendered 8 walks while the HB offense netted none. Many players admit that the umpire had a very wide strike-zone… perhaps a little too wide. “The ump called one pitch a strike that was a few inches to the left of the plate” commented A-WOL. “Man, I would have a field day if could get those pitches called strike when I’m on the mound.”.

But given the disparity in walks, was the umpire favoring one team over the other? “It was somewhat consistent” noted Corbett in a post-game interview. “Although his strike zone was not working for my pitching style. My normal strike pitch he was calling a walk. I struggled to find his strike zone and adjust throughout the game. It was frustrating and I lost my rhythm.”


  • A-WOL: 3 for 4 (2-2B) with 2 RBIs and 3 runs scored.
  • John: 3 for 3 (2B, sac) with 3 RBIs and 2 runs scored.
  • Austin: 3 for 4 (2-2B) with 2 RBIs and 1 run scored.

  • Webgem: Pickle at home in the first to get the runner out at home. (Austin and Jonathan)
  • Webgem: Line-drive snag by Kenny at short in the second.
  • Webgem: Shallow pop-fly grab at home by Lauren.
  • Webgem: The Big-Paw tag of second base by Kenny to get the force out at second. (4th)
  • Webgem: Two unassisted force outs at first by Austin in the fifth.

  • Game Photos & Audio Clips | HBs' Player Stats from the Game | Scorebook | Corbett's Post Game Analysis

    Andy Wolan is a reporter and photographer for BWCS. This story was not subject to the approval of the league or its clubs.