Bombers…well they’re a team too
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, God bless the Bombers. Here’s a team in second to last place with a 1-7 record, actually now a 1-8 record, yet despite their record continue to show up for their games en masse ready to play, or at least ready to have fun.
On Tuesday, July 15 at Gothic Field they faced the first-placed Bushwackers. I showed up hoping to catch an upset of epic proportions—no offense, Bushwackers. I even explained that to one of the Bomber players in an effort to pump them up for the game.
“I’m here to see an upset,” I said.
“I’m here to have a good time,” the player responded, almost laughing at my naiveté.
I appreciate that kind of honesty.
The Bushwackers are in first place in the recreational league with a potent mix of youth, speed, power and women who can play.
The Bombers are a potent mix of… Crown Royal and Pepsi, at least for one of the players and their fans.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
My hopes for an upset were immediately dashed, though, as the Bushwackers opened the game scoring 10 runs in the top of the first inning.
It started with a base hit by Laci Roberts and a three-run shot by Rick Barnard. Clif Dimon smacked a two-RBI double, Mike Stanley tapped a two-RBI single, in fact everybody in the entire Bushwackers line-up smacked a base hit of some sort before the umpire crew was forced to call the 10-run rule.
The bludgeoning continued in the top of the second inning as the Bushwackers tacked on six more runs.
Singles from Stevie Kremer and Rob Wright set up Aimee Dimon for an RBI single. Another two-RBI base hit put the Bushwackers up 16-0 flirting with their second 10-run inning in a row.
Yet, true to the Bombers’ “never say die attitude,” third baseman Butch Hamrick scooped a grounder at third base to tag the runner and hold the Bushwackers to a six-run inning.
Unfortunately, the play by Hamrick on defense did little to inspire some Bombers offense as Steve Hecker connected for the Bombers’ only hit of the second inning.
However, as the Bombers defense strolled back into the field, a battle cry from one of their fans served as further inspiration.
“Do what you do,” she hollered. “Make it look pretty.” The Bombers defense answered the call as they held the Bushwackers scoreless in the top of the third inning. Doctor Dave chased down a fly ball to deep left field for the first out and Hamrick and Julie Frerichs connected twice for outs at second base.
Doctor Dave led off for the Bombers in the bottom of the third inning, lining a single to right center and Lindsey Hampton connected for a base hit to score the doctor, putting the Bombers on the board.
But that would be the end of it for the Bombers, as the Bushwackers turned a double play to end the inning.
Clif re-ignited the Bushwackers offense in the top of the fourth inning with a lead off inside the park home run. Barnard and Kremer knocked two more runs in on base hits to put the Bushwackers on top 20-1 with no outs.
Yet, the Bombers defense stepped up again to stave off another ten-run inning.
Dana Nochese ran down a towering fly ball to stretch for the grab at the fence in centerfield and Bomber shortstop Katrina Birdsall, the anchor to the Bombers defense, chased down a pop fly to shallow center for the third out.
The Bushwackers were far from done on offense though, as they peppered the field for hits through the sixth and seventh inning to score eight more runs.
Sean Bennett and Bobby Block capped the eight run effort in the top of the seventh inning as Bennett cracked a two-RBI triple and Block ripped an RBI double.
Bomber player Shoeless Joe Misewicz was sidelined with nerve damage he suffered during a game last week, but had some insight for the team that would make Yogi Berra proud.
“If we don’t get better, we’re never going to be good,” said Misewicz as the Bushwackers scored their 29th run of the game.
The Bushwackers tacked on one more run to make it an even 30, and the Bombers were left with just one run on the evening. Nevertheless, I suspect another full roster of Bombers players, and fans, will continue to show up the rest of the season, no matter what their record.
God bless the Bombers.