“We still got plenty of jungle juice, that’s something to cheer about”
by Than Acuff
Things were looking good for Bonez prior to their game against Psycho Rocks Tuesday night at Pitsker Field. First of all, the team busted out their brand new uniforms for the game, complete with names on the back. And I got to admit, they looked pretty slick. Then, player Ryan Kay brought the team in for a quick pre-game pep talk sharing some information about Psycho Rocks, i.e., who has wheels, who has an arm, etc., etc.
Then disaster struck.
Bonez’ impatience at the plate in the top of the first spelled their demise right from the start as they saw a total of four pitches, swinging at three to ground out twice and then fly out. Psycho Rocks then stepped to the plate and went psycho with their bats, rattling off nine base hits, a walk and a home run to take a 10-0 lead. The only thing stopping them was the enforcement of the 10-run rule.
It was quintessential small ball, capped by one big ball.
And what, you may ask, is small ball?
“Small ball is an offensive baseball strategy that favors situational hitting and base-running tactics over pure hitting in an effort to make efficient use of scoring opportunities in any given inning.”
In other words…
Amanda Brack singled, Matt Roettger singled and Rosa Greeley singled to load the bases. Will Mixon singled to drive in a run. Montana Wiggins singled to drive in another run. A walk scored a third run and Bo Mixon singled to score a fourth run. Patti Hensley tapped a fielder’s choice RBI, Dakota Wiggins rapped a RBI single and then Brack stepped up for the second time to knock a “bases-clearing weird area RBI triple” to score two more runs for an 8-0 Psycho lead. Roettger then capped the rally with a single wall bat, two-run dinger over the left field netting for a 10-0 lead and that was that.
Rapped, tapped, capped, there were balls flying everywhere.
Still, it was only the first inning and Bonez does have some players. Unfortunately, it took almost the entire game for them to find anything, both at the plate and in the field.
After a scoreless second inning, during which the Bonez’ bats remained bonelezz, Psycho Rocks tacked on two more runs in the third inning. Hensley and Dakota started it off with back-to-back singles, Roettger knocked a base hit off the netting in left to load the bases and Greeley pushed two runners home with a single for a 12-0 Psycho Rocks lead.
Then two things happened. Well, three actually.
First of all, Kelsey McCallum singled to lead off in the top of the fourth inning for Bonez’ second hit of the game, which, at this point in the game, was noteworthy.
Second, after Psycho scored again in the bottom of the fourth, Bonez infielder James Abbott chased down a grounder up the middle to slide and stop it and then flip to second base from the dirt for the forced out to end the inning.
Third, it was now the top of the fifth inning, which meant that a majority of Bonez players switched out. Now, with a lot of them just sitting on the bench as their team was getting a beat-down, the fresh energy could be good or bad. Good: new energy can turn a game around. Bad: that new energy is drunk because they’ve been sitting for four innings watching their team getting pummeled. Fortunately for Bonez it was the former.
Granted, it took them a little while to get going but when they did, they were on pace to pull back into the game. Problem is, there are only seven innings in a game.
Philip Bailey, coming off a two–home-run week last week, got things started with a double in the top of the sixth inning and scoring on a single by Chuck Abbott for Bonez’ first run of the game. Their defense held Psycho Rocks scoreless again in the bottom of the sixth and the Bonez bats then started catching fire.
Kendall Wuthrich walked, Jeff Hern singled to center and Nathan “Snowflake” Dougherty drove the second Bonez run in with a single. Bailey stepped up to crack a two-RBI double to right and Rayna followed with a two-RBI double to left and Psycho was looking a bit rocked as they started throwing the ball to home plate instead of the cut-off man from the outfield to try to stop the scoring.
Charlie Abbott blooped a single to keep the rally going and Heather Culley pushed another Bonezer home with a base hit pulling Bonez to within six. Fortunately for Psycho Rocks, they turned the final out on the next hitter to put an end to the late game heroics and seal the 13-7 win.
Bonez took it in stride with a strong finish and one more positive on the night.
“We still got plenty of jungle juice, that’s something to cheer about,” said one player following the game.