by Than Acuff
Monsoonball is upon us with evening showers rolling through the north end of the valley these days. And that’s a good thing, as it’s been August for some of June and most of July.
Tuesday was no exception as winds and some rain made for what Pitas Meatsticks pitcher Cody Sexe called “curveball weather” during their game against the team formerly known as the Eldo, now the Elk Avenue Brewing Company, Tuesday night at Pitsker field.
The Meatsticks came into the game as an unstoppable force, again, with a record of 12-0 having scored 239 runs through the first 12 games while giving up just 97.
The Eldo? Notsomuch.
Nevertheless, with the game at Pitsker and anything possible, my hope was to catch the Meatsticks’ first loss of the regular season. Nothing against the Meatsticks, just makes for good copy to witness an upset.
Instead, notsomuch, as the Meatsticks were on cruise control the entire game to notch their 13th win of the season.
A two-RBI single off the handle from Bryan Densmore started the scoring for the Meatsticks in the top of the first but the Eldo stopped it right there and were looking ready for an upset until a base running error allowed the Meatsticks to double up a runner on a fly ball.
You can’t make mistakes if you want to beat the Meatsticks but the Eldo did make mistakes and the Meatsticks continued to tack on a couple runs here and a couple runs there despite the efforts of Eldo shortstop Jeff Hearn chasing down every pop fly from Somerset to Sapinero.
Rhett Yarbrough and Heather Cooper stroked base hits and scored on a single by Thomas McLean to the gap in right center. Heather Duryea and Drew Stichter followed up with the same and the Meatsticks were up 8-0.
Pat Cashion did provide a little hope for his team in the bottom of the third inning with a RBI double and Hearn motored around the bases for a two-run inside the park home run (ITPHR).
Unfortunately they needed more than just three runs to make a dent and the Meatsticks continued to nickel-and-dime the Eldo in the top of the fourth.
Michael Villanueva and Emily Ocanas combined for two base hits and then scored when McLean punched an opposite field RBI single, Stichter and Emily Crooks did the same and Yarbrough capped it off with a RBI double for a 13-3 Meatsticks lead.
Then the rain started and the Eldo held the Meatsticks to one hit and no runs in the top of the fifth as the game looked to be turning the Eldo’s way, until it wasn’t.
A couple of base hits, including a RBI single from Hearn, had the bases loaded and the rain intensifying. Sure, there were just two innings left in the game but that’s plenty of time for a comeback, until it wasn’t.
Not even the heavens can stop the Meatsticks as they added three more runs in the top of the sixth inning. McLean led off with a single and Heather Duryea pushed a base hit through that turned into an error-riddled RBI double. Roland Mason followed with a legitimate RBI double for a 15-4 lead and had it not been for a diving grab and toss for a double play by Eldo outfielder Will Browne the game could have gone from bad to worse for the Eldo.
Eldo outfielder Josh Stewart made an equally worthy grab in right to rob Yarbrough of an extra base hit but Villanueva drove a two-RBI double for an 18-4 Meatsticks lead.
The Eldo did have the last laugh in the bottom of the seventh inning as Joey Reed stretched a single for an error-assisted two-run ITPHR. But, that would be it for the Eldo as the Meatsticks turned the third and final out for another win to remain undefeated and in control of the Tuesday/Thursday league.