Shout out to Joe “Big Wheels” Weise
With the playoffs less than two weeks away, things are heating up in the competitive league. Four players have been issued one-game suspensions for infractions on the base path. One source of the angst appears to be home plate.
Sparing you the history of the rulings of the past, here’s the current rule for the competitive league:
Players must touch the plate to score (there is no home plate line). However the commitment line is still in play. Once a runner completely crosses the commitment line, a force play can occur if a defensive fielder touches the plate (with the ball) before the runner. (No runner tag needed or allowed).
Here are the current consequences (these rules apply to base and plate):
—If any contact occurs, you may get called out by the ump even if you were safe.
—If avoidable, unintentional contact occurs in the umpire’s judgment, the person responsible for contact will be disqualified for the remainder of that game and the following game.
—If intentional contact occurs in the umpire’s judgment, the person responsible for that contact will be disqualified for that game and the following three games. Board will be notified of incident with a possibility of season suspension.
SLIDING: Sliding can help you avoid any of these actions. A slide is highly recommended and will be looked at by the board and umps as trying to avoid contact.
That said, there were no such issues at Gothic Field as the Isotopes took on Tongue & Groovers on Monday, July 21.
It was just a good old classic competitive league game.
The Isotopes came into the game looking to recover from a recent loss to the league-leading Last Steep and remain in second place.
The Tongue & Groovers came into the game a bit rag-tag, with Pete Basile on the injured reserve with a torn calf muscle and Mikey Weil south of the border for a little R&R, i.e., a bachelor party surf trip.
Despite the holes in their line-up, the Tongue & Groovers opened the game with a solid offensive output, scoring four runs in the top of the first inning.
Base hits by Adam Ofstedahl and Kari Roberts put runners in scoring position for Adrienne Edmunds. Edmunds tapped an error-assisted RBI single to push the first run across, a walk scored the Tongue & Groovers second run and a two-RBI single by John Ralston put four on the board for the Tongue & Groovers.
The Isotopes wasted little time in erasing the four-run deficit connecting for a flurry of base hits in the bottom of the first inning to tie the game.
Mark Fontenot led off with a double and scored on a bloop single by Lynelle Stanford. Cole Stanford one-upped his wife with a two-RBI double that knuckled over the leftfielder and LaVeda Bramlitt drove Cole home with a single to tie the game 4-4.
The Isotopes defense clamped down in the top of the second highlighted by pitcher Scott Isensee with a cup-adjusting snag of an infield pop up.
Jared Locke doubled to centerfield to put the Isotopes up 5-4 but Tongue & Groovers pitcher Davo Moore stopped the Isotopes train in its tracks with a leaping grab, robbing Carrie Moore of a base hit and ending the inning.
Ralston flirted with a game-tying base hit to right field when he shifted mid-pitch to poke a hit over the Isotopes right fielder, but Cole read him like a book and sprinted from centerfield to make a sliding grab in deep right field preserving the Isotopes slim one-run lead.
The Isotopes added four more runs to their lead in the bottom of the third inning on a sacrifice RBI hit from John Mardesich and a three- RBI opposite field triple from Fontenot.
The Isotopes were poised to blow the game wide open in the bottom of the fourth inning when base hits from Joe Weise, Moore and Cole loaded the bases with no outs.
Davo responded to the pressure, tossing his voodoo the way that he does from the mound as the next three batters were silenced, opening the door for a Tongue & Groovers comeback.
The first three batters reached safely in the top of the fifth inning for the Tongue & Groovers and the comeback was in full effect.
Rebecca Weil popped a sacrifice fly RBI for the first run and Ralston looked opposite field again to drive in more runs, but Stephanie Korn chased down the flaring fly ball with a rally killing diving grab. Edmunds tagged up and snuck home on the catch but the damage was done leaving the Tongue & Groovers three runs shy on their comeback attempt.
Adding insult to injury, the Tongue & Groovers lost Ralston for the rest of the game with a muscle pull, forcing them to play a man short for the final two innings.
Fontenot and the Stanford family provided the hits to drive in three more runs for the Isotopes in the bottom of the fifth inning for a 12-6 isotopes lead.
The Tongue & Groovers made one last comeback push in the top of the sixth inning. Davo led off with a single and a deep drive from Andrew Hadley was destined for the gap in right center, but “Big Wheels” Weise lived up to his name and chased the ball down for a sliding shoestring grab.
Big Air Barb Peters drove in an Isotopes run with a double and Geordie Van Marter poked an RBI single to score one last run for the Tongue & Groovers in the top of the seventh inning, but that was all the Tongue team had left in them as the Isotopes defense closed out the next two batters for the 13-7 win to remain in second place with one week left in the regular season.