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Post Info TOPIC: Americans win one, lose one, both narrowly


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Americans win one, lose one, both narrowly

If you're in the over-62s, or just wonder what that's like, here's one angle: Two games in two days can feel like one long doubleheader.
On the third day, rest isn't just welcome. It's necessary. So I write this with my feet up.

On a pleasant, sunny Tuesday night, the Americans won a narrow one, 6-5, for their first victory of the year, topping the Cardinals
at the B Diamond. Then, less than 24 hours later, the blue-and-grays-or-whites lost a narrow one, on an equally pleasant night, 7-6,
to the Yankees in the bottom of the seventh at New Scotland.

In the Cards v.Americans contest, the division's anti-stampeding rule (which I love) added tension to the game. That
rule says if a team scores five runs in one half inning, then the two clubs switch from offense to defense.

And so it happened: Entering the fourth inning, the score was tied at 1, behind the sharp pitching of the Cards' Bill Chichester
and the Americans' Scott Ross.

In the fourth, the Americans put up that anti-stampede five-spot, on a double by Mike Aiello, and a slurry of singles from Vinny Koster,
Ralph Caputo, Rich Garbarino, Mike LeBarge, Gil Travis and Jim Porter. Five runs, the rule kicks in, the two sides switch and an
inning later, the Cards get back in the game (as the rule is designed) scoring three runs in the fifth, and one more in the sixth.

Things were tight. As they should be.

The Cards' catcher Steve Schaefer made it to second base in the seventh and for a while the red shirts threatened, until reliever
Vinny Koster engineered three ground outs to end it.

The Americans nearly had two wins over two days, except, in the bottom of the seventh, the Yankees had other plans involving
ground balls. With the game tied at 6, the grizzled but good-hitting Bombers, loaded the bases. That happened after the
Americans found one grounder troublesome, dropping what may have been a double play to start the inning.

So, two on, no outs, then a third Yankee runner is posted (a walk, I believe, my book's thin there), and with the bases jammed,
a Cards' pitcher, no doubt winded after playing 14 innings over two days, plunked a Yankee batter on his torso, not hard, but
it was enough, and the game was decided. Without a bomb. Anti-climactically.

The Americans began things with fireworks, scoring four in the first inning against the Yanks' fine pitcher John Weber.

The big blow was a long rbi double that split the Yanks' center and right fielders by one of the new Americans' players, Mike Kane.
Mike came back an inning later to hit, and leg out ("Go, Mike, go!") an RBI triple, a blast that also split those two fielders,
but traveled farther, to the right center fence. (All of which is one piece of evidence by the way that over-62-year-olds still possess
some pop and dust-lifting speed. On game day.)

The Yanks added runs as the game went along, a run here, two there, never raising the white flag, always confident, always
coming on. Weber got better as the game progressed, changing speeds and displaying a huge, county-to-county curve.

The Cards batters looked like hellsapopin in the first, as Vinny Koster joined Mike with a double, and singles were posted by
Mike Aiello, Ralph Caputo, Mike LaBarge (who went 3-for-3, which gave him 6-for-6 on base marks over two games), and Gil
Travis. Caputo pitched a fine game for the Americans, leaving after five frames and the team leading by one.

The Americans and Yankees both play on Monday, May 15th, in Central Park. The Americans, who will have enjoyed a five-day rest,
are slated to face Pirates at the A Diamond, while the Yanks will have the Arachnids at the C Diamond.


-- Edited by mikehart on Thursday 11th of May 2023 07:06:40 PM

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