Lagers Triumph in a Pitcher's Duel 5-4 | Wiffdependence08

Regular Season
Game Date: 
July 5, 2008
Epicocity of Game: 

A game so good gets two write-ups and this one is a bit long winded. Save yourself the trouble and just look at the photos.

With the bases loaded, in the bottom of the 9th, with the score all tied up, I forcefully stepped into the well worn and dug batter's box. My career nemesis stood upon the mound, strong with a new holster of pitches, this was to be the final at-bat.

Like so many journeys in life, this game was not about how it ended but instead how we all got there.

Before the stirs of the family, before the ramble of parade revelers, I awoke to the distinctive and delightful smell of fresh cut grass. I snuck from the room and out into the wealth of July’s finest sunshine. A blank canvas spread in front of me and before the day.

With haste, I set to the task of prepping the field for the ride. Images and thoughts danced through my mind as the shadows lifted and the dew drifted away. The smell, the feel, the taste all pointed towards an epic day, a great day, the best Wiffdependence day ever.

While putting the final trim on the field and conversing with my father, I accidentally ran one of the lines a wee bit to close. I smiled, a hooligan opportunity, the graf spray leapt from the can and a proper Hunter S. Thompson tag was added to the field.

In the brief silence prior to the parade, I sat back and took in the tranquility of an empty, prepped field, ready for the unexpected, ready to rock.

At the conclusion of the parade, the faithful slowly made their way through the gates into the marginal confines of Hunter S. Thompson Memorial Greens. Hosting and participating always offers a unique challenge and it is only amplified on wifftravaganza days. My jibber and jabber was broken by the unified call for action. Game on. Oh game on.

They run a 5K on the morning of the 4th, we played a marathon in the afternoon. In reflection of any self respecting road race, we got the game started with a flurry of activity. The hometown Lagers, comprised of Hot Rod Beck, Trot Thompson, El Guapo, The Plastic Surgeon, and the Albatross, swaggered out into the crisp field. Trot took the mound and dug into the rocky soil of HST to start the battle against the visiting Loggers, stacked to the brim with the veteran LowBallers Lonichiro, Claudio Chin Music Frank, the OX, the Preacher, and late arrival Hideki O’Leary.

Lonichiro ripped into the opening at bat, sending a long triple to the corner in left that should have taken the air out of the sails of the home crowd. Fortunately, the crowd was pre occupied chasing black eyed princesses and croquet mallet wielding knights. With two on the top side of the diamond, OX sent a liner into right that looked to start the scoring. It was with agile quickness only obtained in the early innings prior to raised levels of High Life that Hot Rod dove forward cradling the unfortunate drive to its out. Despite some lively bats, Trot and the Lagers escaped the top of the 1st having only given up one run. Lonichiro looked strong starting the bottom with a convincing K of Hot Rod. Unfortunately for Lonichiro, control issues and a single from Guap allowed HR to extract a slim amount of revenge, driving in two runs with a signature opposite field deuce. The Lagers highjacked another run on a bases loaded walk and the score stood at 3-1 after one.

Lonichiro looked to recover the runs lost in the 1st, putting in his own two bagger to set up the inning. Ox and late arriving Hideki took advantage of the juiced bases to drive in 2 runs. The bottom of the 2nd saw vintage Lonichiro locking down the Lagers for a goose egg. The game was all even at 3; it was time for the long haul of the marathon. Guap rallied from his early season woes to put the clamp on the Loggers, putting blanks on two innings of near flawless pitching.

His perfection was met by the combined arsenal of the Preacher and Claude. Chin Music showed off a retooled wind-up and accelerated delivery while Preacher pulled rabbits, doves, and behind the back pitches from his downtown Lincoln duffle of tricks.

The wall came down in 89, I still remember the expression of joy and freedom that resonated on that day. On the 4th of 08, the gender wall crumbled with the first ever coed exhibition play. The Widows of Wiffle semi eagerly took the field to toss the plastic and swing the synthetic lumber. The lads retreated to the shadows and Gin and Tonics to take in what will surely be remembered as a groundbreaking feat. Now if only you ladies would stop this senseless running.

Back in the action of the main event, our mid innings were greeted with the classic (and Guap favored battle) between the pillars of power, Hot Rod and OX. The top saw Hot Rod on the mound suffering from early pitch pain and renewed crack of the Loggers’ bats. With bases loaded, the Ox stepped into the box. Once again, had the crowd been paying attention they most likely would have stood in anticipation of this epic battle. I suspect they were all sitting around, drinking High Life and bragging about their exhibition inning exploits. At least, that is what I would have been doing. Regardless, all involved in the game knew the significance and dug in. Ox is easily the most feared and most likely batter to knock the slam out. It was obvious from the first overthrown, far off ball, that Hot Rod was either walking the big man or sending him back to the bench with a special K shaped souvenir. A walk and a run it would be. Bolstered by some stingy d from Trot in center, Hot Rod escaped the inning with only one slash surrendered. Ox made short work of the slightly staggering Lagers in both the 5th and 6th, while HR rode some more tremendous big field d from Trot to hang another zip in the 6th.

4-3 Loggers on the sunnyside after 6.

The 7th saw the Lagers’ Ace, The Surgeon, command the mound 1-2-3, over. Ox continued his dominance blanking another series of Lagers’ at bats. Still 4-3, visitors crashing the party.

Uncharacteristically, the Surgeon allowed the bats to crack in the top of the eighth and faced a troublesome loaded diamond with only one away. Fear swept over the remaining 3-4 fans, could this be the nails in the coffin of the Lagers chances? No. With textbook precision, the defense of Lagers carved a double bypass out of the Loggers, turning two to stitch up the potential gash.

Chin Music returned to the now pocked and rocky indention where the mound once stood. The intensity of the game dramatically lifted, fueled by the miracle defensive recovery in the top half, the Lagers looked to bring it back. Trot’s bat lit the first at bat up, grabbing two bags. Claude, the grizzled one year LowBall vet, dug in and made fast work of the next two batters. Once again, it looked grim for the hometown heroes. However, after HR walked to put two on, a glimmer of hope shone on the Lagers as Trot strolled to the plate. Time slowed, beer ceased to flow, no breath was exhaled. Trot caught every bit of a Claudio special sending a liner up the middle in the direction of gold hand centerfielder and all around nice guy, Lonichiro. Lonichiro leapt through, the air intent on ending the Lagers hopes with a miracle catch. This was not that day and Trot’s drive squeaked past into the land of doubles driving in the tying run.

The Surgeon put the clamps on the 9th leaving the mound with the game still tied up at 4 a piece. The finish line of this epic wiffle marathon was in sight. Had any of the crowd stuck it out, they surely would have been rampantly cheering on the home team. As it was, the bench donned rally caps as Claudio returned to the mound. After four batters, Hot Rod stepped into the box against his cross road rival, bases loaded, one down, all the marbles up for grabs. Down to 2 in the field, the Loggers were forced to leave a hole. With another signature opposite field rip, Hot Rod put this one to rest with a walk off single to end what will definitely be remembered as the Best Wiffdependence Day ever.

Player of the Game - Trot Thompson
Winning Pitcher - The Plastic Surgeon
The End.

Player of the Game