Friday, October 13, 2006

Nuts and Honeys: Game 4 Recap



NORTH HOLLYWOOD – When faced with a challenge from the scurvy-ridden pirates of Blackbeard’s Ball Busters, the sailors on the USS Nuts & Honeys looked somewhat seasick. But with some motivation from their Captain, Nuts & Honeys turned their ship around, straight into battle, and sunk the Ball Busters handily, 13-3, forcing Blackbeard to walk the plank, dropping them down to Davy Jones’ locker.

Nuts and Honeys got off to a strong start for the second week in a row. New Kid on the Block Corey Wish was “Hanging Tough,” as he legged out a leadoff single. Cheri Ota pushed the speedy third basemen over on a fielder’s choice to first base. Dustin Montez followed with a single, moving Wish to third. Clean-up kicker Doug Weyek kicked a long single, scoring Wish for the first run of the game. Travis Greene continued the barrage with another single, moving Weyek to second and Montez to third. But the rally was short lived as Captain Sam Kraft hit a laser to the third basemen, who made a spectacular catch, and doubled up Montez, who was heading for home on the play.

But the 1-0 lead was short lived for Nuts and Honeys, who took the field behind pitcher Doug Weyek. But instead of a confident, relaxed team, these Nuts looked uptight in the field, allowing Blackbeard to score two easy runs. The uneasiness continued into the top of the second, as the Honeys seemed to be pressing too hard and failed to score, leaving the game at 2-1 after an inning and a half.

Sensing a building tension that could build up in these Balls, Captain Kraft pulled the team together before taking the field again, and reminded them to have fun and relax. With a new attitude in the field, Chris Roach settled the team down, pitching an easy, scoreless second inning.

If the top of the second was an indication that these Nuts were in calmer waters, then the top of the third would prove that they were in for some smooth sailing. The Nuts began the inning with back-to-back-to-back singles by Chris Roach, Tod Purvis, and Eric Staskiel. With the bases loaded, Michael Ching popped out deep to the outfield. In a heads-up play, Roach tagged up from third to score the tying run of the game, and more importantly, gave these Nuts a shot of well-needed energy.

Corey Wish stepped up with two outs in the inning, Karen Agnes on first, and Staskiel on second. Wish launched the ball deep into left field for a double, scoring Staskiel. The two-out rally continued as Cheri Ota, Dustin Montez, Doug Weyek, Travis Greene, and Cap’n Kraft all singled in consecutive at-bats, and, in the process, drove in five more runs, bringing the score to 7-2.

In the bottom of the third, Blackbeard gained ground on the Honeys, scoring a run, but what was more damaging to N&H was the injury sustained by relief pitcher Chris Roach. When a Ball Buster kicked a pop fly in-between first base and home plate, Roach sprinted to make the play, but the ball curved towards the foul line and clipped Roach’s index finger. As the finger dangled like a dead-flower, it was apparent that the injury was severe, and Roach was taken out of the game, replaced by starter/closer Doug Weyek. After further examination, Roach was diagnosed with torn extensor tendon and has been placed in a long-term splint, landing Roach on the defensive DL for at least six weeks, but will remain on the team as a Designated Kicker. This is just the latest injury in a series that could have a long-term affect on Nuts and Honeys.

Despite the injury to Roach, the team continued their onslaught. To start the fourth, Steve Niel dropped a bunt down towards third base. As Niel sprinted to first, the Ball Buster pitcher grabbed the bunt and threw at the runner. But Niel, with cat-like reflexes, sensed the throw, leaped into the air, and stomped onto first as the ball skipped wildly past the first baseman. Chris Nye followed with a single, advancing Niel to second. Tia Ayers pushed both runners into scoring position on a perfect sacrifice bunt. When Matt Taylor then kicked a grounder, Niel took off from third and bravely slid safely into home. With one out, Chris Nye tagged up on Brian McCarthy’s sacrifice fly to score the ninth run of the game for Nuts and Honeys.

While Blackbeard was held scoreless for the bottom of the fourth, Nuts and Honeys continued to pile on atop the fifth. Eric Staskiel walked to lead off the fifth, and Michael Ching followed with a single, but when the Ball Buster’s fielder’s held onto the ball too long, Staskiel jumped from second to third base. With two outs, Cheri Ota stepped up singled Staskiel home. Dustin Montez followed up with his third single of the game, scoring Ching. Weyek, not to be outdone by Montez, singled for his third time of the game, bringing both Ota and Montez home for the 12th and 13th runs of the game.

Blackbeard made a last attempt to comeback in the final frame, but could only manage a single, as Weyek blanked the Ball Busters for the second consecutive inning. Now at 3-0-1, Nuts and Honeys remain atop the standings for another week, but face Rhino Stampede next week in a battle for first place.

GAME NOTES: 17 Nuts and Honeys were active for the game…Captain Cindy Bautista sat out the game due to a leg injury. Get well soon, Cap’n…Cheri Ota once again continued her Gold Glove fielding in left, making a spectacular catch to rob one hitter of a sure hit in the third. In the fourth, a ball dropped in the no-man’s land between third-basemen Corey Wish and Cheri Ota. As a runner tried to advance from second to third, Ota pegged the runner with the ball before he could reach third…In the fourth inning, the Ball Busters had a man on first and two outs. The kicker drove a ball towards Nuts and Honeys second baseman Brian McCarthy. As the runner advanced from first to second, the ball knocked into him, giving N&H a very easy out. Thanks for the help, kicker…This fine recap apologizes to Chris Nye for not giving him an RKI last week that he totally deserved. Sorry, Chris…The “Beach Patrol” team continues to be victims of the “Curse of Kickball,” with three of the six “Beach Patrol”-ers (Scott Miller, Gwen Mesco, and now, Chris Roach) are out due to injuries. Those who pray before bedtime, please pray that Captain Sam Kraft, Tia Ayers, and Brian McCarthy remain healthy. Otherwise, their EP, Sue Seide, might kill all of them…For the second week in a row, the game time was delayed due to the length of the earlier game…In a furious battle of Flip Cup, the Valley Girls squeaked out a 5-4 victory against Nuts and Honeys. In the individual matches against Valley Girls, Dustin Montez lost to Lorenzo, but Captain Cindy Bautista beat the shit out of Kelly. She might be too hurt to kick, but she can still flip with the best of them…Nuts and Honeys will be playing in the Western Regional Championship in Anaheim this Saturday, October 14. Rock on, Nuts & Honeys!!

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