Lots and lots and lots of extra softball.
If nothing else, the Bullets are getting lots of practice as they warm up for the summer months. Complementing their usual Thursday games, the Bullets opened the New York Media Softball League season on Monday against New York Public Radio’s WNYC. After Thursday’s nine-inning affair against Scholastic, the Bullets were looking to put this one away early to get their NYML season off to a strong start.
With two outs in the first, the Bullets put together a quick two-run rally, with singles by LF Jay Kogan (3-5, 2 runs) and 3B Mike Lorah (2-4, 2 runs, RBI) setting up DH Larry “LP” Vollano’s (2-5, 5 RBI) two-run double. WNYC knotted the score at two in the bottom of the first, but Lorah’s sacrifice fly scored SS Adam Schlagman (2-5, 2 runs, RBI) to retake the lead after three innings.
Both teams traded four spots in the fourth inning, with a single by CF Andrew Arnold (2-2, run, double), double by RF Pat Brosseau (1-2, run, double) and a walk to 2B Christine Napolitano (0-4, BB, run) loading the bases with only one out. SCF Brian Cunningham (0-1, RBI) lofted a sacrifice fly, and LF Rickey Purdin (2-2, run, RBI), P Larry Ganem (3-5, RBI) and Schlagman all wrapped two-out RBI singles to pick the Bullets up.
However, single runs by WNYC in the fifth and sixth innings gave the radio team a one run lead going into the seventh and final inning. After a pop out, single and fielder’s choice set up a tying run on first base with two out scenario, back-to-back two-out singles by Kogan and Lorah loaded the bases. Seizing the spotlight, LP Vollano crushed a double to deep center field, clearing the bases and spotting the Bullets a two run lead. In the bottom of the seventh, WNYC found themselves in similar straights, down to their last out with runners on second and third. Unfortunately for the DC squad, WNYC’s top hitter was due up, and his smoking line drive down the left field line easily tied the scored. However, a quick Purdin to Arnold (who’d rushed over from center field to assist with the play) to Schlagman to C Sal Cipriano (1-3) cut down WNYC’s slugger at home plate, preserving the tie.
Yes, for the second consecutive game, the Bullets were going into extra innings. Alas for our valiant heroes, the extra baseball seems to have worn them out. Over a four inning span from the eighth through until the final inning, the eleventh, the Bullets mustered just three measly singles (Purdin, Ganem and Cipriano) and never advanced a runner past second base. Leading off the bottom of the eleventh, one of WNYC’s speedsters got into a floater and hammered it into the right centerfield gap for a walk-off, game-ending home run.
Final tally: DC Bullets 10, WNYC 11.
The Bullets record is 2-3 (0-1 in NYML play)
Despite the late-game offensive funk, the Bullets showed impressive defense. Two runners cut down at home plate on relays from the outfield, a headlong diving catch in left field by Andrew Arnold, a lunging line drive snagged by Lorah, and a juggling, “seat” catch by Brosseau kept the team in the game late into the evening.
Please check out the gorgeous graphic that will adorn the back of the new DC Bullets jerseys (which I’m promised we’ll have before the season ends), courtesy of Mr. Andy Kubert. Thanks a ton, Andy!
Local fans are encouraged to see the Bullets next in action in one of TWO locations! Can the team that can barely win with all their players handle the rigors of a split squad game? Come see Thursday evening at 5:30, as the Bullets take on The Daily Beast in NYML action at the Baruch field (somewhere in east Hell, down in the Houston/FDR vicinity) or against Abrams Books at Field 2 in Central Park’s North Meadow.