The DC Bullets matched up against the Paris Review Thursday afternoon in their second game of the season. A year previous, in the 2009 season opener, the Bullets looked rusty as they came out on the bottom end of a 22-10 shellacking at the hands of the Parisian poets; in 2010, their defense and bats tuned up in a 7-6 season-opening win against Random House, the Bullets put on a stronger and more balanced showing, riding an 8-run first inning to a 13-8 victory.
After the Paris Review scored three quick runs in the top of the first, a repeat of 2009’s match-up seemed possible. The Bullet bats responded in the bottom half, however, as nine of the first ten hitters reached safely, highlighted by back-to-back triples by left fielder Andrew Arnold (1-2, R, 2 RBI, triple) and right fielder Pat Brosseau (1-2, R, RBI, triple), and capped by RCF Adam Staffaroni’s (2-2, 2 R, 3 RBI, triple, home run) on-a-rope three-run blast down the right field line. The eight-run outburst topped the Bullets’ entire seven-inning effort from the previous week.
In their half of the third , the Paris Review fought back with three more runs, and the Bullet hitters looked stymied when the Review’s relief pitcher came at them with a – how to put it? – peculiar release point. Singles by RF Allison Dugas (1-2), ace pitcher Larry Ganem (1-1), and leadoff speedster and centerfielder Neil Hiremath (2-2, R) loaded the bases in the second, but the heart of the order popped out twice to squelch the threat, and the Bullets folded in order in the third.
After Larry Ganem held opponents scoreless in the fourth, maintaining an 8-6 lead, the Bullets finally solved the relief ace’s motion with six extra-base hits. Catcher LP Vollano’s (2-2, 2 R, RBI, triple) lead-off triple and LF Jay Kogan’s (2-2, 2 R, 2 RBI, home run) mammoth home run to deep left opened the frame. Staffaroni added a triple, scoring on a groundout by second sacker Nel Yomtov (1-2, RBI), and a trio of doubles by 2B Christine Napolitano (1-2, R, double), CF Vince Letterio (2-2, R, double) and C Brian Walters (1-2, 2 RBI, double) capped the five-run frenzy.
As the field permit expired at 7pm and another team waited restlessly for the field, the Paris Review mounted a brief two-out, fifth-inning rally, scoring two runs, but the Bullet defense hammered the final nail into the coffin lid. Andrew Arnold, SS Adam Schlagman and Ganem hooked up on a 7-6-1 relay, securing the final out at the plate following a hard single to left.
The 2-0 Bullets have their first New York Media Softball League game of the summer at 11am on Saturday morning (that’s slightly under three hours from now) in Central Park’s North Meadow, Field #7, as they meet the 2009 champion Wall St. Journal.
2009 team MVP and relentless self-promoter Mike Lorah returned from his honeymoon (which appropriately enough included a stop in the opponent’s namesake city) for his first 2010 tilt, picking up a put-out and three assists at the hot corner and mustering an opposite field single during the first inning deluge.
LP Vollano, maintaining a sterling 1.000 batting average on the early season, removed a huge monkey from his back when he notched his first extra base hit with his triple to deep center field leading off the fourth.
Out for the week with an injured back, co-captain Sal Cipriano is day-to-day, but hopes to return to action next week, and first baseman extraordinaire Laura Demoreuille earns defensive honors for the game, bailing out her infielders with several outstanding stretches.