Ace pitcher Larry Ganem (1-2, R, double) threw two and two-third perfect innings to start the game (hey, it may not sound like much, but this is slow-pitch softball!) and the Bullet bats continued their torrid early season hitting, setting a new season-high mark in runs during a 17-4 route of The Nation on Thursday evening in Central Park.
After a perfect top of the first by Ganem and the Bullet defense, centerfielder Neil Hiremath (3-3, 3 R) smacked a single into left field and came around to score on third baseman Mike Lorah’s (3-3, 2 R, 3 RBI, double, homer) home run to dead center for a quick 2-0 lead. Call it early amends, as Lorah later threw away a routine grounder with two out in the third to allow the first Nation baserunner of the game, kyboshing Larry Ganem’s perfect game effort.
3B Adam Staffaroni’s (1-2, R) one-out single started the Bullets in the second, but it was an out later when back-to-back-to-back RBI doubles by 1B Sal Cipriano (2-2, R, RBI, double), 2B Nel Yomtov (1-1, R, 2 RBI, double, sac fly) and CF Vince Letterio (2-2, R, 2 RBI, double, homer) produced a three-run frame for the Bullets.
The loss of the Ganem’s perfect game apparently took an emotional toll on the Bullets in the third, as they retired in order during their only scoreless inning of the afternoon. The Nation produced a single run in the fourth, which only served to reignite the comic book makers’ bats. Thirteen Bullet hitters came to the plate in the fourth inning, including the first nine who reached base safely. All nine of those runners crossed the plate, boosting the lead to a healthy 14-1 advantage.
The Nation tacked on single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, but the Bullets kept pace with two in the fifth – Letterio’s lead-off home run to left, and RF Brian Walters’ one-out RBI single. Brian was 1-2, with that RBI – and one in the sixth on three successive singles by Hiremath, Lorah and SS Adam Schlagman (2-3, R, 2 RBI).
At 4-0 (1-0 in the New York Media Softball League), the Bullets are off to one of their best starts. Come see if they can keep the momentum going in their second NYMSL game on Monday, against WNYC in Central Park’s North Meadow, field #10.
A little credit to the Nation: their left fielder made two terrific running catches atop the left field line, robbing designated hitter LP Vollano (1-2, R, RBI) and SCF Doc Lauren Fries (1-3, R, RBI, double) of extra base hits, and their shortstop drilled a long triple to left field that would’ve been a homer if he hadn’t gone into a home run trot a little early and if LF Andrew Arnold (2-3, R, RBI) didn’t have a cannon for an arm.
The Nation also hit several balls right on the screws, but fortuitous positioning worked in the Bullets’ favor. Lauren, Staffaroni, Sal and 1B Brian Cunningham (1-2, R, RBI, double) all snared screaming line drives to back Larry Ganem’s pitching.
Jay Kogan picked up a two-run double during the nine-run fourth inning, giving him seven RBI in the last two games. Jay finished 2-3, and also scored a run.