The DC Bullets softball team warmed up for Monday’s rematch against the High Times Bonghitters – the only team to defeat the Bullets in 2010 – with a friendly game against Abrams Books Thursday evening. After jumping out to a quick lead, the Bullet defense seemed to get a little lackadaisical, but the comic book makers held on for a 16-9 victory to run their record to 9-1.
After Abrams staged a two-out rally, scoring once and leaving the bases loaded in the first, the Bullets charged out of the gate. Centerfielder Neil Hiremath (1-2, R) lined a single to left and immediately came around to score on third baseman Mike Lorah’s (2-2, 2 R, RBI, 2 triples) triple to center. Shortstop and co-captain Adam Schlagman (2-2, 2 R, 2 RBI, triple) scored Mike with an infield single, and Andrew Arnold (2-2, 2 R, RBI), the left fielder, collected the first of two singles on the day. With still nobody out, LF Jay “J-Koges” Kogan (1-2, R, 3 RBI, HR) crushed a three-run homer to left.
After successive groundouts, RCF Pat Brosseau (1-2, R, RBI, HR) and CF Vince Letterio (2-2, 2 R, RBI, HR) smacked back-to-back long balls, with Pat going opposite field beyond the reach of the right centerfielder, and Vince pulling one over the left centerfielder. Right fielder and co-captain Sal Cipriano (2-2, R, double, triple) nearly made it three long balls in a row, with a long drive down the left field line, but a quick relay held him to a triple, and he came home on 3B Nel Yomtov’s (1-2, 2 RBI) line single.
The Bullets followed their eight run first with four more in the second. Brian Walters (1-2), playing right field, and first baseman Jerry Cerza (1-2, R) singled, and Brian was erased on C Katie Kubert’s (0-2) fielder’s choice. Pitcher Larry Ganem (2-2, R), who held the Abrams squad to a single run through three innings until his defense stumbled, singled to centerfield, loading the bases with one away. After 1B Laura Demoreuille (1-2, R, RBI) scored Jerry and erased Katie with a fielder’s choice grounder, second baseman Joel Press (1-2, R, 3 RBI, HR) belted a three-run homer to left to cap the frame.
Lorah and Schlagman led off the third with consecutive triples, and Arnold doubled, as the DC team put two more quick runs on the board. Andrew took third on Jay’s fly out to deep left field, and scored on RCF Adam Staffaroni’s (1-2, RBI) opposite field single to right.
In the fourth, Abrams plated two runs, and the Bullets answered with Vince’s single, Sal’s double and Nel’s RBI groundout. The team wasn’t able to put Sal across, however, as a line out and grounder ended the inning. Despite two baserunners, the Bullets didn’t score in the bottom of the fifth.
For Abrams, DC’s defensive collapse in the fifth opened the door and they scored five times, and later tacked on one more run in the top of the sixth. With time running out on the field permit and the Bullets up by seven runs, both teams chose to skip over the Bullet’s at-bats in the bottom of the sixth and let Abrams take one last shot in the seventh. Larry Ganem induced a couple routine ground balls and a pop out, and the Bullets claimed their ninth win of the summer.
The 16-9 win pushes the Bullets record to 9-1, including a 4-1 mark in the New York Media Softball League. The Bullets look to avenge their only loss in a rematch against High Times on Monday at 7pm, on Hecksher Field #2 in Central Park.
Defensive struggles in successive games does not bode well for the Bullets. Keep your heads (and yes, that includes the third baseman) in the game, gang!
Four home runs in the game is a single-game season high for the Bullets.