Softball’s always fun, but it’s most fun when your team plays a evenly matched foe. Two teams see-sawing the lead, each at-bat becoming magnified in the game’s final outcome, every out a tragically missed opportunity – it doesn’t get any better. In The Daily Show squad, the DC Bullets seem to have found an equally matched rival. Their first confrontation last summer is already part of Bullet lore.
Although their second game (thankfully) didn’t occur on the hottest weekend of the year, it matched the excitement of that initial game on every other level. In the end, as they did one year prior, The Daily Show emerged triumphant, walking off with a game-winning single in the bottom of the eighth inning to secure the 12-11 victory.
The Bullets came out quick in the top of the first. Neil Hiremath singled and came around to score on Nel Yomtov’s double. Mike Lorah followed with a shot just past the reach of an outstretched Daily Show rightcenterfielder. Nel scored easily, but a BB of a relay throw nailed Mike at the plate for the first out. Jay Kogan doubled, a line shot to left, and came around to score on Pat Brosseau’s RBI groundout. The top of the Daily Show line-up responded forcefully, tallying four runs and putting the comic book makers in a 4-3 hole.
Both teams went quietly in the second, but DC took a lead in the third. Jerry Cerza’s one-out single to right got things started, and Nel and Mike brought it home. With two down and Jerry on second, Nel hammered a triple down the line, and Mike legged out an infield single on a high-hopper off the turf to score Nel.
The Bullets tacked runs onto their lead in the fourth, with one-out singles by Laura Demoreuille, Brian Walters and Travis Hastback loading the bases. After Larry Ganem’s infield fly, John Choi drove a base hit through the middle, scoring Laura and Brian. The Daily Show got back on the board, scoring once in the bottom of the fourth. The Bullets led 7-5 at that point.
As with the first inning, the top of both orders set the tone in the fifth. After Neil’s ground out, Nel, Mike, Jay, Pat and Sal Cipriano singled in sequence. Three runs scored (credit the RBIs to the final trio of hitters, the runs scored to the initial three). Jon Stewart’s lackeys (said with affection; I’m a big fan) responded with five runs, tying the game at 10 apiece.
In the sixth, the Bullets took a brief lead. Travis and Larry singled; John grounded to the third baseman, who forced Travis. Jerry followed with a single to load the bases with only one out. Neil bounced to shortstop, forcing Jerry at second, but the go-ahead run crossed the plate. The Daily Show came up empty in the sixth, and so did DC in the seventh. (Jay and Pat singled with one out, but Jay never got past second base.) At that point, Larry Ganem had to catch a bus before New Jersey closed, and relief ace “Mariano” Hiremath took over pitching in the seventh.
Daily Show scored quickly to tie the game, and had runners on first and second with no outs. That’s when Neil buckled down, inducing an infield fly, a pop out to shallow left, and a routine grounder to third to force extra innings.
The comic book team, alas, went down in order. Daily Show’s first hitter in the bottom of the eighth drilled a rope into the left field corner for a leadoff double. After a popup, the game ended on a clean single to left. Travis made a strong throw to the plate, but the play wasn’t close. For the second year in a row, the Daily Show walked off the winner.
The Bullets (1-2) face Bloomberg this Thursday at 5:30pm on North Meadow #2 in Central Park. The anticipated rematch against The Daily Show is scheduled for August.
Bullet Box Score
CF/P Neil Hiremath – 1-4, R, RBI
SS Nel Yomtov – 3-4, 3 R, 2 RBI, double, triple
3B Mike Lorah – 3-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, triple
RCF/LCF Jay Kogan – 4-4, 2 R, RBI, double
RF/RCF Pat Brosseau – 2-4, 2 RBI
1B/2B Sal Cipriano – 1-4, RBI
2B/1B Laura Demoreuille – 1-4, R
RF Brian Walters – 2-4, R
LF Travis Hastback – 3-4, double
P Larry Ganem – 1-3, R
LCF John Choi – 1-3, 2 RBI
C Jerry Cerza – 2-4, R