Written by Sal “The Bagman” Cipriano
After a frustrating loss to the Wall Street Journal a couple of weeks ago, the DC Bullets were anxious to get back on the field and redeem themselves. Unfortunately, the next week and a half turned into a scene from Blade Runner as rain constantly poured down on NYC, consequently canceling the next three games. Hurt and deflated, the Bullets could only wait for the weather to provide any sort of opening. Finally, after even more rain made a mess of their home field earlier that morning, the DC team were back to New York Media League action this past Thursday; this time against a vaunted, talented High Times team. Considered one of league’s two best teams (along with BusinessWeek) the Bullets were wary, but came in ready for the challenge. And a challenge it would be, too, as they were missing two of their power bats: Third Baseman Mike Lorah and rookie DH LP Vollano. They also started the game with 9 players instead of the required 10, and by the time the second inning was over the sweet leaf-loving Bonghitters were up by three runs.
The Bullets got it going in the bottom of the second, though, as Left Fielder Andrew “The Armadilla” Arnold (1-3, Run) and Second Baseman Christine “CNAP” Napolitano (1-2) got on with one-out base hits. Arnold then scored on a single to centerfield by Catcher Sal “Bagman” Cipriano (2-2, RBI, BB).
The Bullets were on the board, and now had a full complement of players, which allowed their defense to close up tightly. From the third inning on, DC’s favorite sons and daughters did not commit an error, a frequent thorn in their sides, with Team Captain Adam Schlagman (3-3, 2 runs, triple) leading the way with one spectacular play after another at short! The third inning ended with two crazy plays as Right Fielder Rickey Purdin (1-2, double) snagged a sun drenched ball at the last second, followed by a sliding catch from the Bagman on a foul pop by the Times’ best hitter!
Those outs seemed to fire DC up as the Bullets loaded up for their biggest offensive inning of the evening. The Captain started it off with a single, and immediately scored on Left Fielder Vince Letterio’s (1-3, run, RBI) hard hit triple over the opposing left fielder’s head! Right Fielder Pat “Two Scoops” Brosseau’s (1-2, 2 RBI, sac fly) RBI grounder scored Letterio, and a third run was added by Third Baseman Joel “The” Press “Man” (1-3, RBI) scoring Rover Dougie Harrison (1-1, run). The Bullets led after that third inning, 4-3.
Both teams put up goose eggs in the 4th, but in the top of the fifth, a Bonghitter smoked a solo home run, tying the game. Ace Bullets Pitcher Larry Ganem (1-3) shook it off though, and retired the next batters. The bottom of the fifth showed off the Bullets resilience with Schlagman lacing a triple, and scoring one out later on Brosseau’s sac fly.
The Bullets again led by one going into the sixth, but the two teams traded off zeroes for a third time in the game. The pressure was now on as Ganem took the mound in the top of the seventh, 3 outs away from DC’s biggest win in the last couple of years. The first out came easy, but the second required Captain Schlagman to make the web gem play of the game with a diving stop of a smashed grounder that was destined for center field, but instead found itself in his glove and consequently into First Baseman Laura Demoreuille’s (0-1) sure handed mitt! One out away, but the Bonghitters seemed determined to do what they do best, no not that, win! The next two men got on second and third, but they were going no where else as a fly ball fell into Center Fielder Neil Hiremath’s (0-2) glove! Put it in the books, the Bullets win!
5-4 for the DC Bullets over the High Times Bonghitters. A hard earned victory for a gritty, gutty team that’s gelling well under pressure, and truly beginning to put a disappointing 2008 season behind them. The Bullets pull up at .500 (4-4, 2-2 in league games) and will look to improve that further in their next game.
The pitching and defense in this is game were stellar. Captain Schlagman continues to show the way in the field playing a superb short stop. The tandem of Ganem pitching to Cipriano has also meshed well over the last year, and this year they’ve really shown it holding the Daily Beast to 5 runs, and High Times to 4. If the team can continue this way, they can easily make it to the playoffs.
This Thursday, July 2nd, DC are home against the Seamless Web. Can the Bullets break through their web? Come find out at Central Park’s North Meadow, field 2, at 5:30PM!