Bay City visits Saginaw
Ojibway Island, Saginaw, MI
August 2, 2012
Bay City 12, Saginaw 11
The Independents of Bay City took to the pitch as the State of Michigan Champion for the third time this season, and hoped to defend their title in a setting that has yielded little success for them, Ojibway Island. The Island is home to one of the most decorated historic base ball club's in the country, the Saginaw Old Golds, and despite recent success against the Golds the Bay Citys have seen little of it when visiting Ojibway. So with the Cup on the line, and a sizable crowd in attendance, the Independents would need to be at their best to retain their title, and their unblemished record.
The coin toss to determine the order of striking was presided over by the umpire of the day, Tom "Golden Rule" Mudd. Having lost the toss, the Bay Citys would begin the match by striking first and often, sending 11 strikers to the mark, making 8 safeties, and plating 7 aces. The largest clout would come from the bat of the Independents pitcher, Brain "The Butterfly" Beceril, who would make his second while driving home one run.
In their first the Saginaws would come out swinging as well, with two extra base hits in row from the bats of Jon "Boozehound" Smith, and captain Adam "Squints" McCauley. Each would tally in the innings, but the scoring would stop there after the Independents' defense shored itself up.
The defense and pitching of both clubs would be the story as no scoring took place again until the Saginaw's fourth innings, when the Old Golds plated 2 more aces behind the striking of Toby "Scoops" Larkin, and Dennis Koneszciewski. The Bay Citys were fortunate to escape the innings without more aces in the Old Golds ledger when a long fly out was bottled by Tom "Cat" LeRoux to kill the Saginaws third hand when the bases were loaded.
Both clubs would be skunked in the fifth innings, and the Bay Citys would finally scratch out an ace in the sixth when Alan "Kid" Garcia drove a howitzer deep into the garden and made his second with ease. He would then tally when his brother Justin "Doc" Garcia put a sky ball down the right field line that had him make his first. After the Independents skunked the Old Golds for the fourth and final time in the match the game now stood at Bay City 8 and Saginaw 4 after six innings each.
In the seventh innings the Bay Citys would add another tally to their total when Jeff "Silverback" Rahl reached the weeping willow in center field with a sky ball that allowed him to make his second, and he would tally after a liner was sent into the garden by Tom "Cat" LeRoux, who then made his first. Some fine plays by the Saginaw defense would kill the innings and put a hold on the Bay Citys scoring in the seventh. The Saginaws however, had only just begun to warm up and tallied two more times in the seventh, and now put the match at Bay City 9 and Saginaw 6.
The eighth innings would hold dramatics and dash for both clubs when Matt "Barrell Roller" Barnard of Bay City opened the striking with a safety placed into left field, which was followed by a neat fair foul by Britt "The Mad Scientist" Vanchura. The next striker would lose his hand to a neat catch by the Saginaw center fields man "Boozehound" Smith, but the striking began anew when Sean "Tanner" LeRoux placed a daisy cutter just past the reach of the short stop loading the bases for the Independents. It took 4 strikers to load them for Bay City, but only one to empty them when Alan "Kid" Garcia blasted his second howitzer into the garden and made his second yet again, while Tanner LeRoux chased the other strikers around the bases in a race for home. The scoring would end there, but it was Garcia's blast that helped to lengthen the lead for Bay City at 12 to 6.
The Saginaws however would do Bay City one run better in their eighth sending 6 strikers to the line, and tallying four times with Mr. Konesciewski and Mr. Smith making their second and third respectively on prodigious clouts and fleet feet. After 8 innings the match now stood Bay City 12, and Saginaw 10.
The Bay Citys would be blanked in the ninth for the fifth time in the contest setting up an exciting ending to the match. The Saginaws would see their first two hands in the contest killed on a fly ball to left field, and a throw from third to first respectively. So, with two hands down the Saginaws started an unexpected rally from the bottom of their order putting three strikers in a row safely on the pillows and loading the bases with Golds. That brought club founder, Richard Curry to the plate with two hands down, the bases loaded, and the Saginaws down just two runs. Curry handled the pressure brilliantly driving a daisy cutter off Tanner LeRoux, that plated Nick "Brute" Hammond, and had Curry safe at first. Curry's heroics would bring the top of the Saginaw order to the plate with the bases loaded, but the next striker drove another daisy cutter that this time was handled by the Bay City third sacker, Justin "Doc" Garcia who deftly threw to second to kill the Golds final hand, and preserve the match, and the Cup for Bay City.
Bay City will now take their title as State Champion to Greenfield Village for the World's Tournament of Historic Base Ball to be held on August 11-12th, and perhaps these two Great Lakes Bay Champions will meet again there.