Bay City hosts Walker Tavern
July 15, 2012
Carroll Park, Bay City, MI
Bay City 41, Walker Tavern 9
It was sunny, but the heat was near stifling as the Independents welcomed in the weary Walker Tavern Wheels who rolled in from their previous afternoon's match down Saginaw way with the hope of taking the Michigan Cup home with them, and wresting it from the Bay City gents who only recently took it from the Regular Base Ball Club of Mount Clemens. The two clubs took to the pitch for the opening coin toss to determine the order of striking in front of a decent sized crowd which included some retired Independents, Ray "The Banker" Banister, Brian "Hooks" Freehling, and "Shoeless" Jeff Dinauer.
The coin toss, presided over by Gary "Judge" Gerkin, was won by the Bay Citys who chose to take the field. It didn't take long for the Bay City defenders to show why they are the current State Champions, as the opening striker for the Walker Tavern club drove a hard line drive screaming into the garden only to have it bottled in style by the Independents' center fields man extraordinaire, Tom "Cat" LeRoux. The next two strikers decided to test the younger LeRoux, Sean "Tanner" LeRoux, the Bay City short stop with a sky ball that he tracked and killed in the long field, and then a hard liner that he snatched like a minie ball from the air. Having skunked the Wheels in order the Bay Citys took to striking and sent nine gents to the plate tallying four aces. The strikers of note in the innings were Tom "Cat" LeRoux, Branden "The Rope" Revette, and Jeff Silverback Rahl each of whom drove a variety of long balls into the garden to make their seconds. Mr. Rahl's strike would have easily made a home run, if it had not taken a fortuitous bound off a tree in right center field that put the ball back into the long field rather then having it float into the pond, which it most assuredly would have if not for the mighty oak. At any rate Bay City took the lead in the contest for the Cup at 4 to 0.
The Walker Tavern gents came to strike in the second innings hoping to recapture the style that saw them take a 10 to 1 lead into the fourth innings against this Bay City club just two weeks prior, and they sent their captain, Jim "Crazy Legs" Terwilliger, to begin the apple mashing for them. Mr. Terwilliger, sensing the uselessness of hitting the onion to the left side of the field where the LeRoux's had staked their claim, decided to try the right but saw his hand killed as Alan "Kid" Garcia bottled his sky ball and claimed his hand. The next gent for Walker Tavern, "Sticky Mitts", cannonaded a ball into the gap between left and center field that seemed destined to bring extra bases for the Walker Tavern boys only to have "Cat" LeRoux dash into the void and take the ball with a one handed, on the run, juggling catch that brought the crowd and both clubs to their feet in appreciation. The next hand was killed on a hot daisy cutter that was plucked by the third base tender, Justin "Doc" Garcia, who then deftly placed a rifle shot across the diamond into the pillowed hands of the first base man, Dean "Sawmill" Koch, to end the innings with a skunking of the Wheels.
The Bay Citys were able to plate two more aces in the second innings, and began the march with a home run into the long field by the Independents hurler, Brian "The Butterfly" Beceril, and then followed it with a howitzer from Britt "The Mad-Scientist" Vanchura that saw him make his second. Vanchura would later tally galloping from second to home on a safety from the bat of Jimmy "Two Quarts" Arnold. After two innings the Bay Citys held the match at 6 to 0.
The Bay Citys went right back to work in the third innings, whitewashing the Walker Wheels yet again before taking to an apple mashing, parade around the pillows that saw them send 21 strikers to the line, and plate 17 aces. Strikers of note in the innings included, Kid Garcia, Rope Revette, Jimmy "Two Quarts" Arnold, and Adam "Little-Train" Johnson, all of whom made their seconds with long strikes to the garden. Even more striking were the accomplishments of Justin "Doc" Garcia who made two two-baggers in the innings, Jeff "Silverback" Rahl who made his home run (un-added), and Jason "Buttons" McInerney who was the only Bay City gent to strike twice without tallying. After three innings of play the Independents were solidly in control of the match at 23 to 0.
In the fourth innings the Wheels would break through against the Bay Citys and their fine hurler, Jeff "Silverback" Rahl, thanks to a long sky-ball from the stick of Sticky Mitts that saw him make his home run, and carry two more gents to tally. Bay City would answer with five more aces of their own to take the innings, and bring the match to a total of 28 for the Independents and 3 for the Walker Wheels.
The fifth would see the Wheels go back to the willow whipping tallying three more runs, including a home run by the General, and they may have made more if not for a scientific play made when Alan "Kid" Garcia rifled a ball home that killed the Tavern gent, Buckshot, at home plate for the third hand lost. Bay City would rally again to win the innings with 8 more aces sending 14 gents to the stripe. Strikers of note in the fifth were Justin "Doc" Garcia who made his home run and drove home two others, Tom "Cat" LeRoux, Branden "The Rope" Revette, and Jeff "Silverback" Rahl each of whom made their second on blasts into the garden. After five innings of play the ledger now stood Bay City 36 and Walker Tavern 6.
The sixth innings would see the Tavern gents tie the Bay Citys with each club knotting an ace apiece, however the Bay Citys would win the remainder tallying 4 combined aces in the seventh and eighth, while only relinquishing one in the seventh, one in the eighth, and skunking the Wheels in the ninth. Refusing to take their last at bats in the ninth the Bay Citys preferred instead to commence with the after match feast and reclined with their Walker Tavern friends over some chicken and barley hops.