|Mr. Rogers (sans cardigan)|
After allowing the first two batters of the game to score, Mr. Rogers settled down and lulled the Sweets into the Land of Make Believe for a solid six innings, allowing no more runs and a total of five hits. He was replaced by a fired-up Preston "To Action" Ryan who stormed in to strike out the side in the seventh, before loading them up in the eighth with nobody out. The ball was then handed to Carson "The Garage" Schneider who induced a double play, but let the tying run cross the plate before striking out the next batter, setting up a dramatic finish to this series finale.
After not really being able to muster anything in the first three innings offensively, the 'Cats jumped ahead in the fourth when they kicked it off with back to back doubles from Alex "Don't Shave Off" DeGoti and Nathan "Use the Force" Lukes. Ted "Do the Hokey" Boeke sacrificed in Aaron "Carol" Barnett to round out the early scoring and give the 'Cats a temporary 3-2 lead.
After the Sweets tied it up in the eighth, Hunter Mercado-"Little Red Riding"- Hood came into the game as a pinch hitter in the ninth for Noah "and the Ark" Cummins and in true HMH style, worked the walk. John "Call Me Ed" Grimsley then came in as a pinch runner and promptly stole second and after Danny Collier "Mother and Tell Her You'll Be Late for Dinner" struck out, he was advanced to third on a sacrifice from Griffin "dor Takes the House Cup" Andreychuk. To complete this amazing "team-manufactured" run, Gabe "Welcome Back Kotter" Clark stepped in to calmly drive in the winning run.
Schneider finished it off in the ninth to preserve the 'Cats win, after making it a little interesting by letting the lead-off man get aboard before finally shutting the door.
While not involved in the ninth inning theatrics, Alan "Don't Call Me Alec" Baldwin also had a good night at the plate going three for four which raised his average to a season high .300.
DeGoti was named as the "Thirsty" batter of the game, meaning that if he struck out, the Walla Walla fans could cash in for a half price beer. While DeGoti did not comply (he actually went two for four before leaving the game in the eighth with an injury), that is still one awesome promotion. It takes the "K" batter of the game to a whole new level. A beer level. And I like being on that level.
Coaches Bob "We Are The" Miller(s) and Ben "Action" Jackson must be relieved to be heading home for the final three games of the 2014 season, especially given they are hosting the Kitsap BlueJackets. It has been a long year and this will hopefully send off the 'Cats on a high note. A series sweep will actually put Victoria right at the .500 mark so get out there to cheer the lads on. It will be the last local baseball until next June and that is one long, lonely, rainy, dark winter away.
Well...I did my best, but would Chris Berman be proud? Probably not...but I tried!