Sunday, May 27, 2007

Heroes aplenty as Muckrakers unseat Benchwarmers

CONCORD -- Games like these are tough on Mr. Blog Dork, not that he’s complaining. How do you write about just one hero when so many are deserving?

Just as it take a village to raise a child, it takes a whole ‘lotta heroes to beat the Benchwarmers, and the CCT Muckrakers were more than up for the challenge when they scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning for an ultra-dramatic, you-ain’t-gonna-believe-this-crap 14-13 season-saving victory on Thursday on Field 4.

Some of that fabled Pixieland magic must have wafted over the ‘Raker lineup in the bottom of the final inning, with the home team needing a run to win and complete the comeback. The fateful frame got really interesting when Steve Moscatelli hit a short single and Chase Bryson, alert and hustling, beat the throw to avoid being forced out at second base. That proved to be a key play, as Mike Rieger followed with another clutch hit, loading the bases. That left it up to Mike Gale, who’d already been enjoying a stellar evening, going 3-for-3. Well, the plucky left fielder’s night got a whole lot better when he smashed a one-hopper at the hapless Benchwarmer second baseman, who couldn’t handle the hot potato, which allowed Bryson to score the winning run.

Gale's single may go down as one of the biggest safeties in Muckraker history. Better yet, the blow was witnessed by Muckraker SuperFan Joe DeLoach, who showed up just in time to witness the comeback.

"I'm just estatic that we got the win and I was able to help out," said a humble Gale. "But it was a lot of guys stepping up and contributing. We could have given up when we were down five but I'm proud of how we all fought back. This win is huge and I didn't want to let DeLoach down."

That last-inning effort helped put the ‘Rakers at .500 (3-3) and set them up nicely for a second-half playoff drive. A loss to the Benchwarmers (1-4-1) wouldn’t have necessarily ended the season, but it certainly would have sent Muckrakers fans home grumbling into the night.

Thanks to the effort of Gale and countless others, a swell time was had by all in 'Raker Nation.

"I was just looking for something to drive and was telling myself just hit it hard," Gale noted.

Sure, the final-inning heroics were all fine and dandy, but if not for some nifty hitting in the fifth and sixth, the seventh inning might have been academic.

In the fifth, the Muckrakers’ comeback ways were spurring on by Randy Striegel’s three-run home run blast. And the ‘Rakers came up with five more runs in the sixth, keyed by Dre Thurston’s likewise three-run shot, plating Alcorn and Mike Yurkus. It all helped set up the magical seventh for the ‘Rakers, who faced deficits of 7-4 and 9-5 and promptly went about spitting in the eye of said deficits.

It was a roaring end to the first half of the season. One can feel the anticipation in the air for what may lay in store in the second half.


Thurston, like Gale, had a four-hit evening, and the Daves (Alcorn, Taxier) each went 3-for-4. … Alcorn and Thurston each scored three runs. … Chris Wagnon, who had a hustle-single in the fourth, drove in yet another run on the play. ... Mat Petersen and Moscatelli also had multi-hit games.


The Muckrakers’ reward for a come-from-behind win is a bye week. They resume play on June 7, for their first 6:15 game of the season, against the Lumberjacks on Field 1.

-- Muckraker News Services

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