Monday, September 24, 2007

Brown Sox mismatched vs. Muckrakers

CONCORD -- You couldn’t blame the Brown Sox for being a little flummoxed when they went up against the Muckrakers on Thursday on Field 3. After all, they were confronted by a total of 14 -- yes, four-freekin-teen -- ‘Rakers, a virtual Cavalcade-O-Muckraker on a late Thursday eve.

And the massive number of ‘Rakers made themselves felt in a lengthy parade across home plate, good for a 16-11 snipping of the outnumbered Brown Sox, the Muckrakers’ second Fall League victory in as many tilts.

The glory in this one was spread around -- yaozaa, was it spread around. The ‘Rakers proudly sported a 14-man lineup, which included two new Mucksters, Kevin Schuler and Jon Madden. It all made for a pretty straightforward affair, except for the wonderfulness that was the fourth inning.

Pull up a chair, scoot a little closer to the screen, and let’s gab a bit about the fabulous fourth inning.

In all, the Muckrakers sent up 17 batters to the plate in the fourth, and all but five of them stomped home. I mean, there’s nothing like having a 14-person lineup, and they all bat in one inning -- plus three. When all the madcap running and hitting and scoring was done, the ‘Rakers had turned a deficit into a lead they would never relinquish.

Of course, ace ‘Raker fan Joe Deloach takes much credit for arriving when his favorite slow-pitch team was down 8-1 and seeing it go on to win by five. And who are we to deny Mr. Deloach his claim to fame? Not us, not we who are unworthy to open his beer bottles.

It’s a good thing the ‘Rakers were wielding vibrant bats, because pitcher Dave Taxier was channeling his inner Ankiel, having a heck of a time throwing strikes. The Ol’ Taxeroo came out wilder than Mike Vick in the puppy section of the local Pets-R-Us. But somehow the Taxman held it together well enough for the ‘Rakers to survive with their first-place status intact.

Indeed, it was another inspiring effort on defense, and the offensive contributions were many. Mat Petersen went 3-for-3, as did Luke Abbott, and Rick Hurd was 2-for-2. David Morrill turned in his second straight fine performance in going 2-for-3 with two RBI, including a triple in the sixth. Schuler said “hi y’all” by doubling in his first ‘Raker at-bat and going 2-for-3. Manager Chris Wagnon flashed fancy leather in his one inning in right field. In all, 13 ‘Rakers scored at least one run and 12 had at least one hit.

Wagnon made all the right moves on this evening -- and with 14 Muckrakers, there was no shortage of moves to make.

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