Saturday, October 06, 2007

'Rakers S.W.A.T foes like pesky bugs

CONCORD -- With a lineup chock-a-block with big boppers -- think and fear the names Thurston, Striegel, Schuler and Abbott, just for kicks -- it’s easy to forget fellow brother Muckrakers who keep the whole operation up and running,like an Adobe operating system (coming soon to a newsroom near you).

Amidst this convoluted verbiage and twisted logic we’re thinking Yurkus. Mike Yurkus.

Sure, he may not have the large media imprint of a Hurd, a Bryson or an Enos, but his presence looms large in all things Muckraker.

Yurkus again demonstrated his unique skill set to the max on Thursday, and it’s no wonder the result was the ‘Rakers’ fourth Fall League victory in a row, a 16-9 outlasting of pesky S.W.A.T.

The feisty and dare-we-say-it-oh-what-the-hell-it’s-only-a-blog-sure-we’ll-say-it fiery second baseman let the noble opposition know what it was in for early on, performing a nifty tumble in taking in a popup in the first inning.

Nifty, perhaps, but grueling as well. So bloodied was Yurkus’ knee after the encounter with Mother Earth that he was forced to retreat to the snack shack, where fortunately band-aids were available to patch Mike up. Let the games

In the bottom half of the first, His Yurkusness did what he is so good at: staring down pitches with an expert eye and accepting a walk. It was he who scored the first run of the game, motoring home on Randy Striegel’s single as the Muckrakers would get out to a 3-0 lead.

But S.W.A.T., playing free and easy with nothing to lose, put up five runs in the third and a single run in the fourth to tie it at 9-9. That’s when Yurkus went to work with one of the big hits of the game, stroking a two-out,two-RBI double plating Ben Enos and Chris Wagnon to return the lead and the momentum to Your Muckrakers.

Not that the beloved Home 13 were done -- not by a long shot. They added three runs in the fifth, keyed by a leadoff double by Dre Thurston and a two-bagger from Hurd, the hottest slugger this side of the Colorado Rockies. And The Raked Ones tacked on a run in the sixth for good measure as Dave Alcorn’s roped double plated Jon Madden, who’d singled.

And the Muckrakers tied this one up in a pretty little bow in the final frame, with Striegel and Yurkus, the ‘Rakers’ Keystone Kombo, performing that intricate ballet around second base in that classic style they perform on a game-by-game basis.

Sure, it’s hard to resist falling in love with the meat, and yes I said meat, of the Muckrakers’ lineup. But the Yurkuses of the world are hardly your side dish, thank you very much.

NOTES: The grateful ‘Rakers again had an impressive fan turnout, with Kelly (The Official Scorer) Bryson-Phillips, a duo of Alcorns, and the ever-popular Joe (Don’t Call Me MoJo) DeLoach in attendance. But also gracing the bleachers was a strong contingent from the Weeklies Department, including Carol Gardner, a storied veteran of the company. Welcome, ‘Raker fans one and all, and don’t be strangers. We’ll keep the beer on ice.

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