Monday, November 05, 2007

Muckrakers win twice, roll out November Reign

CONCORD -- The Muckrakers seem to have this magical playoff-run thing down pretty good.

The 'Rakers advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in the same wonderous style with which they've astonished the entire blogosphere. Two teams made the mistake of counting the Men of Muck out early, and two teams were sent death-spiriling out of the playoffs.

Who was it that came away with a new appreciation for all things Muck? On Tuesday, the 'Rakers dispatched the Double Do Its 20-19, and on Friday, the Mucksters overcame a former playoff foe the Bat Boys by a 23-19 count.

Tuesday's affair was one of the greatest games this reporter has never seen. Evidently, the Muckrakers splurged for eight runs in the first inning and seven runs in the fourth, then held on the rest of the way to live to fight again on the Willow Pass greensward. Light-standard-assaulting Luke Abbott homered in the first and Mat Petersen went yard -- twice -- as only Petersen can.

The second game was also one for the books, perhaps even more so. For in this one, the sizable Bat Boys crowd yukked it up big time as their heroes battered the Muckrakers through four and a half innings. In the bottom of the fifth, though, the yuks were all on the Mucks.

In perhaps the biggest inning in Muckrakers history, the Home Ten struck for 14 runs -- half of them coming with two outs. The 'Rakers struck for 12 consecutive hits in the frame and suddenly their playoff outlook changed from bleak to bright. Randy Striegel doubled and tripled in that one inning alone. Kevin Schuler homered in the game, one-hopping the Field 3 fence in right. Schuler also came on to nail down the win on the mound in relief of an erratic Dave Taxier.

Mike Gale and Mike Yurkus each had four hits for the game, as all 10 'Mucksters had multiple-hit outings.

In short, this is a team on yet another playoff mission, and you'd best not sell it short.

NOTES: Showing her support for all things 'Raker, Kelli Phillips served as official scorekeeper for both games .... Brooke of copy desk fame made her 'Raker fan debut. .... Daisy the golden retriever also was in attendance. In typical 'Raker style she investigated the Bat Boy rooting section, but no mayhem was reported.

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