Monday, June 09, 2008

Muckrakers break out, deflate Air Pro

CONCORD -- Of course, by now the Dave Alcorn “we’re gonna beat these guys -- I guarantee it” comment is the stuff of Muckraker lore.

But only a select few -- until now -- realize the width and depth of Alcorn’s brashness.

For he also added: “Yeah, and Striegel’s gonna knock in, oh, say, seven -- hell, let’s round it off and make it 10 RBI -- against Air Pro. Nine RBI by the third inning -- you got it, chief.”

Had the intrepid Alcorn said such a thing to a wider audience, he surely would have been carted off to a cozy room devoid of sharp objects by the men in the white coats. Everyone knows Randy Striegel is a man among Muckrakers, but 10 RBI? Please, don’t take us for silly country rubes.

Well, take me up the river and and call me Burt Reynolds. Striegel continued to lay waste to the ‘Raker record book, Alcorn looked like Nostrodamous on steroids and the Muckrakers broke out of their offensive doldrums with an emphatic 23-7 pasting of arch rival Air Pro on Field 3 Thursday night.

The big inning that had eluded Our Heroes for the first six games finally came into play vs. Air Pro. After a modest three-run first inning, the ‘Rakers got their teeth into a 10-run second inning, with 15 Mucksters going to the plate and giving AP hell.

The Muckrakers were so pleased with that showing that they went and scored seven more in the third frame, with 12 ‘Rakers finding their way to the dish.

None found the area around the backstop more inviting than shortstop Striegel. In the third inning alone he went 2-for-2, with a homer, a double, five RBI and two runs scored. He walked and scored a run in the first and, for good measure, topped off his evening by doubling home yet another run in the fifth. For those of you scoring at home, that’s 4-for-4, four runs scored, and a whopping 10 RBI. It is only a rumor that he cured cancer and brought peace to the Middle East in the fourth inning. Repeat, this is only a rumor and cannot as yet be verified.

Naturally, a ballclub does not win by 16 runs with only one individual playing well, and thus it was so for your Muckrakers (3-4). Mat Petersen (3-for-5) slugged a two-run HR in the fifth, and Mike Yurkus did a fine job of leadoffership (4-for-4, five runs scored). Luke Abbott continued his hot hitting of late, stroking three safeties including a clutch, bases-loaded single in the first when the issue was far from decided. Mr. Prediction himself, Mr. Alcorn, went 3-for-4. Did he see that coming?

The ‘Rakers also turned in their best defensive effort of the season. The infield, solidified by Striegel, was topnotch. And the outfield ballhawked everything, including two fine catches in right field by Rick Hurd, denying two Air Pro extra-base bids.

In all, a hearty chortle was had by all the Muckrakers, who enjoyed being on the good side of a laugher. Here’s for the merriment carrying all the way into the playoffs.

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