Wednesday, June 04, 2008

'Rakers on verge of offensive explosion

CONCORD -- Where’s the big inning?

Your gallant Muckrakers softball ballclub is looking for that big rally, that massive offensive explosion, that will elevate it from its most recent tailspin that has seen the team drop two in a row and four of its past five.

No time like the present, say the ‘Rakers, who would like nothing better than to get back on the good side on Thursday night when they meet Air Pro at 8:25 on Field 3 in the continuation of what has been a heated and spirited rivalry. And chew on this along with your morning Wheaties -- the 'Rakers and Air Pro both take 2-4 marks into the affair, so this battle could have huge, HUGE playoff implications! No pressure though.

Certainly, the Men of Muck know it’s time to roll up the sleeves, pitch that fork, tote that bale. The ‘Rake-N-Ators have been game and gritty but have fallen short in their past two outings, falling to Bladez Barbershop II 27-14 and coming out on the wrong side of a 19-9 decision to Hall and Jam Allstate in their most recent doe-cee-doe.

In that one the ‘Rakers absorbed a strong early shot from H&J, finding themselves down 13-4 after three innings. But the Mucksters held fast and H&J’s bats fell silent, making them vulnerable to the ‘Raker counterattack.

But try as they might, the Muckrakers didn’t deliver that kind of bat-around, everybody hits-and-scores type of inning that used to flow so easily in seasons of yore. Therefore, H&J cruised into port with the 10-run victory.

Of course, all is not bleak -- it never is. Randy Striegel continues to make outs only grudgingly -- he went 2-for-2 vs. H&J, including a first-inning RBI triple and a leadoff double in the sixth. Mat Petersen (2-for-3, RBI) clubbed a triple leading off the fourth. Leadoff man Mike Yurkus went 2-for-3 and scored a pair of runs. Bob Brinley singled home two in a clutch moment in the third frame. Mike Gale also had a two-hit outing. Kevin Schuler followed up a fine 3-for-3, four RBI outing vs. Bladez by singling in the first and plating Striegel.

It’s all added up to “A’s” for effort for the Muckrakers, but they certainly expect to add some “W’s” to the alphabet soup.

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