Sunday, May 29, 2011

Muckrakers Use Epic Inning To Shatter 9 Mugs And A Pitcher

CONCORD -- Dave Taxier was struggling. The (R)aging right-hander had been staked to a four-run lead in the top of the first, but, partly because of his ineptitude and maleficence, was in the process of giving it all back in the bottom half of the frame. Indeed, 9 Mugs And a Pitcher came out of the first inning tied 4-4.

That's about when 'Raker first baseman Chris White told Taxier, "that's OK, we'll get those runs back."

Perhaps not even White realized just how right he was.

In the most fabulous frame in Muckrakers history, the Mighty Mucksters piled up an incredible 18 runs in the top of the second inning, powered along by five home runs, on their way to overwhelming 9 Mugs (and so forth and so on) 27-15 for their second victory of the season, snapping a four-game losing streak.

The 'Rakers rewrote the record books partly because they recognized the prevailing meteorological conditions on rarely played-on Field 5. Dave Alcorn led off the soon-to-be-famous frame by lofting what looked to be a routine flyball to right. Except the ball kept sailing, sailing, sailing over the outfielder's head, and the drive went for a home run by the trailblazing Alcorn.

Thus informed, the 'Rakers launching drive after drive to the right side, the result being four more homers and a whole passel of runs. Before the top of the second was done, 22 'Rakers had batted and Chris Wagnon, Luke Abbott and White had blasted round-trippers. Alcorn also tripled in the frame, and darned near hit for the cycle in the second inning alone.

The lead was so huge not even a struggling Taxier could give it back. Thus, the Muckrakers emphatically got into the win column, thanks to what turned out to be a 32-hit offense, perhaps another stat for the 'Raker record book.

After a series of close-but-no-cigar defeats, it had to feel good for the Mucksters to enjoy a rare laugher victory. Any kind of win would have felt good at this point, but to put up 27 runs on a day in which everybody hit well, well ... oh my.

Reed Johnson blasted the ball all five times up and went 5 for 5. Abbott, about to embark on an Australian walk-about, said farewell by going 4 for 5 with a career-high seven RBIs. White hit with might (4 for 5, five RBIs). Ben Enos made his '11 'Rakers debut a memorable one, taking ownership of the leadoff role and going 4 for 4 with three runs scored. Alcorn finished 4 for 5 with five driven in, and Chace Bryson and Rich Browning each contributed three hits. Jose Gomez had a two-hit game and stood out again at second base. And Taxier even struck out a guy -- and didn't strike out himself, fortunately.

The take-away from this one is, with six games left in the regular season, Los Muckeros still have time to cause great upheaval in the standings. Let those 27 runs signal a warning shot to the rest of the trembling D-League South.

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