Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Muckrakers Mess Up Trainwreck, Storm Into Second Place

CONCORD -- Oh, my, now things are getting interesting.

The Muckrakers perhaps positioned themselves as the power to be reckoned with in D-League South with a convincing 17-6 thrashing of Trainwreck on Field 2 last Thursday.

This was a 'Raker outfit that at one point had lost three in a row and sat at 1-4. The suddenly blazing-hot Men of Muck have now run off three victories in a row, with their latest conquest coming over the team formerly in second place. Well, Yer Heroes booted Trainwreck out of its high perch and took over sole possession of the second slot, trailing only The Guys in the D-League South standings.

In this one, it was more the Muckrakers who played like an out-of-control runaway train. The Mucksters started slowly, trailing 5-2 after two innings, then rallied for four runs in the third frame, then continued on from there to throttle a team they'd lost to in the previous encounter.

The 'Rakers put it away with a seven-run outburst in the seventh inning, leaving no doubt who was the new big, bad boy on the block. Somewhere, The Guys had to be concerned.

The 'Rakers offense has been a consistent hitting machine for most of the season, but vs. Trainwreck, the defense also shared the spotlight. The Mucksters' 'D' was a little shaky early, but once it established itself, there was no turning back. Reed Johnson fielded a scorching bad-hop one-hopper at shortstop and turned it into a double play, Dave Alcorn was as steady as he goes at third base, and Jose Gomez made the plays at second base in his understated way. 'Raker rookie Scott Brama showed astonishing hop and quickness at the catcher position. Chris White made an unbelievable over-the-shoulder catch from his first base spot in short right. The outfield -- Matt Knauff, Matt McCall, Randy Striegel and Chris Wagnon -- tracked down everything hit its way. On the mound, Dave Taxier struck out some guys (perhaps aided by a certain amount of Trainwreck inebriation?).

The offense was its reliable self as the MuckMen rolled out a 27-hit attack. Perhaps the sign that all would be going the 'Rakers' way was Gomez' drive that hit off third base and went for a double in the second inning. In the third, the 'Rakers strung together six hits in scoring four times. The next big explosion came in the seventh as Los Muckeros got a triple from Brama, a double from Striegel and a homer from Alcorn in establishing total dominance of the proceedings.

Striegel (5 for 5, five RBI) enjoyed a stellar night at the plate, as did Alcorn (3 for 5, three RBI), McCall and Brama (3 for 5 each. White (4 for 5) and Johnson (3 for 5, three runs).

The 'Rakers piled up 17 runs while holding the league's second-place team to six runs. That's how the Muckrakers (4-4) do, and how they look to keep doing as they attempt to storm their way back into the postseason.

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