Monday, June 06, 2011

Torrid 'Rakers Drain Bay Sluggers

CONCORD -- In one of the wildest and most eventful games in all of the team's storied lore, the Muckrakers continued to shoot up the Men's D South standings by turning back the Bay Sluggers 11-8 on Field 1 last Thursday.

This one almost didn't take place at all, as the 'Rakers -- who may lead the league in rostered players vacationing out of the country -- scrambled to come up with the necessary amount of players for the 6 p.m. game. But the 'Rakers did rustle up the required number, and then some, due to some nifty -- and totally legal, the paperwork's been completed and submitted, thank you very much -- last-minute recruits to the ballclub.

And so the show was able to go on, and the Mucksters won for the second game in a row to boost their record to 3-4, but a painful and unfortunate cost was paid in the process.

One of the new recruits, Todd Johnson, slipped and fell on the basepaths in the fifth inning, suffering a separated shoulder in the process. Reed Johnson transported Todd to the hospital emergency room, and the latest report is that Todd is OK, for which the Muckrakers are very thankful, and they wish Mr. Johnson and complete and speedy recovery.

With Todd and Reed heading off to the hospital, the Muckrakers were down to eight players, the bare minimum, with which to hold off the Bay Sluggers in the last inning. And although the Sluggers put a couple men on base, the 'Rakers were able to record the final out and place a remarkable victory in their hip pocket. The Bay Sluggers found themselves dropping to 1-5 on the season.

Utilizing a patchwork lineup, the 'Rakers didn't exactly tear the cover off the ball, but they did hit consistently and well enough to score at least two runs in all but one scoreless inning. Bay Sluggers came out and tallied three times in the top of the first, but the 'Rakers came back with two of their own in the bottom half, and went on to put across three in the third and two runs each in the fourth and fifth.

Manager Chris Wagnon, continuing to tinker with the batting order, opted to go with Matt Knauff in the leadoff spot in this one. Knauff responded to the vote of confidence to go 3 for 4 with a run scored. Wagnon batted second and had a 2 for 4 night with three touches of home plate, and Dave Alcorn, Reed Johnson and Todd Johnson also had two-hit evenings.

Jose Gomez was as solid as could be at second base, and batting from the five-hole he drove in three of the 'Rakers' 11 runs.

And a healthy shout out to the recruits making their 'Raker debuts: Matt Anderson, Matt McCall and T. Johnson, and yes, the Mucksters do now lead the known universe with rostered Matts. Thanks for playing, gentlemen, we couldn't have done it without you.

Also going above and beyond was Rick Browning, who braved Bay Area rush hour traffic to make it to the game. Anyone who's battled the Caldecott Tunnel at rush hour can appreciate Browning's automotive efforts.

Thus the Men of Muck sit in third place in Men's D South, which sets up an interesting little showdown this Thursday, when the Muckinators take on second-place Trainwreck. If the Muckrakers have playoff aspirations, this ballgame might be a nice one to go and get. It's a 7:20 start, so one can assume assembling a lineup will not be as traumatic, yet ultimately victorious, as it was last week.

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