Thursday, July 05, 2012

'Rakers pummel Dianda Plaza in rematch

CONCORD -- Now that's more like it.

Just as in their first game against heated rival Dianda Plaza, the Muckrakers took a substantial lead. But unlike the previous contest, there were no last-inning heroics coming out of Dianda Plaza, and the 'Rakers cruised to an 11-2 victory on Field 2 on June 28.

The Men of Muck took a 7-1 lead going into the top of the sixth, and they stomped DP's throat with a four-run uprising in the sixth inning. With pitcher Chris White totally dealing on the mound, DP was hard-pressed to equal their epic rally, when they scored seven runs in the bottom of the last inning to hang a heartbreaking loss on the Mucksters.

The 'Rakers were quite happy to have lightning not strike twice. A balanced Muckraker attack kept the pressure on and a comeback less likely. Scott Brama had his breakout game of the season, going 3 for 3 and driving in a run, White went 2 for 3 and drove in one, and Chris Wagnon also added a 2-for-3, one-RBI game.

Three hits and a couple errors donated by the Plaza enabled the 'Rakers to jump out to a 4-0 lead in the first, with White and Dave Alcorn supplying the RBIs. The Mucksters put things safely out of reach when they scored four more times in the sixth, the rally touched off by Alcorn's leadoff triple, later to be driven in by Eric Leithliter. Wagnon, Brama and Dave Taxier singled after that, and Ben Enos plated a run with a sacrifice fly. Come back from THAT, Dianda Plaza! Oh, you can't? Too bad!

Part of the reason DP got down and stayed down was the continuation of fine play from the 'Rakers' keystone combo, shortstop Randy Striegel and second baseman Matt McCall. It was a play at third base that got the 'Rakers into a spot of trouble, though. A DP runner was called safe on a close play, and third baseman Reed Johnson let the umpire know of his erring ways, using one word in particular that for some reason the authorities find objectionable. So Johnson was ejected from the ballgame, most likely a first in the annals of Muckraker history.

But that's how it is in 'RakerLand. Sure, they're a fine bunch of cheerful lads, but there's a fire raging not far below the surface. Get too close, and you could get scorched.

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