Baseball on the Fourth of July

Nothing Finer Than the National Pastime

July 5, 2011

On Monday, July 4th, the DPS boys gathered at Georgia Park in St. Cloud, FL to celebrate our Independence with a full out nine inning game. Such a game had never been attempted, and in the end proved a major success. Despite the 90 degree summer sun, the game was blessed with a large rain cloud providing a cool overcast through the first eight innings.

Taking the field this day were the Injuns, headed by Max Hannam (his first managed game in over a year) and the Cavalry led by none other than Vincent Hannam. As could be expected by the their namesakes, the game was not easily fought, resembling more of a battle by the end.

The Cavalry charged ahead early with a 7-1 lead and in the bottom of the 2nd, pitcher Armando Rivera continued his impressive performance by holding Injun hitters to just one more earned run. However, the tide soon turned after the Injun’s came away on the winning side of several controversial and critical plays- including one when Cavalry runner, Roger Thacher, was called out after a close slide at second base; this coupled with Joe Williams replacing Max at the mound, completely hobbled Cavalry hitters as Williams struck out two and held runners to their bases.

At the top of the eighth inning, the Cavalry were down 13-12 and everyone knew the game would come down to the wire. As expected in the constantly fluctuating tide of war, by the time they were done they had scored five runs to sit 18-13 and were subsequently matched in the bottom of the frame with five Injun runs.

The two embattled squads were now heading into the ninth inning with a tied ballgame and the Cavalry knew this would be their last stand. Staring them down, however, was Joe Williams. The first Cavalryman up was Armando Rivera who soon struck out, but Roger Thacher benefited from a fumbled ball by first baseman Ed Rivera and safely reached first. Proven hitter, Shane Burger was then up, but he too fell victim to Williams’ fastball. Next to hit was Vincent Hannam and on an 0-2 count, connected with a high fly ball to center that miraculously bounced from Colton Carter’s glove ans scored Thacher from first. Hannam was now on third base and clean up hitter, Lucas Rolison came to the plate. Previously in the game, Rolison had connected with a pitch to launch it towards the moon and beyond the outfield trees marking a new distance record but that ball had been ruled foul; Williams was to pitch aggressively nonetheless. His gamble paid off as Rolison uncharacteristically struck out, stranding the runner at third.

After only scoring one run, the odds seemed daunting for the Cavalry defense and after Ed Rivera lined out, the Injun onslaught began as first Hannam missed a ground ball and finally Thacher missed a Joe Williams flyball to center. It was all that was needed, as Williams hit a walk-off triple to end the game 20-19 in favor of the Injuns.

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