2012, Game 11: Ironpigs @ Roseville Nationals – A tale of two hits.

After losing our first game of the season, we needed to get back into a hitting frame of mind. We’ve been doing a lot of swinging and missing at the plate, which has been hurting us.

We had a long time to think about that. Craig calls the 4th of July week the All-Star Break, because we don’t have any games. We did have two practices, but we needed to get back in the saddle.

For our first game back, we faced the Roseville Nationals. They’re another team of 6th graders, with a 1-7 record. Their lone win came against the Roseville Knights, who are also 1-8. It’s tempting to regard these games as predictable easy wins, but that’s dangerous. On any given day, any team can beat any other team, and overconfidence can get us into real trouble.

As the visitors, we hit first. Luke grounded into a 6-3 play, Alex hit a double, stole third and scored on a single by Marco, Lucas walked, Anthony struck out and Aaron hit into another 6-3 play. In the bottom of the first, we sent Alex to the mound. He gave up a walk to the leadoff batter, who stole second, stole third and scored on a passed ball. Alex gave up a hit, then got the second out on a strikeout, and the third by picking the runner off 3rd base.

After one inning, we’re tied 1-1. This could be interesting.

In the second, we sent 9 men to the plate and scored 7 runs to trigger the 7-run rule, ending the inning with only one out. Alex gave up another walk that came around and scored a run in the bottom of the inning to make it 8-2.

In the third, we sent 11 guys to the plate, mixing singles and walks, including Justin’s first hit of the year, and scored 6 runs. In the bottom of the inning, Alex settled down and got his first 1-2-3 inning, striking out all three batters.

We’re now leading 14-2, and it’s time for us to shut down our running game. MAA is an instructional league, and part of what we’re teaching is good sportsmanship. That means not running up the score when the game is already lopsided. We tell the guys to stop stealing, but that they can advance on passed balls. It doesn’t help much.

In the fourth, we sent 12 guys to the plate, scoring 7 runs. We got three walks, had three batters reach on fielding errors and got back-to-back triples from Luke P. and Alex. The inning ended with the Nationals having managed just 2 outs. Marco pitched the bottom of the inning and got two quick strikeouts, then gave up a single and a walk before getting the third out on a great catch of a foul fly by Sam in left field.

In the fifth inning, the Nationals finally got us off the field without a run scoring. In the bottom of the inning, they manage to get a run on a pair of walks and some aggressive baserunning.

The top of the sixth was another seven-run debacle – five walks, an error and a single. In the bottom of the inning, Luke P. comes in to pitch and faces just three batters – strikeout, roller to first, strikeout.

We scored 28 runs because we hit the 7-run limit three times, and we gave up just two hits, four walks and no errors.

We’re back.

Final score: 28-3 Ironpigs.

Season record: 10-1. We’re still in first place.

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