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Tip Of The Week
Any ball that is kicked foul can be caught for an out EXCEPT when the ball touches a fence, cage or other obstacle that's not part of the field. In this case, it's called a "dead ball foul". But any other type of foul (wether it is in foul territory or because the kicker's plant foot was forward of home plate) can be caught. It's good to take advantage of free chances for an out!
by Chris Hutchings
A number of tight games this week! It seems the season of the blowouts has fallen away and the division's pitchers and defensive players are coming into their own. The highest scoring team this week racked up a meager four runs. These are the kickball scores that tend to settle in by the end of the season. Blow outs will be hard found these days - especially when teams like the Turtle Wranglers are able to squeeze out a shocking win against long time vet powerhouse, the Pregnant Cheerleaders!
The first game in week six was between the 3rd place Rusty T's and the tied-for-second place Greenorhea. A blow out looked like a possibility in the 1st inning when Greenorhea opened up with a resounding three run opening volley including an acrobatic home-plate dodge by team co-captain Brad on a laser thrown in from the infield. With three runs in hand, Greenorhea took to the field and the T's quickly loaded up the bases over two outs, but any run rallies were stifled on a force out at second that negated the run that crossed home. From here on out, the game dissolved into a pitcher's duel and all runs stopped cold. Greenies' opener, Johnny, having posted a 0.00 ERA for the day, confidently handed the ball over to rookie closer Arturo in the 4th inning and things looked all sealed up until the T's mounted another bases loaded situation with two outs in the bottom of the 5th. A decent base-clearing double could tie the game up and a grand slam would be a win for middle-ranked T's. Unfortunately for the ol' rusty instruments, Arty's pitching was looking filthy and he basketed a viscous come-backer to close up the game and log he and Johnny's co-opted shut out - the first in Greenie history.
Game two out in the grass was a key match-up between one of the division leaders and one of the rising teams, the Westside Whackers and Tang. Again pitching played a large role, but the runningest game of the night ended up to be a nail biter. Whackers took an early four run lead, but Tang mounted a strong comback effort that started (and unfortunately ended) with a two run homer by Tang kicker, Rick. The key 4-3 win by the Whackers guaranteed them a safe perch in the 1st place bracket, leaving Tang to set their sights on 3rd place Ace Of Base next week.
The eight o'clock game on the field was as startling and as entertaining as you'd expect from a suprise Turtle upset against the Cheerleaders. The innings went quickly with few highlights until the bottom of the 3rd inning when captain "Big Poppa" Pat Sattler slid majestically into 2nd base... in short pants. Unfortunately, newly forming raspberry aside, the daring effort couldn't net a run and the score was a shocking 0-0 tie through the top of the 4th. Cheerleaders finally found some offense in the 4th (even, I daresay resorting to some small-ball) and loaded up the bases with only one out. Brian, who earlier kicked a stunning double, was the scoring run on 3rd when Dustin crushed a deep pop fly that the Turtles had to scramble to fetch - but fetch it they did, they caught the pop-fly and rifled it into home just after Brian crossed the plate for the first run of the game. A beautiful clutch sacrifice that would net all the Cheerleader runs for the night. The Turtles, knowing they had to act quickly, found a way to scrape out a tying run when Wrangler' Kelly landed a stunning sacrifice bunt to advance Ryan from 2nd to 3rd. Unfortunately for the Preggos, the sacrifice turned into an error and Kelly advanced safely into 2nd while Ryan rounded 3rd and touched home plate for a tying run.
I was too excited to write down any further details of the game. Turtles earned another run before the middle of the 5th and then closed out the Cheerleaders despite them loading the bases up again in the bottom of the 5th to maintain their 2-1 lead. Congrats, Turtles! I feel sorry for my fellow Greenies who have to face the Cheerleaders next week. They will not take this lying down...
The last game of the night was another close one with some tight pitching and some tight defense. Ace Of Base needed a win to make up for the paper forfeit they garnered by not supplying an ump for the previous game. Again, the first couple innings passed quickly and there was no score until the top of the 3rd when the McCool Town JV's earned one. This would prove to be the only run until the bottom of the 5th inning when Ace Of Base mounted an incredible two out rally to drive 2 runs in to steal victory from the jaws of defeat.
Incredibly close games this week! It's almost a good reason not to rush off to the bar right after your game... almost. Good luck to all the teams next week. There's only two weeks left of regular season play, so hone up them skills and keep kicking!
Registration Now Closed
Registration is closed and the teams are locked in. If you missed the deadline, check back with us in a couple months when we fire up the Dogtown '06 Spring Season. Thanks to everyone who registered and a hearty welcome to all our new players! Play ball!
Next Game Night: Mar 29th, 2006 @ 7:00pm
Oakwood Recreation Center - Diamond 1/2
Division Bar - It's official!
Our WAKA Division Bar, Brennan's of Marina Del Rey, is even more important than our home field. It's the heart and center of the division's social aspect. The field is a place for team solidarity, but the division bar is where you learn that the people in the other dugout are just as good-natured and fun loving as yourselves!
If that doesn't sell you on it, then how about happy hour deals for WAKA players all night, every game night!? In addition to their $2.50 burgers (2 for 1 pricing), we also get $2.50 domestic tap beers (Bud & Bud Light)! What other bar can you drop $10 and get 3 beers and a burger? Nowhere, that's where.
So make an effort to come out after every game and let the division know that there's no ill-feelings. What happens on the field, stays on the field. What happens at the division bar are the memories we keep for many seasons to come!
Brennan's has welcomed us with open arms! We have a new home for the post-game Dogtown celebrations and libations! Once you're done with your game or cheering on other team favorites, get those cleats on over to Brennan's for some food and drink. They have a wide selection of games and live music as well as a large patio where they host turtle races every Thursday night! If nothing else, come by for a game of flip-cup and reclaim any tarnished glory you may have lost on the field by displaying your finely honed drinking-dexterity. We'll see you there!
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