Well, Saturday was the Moorefield lob-ball tournament again. And our team, the “Muckstorm” played again for our 11th year. It was pretty fun this year, though, I’d have to say that I’m pretty tired now, and my muscles are aching.
The first of our three pooled games was fairly early in the morning at about 9:00am. We played well through the whole seven innings and ended up with an 18-8 victory over the other team. We were all playing well and happy to win our first game, given that some years we don’t win any games, so now that we had our victory under our belts everything else was gravy…
The second game went well again. We played five innings before we mercied the other team at 16-2, giving us two victories and a +24 ranking (the max we could get per game is +14 on a mercy, even if we had scored more than 14 above the other team), so we were feeling pretty good about it. After a few more of the games were played, we found out that the other Marsh team, who had won two and lost one with a +16 was in line to capture one of the two wildcard spots in the playoffs if we were to win the next game, or lose by more than seven runs. This meant that as long as we didn’t lose the next game by more than seven, we would be in the playoffs, and if we won the game, both our team and the other Marsh team would make the playoffs.
The next game was fairly close, and ended up in the seventh (final) inning with us down by one run with a runner on first and second and two outs. The next player up hit a single, and Mike, at second, ran to third, and then tried to run home. Now there may have been a couple of people yelling for him to run, but for the most part, our team was yelling for him to stop and stay at third. At any rate, he ended up being an easy out at home and we lost the game by one run. We were in the quarter-finals, but the other Marsh team was out. The loss meant that we were not ranked within the top two, but we were happy that we had made it into the quarter-finals for the first time.
The next game came fairly quickly. We battled hard and came out on top by about four runs. Tiredness was setting in a little bit, but we were on a bit of a high because we had made it into the semi-finals. The next game would prove to be much harder, however.
Our hitting in the semi-final game was good, and our fielding was also pretty decent. What hurt us, however were the home runs that were hit by the other team. We were falling behind quickly due to our opponent’s superior power, so Doug decided to change his pitching style a bit; instead of pitching high lobs, he settled on pitching lower lobs that had a peak arc of about seven feet. This seemed to make it much more difficult for the other team to hit their home runs, so we were happy – happy that is, until the umpire decided that he didn’t like our strategy.
After a few strike outs and singles, the umpire decided to call all of Dougs pitches balls because he didn’t like their height. Now, you have to understand that my brother is six feet tall, and all the pitches were at least a foot above his head (making the pitches seven feet high). The rules in the league are that the lobs must be at least six feet, so there was absolutely nothing wrong with Doug’s pitches. The umpire just didn’t seem to like that it had cut down on our opposition’s home run hitting, or something, I can’t say I know why entirely. In the end everyone on our team was in a bad mood by the end of the game – soured by the umpire’s calls and probably by the loss as well – but we could take consolation in the fact that we had done better this year than we have before.
Overall, it was a fun tournament this year. We enjoyed actually winning a few games and hope to do even better next year.