I can say that the game last night was interesting, but it wasn’t entirely decisive. We’ve finally lost our first game of the season, bringing us to 14-1, but we kept it close until the final inning was played in the dark.

We started out the game with seven players and brought that up to eight after the first inning. Not much happened in terms of hitting in the first three innings. I scored in the first inning and drove in a run in the second, but we only had two runs after three innings compared to Matt’s team’s six or seven. Our offense was mediocre for the first half of the game, but picked up in the 5th inning. Our defense was mediocre as well, until we decided to play with a rover in the field and no short stop. During the fifth, though, we picked it up and ended the seventh inning up by one run.

The problem, though, was that at the end of the seventh inning the sun had just gone down and it was starting to get dark. Normally we’d just call the game at that point, but it was close, and my brother Matt’s team had been itching to beat us for the past five or six weeks. Since they were down by one, they wanted to continue, and since Doug didn’t want to disappoint them, we kept playing.

The first batter was Matt, who quickly tied it up with a home run. The next hit went straight to Phil and he should have easily caught it, but he couldn’t see the ball very well so he let it drop in front of him to keep from getting hit by it. By the third or fourth hitter, we couldn’t distinguish who was at the plate, and it was obvious that the fielders couldn’t see the ball well enough to make a play on it as they botched quite a few easy plays.

One might think that we would then have an advantage when we finally got to the plate about 15 minutes later, but by the time we got up it was impossible to even see the pitches. Somehow I managed to tick the ball enough to get it in front of me and get on base (with a rather pathetic hit), but only two or three of our players were able to make sufficient contact to score a hit. Really, the umpire should have called it half-way through the top of the inning for safety reasons, and he seemed reluctant to let the game continue, but neither did he want to disappoint the other team, so I can’t fault him for it. We should probably implement an official rule on calling the game after sunset next year, since this type of situation has happened before in other games near the end of the season.

In terms of hitting, we did better in this game overall than the previous game. I went seven for nine on the night, with one hit far into the field, but towards the fielder, and another that didn’t get enough contact to clear the infield well. Fielding-wise, I didn’t get much action in right-field. The only balls that came my way were the couple that got through the infield, and the several that went over the fence. There were two pop-fly’s that I could have gotten to easily, but Chris called me off on both, so I can’t say much about that.

During one inning my brother Doug slipped a bit and as a result slid into second, which prompted one player from the other team to complain loudly and unceasingly for about three minutes due to the no slide rule that we have, but since Doug was already called out on the force, there wasn’t much point in arguing – he can’t get out twice on the same play. I probably wouldn’t have cared much, but I was a bit offended by his implications that Doug (our coach) was trying to play dirty – this is the same guy who later allowed the game to continue just to make the other team happy when the conditions were prohibitive – he would never try to play dirty just to win a game.

At any rate, we’ll take the loss – it doesn’t much matter. We played alright in the end, and you have to give Matt’s team credit for taking advantage of the top of the eighth, rather than falling short. It should be a fun playoffs next weekend. We’ve got a game on Thursday night, and then the playoffs are Friday night and Saturday. Hopefully we’ll have enough players to play, as this has been our Achilles heel for the past few weeks. Some of our best players are off to school, though, so it may be a bit difficult.