First, let's talk about the jerseys. Excellent-- all the way down to the names. Last year, the WILX'ers wore some same 'ol same 'ol white jerseys with blue sleeves that ran down to the forearms. This year, Manager Jeff Proctor took a chance on some bright orange t-shirt styles and it turned out awesome. We also went out and got some sponsors. So on the front it reads, "Avery Eye Care Center" and just below is the date "5-22-10." Avery is our corporate sponsor, if you will, and just happens to be my eye doctor-- Ed Peters. The date is a bit more unusual. One of our producers at work just got engaged. She is a short-timer, scheduled to have her last day here in a couple weeks, and is one of those brides-to-be who tells and re-tells everybody how the proposal went down. So, it got to be a bit of a joke with how often she'd tell the story, with the real punchline coming when she offered to pay to have her wedding date on the team jerseys. We needed the money. Funnier still, were some of the names on the jerseys. Two of our girls don't work at the station, so when time came to order jerseys and get names they were unavailable. So our trusty leader went out on a limb. No one on our team uses our actual name on the jersey, so for Patti Pope, a devoted Republican, her jersey says "Yes We Can!" That's an Obama slogan if you missed it. Tori got it a little worse probably. She has to walk around all season with a flatulence joke on her back. We tried to tell her it's just what we thought she'd name her racehorse if she ever bought one: "Hoof Arted?" Some of the other names this season include "I'm With Stupid," "I Drink Zima," and "RF," which stands for Resident Floozy. Can't really explain that one any further.
On to the game, which definitely didn't showcase a team that actually played an exhibition game this year to get ready. That would be us. We got out to a good start with three runs in the first thanks to Jeff's big shot to the gap in left-center which followed timely knocks by me, Nicole and Patti. However, the bottom half was rocky when starting pitcher Z had some trouble throwing strikes. He has a spinner he's been trying this year and it's been good so far-- until this game. By the end of the inning, Andy Provenzano was on in relief and it was 6-3.
The other team helped us out as well, with a couple dropped balls and throwing errors, but we found ourselves getting doubled-off on some bang-bang plays which killed a couple drives and a monster base-running error in the last inning. We found ourselves down 9-3 going into the 4th inning, but the Avery team rallied. Clutch hitting from top to bottom brought the score to 9-7. Then we turned up the D with some plays in the field. After a shaky start with some throwing errors that led to some easy runs, we rebounded with AndyPro snagging a comebacker to end one inning. I made a diving stop and throw to second to end another inning. Brian Hirten used his speed to make a sliding catch in left looking directly into the setting sun.
That set up the top of the 6th inning. Down a run, and reaching the game's time limit, we needed to score to keep the game going. Lauren Zakalik led off with a hit. I followed with a rip to right that got by the outfielder. LZ scored and I rounded third like a big shot with thoughts of scoring the winning run. Unfortunately, the pitcher was waiting right there with the ball. After a rundown, I was out and the score was 10-10. I would have scored two batters later when Matt Ondecker jacked a double, but I was on the bench. We went to the bottom of the inning and played great D to keep them off the board. The ump let us go one more inning since it was tied, but neither team scored. Since we were past our allotted time, the ump checked the rule book, then asked the man in charge of the league who made the decision: a tie game.
Tying? There's no tying in baseball!
It won't go down with the same glory of 1966's 10-10 tie between MSU and Notre Dame. The most disappointing part might be that we had to play without our best player, Chris Gervat. At press time, Mr. Gervat still had not commented on his late-afternoon cancellation. Allegedly, he was to be tied up at a Lacrosse banquet, but no confirmation has been made.
At any rate, the newsies are undefeated, but will try to rebound next Sunday at the East Lansing Aquatic Center, gametime is 7:20.