First things first: in the interest of journalistic purity, I need to correct two erroneous earlier reports.
1. Lewis & Clark did not overwinter with the Nez Perce. However, the Nez Perce did feed them when they were near starvation, and showed them how to make canoes the Indian way.
2. We did not play the #1 seed tonight. It was the #2 seed.
Now to the good stuff: we beat them in one of the most exciting games I've seen. I doubt my reporting can do it justice. The Oklahoma City Stars are a power-hitting team, and are approaching 150 team home runs this season. They're a bunch of big boys. They're pretty intimidating. We've been a team that's played a lot of small ball this year and we don't have an outfield full of giant players like some of these other teams do. In fact, we have one player that's 6'4" and many that are under 6'0". We joked about having him walk around wearing one jersey for awhile, then another, then another, so the other teams would think we had a bunch of big guys. Anyway, our game started off well, with our left fielder hitting a solo homer in the first. This was followed by a two-run homer in the second by our shortstop. We were feeling pretty good until we had a bit of a defensive meltdown in consecutive innings and allowed OKC to tie the game.
As parents we had gone into the game knowing they hit the long bombs, and were prepared for a close game. So we settled in. Early in the game we had a scary moment when a line drive came straight back at our pitcher, who put up his glove, but it hit his glove and then bounced into his throat or sternum. We're not exactly sure about that yet. Anyway, he went flat and the ball rolled away and he didn't get right back up. Coaches and trainers came out and he slowly got up, they checked him out, he took a couple practice throws, and proceeded to strike the next batter out.
Our next at bat we strung together back to back doubles and a single to put the score back up to 6-3. We felt a little more comfortable. Our backup first baseman came in and made a couple of amazing plays at first base. Then he came to bat and hit a home run. In the bottom of the 8th OKC had the bases loaded with two out and one of their sluggers at the plate. He unloaded on a fast ball and sent it to straightaway center field. We watched it going and I was thinking, OK, 8-7, we can still do this, when our center fielder timed a perfect jump and caught the ball at the wall, then hit the wall, but came down with the ball. I think I still haven't calmed down from that one.
I think it totally knocked the wind out of Oklahoma's sails and they never recovered. I think they came in expecting to beat up on this small-ball team, and got a rude awakening. It's fun to be on the winning side sometimes!
Our pitcher completed the 8th having given up 3 runs, only 1 earned. To my mild disappointment they did not tap Davis Koenig to close, so once again he did not appear. Our closer had a few scary moments, allowed a couple of base runners, but our center fielder again caught one, not at the wall, but diving into the dirt on the track. The game ender was our left fielder catching a long foul ball that we never expected him to reach.
Final score: 8-3.
An interesting dynamic tonight was the crowd. Earlier in the day, host team and defending champion Lewis-Clark was eliminated. We expected local interest to drop off immediately and to have a very small crowd. However, the locals still came out. Those around us asked, "who are we rooting for?" and they rooted for Point Loma. One person told me there's no love lost for Oklahoma around here, as they've had some bitter rivalries in past years. At some points it seemed the crowd was cheering for Point Loma. Perhaps they were just cheering against Oklahoma. Either way, it was exciting to have such a loud and vocal crowd on our side.
Tonight's photo is of first baseman Ian MacMaster crossing home plate after hitting his home run.
Tomorrow we play #1 ranked Lubbock Christian. 7 PM. We like the night game because it cools off! It's in the mid to upper 80's during the day, 70's in the evening.
Have a good Tuesday.