Counting Coup amongst the Cottonwoods
Bay City visits Greenfield Village June 19, 2016
Walnut Grove, Greenfield Village
Bay City 22, La-de-dahs 19
It was a clear, warm, early summer day upon the historic grounds of Greenfield Village. The only thing more numerous than the patrons scurrying about the Village, may have been the spawn of the cottonwood trees whose seed was constantly showering the garden spot known as Walnut Grove. It was here among the cottonwoods, with the constant reminder of the evolutionary progress of travel known as the iron horse, making it’s way around the long field, that the Bay City Independents would seek to use their mighty sticks to count coup upon their hosts, the Greenfield Village La-de-dahs. If their efforts were to be successful, then the Bay Citys could once again lay rightful claim to the title State Champion, and take back custodianship of the State Championship Cup.
Having won the toss, and chosen to strike last in the contest, the Independents took to the field, and the La-de-dahs took to striking. Matt “Mad Dog” Valant led off the way for the Dahs, and deftly made his first. He did not stay put long, as he took his second by theft, and then made his way to third when Nick “Soapdish” Moroz made his first and moved the Mad Dog to third. Moroz would steal his second, which would place runners neatly upon the second and third sacks for the gents from Greenfield Village. Valant and Moroz would each tally when Jeff “Cougar” Koslowski drove a howitzer into the garden splitting the Bay City defenders. The throw would come in quickly to second, and hold Kozlowski to a mere safety, but he too would steal his second, and thus move another runner into a scoring position. The next striker would move Cougar to third, as his hand was killed on a daisy cutter deftly handled by Jimmy “Two Quarts” Arnold. That brought Adam “Stonewall” Gorring to the dish. Gorring would smash a dirt dinger into the mighty mitts of Wes “Redstick” Perry, the third sacker for Bay City, who quickly relayed the ball to the catcher Matt “Barell Roller” Barnard who upon receiving the sphere, smartly placed a tag upon the unsuspecting runner Mr. Koslowski. This move would kill a potentially early inning run, and released much of the pressure upon the bases, and effectively ended the Dahs rally in their first. They now had a recipe for success however, and a lead in the contest at 2 to 0.
That lead would hold, as the Dahs would skunk the Bay Citys in order, and then the gents from the Village would plate two more runs in their second. It was then that the Independents, now down by 4 runs, would answer the call to reveille when Jeff “Silverback” Rahl would not only make his first safely, but then amazed the crowd by taking his second by theft. As there were already 6 stolen bases in the contest, there should have been no shock to the crowd when another occurred, however none were expecting the Silverback, who ordinarily makes his way around the sacks with the grace of a three legged equine, to be the first from Bay City to do so. Nevertheless, Rahl’s leadership, brazen determination, and sheer will seem to drag the Independents from their slumber for the next striker in the order, Sean “Tanner” LeRoux would then bring the great ape to tally with a howitzer placed deep into the opposite field of his striking. This would then put LeRoux neatly upon the second sack. He wouldn’t stay for long, as his elder brother, Tom “Cat” LeRoux would mirror his two sack trick, and Tanner LeRoux would count his ace. The Cat couldn’t be caged as Jeff “Ink” Hicks, the next striker in the order would drive Cat home with a drive into the garden that had him make his first. Ink’s hand would be killed at second, as Schoolboy Stedry would take his first on a daisy cutter. Stedry would take his second, and then his third on balls that would skip past the Dahs catcher. Stedry would then make his ace to tie the match when Jimmy “Two Quarts” Arnold would send a sky ball into the long field that would be bottled by the center fiejdsman to kill the Bay Citys second hand. The rally would essentially end, and the match was now a tight scratch at 4-4.
The gentleman of the Village would refuse to shrink from the challenge, and would put 5 more runs in the ledger in their third innings. The damage would be mostly done thanks in part to a two hands down, three bagging howitzer from the stick of Stonewall Gorring. The strike would drive home three runs, but the most remarkable feat of the event’s entirety was when Gorring, when attempting to secure his third dove head long into the third sack, avoiding the throw from the garden, but most effectively removing the turf near the sack with his face and teeth. Although the effort exerted was successful, this sort of attempt at evasion will no doubt be rarely tried again, or perhaps at least done so more gracefully.
The Bay Citys, now down by 5 runs would take their turn at the dish. The lead striker in the innings, Travis “Rat” Galbraith would make his first on a nicely placed fair foul down the third base line. Rat would then take his second and third by theft. Matt “Barel Roller” Barnard drove Rat home with a drive down the right field line. He would then roll on over to the third sack when Adam “Little Train” Johnson smashed a howitzer past the hands of the Dahs left fielder. The Train would pull into second on the strike, but each of the runners would stay put when the next hand was lost on a ground ball to second sack. It was then with two hands down, that Ryan “Copperpot” Glaser would step to the line, and drove a daisy cutter to the short stop. The short stop then made a valiant attempt at nabbing Glaser at first sack, but the “Copperpot” would not only make his first, but would then turn to take his second. This caused the mercurial ginger to be caught in quite a pickle betwixt the first and second sack. Barnard would make the most of the confusion by tallying behind the Train, and before the dust had settled there were two runs in, and Glaser would be standing safely at second. Glaser would then tally on an infield safety by Alan “Kid” Garcia. The rally would be ended there, but the match would again be tight scratch with the State Champion La-de-dahs in the lead at 9-8.
That lead would be short lived, as the Bay Citys would tighten up their defense and whitewash the Villagers in both their fourth and fifth innings. In that time the Independents would over take the La-de-dahs with three runs in each of their innings. After five full innings the Independents would lead the match for the first time at 14-9.
Greenfield Village would then muster all the might of a true champion, and would answer the clarion call to battle plating 5 runs in their sixth innings with repeated two out, daisy cutters just beyond the reach of the Bay City infielders. Mercifully, the Bay Citys right fields man, Alan “Kid” Garcia would bring the sweltering inning to an end by bottling a sky ball on the run to kill the Dahs final hand. The ledger was now tied at 14 with Bay City heading into their sixth innings. Sean “Tanner” LeRoux would lead the charge again with a double into the garden, he would tally the go ahead run thanks to another safety from the bat of Jeff “Ink” Hicks. It would be the only run for Bay City, and their lead heading into the seventh was slim at 15-14.
The La-de-dahs would then take back the lead in this see-saw battle thanks to a two hands down triple from “Soapdish” Moroz, and a long double by Mr. Polska. The Dahs would tally 4 runs in all in their two out rally, and after skunking the Bay Citys in their seventh and tallying once more in their eighth now had a three run advantage.
The Bay Citys, now in the bottom of their order would have to regain their form. Travis “Rat” Galbraith would make his first on a daisy cutter to the third sacker, and would then take his third on a throw that made its way past the first sacker and down the road. That would bring Nate “Grizzly” Hall to the fore, and the Grizzly would not shrink from his chance to lead the Crimson horde in their mounting attack. Hall would stretch out his mighty maw, and drove the apple deep into the trees along the tracks in the long field, and swiftly made his second driving home the Rat. That would bring the Roller of Barrels to the plate again, and again Barnard would not fail in his efforts driving the ball down the right field line. It was then that Hall using his new found steam would make his ace all the way from second sack. The excitement along the bench upon seeing the mercurial efforts of Hall injected the club with an enthusiasm for their task. In all the rejuvenated bunch would send 8 more strikers to the line, and tally four more times. Bay City now held a two run edge in the ledger with 8 full innings played at 21-19.
It was now up to the reigning champion La-de-dahs to see if they too could make a push with the bottom of their striking order, as the Bay Citys had with theirs. They would get off to a fine start as Gregory “Rudy” Powell would mash the apple deep into the garden to make his first for the fourth time in the contest. Powell would then take his second as the ball escaped the catcher, and things were beginning to look grim. Then George “Beast” Moroz would send a sky ball into the center field that was bottled by Ryan “Copperpot” Glaser. One hand dead. That would bring up Matt “Mad Dog” Valant, and the lead strikers in the order for the La-de-dahs to try their hands at securing the contest. The Bay Citys would coax the Mad Dog into hitting a sky ball that was bottled by Wes “Redstick” Perry at third sack. Two hands dead. Then Rudy Powell would advance to third on another ball that got past the catcher. This brought Nick “Soapdish” Moroz to the plate, who struck the aforementioned triple in the Villagers seventh. The tension was high, with a two run lead, two hands down, and a runner at third sack. It was then that Perry, the third sacker made the pitcher, Cap Johnson, aware that the runner at third was taking a precariously large lead. Trusting the hands and judgement of his club mate, Johnson turned from the striker, and instead threw to third. Powell in his efforts to make his way back to the base, could not restrain himself from coming off it slightly. Knowing full well that if his hand was dead, then the contest was essentially over, Powell did the gentlemanly thing, and called himself rightly out.
Perhaps no greater feat of courage or skill was made on this day, than that of Mr. Powell. At any rate, that would bring the contested portion of the event to a close. The Bay Citys would tally a final run in their portion of the ninth innings bringing the battle of the summer snow to a close, and bringing home the Championship Cup to the City by the Bay.