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Beyond the Fence

Bay City Independents 21, Rochester Hills Grangers 9

Carroll Park, Bay City, MI – The sky was high, and the air was hot and thick as the Grangers of Rochester Hills unpacked their gear from the backs of their wagons and walked out along the ball grounds of our beloved Carroll Park. The Independents’ crowd of supporters took shelter in any shade they could find, and waited for the start of what they believed would be one of the best matches of the summer. They would not be disappointed. The match began with a first pitch that was thrown out by none other than our sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.

After the ceremonial toss, and some fine words from our President the match was underway, with the Grangers winning the toss and striking first. Mr. Bob Grace, the mercurial left fielder for the Grangers, began the contest with a finely place ball to the long field, and then proceeded to take his second on a wildly thrown ball by the Bay Citys pitcher. Mr. Grace would move along to third on two consecutive ground ball outs, and would come home to tally on safety from the bat of Mr. Mike Johnson, the Granger third sacker. Those would be all the runs the Grangers would muster in their first innings, but it would see them take the lead in the contest 1-0, and they would hold it after they whitewashed the Bay Citys in their first innings.

The gentlemen from Rochester Hills would add to their lead after Mr. Patrick “Barnraiser” McKay scored in the midst of a two hands lost rally. His run would be the only scoring for the Grangers, and doubled their lead 2-0 over Bay City.
The first striker in the Bay City second innings would be the sure handed, first sacker, Justin “Doc” Garcia. In one wallop of the willow, Mr. Garcia cut the Independents’ deficit in two as he shot a sky ball over the tree tops, past the confines of the park, and sent the water fowl and the Granger fieldsmen scattering as he made his home run. The Independents would tally four more runs in the innings, and wrest control of the match from the Rochesters at 5-2.
The Grangers would not be put down in the third innings and placed two more tallies on their side of the ledger to make the game a tight scratch at 5-4. The Independents though would not relinquish their margin and tallied twice more themselves. An impressive stroke came from the bat of Scott “Umpy” Umphrey, the Bay City right fielder, as he drove a howitzer to the long field, which he quite easily made his second on. The contest now stood at 7-4.

The Bay Citys would skunk the Grangers in the fourth innings, and “Doc” Garcia would tally again for the Independents. After four innings the game was now Bay City 8, Rochester Hills 4.

The Grangers would take to striking again in the fifth innings and just as in the first they would be led by Mr. Grace who again placed a ball into the long field for a single. Mr. Grace then made his second by theft, and was driven home by a long stroke by “Slappy” Prasatek, the Granger first base man. Mr. Prasatek would also score after a long single by Mr. Anvil Wynne. The next three strikers would go down in order, and the score was now 8-6. Not to be outdone the Bay Citys tallied two runs of their own in the persons of “Shoeless Jeff” Dinauer, the Independents second sacker, and Brian “Butterfly” Beceril. It was now 10-6 Bay City.

Thanks to some fine plays in the field, and an especially sure-handed play by the short stop, Tanner LeRoux, the Bay Citys whitewashed the Grangers in the sixth innings and went right back to apple mashing. The Independents would send 15 strikers to the line in their sixth innings. The two most impressive shots of the innings came from the bats of Branden “The Rope” Revette and Al “Kid” Garcia, both of the gentlemen drove the balls into the long field, and easily made their seconds. The Bay Citys would score nine runs in the innings and put some distance between themselves and the gentlemen from Rochester Hills at 19-6.
The Bay Citys took to the field with full knowledge that no lead was safe where the Grangers were concerned, and their fears were nearly realized when the Rochesters tallied three more runs fueled again by the efforts of Mr. Grace, Mr. Johnson, and Mr. Mallman. The score would now sit at 19-9, and thanks to some graceful gardening the defenders for both clubs would whitewash the other in their next two turns at striking. That would effectively end the competition, but in keeping with tradition the Bay Citys took their final at bats in their ninth innings and tallied twice more to bring the final of the match to rest at 21-9 for Bay City.

The two clubs would then enjoy a fine meal together, and displayed their mutual respect and admiration for one another. No doubt Bay City can look forward to future matches between these fine clubs. Thus would end the first unblemished home season for the Bay Citys at Carroll Park, and hopes are high for another next season.

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